More than creeping on the come up, Mike Casanova is a highly sought after shred these days. His technical wizardry and cat like reflexes are comparable to that of a Jedi, as is his cool, calm demeanor. But get a few flapjacks and some whiskey in him and hoteliers beware!

1. How did you get into snowboarding in the first place?

I grew up in a small town just east of the Twin Cities called Hudson, and Papa Nova was a ski instructor at the local hill, Trollhaugen. He started us on skis, and at seven, hockey was one of my main focuses, but my parents wanted me to stay away from it. Then I saw a shred one day at ski-race practice and it was over.

2. What was your first setup?

It was sick—a little 122 cm Nitro with single, wide strap bindings.

3. Do you remember the first board you got for free?

Yep, I was fortunate enough to acquire the friendship of Mark Williams (Sparky) at a young age. He became the Ride rep in our area and fully took me under his wing. He hooked me with a Ride Timeless when I was twelve. I was the happiest kid alive.

4. Who did you look up to back in the day?

I really wasn’t too into the shred vids growing up, so I looked up to the local heros—Micah McGinnity, Sparky, Erich Dummer, Matt Dummer, Tony Conlin, Danna Maltby, Seth, Kyle Tink, and the wonder boy I’d always see at the local contests—Ricky Tucker.

5. Who do you look up to now?

My roommate Chad Otterstrom, Micah McGinnity, Jonas Michilot, Ricky Tucker, Drew Larson, The Robot (T-Rice), Silvia Mittermuller, Danny Kass, and all talented genuine riders.

6. If you never got into snowboarding, what do you think you’d be doing?

Racing VWs, being an art geek, snorkeling, studying crazy ocean life—all the things in life I love other than shredding.

7. What does snowboarding mean to you?

It means I’m free! I can ride the way I want. There’s no right or wrong way, bros to share the stoke, memories that are priceless, just a beautiful part of life that can be shared with everyone.

8. Do you have a most memorable day shredding?

Being on the other side of the world on a team with a few of my heros, riding in a contest representing our country. Realizing shredding has enabled me to experience themoment—so crazy!

9. If you could have any trick on lock, what would it be?

Teezy Weezy—Sherm, you da man!

10. Any advice on life?

Love it! It’s a gift and has so many beautiful parts to it. Just think about everything that has happened in the world, which has led up to us being able to shred with our bros. There’s a lot of history and amazing people in there.