Forest Bailey’s Interview from our September Issue

Forest knows the importance of balance. Especially finding a balance between time on and off the job. That is, time snowboarding and time at home with the lady and/or family. For Forest each is essential. He needs an even dose of both. He says he worries about getting burnt, getting too deep into snowboarding, losing touch with life outside the tribe.

“I need to have stuff going on outside of snowboarding or else…I’ll just go crazy,” he says. “I’ve always kept in touch with friends outside of snowboarding. It just evens out your brain. I like to talk about stuff besides snowboarding too, like what’s going on in the world.”

The son of nature lovers, he grew up with a strong connection to the Earth. He worries about the state of the environment. He doesn’t have any answers, but he thinks often about what should be done.

Forest Bailey with an acid drop. PHOTO: Bob Plumb.

“It seems like there’s going to need to be a major change in the way we do things, a change in the way humans live,” he says. “We’re consuming resources way too quickly. We’re repopulating way too quickly. And we’re just not treating the Earth with much respect.”

And yeah, he acknowledges that he’s part of the problem. His job is clearly at odds with his intentions. But he does little things.

“Like that little garden we have at the house…like how much work does that take? Not much. You can grow your own food.”

He wishes more people would try. More people would work together. More people would think about future.

“You gotta think about the future and what it’s going to be like…”

It seems like Forest thinks about the future a lot. He tells me he thinks about how all the homeys he has now will eventually be coming around, visiting and hanging out when he’s got a family of his own. How it’ll be like when his parents’ friends from Tour came around, when he was a kid.

“It’ll be awesome!” he says, smiling.

He says he thinks about how he can keep doing this forever. How he admires Temple Cummins and Barrett Christy for the life and family they’ve created around snowboarding.

“I have so much respect for those two,” he says. “I love seeing people taking their snowboarding to a place where they can continue to be involved without still being a pro snowboarder. They’re involved in snowboarding because they love snowboarding and that’s what they’ve done their whole life. Like McCarthy.”

Forest looks up to Pat McCarthy. Admires how he’s made a career out of snowboarding, stuck with it out and really set up a nice life for himself. That’s what Forest wants to do. Eventually. He talks about buying a house, being smart with his money, settling down somewhere. But, then again, he’s just not sure if he knows where yet. He’s lived in Vermont, California, Nevada, Colorado, and Oregon and, well…he still wants to see what’s out there.

Fences can’t contain Forest Bailey. PHOTO: Bob Plumb.

“How do you choose where you want to live?” he asks?

Another good question.

Forest is a wanderer. Has been his whole life. There’s no doubt he inherited wanderlust from his parents. And then snowboarding validated the lifestyle. So now…he’s still wandering.

“I just need to keep moving,” he says.

ADHD? Maybe. He’s definitely self-medicating with snowboarding. And it seems to work. It keeps him fiercely focused.

“I think about snowboarding constantly, man,” he says. “There are just so many possibilities being strapped to that piece of wood. It’s crazy. There’s still so much stuff to be done.

And it keeps him up at night. Seriously.

“Oh yeah!” he says. “I’m so addicted to filming at this point. All I think about is filming, I want to film video parts, for the rest of my life, or as long as I can…”

He laughs, knowing he’s only half-joking.

“Snowboarding is the best. I love it. It’s just so fun…and funny. Like, we’re not even wearing our normal clothes. We wear these funny costumes, you know. And you gotta put on these big boots. And I just always try to remind myself how goofy it is.”

Forest is good at keeping it goofy. But don’t be fooled. He can be dead serious about snowboarding when he wants to be. When he’s working for a trick and wrecking hard and hiking for another go. He’s got the fire. Real passion. And he’s dedicated. He’s serious about self-improvement. And as goofy as he’ll say snowboarding is, he still works hard at it. There’s still a lot he wants to do. Like spend more time in the backcountry. He talks about filming a full part, with an equal number of backcountry and street shots. That’s the plan. He’s buying a truck and a sled this fall. Going for it. All in. He’s excited to learn, as always.

Pick up a copy of Nation to see what insane move this still is from. PHOTO: Bob Plumb.

“I just want to take advantage of how lucky I am. Make the best of it,” he says. “So, many people try so hard to do something with snowboarding, or with whatever it may be, and they may never get the chance to so I just want to keep it going. There’s just so much to learn.”

Then I ask: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from snowboarding?

Again a quick fit of speechlessness. Then an answer:

“You’ve just got to take advantage of being put on this planet,” he says. “We’re so lucky to be born into a planet that we can breath on. It’s crazy man, we live on a magical planet, it’s a magical place. So, instead of just watching TV and being on the computer and playing video games and shit, you should take advantage of the world. Travel and see some other places that are foreign to you, scare yourself. Live.”


Forest at the Holy Bowly in Japan. PHOTO: Aaron Blatt.

In short: Take the trip.