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“The Tricks Get Bigger”

Rider Toby Miller Checks In

Toby Miller is a pro halfpipe snowboarder and Backcountry-sponsored athlete. We teamed up with him to build a custom board and took the opportunity to ask this L.A.-based athlete a few questions about his setup, the tricks he’s got in the works, and what the next few months of training and competing look like for him.

Backcountry: Where are you training right now?

Toby Miller: Currently, I’m training at the Red Bull high-performance gym in Santa Monica, getting ready for the up-and-coming training camps in Switzerland. We’ll be training with the U.S. Snowboard Team, doing tricks, runs, and getting ready for the Winter Games.

How did the postponement of the Games and setbacks of this past year impact your training?

Luckily, the setback of the 2020 Games didn’t affect us so much in the winter space. Training stays the same and the competitions are still rolling. It’s a unique opportunity to compete so close to the Summer Games—the adrenaline of seeing your fellow countrymen and all the competitions gets everyone really excited and then it rolls right into being our turn. 

Tell us which tricks you’re known for and which tricks you’ve been working on for Beijing.

When I was younger, people would ask me about the frontside double cork 1440—otherwise known as the frontside yolo flip—named by Louri Podladtchikov. I’m definitely adding that into the run. One of the biggest tricks I’m working on is doing that same trick, but switch. The cab double cork 1440. The remainder of the run consists of double cork 1080s, double cork 1260s, and all different variations of flat double corks with different ways of rotating

What are some of your bucket list riding destinations?

Number one location would be Baldface, Canada—I’ve had a ton of friends out there snowmobiling, splitboarding, catboarding, and heliboarding. I’ve never done any of that.

Tell us about the Backcountry board you’ll be repping this winter?

I’m going to be riding the custom Backcountry Limited Edition Toby Miller Pro Model Snowboard. It has the Goat on the tip and tail of the base. You ride your idol’s snowboards when you’re coming up the ranks, so it’s honestly a dream come true to be working with Backcountry to design a snowboard. Excited for the world to see it.

[Gearhead Tip: We’ll be dropping a limited run of Toby’s snowboards in November. Stay tuned and nab one fast before they sell out!]

“I’m a firm believer that going out there and having fun and riding different terrain makes you a better snowboarder.”

Tell us about the rest of your setup. What are some of the favorites in your gear closet?

I have really small feet so I wear women’s snowboard boots and my bindings are a hybrid between a women’s bottom and a men’s highback. I call it the Frankenstein binding. For the helmet, I’m running the POC helmet—gotta keep the brain safe. I’ve always been an advocate of helmets since I was very young, so you won’t catch me out on the mountain without one—ever.

For outerwear, I’m gonna be running the Backcountry Cottonwood or Cardiac kits, depending on the conditions or the day—you can’t go wrong there. And underneath that, I have the Backcountry thermals. When you’re in Colorado or under the lights at night in the X Games, it gets really cold.

Why are you stoked to rep the Goat?

The word says it all. GOAT. Greatest Of All Time. Yes, I’m representing Backcountry snowboarding, but Backcountry as a whole means so much more. So many different sports, so many different communities, and they’re just bringing all these different demographics into one company. Representing the Goat means so much more than just representing their snowboarding side. You’re part of something bigger. 

Do you do any freeriding or backcountry splitboarding in between tricks?

When I’m not training in the halfpipe, you’ll catch me out on the mountain with my friends, hitting jumps and doing turns all over the mountain. I’m a firm believer that going out there and having fun and riding different terrain makes you a better snowboarder. I also can’t pass up a good powder day, whether it’s inbounds or I’m snowmobiling with friends. 

Do you switch up your setup when you’re not in the park?

If I’m riding the same board as I do in the halfpipe, I’ll move my stance back, giving my board more nose and less tail so it’ll float a little more. If it’s a really deep day or if it’s a super slushy spring day on the mountain, I’ll occasionally rock a powder board, which is very directional with a really big nose. It’s very similar to a surfboard. Those days are some of the funnest days on the mountain, because you’re out there just doing slashes and having a good time.

“Representing the Goat means so much more than just representing their snowboarding side. You’re part of something bigger.”

What are some of your fitness, training, and recovery tools?

It’s always super clutch to have a spin bike, whether it’s in the gym or outdoors. It’s my favorite to do a cool-down ride after a big day on the mountain. For recovery, massage guns are key after a big competition. I also use a CBD roller to let my muscles recover for the next day. And Normatec—those big inflatable pants look really goofy, but they help with blood flow. Add in an ice bath and you’ll feel 100% fresh and ready for the next day. It sounds like a lot, but trust me—it works. Keeps you in the game. 

 

How has snowboarding as a competition evolved over the years?

The history of halfpipe snowboarding is pretty crazy to look back on. In 2002—right here in Salt Lake City—JJ Thomas got a bronze medal in an 18-foot halfpipe. Now halfpipes are 22 feet. And if you look back to the 2010 Winter Games, [people were doing] double corks, two flips, 1080s—those were mindblowing to people. Fast forward to the 2018 Games and we’re seeing back-to-back 1440s—now 1080s are a warmup trick, a setup trick. Each cycle the tricks get bigger, there’s more and more spinning, and the amplitude gets higher. 

 

What does the future of snowboarding look like? What impact would you like to have on the next generation of riders?

With the 2022 Games coming up, it’s going to be exciting to see where we take the sport. Looking way past that, it’s surreal. It’s going to be people doing tricks that were once deemed impossible. It’s gonna be fun to watch and I hope to help push the sport and motivate the next generation just as Shaun White did. My idols that motivated me and got me into halfpipe snowboarding in the first place are now some of my closest friends. I hope to have that same impact on the younger generation coming up.