Shortly before Marcus’ high school graduation, I asked that age-old question, “Yo Marc, what are you thinking of doing after graduation? You know, like for a living?”

“I was thinking of snowboarding.”

Trying to collect myself and not laugh out loud, I asked “Where would you live, and who would pay the bills?”

“Bend. I could get a job and move in with some friends.”

Now I really had to do some fast thinking, this was much more serious than I’d thought. What would the neighbors say, not to mention the rest of the family? Another life wasted on the ski slopes¿after all the only way to make a real living as a pro athlete is in the NBA, the NFL, or in Major League Baseball. Right? I knew deep down that Marc was serious. Finally, I gathered my thoughts, “How would it be if you enrolled at Central Oregon Community College, and did your snowboarding after school?”

“I don’t know, Dad, I really love to snowboard.”

“Well, I’d be willing to pay for a modest living arrangement if you would keep reasonable grades, and a modest class schedule.” I explained. “You don’t need to answer now.”

“Yeah, I’ll think about it.”

After some careful financial calculations, he began to realize that it might not be too bad of a deal. By working at our plumbing shop in the summer, and attending school in the winter, Marc figured he’d have the time he needed to ride. Now, my son’s a fast thinker, too, so he asks, “What would I do for transportation? You know, to get to school?”

“How about with four wheels? Two on a bike and two on that Honda scooter,” I responded.

“Then how will I get from Bend to Portland to see you and Mom?”

“The bus is a great way to travel.” His mother and I didn’t want this deal to be too easy. “It only makes a dozen or so stops along the way, probably won’t take you five hours to go each way.”

I know he wasn’t the first kid to have his parents as a sponsor, but it was a strange for us. But after some years of hard boarding and soft schooling, Marc has become a professional snowboarder. We’re very proud, and a little relieved, that he can actually make a living doing what he loves.

 

You grew up in Portland, Oregon. What was it like?

Portland was great; it offered lots of things to do. Chris Owen and I would buy a couple of Tri-Met season bus passes, then we would go all over and skate. After I moved to Bend, coming home always feels exciting, like I was heading there for the first time. I like that.

Did you have a car in Bend, or did you stick with buses?

When I first moved to Bend I had already crashed my truck.

What do you mean, you crashed it?

Well, I discovered my beat-up old Toyota could clear this loading dock ramp one day after my friend Tony Lewis and I had finished skating it. It was kind of like a tabletop. We had made it across to the other side a few times when I figured I’d really give it some gas. We probably went six feet high, clearing the landing completely. We left after that jump. While parked later that day, someone noticed my wheels were all crooked, so I took it to a shop. I didn’t get to explain what had happened, because I had to catch a bus. When I returned the next day all the mechanics stopped what they were doing and started clapping. They called me the Fall Guy and told me I had split both axles. They also informed me that in real life, this is what happens when you jump a car.

Who did you live with when you first left home?

I lived with Chris Owen, then we met you and Greg Florkowski, and you all moved in, then all your Hoosier friends showed up. It was five or six people¿plus the very occasional girl¿in a small two-bedroom house. Greg slept on the crappy thrift-store couch. If you even sat on that dump, your back was in pain. The springs would poke through, and it had a huge depression in the cter that would make you lean, but Flo loved it. We had a dish-washing problem, too, so we’d bring home dishes from the pizza place so we didn’t have to wash the crusty ones. We were also too poor for garbage service, so we would dump it at the store down the street late at night. That house was great; we never locked the doors and there was always someone to do stuff with.

Wasn’t your mom pissed when we move out of that place?

Yes. She’s a realtor, so she had a connection down in Bend that helped us get in the place. The problem was that when we left, we forgot to clean. We got a real nasty letter from the landlord¿she was super pissed. I guess we left food in the fridge and it grew, we had dogs around that would piss and chew carpet. So it was pretty much a dump when we left. It was hard to get into my next house.

Did you ever live with any other weirdos?

The year after that, I lived with the pizza restaurant manager, you again in the garage, a couple of “sensitive” guys living downstairs, and some girl I never knew. That was crazy, too. The pizza guy was always telling me to grow up and be responsible. He tried to convince me that I should finish school and then get my shred on, but I didn’t buy it. The guys who lived downstairs spent most of their time with the door locked and giggling. Every once in a while one of them would come upstairs in tiger-striped bikini briefs to get a glass of water and then he would disappear downstairs again. It was heavy.

