Brodie Evans – Motivation, Ability and Experience
Brodie Evans is an avalanche safety ambassador, a 4th year apprentice carpenter, a competitive enduro biker, a recreational dirtbiker, and a guy who organizes his life so he can sled almost every day in the winter.
Feature photo by Julie-Ann Chapman
To say this clean-cut 24 year old—originally from Rossland BC—has a lot of energy and focus would be an understatement. What he’s achieved in sledding so far is also quite remarkable. Brodie, who is now based in Revelstoke BC, wasn’t planning on being a professional sledder. It just sort of happened. Though he’s somewhat shy to talk about it, Brodie has ambassador deals with 509, Slednecks, M-Line, Riderz, Enzo Suspension and Snowpulse Highmark.
This fall, two standout video segments in both 509 Volume 11 and Slednecks 19 have raised Brodie’s profile to new levels and his future looks brighter than ever. His success has a lot to do with his work ethic but what makes him unique is his ability to read terrain. It’s the combination of motivation, ability and experience that make Brodie’s path worth watching. The man is constantly working towards a series of goals, which are often written down, be they things he wants to buy, places he wants to go, features he wants to hit or style he wants have.
Before becoming a pro was even on his radar, Brodie was paving the way to this point through a combination of passion and perseverance. He first tasted snowmobiling as a young teen with a friend whose family had sleds. They would rip around the local lands around Rossland and Brodie was instantly hooked. It took two years and a stalwart focus, unusual for kids his age, until he finally had enough money to get his own sled.
“My parents were always supportive of me,” Brodie explains to me as we meet up over a beer on a rainy Revelstoke evening in Summer 2016. “But in the same way, they told me that if I wanted to get a sled, I had to earn it. I mowed lawns and did odd jobs for 2 years to save up enough to buy my first machine. I was 15 when I finally got it. We ripped those sleds hard and I always approached sledding with skiing as my background.”
I believe him when he says he ripped. I can tell there’s not a lot BS that flies out of his mouth. He seems like a guy who tells it like it is and like a guy who will do what it takes to make things happen. I know this because he shows up to our meeting in a beat-up mini-van! It’s a bit of a shocking-at-first impression. This is not what I expect from one of the best mountain sledders in the world. It’s a short term solution for the summer, he assures me. He’s been driving to the West Coast repeatedly for some business and shoulder rehab appointments and it’s an economical way to travel and sometimes sleep. You do what you gotta do.
Brodie didn’t grow up in a house of sledders. So often, our sport is past down generationally, but rather it was a love of the outdoors and a passion for snow that Brodie was raised with. His family were avid skiers and shredding the local hill of Red Mountain with his buddies and keeping up to his big sister Leah, who is now a professional freeskier, is what drove Brodie to get better every day. After the ski hill would close, Brodie would rally up to the hill with his sled and throttle through the same lines he had been on earlier in the winter on his skis.
It was remarkable foreshadowing for his breakthrough segment this year in 509’s Volume 11, where the focus is a celebration of movement between the two sports of skiing and sledding. His entire 509 segment, labeled ‘When Worlds Collide’ has his close friend, and professional skier, Dane Tudour in it and the two shred the same terrain together, often interacting in some way.
By 17, Brodie had graduated from mowing lawns to a carpentry apprenticeship. Realizing quickly how much it cost to keep a sled program running would further instill in him a hard work ethic. To earn enough to keep it all floating was going to take total commitment to the cause and Brodie was game. After high school, banging nails was full time, and a gig in Kamloops let him do weekend winter trips to Sicamous. Ultimately those travels would lead him to the land would launch it all: Revelstoke.
It’s not a coincidence that Revelstoke is where things started aligning for Brodie. It’s a path we’ve seen before in other athletes. But while most can only come to Revy for a short time, Brodie saw a place with the perfect combination of snow and access and made the moves necessary to call the place home. It didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of several winters a deep passion for constant progression, learning from the top dogs and meeting the right filmers would lead Brodie to the place he is now.
Of all the great people to influence the young buck’s career, Derek Wood’s impact stands out. Derek has an unmistakably bold style of riding and on many days in Brodie’s early years in Revelstoke, Derek showed Brodie (and the general sledding public) what was possible on a sled. With an appetite for gnarly airs like few others and a winter lifestyle of sledding (almost) everyday, Wood and crew’s impacts were impossible miss and the big-gest brands started flowing gear and pointing cameras at their crew. Brodie was a part of that progression and got to see Wood first hand rise out of obscurity to being the lead athlete in Slednecks films.
Doing it his way
What sets Brodie apart is his ability to read terrain. Sledders without a ski/snowboard background often read the mountain from the bottom up, while the gravity induced sports require a top down perspective. This view is what makes him unique. “Water flows down hill and snow is just a version of water,” says Brodie as I push him to describe his own style. “There’s an efficiency in understanding the path of least resistance on the slope and that’s what I always try to incorporate in my sledding. I try to use terrain features that flow into one another.”
No kidding. Watching Brodie’s Slednecks 19 segment is evidence of this gravity-fed, skiing inspired style. There’s a series of double drops that show how Brodie likes to incorporate multiple features in to a single line. But the man is just getting started. Has he accomplished everything he set out to do in sledding? Not even close. “I have it all written down; the features I want to hit and how I want to hit them. For a lot of high consequence stuff it takes the perfect day. Sometimes you have wait years for everything to line up properly. But yeah, there’s still a lot out there that I want to hit.” It sounds a lot like wisdom beyond his years coming out of the man. He seems prepared to wait things out, no matter how long it takes.
What started as a passion and an insatiable desire to push his limits has lead to a career doing the same thing. Jeff Harker, Nadine Overwater, Cody Erwin, Cody Borchairs, and of course Derek Wood are some of the great people that Brodie wants to keep shredding with. The job has become a by-product of a deep work ethic and a singular focus on pursing a high level of excellence. Now the performance delivery chapter of Brodie’s life, with him as the star is beginning. The ground work is laid for him to take us places that we haven’t been before and if there’s any indications of where that is, I think gravity will lead the way.