Sometimes I find myself sitting in the snow waiting for the photographer or the sun to come out or my run in a contest and wonder, “If I’d taken up surfing fifteen years ago, would I be on some tropical beach with warm water and girls in bikinis?” It sure does sound nice when you’re wondering what the heck you’re doing in zero-degree weather. But as soon as the photographer yells out, “The sun is coming,” my blood starts to flow, I scope my line one more time, and as soon as I drop in, I’ve forgotten about my surf dream and find myself in a warm world of white fluffy dreams. Having that feeling running through my body drives me to challenge myself each day.

It’s amazing when you sit back and take a look at yourself and wonder how you ever ended up where you are-I never dreamed of being a pro athlete as a kid. One day I found a love for a sport I’ve never felt before, a sport that’s helped shape my life in more ways than I can say. There’s something about snowboarding you can’t describe. It’s the feeling that makes you move across the country and live in a small box so you can have that experience each day. I’ve been chasing the snow around the world for over a decade now, searching for that feeling and those challenges that make me grow each day. My friends say I’m lucky, and maybe I am. What I know is it takes a lot of hard work to make it as a pro snowboarder; sometimes it’s very painful, and at times it’s very rewarding. The harder the challenge, the greater the reward. It’s been an amazing fifteen-year ride, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. The friends I’ve made, the places I’ve been, and the experiences I’ve had are part of this wonder of life I choose to live.

You could say I’m a project guy, I guess. I love projects-most of them are created with wood, metal, stained glass, clay, or something in that form. After working with photographers for so long in the snowboard world, I started to learn the trade a bit and developed an interest in that field. I had all these ideas running through my head of different images I wanted to capture and create. With a few visits to the camera store and some custom building, I was ready to be in two places at once. So these images, I guess you could say, are true images of me, taken by me, to share with you.-Mike Basich

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“I like to read, and I used to enjoy writing. But for some reason, writing about snowboarding and snowboarders isn’t working for me-I don’t like to take it that seriously. Come to think of it, this is how Mike Basich approaches his snowboarding. He’s out to have fun, first and foremost. That’s why he’s been around for so long and is also why he can still ride his snowboard as well as you young punks.”-Kevin Zacher

How do you view the role of pro snowboarders today?
It has changed for me over the years. I stick to what’s important to me and hope my sponsors stick around. There’re a lot of unique people in snowboarding, and each one has a role of their own that shows their talents and personality through snowboarding. I see a lot of young pro riders hungry for prize money and in the mix of it all. It’s not a bad thing, but I know someday when that’s gone, they’ll be riding for the reason we all started in the first place-for the love of it. I hope.

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“During our second winter snowboarding, I remember going back behind Donner Ski Ranch with Mikey, Tina, Damian Sanders, Dana Nicholson, Bud Fawcett, and a few others. So there we were with Damian building the largest cheese wedge we’d ever seen. I’d only seen Mikey jump a few times until that day. After watching Damian hit it once, Mikey blew me away by going just as big. That day pretty much defined to me where Mikey was headed. He truly is amazing at whatever he does-whether it’s snowboarding, artwork, or his inventions. If there’s a right way or wrong way to do something, Mikey will probably do it his way and make it better and so much more interesting.”-Tim McCary

Can you defi style?
I remember that day very clearly-it was in ’87. I was known as Tina’s little brother after that. Every time I go riding with Tim, one of us gets hurt-I think he has me beat on injures. We were always pushing each other to go bigger and farther, and still do. Snowboarding has changed a lot since that day, along with our style and equipment. With all my years of riding, a style that will never die would be Chris Roach’s. He defined style.

