Chelone Miller has gone unnoticed for too long, and this shit has to end. He's done everything he could, and he's paid the price for it. He was in a coma for eleven days. He had a seizure on a chairlift and dropped three stories to the trail below. Then, to top it all off, he got hit in the head with a fucking golf ball. He laps Mammoth's Main Park every single day, and while visiting pros dork around on the jib line, Chilly is hot on the heels of Lonnie Kauk (a rider that was in the same sponsorship standstill a few years ago), firing off the big-boy jumps with effortless style and masterful precision. At Superpark 13, rumor spread fast of "some kid" lapping the Loon jump¬—a gargantuan fifty-foot takeoff looming over a 100-foot-plus gap—gloveless, with no filmer or photographer. And he was doing it alone. Shortly thereafter, every media outlet in attendance was watching this sheepish kid from New Hampshire settle the biggest jump Superpark has seen in recent memory. The session was on, and Chelone became the unsung hero of Superpark 13 to every rider on-hill. I don't care if he's Bode Miller's kid brother. I don't care if he's making a 2010 Olympic run in boardercross. I don't care if he's cheated death a dozen times. All I care about is that you see him on these pages, 'cause that way, I'll at least know that someone else knows how hard this kid rules shit.
What was your childhood like tucked away in the woods of New Hampshire?
Well, I was born and raised in Easton, New Hampshire. Me, my brother, and both of my sisters were all born up on the high part of our property. We didn't have running water or electricity, but we had kerosene lanterns and we could kick on a generator if we needed some power. It was pretty much old-school livin'. I'm glad I had the opportunity to grow up that way. We had to make our own decisions as far as the sketchy shit we were doing in the woods, but it was pretty sick.
You got in a pretty bad dirtbike accident years ago…
Yeah, me and my buddies went for a mellow ride, and there's no helmet law in New Hampshire, so I used to go for little rides without it all the time. Apparently, I got sideways and slammed on the pavement. I was in a coma for eleven days, and I don't remember that whole month. It's been four years now and it was a battle, but it was definitely a learning process and I feel like it made me a better person. I grew through the whole ordeal.
Then you had a seizure on a chairlift and fell off?
Yeah. The first time I was back riding Mammoth, I passed out and fell off the chair. Luckily it was like twenty-five feet; if it had been twenty feet I would have landed on my head. I landed flat on my back and when I hit the ground I went into convulsions. That's officially the first seizure I had.
"Chilly has always followed his heart and always been himself. You can always count on him to hit the biggest features before anyone else at Superpark."
What were you thinking when you were hitting the Loon jump by yourself?
I was feeling it. I've always been into big jumps. I've always been about progression, going bigger, and riding faster. There is always another level to where you can push your body. I was really fired up to get the Loon guys out to Superpark to build that jump. When I started talking about hitting it, everyone had the fear in their eyes, like, "That thing is crazy! You're not gonna hit that, are you?" So I was like, "Why wouldn't I?" After I hit it a few times, it felt like any other park jump.
You weren't even wearing gloves…
Yeah, I started doin' that because in the spring, my gloves get wet and my hands end up sweating, so I like riding without gloves. It feels a lot better when you can get good grip on your board. It feels like you're getting a solid grab when you're bare-handed. Plus, it helps me not put a hand down.
What was your setup at Superpark?
I was riding a Bataleon and some old pieced-together K2 bindings.
Well, we got some bindings in the office. We'll send them your way…
This content was originally published in the January 2010 issue.