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 Michalchuk
Few riders in history have proved an actual threat to the strangle hold Terje Haakonsen held on competitive snowboarding in the mid-to-late nineties. But that’s exactly what Canadian madman Mike Michalchuk was to Haakon. During Terje’s dominance, it was widely known that at every contest that he entered, the rest of the field was battling for second place. Then Michalchuk arrived on the scene and went head-to-head with Terje. It was the exact type of rivalry that snowboarding needed at the time.
Among the arsenal of tricks that Michalchuk had in the halfpipe, his keynote maneuver was a double backside rodeo on his backside wall, aptly-titled the Double Chuk and with that very move, Mike cemented his legacy in snowboarding, as it is a trick that went virtually unlanded until riders like Luke Mitrani and Louie Vito unveiled them in New Zealand before the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic qualifying season started, proving that Michalchuk was light-years ahead of his time. One of the most infamous moments in snowboarding history came during a 1999 US Open halfpipe poaching session in Stratton, Vermont in which Michalchuk and Terje were once again battling it out and before Mike dropped in, the thousands of diehard snowboard fanatics in the crowd, boisterous and loose due to a few too many beers and other potentially illegal substances started chanting, “Double Chuk! Double Chuk! Double Chuk!” Michalchuk linked together one of the most insane runs they had ever seen, capping it off with his signature move. Stories like that are plentiful from his tenure at the top, and that is why he is without a doubt one of the most electric and influential riders who has ever strapped in.