But you like girls, right?

Well I spent six out of the last ten years with the same girlfriend, off and on. She is still one of my best friends, and we hang out sometimes. I love women, but as of right now, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m good at girls. I’m not like a styler or anything. I think a lot of the time I am waiting for a girl to come talk to me, and that doesn’t really happen very often. I think it still works like junior high, but it doesn’t. I’m learning.

Cry me a river, you can pull chick better than anyone. Who are your roommates now?

Now, I live with Josh Dirksen and Jason McAlister. Things are good. We all do the same thing and have a similar schedule. Josh and Jason are super mellow, which is cool. This last winter I spent a lot of time at Kevin’s Jones house in Truckee.

Kev-nar Magillacut?

Kevin is super cool. He’s so fun to ride with, and he’s pretty good at fly-fishing, too. He’s an insane rider who pushes himself. He helps me have fun and push myself, too.

You fish?

I guess I’m really into fly-fishing. In fact, a girl told me I have a problem, I fish too much¿she said I was a weirdo. I spend almost all of my free time fishing. In the summer I go like every day. Even in the winter, Jones and I go fishing on bad-weather days.

Do you use Powerbait?

Bait is for kids or seniors. It’s for the guy who doesn’t want to do anything except grab more beers or lean over the boat and piss. Not that the suds don’t go well with any fishing. I like trying to figure out what the fish are eating¿besides hot dogs, marshmallows and corn¿and match it with flies. It can be hard, but it’s more rewarding to me. Plus I tie a lot of the flies I use to fish, and that allows me to create new possibilities that aren’t available in stores.

Are you into anything else?

I go skateboarding with Josh once in a while. Recently I’ve been having fun doing yard work. Not super heavy-duty yard work, but keeping my yard green and the like. My friend Travis Yamada gave me the secret formula¿beer. Beer kills the thatch that lives under your grass. Killing the thatch lets your lawn breathe, between sips of beer.

I thought you gave up skating on your last birthday?

No, I didn’t give it up. I just gave up on vert. I got my ass kicked last birthday. To set the stage, I suck at vert. I was trying a super easy trick, I hung up, went straight to my head, and got my first concussion. When I stood up I didn’t know where I was at, but I did remember to pick up my teeth off the ramp so no one would crash because of them. My chin was split open and we went to the hospital. Since it was my birthday, you brought some suds to the ER. Thanks.

Don’t you have the snow-machine bug, too?

I’m not doing super-duper-mans or jumping huge gaps or anything. I just think they’re super fun. Most of the time you have just as much fun getting to the kicker as you do hitting the jump. Snow-mos are cool because you can get the hang of riding them fairly quickly. So soon, you think your airs are getting pretty big, until you see a photo where you’re like two feet off the snow. It’s pretty humbling. Guys like Rippey, Jones, Noah Salasnek, Aaron Vincent., and Chris “Air” Vincent are insane¿I’m not gnarly like those guys.

You’ve worked some crummy jobs. Which one was your favorite?

They weren’t that crummy. Plumbing was fun. It just sucked when you had to dig a ditch all day in the 100-degree sun. The Lebanese restaurant wasn’t all that bad either, except they were always late paying us, and I was always behind on bills and such. The strangest one was washing dishes at the local pizza parlor in Bend. There was a guy there named Bill. He was the “Head Dishwasher.” Now I don’t want to say that Bill was “slow,” he just wasn’t smart. He used to leave me Post It notes all over the dishwasher, ones like, “Please don’t mix the plates.” He would always sign the notes Head Dishwasher, he would never sign his name. Usually the notes didn’t make sense, so we would screw with him a bit. He also told me he was an incubus, too, I think. Bill got fired so, to replace all the entertainment he provided we would do stuff like drink sixteen shots of espresso before working the oven, and toss pizza into the ceiling fan.

Have you ever taken “extras” home from work?

Yeah, we would take pizzas, cheese, beer, in fact, didn’t we get a keg from that place? There were guys working the till who were bringing home cash, but we never did that. Just the usual, salad dressing, beer, and clean dishes.

