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Five-Question Interview: Bobby Brown

Known as the "Teen Heartthrob", 18-year-old pro skier Bobby Brown talks about prom, pond skimming, and his plan to go big this season.
posted: 11/17/2009

“I literally sat in one spot for an hour trying to figure out how I was going to make it work,” says photographer Erik Seo, who snapped this shot of 16-year-old Bobby Brown. Not to be confused with the train-wreck R&B singer of the same name, Brown was filming with Rage Films at Stevens Pass, Washington, throwing switch misty 900s and 1080s over an 80-foot table. Two diesel-powered lights illuminated the shoot, which lasted until nearly midnight. “I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the lighting, but it doesn’t always come together like you’ve pictured it in your head,” Seo says. “This time it did.”

Bobby Brown at Stevens Pass, Washington

by Sally Francklyn

At 18 years old, Bobby Brown—known as the “Teen Heartthrob”—is crushing freeskiing competitions around the world, from New Zealand to London. He's featured in Matchstick Productions’ In Deep and has earned spots on the Salomon freeski and Breckenridge teams. His skiing style is smooth, progressive, and huge (he’s known for landing double cork 1080s). But like any teenage guy, he has a crush on Taylor Swift, hates homework, and has finally convinced his mom to let him drive.

You’re a pro skier. And you’re only 18. How do you juggle it all?
The hardest thing is being away from home. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, so going home feels great. I also just recently moved to Breck and am going to put all of my effort into skiing. I was able to graduate high school early, which helps a lot.

What’s better: skiing in places like New Zealand or your home turf?
Traveling to new spots is one of the most amazing things about skiing. It’s so cool seeing how other people ski in a completely different atmosphere. On the other hand, skiing at my home resort is awesome because all of my friends are there, I know the terrain, and I don’t have to take a plane to get there. Nothing can beat shredding laps with your best friends.

Tell me about your favorite memory skiing in Colorado.
A few years ago, we celebrated my 15th birthday at Arapahoe Basin in May. There was a sick park and a huge pond skim. At the end of the day my friends convinced me to hit the pond skim switch. I cruised into it with tons of speed, hit the water, and instantly fell backwards, doing a backflip into the freezing water. We even have it on tape.

Big plans for this season?
X Games and the Dew tours are my main focuses this year. And I would love to develop a more well-rounded segment with Matchstick. Watching the movie this fall really made me want to expand my skiing beyond the park. I would really like to go to Alaska.

Who’s more likely to score a date to prom: you or Sean Pettit?
You know Sean Pettit is the ladies’ man.

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