Quote This: Tyler Flanagan Interview

Tyler Flanagan
What brought you to Mammoth?

I moved there when I was eight years old from Maggie Valley, North Carolina. What brought us out there was just the slopes. We went out to Mammoth when I was seven and my parents just fell in love with the place.

Your dad's a snowboarder, right?

Yeah, my dad rides and he also privately coaches a little ripper named Brock Crouch.

How'd your family get so into shredding back in North Carolina?

Well, my dad and his brother just tried and then they thought I should try it. I actually hated I the first time I tried it, but then I fell in love with it.

When you first started riding Mammoth at eight, nine years old, who were the big influences?

Danny Kass, Jeff Anderson obviously—those were pretty much the dudes. I really looked up to all the Grenade guys, too.

Did you get to ride with Jeffy much?

Just two or three times, really.

So what made him such a big influence on you?

I think that Jeffy had the best style—in everything. I try my hardest to ride like he did. He killed it in everything and that's what I'm trying to do. Like he would slay the rails, kill it in the pipe, frickin' mob it in the backcountry and kill it on the jumps. He was just an all around amazing rider.

Contest runs right now—they require 10s, doubles, maybe a 12—is it easy to put style or your own signature on tricks like that?

Yeah, it's hard. If the jumps are bigger, it's easier to make them look good, but otherwise, yes, it's really hard to put style into some of those tens and twelves. If you can hold your grab all the way through, instead of opening up and whipping the last part of it around, that helps the style.


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Tyler did the Dew. Photo: Russell Kaczmar

This year was a big contest year for you, are you having fun competing?

I like doing contests. I think it's really good because there's a lot of progression going on in contests. I guess I don't mind doing them. But I also don't mind filming, either—I like to mix it up with both.

You came out and won your first pro contest this year, the Dew Tour in Breck. Have there been any changes in your head since that win?

Not really, but I guess once I won in Breck, I knew that I could hang with all the other competitors—the big guys.

Does it increase the pressure to win?

Yeah, unfortunately I kinda put a lot of pressure on myself, but I need to figure out how not to do that to myself. I'm gonna work on that.

You've been in the Volcom family for years—got any plans with that crew after the contest stuff wraps up?

Actually, yeah. I'm going to Japan for the Jeff Anderson art show and then some riding. I'll be out there with Luke Mitrani, Guch, and Mr. Jamie Lynn. It should be one hell of a trip.

It must be a crazy to ride with Jamie—a guy who's considered the most stylish rider ever, who was a legend when you were in diapers.

It is. I've ridden with Jamie quite a bit actually. He's an awesome guy to ride with. When I tell my friends I'm going on trips with these guys, there like, "Oh my god, I wish I could just meet them!" Being able to travel and ride with those guys is amazing.

What are you thinking about for the rest of the season?

I'm just gonna film with Mammoth—do their project. Hopefully try to ride a bunch of pow and work on some new tricks. It's the perfect time of the year, the Mammoth park is going off—you know, learn some more maneuvers.

What types of tricks?

Try to turn that double-cork back ten into a twelve. Get those Cab twelves on lock. Hopefully front twelves, too. I think if anybody can do three twelves in a run, or even just two, that would be just ridiculous.

But its also pow season in the Sierras, are you heading out into the backcountry at all?

Yeah, a bit. I'll go out with Gabe Taylor and Matt Hammer, whoever is in and around Mammoth at the time. Maybe Danny Kass, he's working on the Mammoth movie, too, so maybe ride with him.

Do you have a sled?

I had an old Ski-Doo Summit, but its beat up. Since I've been wracking up some change, my dad told me that I can get a sled when I get back into town. I'm gonna go look at those new Summits.

Have you outgrown your phase of being a little a punk around Mammoth?

I honestly think I have. But around certain people, no—like Alex Lopez and some of my other friends my age.

What's your favorite spot at Mammoth?

Umm, Main Park just because it's always good. But, if it's snowing, definitely on the backside—I love the Hemlocks.

Who's the most under-rated kid at Mammoth right now?

I would say there are two. Jared Dawoud and Matt Gunter. Both of those kids throw down.

Who are your all-time favorites?

Jeffy, Jamie Lynn, Guch, JP Walker, both Jeremy Jones', Keegan Valaika and wrap it up with Danny Kass.

For more on Tyler, peep this.