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“When we were growing up, it seemed like Michael was always the one getting hurt. I can’t count how many times we had to take him to the emergency room to get stitched up. He was always building some kind of go-cart, zip line, tree fort, or flying device that would take him on his next adventure. There was the teeth through the lip-a couple of times, the screwdriver through the hand, the zip line from the roof, jumping the biggest cliffs, and always stepping up to go first. He wants the most out of life, I mean the most. Some would say he’s accident-prone, but I’d say he’s just the bravest person I know.”-Tina BasichWhat’s on your list of snowboarding injuries, and which was the worst?

Snowboarding has given me some new scars for sure. I remember putting my tooth through my lip the day I met Chris Engelsman. Later that year, I ripped my lower lip off my jaw at the U.S. Open, which wasn’t a good one. My parents were there. Ripped my ankle. Surgery on an elbow. My shoulder separation-that was the worst. Tina fainted and hit the floor when she saw me. Plus, it was a sunny pow day, and Slayer was playing later. The broken jaw last year wasn’t fun, but I never felt healthier being on a liquid diet. I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of my health insurance. There’s more, but I would rather knock on wood than talk about it.

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“Michael has always been good with his hands: from building tree forts when he was young to helping us build our house last summer. This summer he became interested in milling his own wood, so he bought a ten-horsepower motor and built a sawmill from scratch. I wonder what he’ll build next.”-Mike Dad BasichYou also built 241 Clothing from scratch. Where’s it at now, and what’s next on the list of things to do?

Right after high school, 241 started in ’91. I was selling my drawings that I’d silk-screened on shirts out of my car at schools in Sacramento. It’s been a lot of fun building the company and learning the business side, and 241 has been taking off ever since. I have all kinds of outerwear now-it’s only available in Japan, but keep an eye out for it next year in the States. My next project is building an electric car. Someday I want to build a self-efficient home out in the woods. We really need to change the way we live these days. I still have things I want to accomplish in snowboarding, so I’m not heading into the woods just yet.

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“In my opinion, Mike is one of the hardest workers snowboarding has ever seen. He’ll hike sunup to sundown every day if the opportunity presents itself. I’ve never once heard the ever-popular phrase, “I’m over it” come out of his mouth. There’s a reason why after his ten years as a pro he’s still out there kicking ass-he appreciates the gift he’s been given to be able to snowboard for a living and is thankful every day. If every pro out there had his attitude, then … well, things would be different.”-Scott Sullivan

What do you still want to accomplish in snowboarding?
I want to keep progressing with my riding, in more of a big-mountain way. To travel a little less and spend more time with the people I enjoy hanging and riding with. Capture on film what snowboarding is for me. Bring more of my artwork to snowboarding. Maybe even leave a dent in snowboarding not just from the 80s or 90s, but from today. I like working hard at whatever I do-if there’s a project or opportunity that I haven’t done, I’m there. And to make it to the Himalayas and Egypt.

Mainly, I want to feel satisfied with my work in snowboarding. I’m getting close, but I’m sure I’ll test myself with some new idea or challenge to learn from in the years to come.

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“Long ago he passed me up with his imagination and wonderful sense of knowing. His mind never stops inventing, his hands never stop building, and his heart never stops giving. When you’re around him, his energy spills over, and you can’t help but feel uplifted.”-Donna Mom Basich

Is there anything else you want to add?
I want to thank my family, my 241 crew over in Japan, Nirve, Zeal, Giro, Thirty-two, Snowbird, and all my friends and sponsors over the last fifteen years for helping support my dreams. Thank you.sfied with my work in snowboarding. I’m getting close, but I’m sure I’ll test myself with some new idea or challenge to learn from in the years to come.

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“Long ago he passed me up with his imagination and wonderful sense of knowing. His mind never stops inventing, his hands never stop building, and his heart never stops giving. When you’re around him, his energy spills over, and you can’t help but feel uplifted.”-Donna Mom Basich

Is there anything else you want to add?
I want to thank my family, my 241 crew over in Japan, Nirve, Zeal, Giro, Thirty-two, Snowbird, and all my friends and sponsors over the last fifteen years for helping support my dreams. Thank you.