The second installment of Corelation takes us to the street-boarding mecca of the US - Minneapolis. Erik Leon joins his good homie Mike Liddle as they spend a week jibbin' in the Twin Cities. Simple as that.
Proceeds from this project benefit Stoked.
Read Erik's interview with Mike, along with some photos from the filming of the episode, below!
Sponsored and supported by: Arbor Snowboards, Flux Bindings, The North Face, 10 Barrel Brewing Co, Ikanik Farms, GoPro, Ikon
Artwork by Shred Mango
Video by Ted Borland
Words and interview by Erik Leon
In a pancake-flat state practically filled with more lakes than land, Minneapolis, Minnesota hosts a number of small snowboard hills that have shaped dozens of snowboarding’s most influential boarders. Names like Jake Olson Elm, Joe Sexton, Bjorn and Erik Leines, Dan Brisse, Jonas and Jordon Michilot, Danimals, Tommy Gesme, Mark Wilson...just to name a few. It seems that more often than not, season after season, the street snowboarding bar is set with the release of a part from a rider from the Minneapolis region. With over five snowboard parks with rope tows in a two hour driving radius, this place is prime for producing groundbreaking street snowboarders.
There is a local icon, dripping with style, who I did not mention in that list of incredible shredders. He’s known at some hills, like Elm or Trollhaugen, as the secret agent. He moves quietly, and is as smooth as a freshly zambonied ice rink. Mike Liddle has rocked our small industry with his clips multiple years in a row, especially last year in Impaler Mag’s “Homie Improvement.” I’ve known Mike for over five years now, and I’m very fortunate to have traveled around the world with him and gotten to know him personally over these years. Here’s your opportunity to catch a glimpse into Mike’s life and mind. Enjoy!
Mike, what’s up? How’s your spring been?
Busy, but good, for the most part. Been working a lot and skating when I can.
How was your ‘20/’21 season? Any highlights, spots you are hyped on, people you met?
My season was pretty good. I stayed home in Minnesota for the majority of the season. Filmed for a couple small video projects around here. The highlight of my season was definitely coming out to Howly Bowly. The course was so good and I got to ride with some of my best friends.
What’s your local mountain, for those who don’t know?
Elm Creek. It’s a super small hill, no chairlifts, just two tow ropes. It feels like a skatepark on snow.
Favorite trick and why?
Nosepress. They’re simple and they feel good.
You are really good at skateboarding. Do you relay that into your snowboarding? Definitely. I get to do tricks on my snowboard that I can only dream of doing on my skateboard, like a handplant or backside air out of a halfpipe. Hopefully it comes full circle back to skateboarding someday.
Top six favorite snowboarders. Go...
Keegan Valaika, Jake OE, Danimals, Louif, Jake Kuzyk, Colin Wilson.
What’s up with Impaler? You guys are kinda scary.
Haha, I hope not. Those are the homies, but we definitely scare ourselves every time we strap in.
How many years have you been with Arbor Snowboards?
This winter will be my 10th year on Arbor, if you count all the years of getting hooked up by the local rep.
What’s the key to good style, in your opinion?
I think just doing the tricks you like to do and having fun with it is the key. And being comfortable on your board, which comes from repetition/addiction.
How many days did it take to get your recent Impaler ender?
That one took five full days. I spent two days trying it initially and ended up going back the next season for three more days. It was my first spot of the year and the only one I wanted to film since I still had time to sneak it into the video.
Tell me a little about racing behind your partner’s horse?
We did a skijoring race together; it’s where a horse pulls a skier or snowboarder full speed through a sketchy course with jumps and rollers. It was a really fun experience, and we ended up getting third place.
Tell me about Eli Liddle. You guys look so alike. I’m hyped for you to be a dad. What’s it like so far and any advice to future dads out there?
Oh man, he’s an awesome little dude. It’s crazy to see the progression with him; it’s something new everyday. I’m really excited for the days when we can go do some fun stuff together. As for advice, I’d say just enjoy every little moment. It goes by quickly. That’s what someone had told me and helps me get through the endless days and nights.
Anything you wanna add?
Just want to say thanks to you, Erik, for having my back since the beginning, and for all the good times traveling and boarding. Hope there’s many more trips to come.
You rule, Mike. Hope to see you sooner than later.