Jon Brogan took the ski world by storm. His style was, undeniably, something that has been handed down to generations below him and emulated by many, making him a legend in most peoples books. Unfortunately, as fast as Brogan came into the professional Freeski scene, he disappeared out of it, without as much as a warning.
I’d known the man since he was a youngster, skiing the east coast. It seems like a millennium ago, so I cant quite remember if we first me at his home mountain “Big Boulder” for a rail jam, or the next season for the Killington “Thanks Jibbing” competition. However we met, and we were buddies from the start. We both loved each others skiing and skied together all day at killington, putting a hurting on the rails. As I moved out west, I watched his edits and I knew when the opportunity came for him to move out, that he would be joining us all to film with the heavy style influenced production company, Level 1.
All predictions came true he won the Super Unknown competition, and there he was, putting together a few shared segments in Level 1’s movies which embraced his unique swaggy style. We made a collaboration together with Liam and Duncan Lake called “The Bad Edit” which I still love to look back at to this day. He started living down in the crazy “Ski” college town of boulder and suddenly escaped the ski scene. What was to happen has people puzzled for years to Come. How can someone so dope and promising in skiing just disappear. So lets see if we can get down to the point and find out the truth behind Brogan’s ski separation
AD: Yo brotha, I’m going to go ahead and speak for everybody when I say, we all miss you in skiing. In a time of unique skiing styles yours still stood out as one of the most unique. What do you attribute your style to?
JB: thanks for the kind words – appreciate that my man. my style was always heavily influenced by Tanner Rainville, Cory Vanular, and of course, Mickael Deschenaux.
AD: Your were infamous for your backyard set up edits. How the hell you come up with the Root Beer shit?
JB: not sure honestly. Tyler and I were always trying to add a something to our edits to make them weird and funny. in all honesty, we would just include inside jokes that we got a kick out of. the root beer bit came to me when i was listening to that lil wayne song – just came up with it that day and my neighbors were confused as to why i was dumping root beer on my head while wearing a 4 x tall tee. i'm still confused myself honestly.
AD: Tell us about your winning of the “Super Unknown”, what were your thoughts at the time and what did that competition mean to you?
JB: winning super unknown was surreal for me. i was like a junior in high school and always wanted to film with level 1 – so it was like my dream came true. That competition definitely put me "on the map", if you will, and allowed me to meet a lot of very interesting people who remain great friends today.
AD: Now the your outside of the industry I feel as if you can actually say what you want. I remember things eating you up about skiing when we were together but I don't exactly recall what. Can you elaborate?
JB: hmm, not really sure if i remember what you're referring to at this point. guess i always felt like the ski community wasn't heading in the right direction – felt like the focus wasn't in the right place and people were tripping about the wrong things. Now that i'm older and looking back on it, i wouldn't have changed a single thing – those days of skiing were very unique and everyday was something fresh.
AD: What was it like when you were filming your segments, was it something that Brought you happiness or stress?
JB: I was never really that good at skiing so it brought me so much stress! it's one thing to be filming solo but being with all of the other pros really ate away my confidence. i mean remember that keystone shoot for Turbo or whichever movie it was? everytime Wallisch would hit a jump he'd get a shot for the movie. I was literally trying to land a sw9 or something and berman was like NOPE! ;)
AD: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like you put a lot of pressure on yourself when you moved out west. Possibly that stress took the fun out of skiing? Or am I off base?
JB: Nah you're definitely right. I hold myself to a high standard and want to succeed at anything i get myself into, but as for that taking the fun out of skiing i disagree. all in all, i was just super over it and needed a change in my life. I was looking for something bigger.
AD: What were some of your favorite memories from the ski days?
JB: wow, what a loaded question. the urban trips w level 1 were always a good time – hanging w/ you and Hornbeck really helped to shape who i am today. I was fortunate to be around a lot of great people who supported me and truly cared for my wellbeing. So, when i think of my favorite memories, I think of all the people. man, I miss so many of my people (especially Warnick)!
AD: Do you still keep updated at all with whats going on in the ski world?
JB: I don't, actually. sometimes i'll watch Henrik's instagrams (he's so in tune with what I want to see) but that's about it. I also just saw T Hall like a month ago and it was dope to catch up w him – He was also a major inspiration to me and is always cool to be around.
AD: I wonder if you realize how big of a part you played in the way people skied for a long time after your ski career, have ya been back on newschoolers and peeped that out? do you still get people coming up to you with admiration?
JB: I definitely don't go on newschoolers anymore lol. Also, I live in LA, so there's not much connection to skiing down here – that said I had one kid come up to me at a party a month or two ago and say how big of a fan he was of me growing up. He was super cool and it was a pleasure to talk with him. "Afterbang" for life dog.
AD: The car crash was a life changing experience, one in which you are lucky, and I’m happy, that you are here with us today. Did this keep you from skiing afterwards? How about a change on ideals about life?
JB: Thank you, I appreciate that. The accident didn't keep me from skiing either! I usually try to go once a year to make some turns but i'm not that into it. I stopped skiing and went back to school before the accident so there's no correlation there.
AD: I understand you were, or are, working on a modeling career. Is the correct, how’d (or how’s) that going.
JB: What? are you joking lol? No, i graduated from CU and moved out to California and began my career as a producer. Now I work as head of production at an awesome production house that I love in Venice, CA. Re: Modeling – I was a onetime model in that Jiberish look book video but I was never trying to launch a career as a model. i mean let's face it, i'm short as f*ck.
AD: What’s life have going for you these days, and give the people of freeskiing something to leave this interview on.
JB: Man, these are all such loaded questions lol. If I could leave the people of freeskiing with one thing I'd say to keep your dreams alive and live with passion. Freat things will come to you if you put your heart into things – but who am I to even say that? sorry, i'm coming off of a 14hr day of pre pro meetings. I'll leave you w this.. If someone ever says they're bringing the bird back, be sure to remind them that the bird never left..