Words from MI for Armada’s Snowcieties.

Posted by La Fa on October 25th, 2015


               Snowcieties Michigan flipped the script on the state of ski movies. Never have we seen so much raw skiing speak for itself. The quality verse quantity debate is officially dead. The edge control in this movie is supreme in a way that they make skiing in the city look natural. The mindset is obvious; no set ups, no bullshit, just hammer after hammer in full speed. Mike Hornbeck, Spencer Milbocker, and Kim Boberg turn Michigan into one hell of a ski destination. Its a progression the industry hasn’t seen in the sense that no one has ever moved to the midwest to pursue skiing. LAFA had to figure out what was running through their minds when they decided to go the opposite route of everyone else.

Mike Hornbeck

Q: So as most people already know you two have decided to moveback to the home state of Michigan this year.  Most people kill to go out west and tunnel vision themselves thinking thats the only place to ski.  What does the midwest have that the west doesn’t?

A: The midwest is just refreshing. You dont have competitive skiing anywhere in sight. The people skiing at the hills aren’t your typical skiers. The cities provide plenty of good spots to film too. Its not about what you don’t have, its about what you do have, haha.

Q: How has living in Michigan reignited your passion in skiing?

A: Its really made me want to create what midwest skiing can be. I want to show and prove that you can be one of the best and live in the midwest

Q: Is there anything that frustrates you with the younger culture of kids coming into Freeskiing? is there a difference between the west, the midwest, and the east coast? 

A: The thing I hate the most is when kids say they wish they could be here or there and not focusing on what they have in front of them. Another thing that gets me nowadays is it seems like you really have to talk about yourself for people to notice. The louder you are the more hype you get; Just kind of clown shoes when you really think about it.


Q: Filming this year was for Armada’s snowcieties, whats it mean to you?

A: This is the third movie I have created with Armada; Wreckallections, Oil and Water, and now this. It means a lot. I do what I want, when I want, how I want. Its  a dream come true


Q: What was so different about this project for you than the ones that you’ve done in the past?

A: The difference was spencer and I moved to Michigan. Kim came out for a month. We skied a lot. It wasn’t a weekend warrior film trip to a location. It was full commitment. Living it. Hanging out in the cities with our skis.


Q: What stopped you guys from filming with mainstream movie companies and make a shift to your own projects/ Armada

A: I wanted to go my own route and eliminate the politics of working with a big company. After a while, it doesn’t make sense. You pay to go on trips and make the movie with the company, the company makes money off your sponsors, the company makes money on the movie sales, the company makes money at the movie premieres, and you get good exposure with the possibility of getting more sponsors. You also have one hell of a time along the way. Eventually you realize that all your money and time is going in one direction. I find it easier to eliminate all that, and create my own movies and put them out for free.


Q: Mike, How long you been street skiing, and what kind of changes have you seen throughout the years, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

A: I have been filming parts for a decade. The ugly I mentioned earlier; these days you have to talk about yourself for people to notice. The skiing can’t just speak for itself anymore. The bad would be coming to terms with the fact you have to talk about yourself and start doing it. Otherwise the story gets twisted and what you’ve spent years doing gets overlooked. The good would be that street skiing is growing and there are companies being created specifically for this niche. Its really cool to see how far its come since I started doing it.


Q: Gotta appreciate the Old school, we didnt create Street skiing.  There are OG’s in this sport that I feel like rarely get acknowledgement from the younger guys out there.  Talk about someone who helped framework the streets for you.

A: Movie companies have had a major role in showing it to the world. Level 1 made strike 3 and it started taking off for me then. Dave Crichton, Liam Downey, and Travis Redd. Watching these people do what they did was amazing. They always had street footage in their parts. I would say Liam Downeys style had the biggest impact on me out of anyone back in the day. He always had the vision. DC was always the best. Travis came off to me as a hard worker, I liked seeing his parts because you weren’t really sure what he was up to. I got the chance in real time to ski with Liam, Travis, Steele, and Vanular. It was kind of one of those moments where it was like, holy shit these are the dudes I have been watching for years and now I’m skiing rails with them.


