Winter Wingman, Part II – Brock Hoyer
With the help of social media, the winter powersports world abounds with athletes and personalities who are constantly in the eye of the public. But what we don’t always see is the support system of these well-known riders—riding in the backcountry is not a solo sport after all. These snowmobiling celebrities have people they rely on to ride with and support them every step of the way.
These are the untold stories of the Winter Wingman.
Brock Hoyer grew up riding snowmobiles in the mountains of British Columbia.
In the summers, he spent his time at the moto track. Like many people with both a sled and moto background, Hoyer was stoked to discover Timbersled back in 2011.
It was Hoyer’s good friend, Derek Christianson, who introduced Brock to snow bikes by letting him try Derek’s Timbersled kit mounted on a Husaberg for a day. That’s all it took—Hoyer was hooked. With the borrowed snow bike still in the back of his truck, Hoyer called Timbersled, gave them his visa number and ordered a kit.
“I had never, ever, bought something like that on a whim, but I knew it was going to be my passion,” says Hoyer about the impulse purchase.
Ten years later, Hoyer is considered one of the pioneers of the sport that he continues to help grow as one of Timbersled’s top athletes.
He has spent the last decade travelling across North America, riding snow bikes and snowmobiles as a Yamaha factory-sponsored athlete. 2017 was a big year for Hoyer. He went undefeated in every competition he participated in, including the Jackson Hole Hillclimb, Canadian SnowCross Series and X Games, where he took home the gold in snow bike cross. He kept the winning bike as a reminder that hard work pays off.
“That bike is in the living room!” says Hoyer.
Winter Wingman – Brock Hoyer
Today, Hoyer travels for the majority of the winter. He rides with many different people, in many different riding areas. When I asked about who he would consider his winter wingman, his response was thoughtful.
“When I think about a wingman, I don’t necessarily think about someone who can slay crazy lines with me or help build big booters. Sure, it is nice to have someone to take photos and videos for Instagram, but that isn’t it either.”
“My winter wingman on the mountain is someone who has my back, and questions me on my decisions on jumps, drops and avy terrain. They remind me that no-one is invincible.”
“Because I am constantly hosting clinics and changing who I ride with, it’s important for me to hone in on the safety side of things more than just doing crazy stuff in backcountry.”
For an athlete whose career hinges on the ability to push the boundaries of a sport, his answer shows a truly professional approach to the job.
“Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with. Over the years I have seen situations happen in the backcountry that have changed my focus while I am out there.”
Hoyer stresses that everyone accessing the backcountry needs to do their part: Get avy trained, learn how to use avalanche safety gear and be a good wingman to their riding buds.
“I just want my backcountry buddies to have my back out there like I know I would have theirs, so we can all get home to our real winter wingmen at the end of each riding day.”
Make That Winter Wing-men
For Brock, being safe out in the mountains is the highest priority.
With that in mind, Hoyer settles on two wingmen who ultimately keep him the safest in the backcountry: his sons, Deakin and Asher.
“The reminder that I have two boys to go home to is what dictates most of my decisions to play safer in the backcountry. I would never want my kids to grow up without their father.”
“My real winter wingmen are my boys, because my biggest goal each and every day is to get home safe to my little rippers,” says Hoyer.