Growing up snowboarder.

Mikey Rencz learned humility at a young age. Younger sibling to a brother five years his senior, Mikey was repeatedly chastised if he ever appeared to be getting “too cocky.” Soft-spoken and respectful, Mikey moved to Whistler from his hometown of Canmore, Alberta when he was thirteen to pursue a life in snowboarding. At eighteen, Mikey has already been a professional snowboarder for four years. With a standout part in the Defective Films 2004 movie, Promo Copy, he shows no signs of slowing down.-Pete Anderson

What kind of snowboard travel have you done during the past couple of years?

I’ve been to (ellipsis) wow, lots of places. I went to Argentina, Japan, all over Europe and the States, Australia. I don’t know, lots of places (laughing).

What stands out most from all your traveling?

I really liked Japan. I went over there when I was a lot younger.

Hold on. What’s “a lot younger” than the ripe old age of eighteen?

(Laughing) I was like twelve when I went there. I was riding in a contest with Terje and all those dudes. It was pretty fun. It was amazing. It was one of my first times riding with all the people I looked up to growing up.

You mean literally looked up to because you were only twelve years old and three feet tall?

(Laughing) Yeah, exactly.

How is it trying to balance all of the traveling and riding while going to school at the same time?

It’s pretty easy. It just gets a little stressful sometimes when you always have two major things on your mind. I’ve been really lucky, too. My teachers have been great, and they’re always helping me out. There used to be a lot of ski racers that went to school in Whistler, so the school is kind of set up for people who travel a lot. That’s one of the reasons why my mom and I moved to Whistler. They used to have a better program for students like me, but they canceled it recently, so now I have to go to full-blown school. It’s working out okay, I guess.

What are some of the things that you know now that you wish you had a better handle on two years ago?

Well, I have definitely figured out that correspondence courses are not for me. (Laughing) I had a class last year that I had all summer to finish, but I didn’t do any of it. So when the fall rolled around, I phoned to find out how much time I had left to finish the assignments and they told me that I’d already missed the deadline.

You had a little trouble concentrating on school when you weren’t in a classroom?

Yeah. It’s not that easy. I never did it.

So you’ve been traveling and working as a snowboarder since you were eleven. Do you feel good about your snowboarding or are you getting jaded?

No way, I’m feeling better then ever. I’m feeling really confident in the backcountry. I definitely feel like I have a lot more room to grow, too. So are you looking forward to doing this far into the future?

Oh yeah, big time.

Mikey proudly rides for Burton, Electric, Gravis, 2mc, Neff, and The Circle.