Q: What do you guys see as the positives going on in skiing now, and what do you see as negatives.
A: The positives are that there are many different kinds of skiing. Some negatives I see in ski movies are too much editing to make the skiing look better, slow motion, eyeball shots, face shots, stating the obvious, and multiple set up shots for one trick. Play the damn clip in full speed and move on with it.


Q: Where does this project stand in your favorites list out of all the segments you have made?

A: This is my favorite hands down. We accomplished the goal we had when we decided to move to Michigan. Prove that you can produce quality skiing in the midwest. Hopefully the industry takes notice and the kids around here realize what they have right down the road.


Q: What does La Familia mean to you?

A: Its a family that shares the same passion and vision rooted back to the early 2,000s of skiing. Its turned into a company to help promote the non competitive side of skiing.


Spencer Milbocker

photo 1-1

Q: So as most people already know you two have decided to stay in your homestate of michigan this year.  Most people kill to go out west and tunnel vision themselves on thats the only place to ski.  What does the midwest have that the west doesnt??

A: The midwest has a ton of handrails and gets a decent amount of snow throughout the winter making it a sick place to film and not to mention hot lapping at resorts. Winter aint to bad in Michigan.

Q: How has living in Michigan reignite your passion in skiing?
A: Living in Michigan again has brought back that hunger, that hunger thats on another level, hard to explain but having the short winters it makes you just want to be on it any chance that you get.
Q: Is there anything that frustrates you with the younger culture of kids coming into Freeskiing? is there a difference between the west, the midwest, and the east coast?
A: One thing that frustrates me with younger crowd now is the order in which they learn tricks, I grew up wanting to learn how to spin all four directions before I even thought about wanting to do a double. Now a days kids are sending dub 12s before even doing all four sevens with good grabs.
Q: How did this whole episode of Snowcieties come about?
A: Hornbeck was the one that talked me into doing a full Michigan project, it was in the talks for a little while and then it all kind of fell into place, Mike was moving back and so I was. Timing was good. We both just wanted to show exactly what we wanted in our skiing and us doing this project together it allowed for us to do just that, we could hit anything we wanted and just ski.
Q: Spencer, ya shit was murderous this year, whats it like coming back from a bummed knee 2 seasons ago?
A: Felt insanely good to get back in the streets and really get after it again after being out of it for a couple years, definitely super rewarding putting out the best stuff I ever have after taking a serious knee injury. Just super stoked to have another healthy season and to be able to do what I love.
Q: What do you guys see as the positives going on in skiing now?
A: One thing in skiing I am way hyped on is the amount of people going out in the streets and filming to make movies with their homies, this year alone i’ve watched like 4 free movies that were basically all street and were really fucking sick, people are putting in work and it is being too under-appreciated these days. Hats off to anyone getting out in the street.
 Q: You blew out ya knee a couple years ago, what was it like coming back from that.
A: After I blew my knee out I didn’t have anything really going for me, I was done filming with level 1, had a falling out with Monster, lost my travel budget from Armada so I was basically back to square one just getting gear again and thats what really made me hungrier than I ever have before, kind of needed to be. It’s not like I wanted to be done skiing so I moved back to MI and worked all summer to take winter off and try to put together the best part I could. That two year hiatus made everyone think I just fell off the face of the Earth and that for sure made me motivated as well.
Q: Gotta appreciate the Old school, we didnt create Street skiing.  There are OG’s in this sport that I feel like rarely get acknowledgement from the younger guys out there.  Talk about someone who helped framework the streets for you.
A: K-Day is one of the guys that did it for me, he was the baddest dude on the hill and anything he did was always top notch. Kelly is definitely one of the reason why I ski the way I do. He has always had a giant bag of tricks and I still don’t know a lot of people that can go toe to toe with him. The whole OG B-Sweet crew was also a large influence for me. Watching Tanner, Pep, Candide, CR, and a ton more also shaped skiing for me, those guys were the best. Everyone knows Peps segment, I also remember Tanner always grinding hand rails both ways and that definitely stood out for me. So many influences its hard to even remember them all.
Q: What does La Familia mean to you?
A: La Familia means to me exactly was it says, Family. Such a sick group of people that all share the same interests and just fucking love skiing and burning each other haha.
Kim Boberg
Q: Kim, you have been dropping some heavy clips for years now, We saw a full segment last year in oil and water, was that your first?
A: Thanks dawg! Had one way back like 2007 and then shots here and there in movies every year that got lost in the montage haha, but Oil&Water was the first that I was really stoked on for sure.