You never took home meat, sissy.

This again. I’m not the “V” word vegetarian, I eat fish all the time. I just stopped eating meat and kind of forgot about it. I like beef jerky again. I’m not like on a mission or anything, I just would rather eat fish or other stuff.

Are you an animal lover?

I have had a few dogs and cats along the way. A few dogs ago, I thought that I really needed a dog. I would travel all the time, and realize that I wasn’t responsible enough, but then I would get one again. I was dumb. Now I have a really cool dog named Dakota, and a little of a sense of responsibility.

Do you miss the “Northwest Series”?

Sure. The Northwest Series was cool. We would travel in that beater Subaru to different parts of Washington and Oregon to hit contests. The contests were like a bunch of friends getting together and riding. No real pressure, just rooting for your friends having a good time. I met a lot of really cool people in the Northwest Series. By the time we stopped doing the contests, a bunch of us had gone to the Amateur Nationals together. I still have the results from that contest. I looked at it recently and was amazed at all the kids I’d met then who are now world-renowned pros.

What do you think of snowboarding today compared to back then?

It seems a lot more competitive. A lot more talk and expectations. Peter Line and Jamie Lynn, for example, went to contests, kicked ass, and worked hard without putting other people down or being retarded. I get bummed out when I read people listing guys’ names who they think are overrated and shit. Personally, I think that’s wack. Anyone who is whk at vert. I was trying a super easy trick, I hung up, went straight to my head, and got my first concussion. When I stood up I didn’t know where I was at, but I did remember to pick up my teeth off the ramp so no one would crash because of them. My chin was split open and we went to the hospital. Since it was my birthday, you brought some suds to the ER. Thanks.

Don’t you have the snow-machine bug, too?

I’m not doing super-duper-mans or jumping huge gaps or anything. I just think they’re super fun. Most of the time you have just as much fun getting to the kicker as you do hitting the jump. Snow-mos are cool because you can get the hang of riding them fairly quickly. So soon, you think your airs are getting pretty big, until you see a photo where you’re like two feet off the snow. It’s pretty humbling. Guys like Rippey, Jones, Noah Salasnek, Aaron Vincent., and Chris “Air” Vincent are insane¿I’m not gnarly like those guys.

You’ve worked some crummy jobs. Which one was your favorite?

They weren’t that crummy. Plumbing was fun. It just sucked when you had to dig a ditch all day in the 100-degree sun. The Lebanese restaurant wasn’t all that bad either, except they were always late paying us, and I was always behind on bills and such. The strangest one was washing dishes at the local pizza parlor in Bend. There was a guy there named Bill. He was the “Head Dishwasher.” Now I don’t want to say that Bill was “slow,” he just wasn’t smart. He used to leave me Post It notes all over the dishwasher, ones like, “Please don’t mix the plates.” He would always sign the notes Head Dishwasher, he would never sign his name. Usually the notes didn’t make sense, so we would screw with him a bit. He also told me he was an incubus, too, I think. Bill got fired so, to replace all the entertainment he provided we would do stuff like drink sixteen shots of espresso before working the oven, and toss pizza into the ceiling fan.

Have you ever taken “extras” home from work?

Yeah, we would take pizzas, cheese, beer, in fact, didn’t we get a keg from that place? There were guys working the till who were bringing home cash, but we never did that. Just the usual, salad dressing, beer, and clean dishes.

You never took home meat, sissy.

This again. I’m not the “V” word vegetarian, I eat fish all the time. I just stopped eating meat and kind of forgot about it. I like beef jerky again. I’m not like on a mission or anything, I just would rather eat fish or other stuff.

Are you an animal lover?

I have had a few dogs and cats along the way. A few dogs ago, I thought that I really needed a dog. I would travel all the time, and realize that I wasn’t responsible enough, but then I would get one again. I was dumb. Now I have a really cool dog named Dakota, and a little of a sense of responsibility.

Do you miss the “Northwest Series”?

