Undeniably a leading creative personality within the family that makes up Carinthia's Park Staff, Rory Bruder's approach to snowboarding is synonymous with his approach to life: he celebrates the weird with a cackling laugh and an ice cold beer. His East Coast mentality is coupled with an eye for uncommon style and the hard work to back it up in order to cultivate unique features that lay among all of Peak Resorts mountains. Despite long hours and labor intensive days, whether they include maintaining the park or thinking up and welding new features, we know that he'll have a smile on his face, because Rory is just down for snowboarding, something for us to be thankful for when riding some of the best parks on the east. – Julia Spadaro
Birthdate: August 3rd, 1992
Current title: Currently I am the Head of Feature Fabrication for Carinthia Parks at Mount Snow and all of Peak Resorts. In the winter, I also run the Carinthia diggers.
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
Ah man, every day can be so different which makes it so fun.
Summer months are usually spent building and repairing old features. Being the builder for all of Peak Resorts is pretty awesome. I could be doing so many different things — building some new rails for the boys down at Hunter Mountain in NY, cutting up old propane tanks for Big Boulder, getting a new fleet of grommet features ready for Capitol Parks in Ohio, or I could be trying to figure out some weird stuff like how to make a giant wind chime feature for us here at Carinthia.
Once winter time comes, I spend most of my time running the digger crew. Lots of emails and paperwork, park logs, making schedules for the diggers, but usually you can find me on hill with a rake and shovel or lapping the park.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
I am from West Townshend, Vermont and currently live about 30 minutes away in Wilmington, Vermont.
How did you start snowboarding?
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have both my parents work at local ski resorts so I kinda just grew up skiing. Apparently, my first day on hill was at 6 months in a backpack, but I can't remember that. My dad was a chef at Stratton Mountain for years, and I would go to work with him and just cause trouble all day on the mountain as a little kid. Being so young and watching the US Open every year really made me want to snowboard. When I was 7 or 8, I strapped into some bindings for the first time and never thought about skiing since.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?
There was never really a certain point that I can remember. With both my parents working at the mountain, I was just always around the industry in some way. And with multiple resorts in the area, it was such a huge part of the local economy and community that there really wasn't any way around it.
And how did you make that happen?
One of my first jobs as a kid was at the ski hill. I was a junior instructor. Coaching really wasn't the thing for me though, I didn't last long. All I wanted to be doing was riding the park. When I graduated high school, I took a general labor job for the summer for a welder in our town. I was just a helper doing all sorts of different things but by the end of the summer, I knew how to weld. And the following winter I applied for park crew at Mount Snow. Within the first few weeks of the job, I had let my bosses know I could weld and was in the shop starting to help build rails, and after 2 years I was offered the job of Feature Fabricator for Carinthia Parks and Peak Resorts.
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
That's a hard one. There are so many inspirational people in the industry that I don't even know but have seen their work and been like, "Wow!" Basically, every park builder eve–places like Bear, Mammoth, Seven Springs, Boreal and all of the Woodward zones. People like Krush and Snowboy Productions. Steve and Lucas and all of Arena Snowparks. The guys at Schneestern, those guys are insane. On a more personal level, it would have to be guys like Elia Hamilton and Day Franzen. Those guys are some of the hardest working people I've ever met and have shown me just about everything I know now about building rails and how the industry works.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
Man, that's difficult. I don't know. I would hope some of it would be on other builders and park crews, that not all features have to be so standard. It would be pretty cool for someone to see a feature I built, like the giant wind chimes or the rail on springs and think, "That's sick, we could do something weird like that." I just want to push more of the weird and creative side of building park features.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
If you would have asked me this two seasons ago, I would have said going to Superpark. Carinthia got the invite to Superpark 21, and I had the honor of going as a digger which was pretty insane. I'm not sure about the future though, I just want to keep building and try to make some things that no one has ever seen before. Just to inspire kids to want to hit rails. Maybe someday they will want to build rails too, that would be pretty sick.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Everyone who snowboards or anyone who has ever hit anything I have made. All of my family and friends. Elia and Day for giving me this job. Everyone at Carinthia Parks and Mount Snow for supporting me. Too many to name.
Thank you snowboarding.