Q:  What are some of the issues you have run into trying to ski out of a small town in Sweden? Is there support?

A: The biggest issue is for sure finding a crew that are on the same program as you, most of the friends out here work all year you know, and I always had the winters off. But people are hyped and find time to go out and do it, alot of evening/night sessions for sure but we make it happen!
One homie for example that works 12 hour shifts fixing railways but he always seems to find time to come and smoke ciggs and operate the winch haha.
Q: We think that was the first nose butter lip 450 onto a handrail, can you tell us about that trick?
A: I was so hyped to finally get to do it, I did it on park stuff 4 years ago and tried it on a handrail while filming with Field Prod, but first try I slammed my wrist into the stairs and had to duck tape the pole to my hand, and 2nd try I fell down on my back in the stairs and ended up at the hospital Xraying my back haha, Ive been looking for a good rail to do it on since then pretty much ,and found one in Michigan so I was real hyped on finally getting it on film!
Q: Was this your first time in Michigan?
A: Ye first time but not the last!

Q:I know you’ve been traveling all over the world but from growing up in sweden perspective, how does the midwest compare and contrast to Sweden.

A:  I definitely felt kind of the same vibe in the midwest compared to where I live and grew up at least , just that everything is a little bigger just like the rest of America haha, but the lifestyle and livin out there was pretty similiar for sure, and the same kind of hometown pride! haha. definitely more of a struggle hitting street stuff in Michigan tho, probably US in general, thats was the biggest difference I would say, other then that I felt at home pretty much haha, and great hospitality at the Hornbeck fams residence!

Q: Is there anything that stood out for you while riding with Hornbeck and Spencer in Michigan? Stories, culture of midwest, Way they ski, etc.

A: Riding with Spencer and Hornbeck is the best shit out, to have that crew where you all are on the same program, to ski and go hard everyday is what you need! The season started pretty rough in Sweden for me, the winter came pretty late as the last 2 seasons, while Wrecka and Spencer had been filming for almost 2 months, and were stacking so much, and they were sending me shots everyday while I was at home waiting for snow pretty much haha I was getting so frustrated, I had filmed for 2 weeks at home before I flew over, they picked me up at the airport and drove straight to this C-rail and had a 5 hour session on it hahah,(They were just a bit ahead of me haha)  but it was on from then and we went out pretty much everyday. Spencer and Wrecka are so damn stoked and good at skiing, and that gets you hyped up to ski you know.
What stod out was for sure to get into the mindset with those guys and just keep hypeing everyone up so much at every spot haha,
And ”Club M”  The Maurawsky bar, the local place is awesome, 8 shots and 4 beers for like 20 bucks! saaay whaaat!!?

Q: Where did you come from and what can you contribute to your take/style of skiing

A:  I come from town with no ski scene at all but it used to have a pretty sick snowboard scene at the local resort, I was snowboarding until I was 12 and I tried skiing and got hooked, but I hadnt seen much of skiing at all when I started, So it felt almost like I was the only one skiing in the world at the time, so isolated haha, no idea what the tricks were called n etc, o I just tried to do whatever my snowboard friends were doing pretty much haha, so for sure some inspiration from snowboarding, but there are so much stuff you can ride on skis that I dont want to get caught on one thing, just ski and enjoy everything that you have in mind. And airtime is fucking awesome to so I like to try to go big whenever there is a spot for it haha.

Q:  What keeps you motivated to go hard in the mother fuckin paint.  Do you do it for satisfaction of the end product, for the adrenaline, purely love, Why?
A:  A mix of everything for sure, but I have always worked hard for the shots and that comes with it i guess haha, we do this all winter so the end product is for sure important its a part of your whole season, and also to get shots motivates you as well. but mostly beacuse of the looooove for skiing and to get that trick or spot you have in mind.
Q: Anything you see in skiing that you disapprove of?
A:  Skiing is real individual and I feel like alot of people get to caught up in whats ”hot” to much at times