Sure. The Northwest Series was cool. We would travel in that beater Subaru to different parts of Washington and Oregon to hit contests. The contests were like a bunch of friends getting together and riding. No real pressure, just rooting for your friends having a good time. I met a lot of really cool people in the Northwest Series. By the time we stopped doing the contests, a bunch of us had gone to the Amateur Nationals together. I still have the results from that contest. I looked at it recently and was amazed at all the kids I’d met then who are now world-renowned pros.

What do you think of snowboarding today compared to back then?

It seems a lot more competitive. A lot more talk and expectations. Peter Line and Jamie Lynn, for example, went to contests, kicked ass, and worked hard without putting other people down or being retarded. I get bummed out when I read people listing guys’ names who they think are overrated and shit. Personally, I think that’s wack. Anyone who is where they are didn’t get there by pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes, and of course some riders are way better than others, too. I think that just goes without saying.

Have you started living a rock-star life?

Like, am I taxing chicks every night and wrecking hotel rooms? No, nothing like that. I feel very fortunate with my job. It’s the best job in the world. Burton and Smith have taken good care of me. I don’t think it’s learn a dump truck and get on the horn demanding big checks, it doesn’t work that way. I believe you get what you put into it. That means taking the time to work hard and develop a good relationship with your sponsors.

Great sponsor plugs, but what the hell are you talking about? So you don’t party?

I like beer. Sure, I do the party thing. One of the roommates will rally the troops on a Saturday night and we’ll go out late. Other than that, it’s just mellow suds with friends.

You like cops?

No comment.

You want to thank anyone or give a shout out?

My parents, first of all; Barry, Kotch, Switchblade, Bruno, J.G., Jake, and a bunch of other people at Burton; Leah, Carlson, Jewit, and Smith; Missy at Exit Real World; Mike and Dave Hatchett, Richie at Standard; Bob at Gorge Preformance; Sheilds and Rucker for shooting endless rolls. Jeff Curtes for being a psycho; Ardue and Jer-dog at FLF; Lawson for support; my friends in and out of town who keep me from being stupid; Jones and Nicole for helping me out and putting up with my fishing addiction; Fishpaw and Pat Melendoski; Brad and Kurtis up in B.C.; Chris Owen for being the man, even though he’s a Euro now; Syp and Flo for showing me the “Polish Lifestyle;”the roomies for being cool all the time; and last of all, fish.

Are you sure that’s it? You might have forgotten the guy who took your ticket when you saw Dances With Wolves.

Custer and Hendersen. I think that’s it. God, I hope I didn’t forget anyone else.

Click for more photos of Marcus Egges where they are didn’t get there by pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes, and of course some riders are way better than others, too. I think that just goes without saying.

Have you started living a rock-star life?

Like, am I taxing chicks every night and wrecking hotel rooms? No, nothing like that. I feel very fortunate with my job. It’s the best job in the world. Burton and Smith have taken good care of me. I don’t think it’s learn a dump truck and get on the horn demanding big checks, it doesn’t work that way. I believe you get what you put into it. That means taking the time to work hard and develop a good relationship with your sponsors.

Great sponsor plugs, but what the hell are you talking about? So you don’t party?

I like beer. Sure, I do the party thing. One of the roommates will rally the troops on a Saturday night and we’ll go out late. Other than that, it’s just mellow suds with friends.

You like cops?

No comment.

You want to thank anyone or give a shout out?

My parents, first of all; Barry, Kotch, Switchblade, Bruno, J.G., Jake, and a bunch of other people at Burton; Leah, Carlson, Jewit, and Smith; Missy at Exit Real World; Mike and Dave Hatchett, Richie at Standard; Bob at Gorge Preformance; Sheilds and Rucker for shooting endless rolls. Jeff Curtes for being a psycho; Ardue and Jer-dog at FLF; Lawson for support; my friends in and out of town who keep me from being stupid; Jones and Nicole for helping me out and putting up with my fishing addiction; Fishpaw and Pat Melendoski; Brad and Kurtis up in B.C.; Chris Owen for being the man, even though he’s a Euro now; Syp and Flo for showing me the “Polish Lifestyle;”the roomies for being cool all the time; and last of all, fish.

Are you sure that’s it?? You might have forgotten the guy who took your ticket when you saw Dances With Wolves.

Custer and Hendersen. I think that’s it. God, I hope I didn’t forget anyone else.

Click for more photos of Marcus Egge