Originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, Mountain GOATS celebrates the most influential snowboarders of the last thirty years (1987-2017), otherwise known as the Greatest Of All Time list. With over 70 men and women riding into the ranks of the Mountain GOATS, check back as we release their bios and celebrated accolades over the course of the next few weeks!
Mountain Goat: Mike Basich
Nowadays, the act of capturing on snow exploits in a first person perspective is something that is taken for granted, but not too long ago it took immeasurable skill and plenty of trial and error to get even a single image worth sharing. A decade prior to GoPros becoming ubiquitous, Mikey Basich was double dipping as both a world-renowned photographer and a professional snowboarder with his self-shot images being some of the most memorable pictures ever published. Little did Mikey know in 1992 when he started his outerwear brand 241, that his two-for-one camera antics would gain him such acclaim in the future.
Long before Mikey became snowboarding’s most beloved busy body and a big deal in the tiny house community, he was leading the charge for the second generation of Nor Cal riding talent. At the onset of the 90s, Mikey, then a Kemper “Extreminator” along with his sister Tina, starred in the skit laden and outlandish Creatures Of Habit movies with Christian Fletcher, Don Szabo and Saucer Man. Like most of his constituents, Mikey competed in halfpipe, even finishing in 2nd at the 1993 World Championships in Ishgl, Austria right behind Terje. Once big air comps became commonplace, Basich brought his double backs on tour, becoming a crowd favorite from Stratton to Innsbruck. Fame followed and Mikey became one of the most documented riders in the game, earning 3 covers of SNOWBOARDER Magazine alone! In the new millennium, Mikey enjoyed a second wind in the cinematic scene with an appearance in 91 Words For Snow, several viral videos of his own creation and a role in the making of the Hollywood action sports exploitation pic Point Break. When Y2K hit, Basich caught the photography bug but rather than look elsewhere for subjects he developed an action-based self-portrait style fifteen years before POV snow porn came to constantly clog the feed. From his first person perspective, above the yellow line on the Mt. Baker Road Gap to firing a remote trigger mid-boardslide on a two-story rainbow rail, Mikey always strived for more striking scenarios with his form front and center in the frame.
Perhaps the high mark of Mikey’s career as a rider and photographer came in AK in 2003 when he sought to jump out of a helicopter onto a face but keep the chopper out of the frame, creating the ultimate “guy in the sky” shot. From his perspective in the bird, Mikey gauged the distance off the deck, (i.e. the landing zone) to be 50 feet below. In reality, he was at least twice that high and the picture Mikey produced was out of this world…well maybe not that high, but close.