NW Respectives #1 – The Patrick McCarthy Interview
After having the closing part in Wildcard Snowboarding’s The Saturday Night Ride, Pat threw down another stand out part in Shredavision. His part is filled with so many hammers, we bet you can’t tell if he’s regular or goofy footed. If this doesn’t get you stoked to hit a kicker, we don’t know what will. Shredavision was Filmed by Jeremy Dubs, Scott Studach, Nick Ennen, Kurt Jenson and the Wildcard crew.
Patrick McCarthy is a legend when it comes to the Northwest snowboard scene.
Interview by Jeremy Dubs
When did you first hear about snowboarding and what was your first experience like on the hill?
I first heard about snowboarding from my brother Mike McCarthy. It was about 1988 I was 8 years old and my brother would ride up at Stevens Pass with a Moosehead hat on with a Burton Performer. That Christmas my parents hooked me up with a Burton Air 131. That was it, I was hooked.
How did you make your transition from a beginner to pursue a professional career in snowboarding?
I just snowboarded all the time with my friends up at Stevens Pass. I would watch all the pros up there and just try to push myself every day I rode to do something that was new and fresh. As I started competing and getting a shop sponsor, I decided to spend the Summer in Mt Hood. I think being in Hood made me want to work hard to become a pro snowboarder. Being surrounded by people who were progressing and pushing the sport made me want to get there too.
When did 686 first take notice of your riding?
686 approached me in about 2003-2004 after NFA clothing a division of Option Snowboards went out of business. I had just put out a video part with Mack Dawg People and Will Redd approached me with the opportunity to ride for 686. It was a dream come true the gear was light years ahead of NFA and the team was awesome. Also Mike West was a cool inspiring person to meet in the industry as well. His motivation and progressive out look was inspiring for me.
What are some of the highlights you experienced while having a pro career in snowboarding?
My highlights would be designing pro model outerwear with 686, promodel snowboard with Option Snowboards. 14 page interview and cover of Frequency the Snowboarders Journal, Magazine covers, closing video part in Think Thank Thunk, 5 years with the Neoproto/ Mack Dawg People crew. My Get Real video part with Transworld, four years of Sound Straight Video parts. All the FODT Technine video projects that I worked on. A couple fun parts I worked on with WildCard movies crew. Mostly my highlights though are the people that I have met along the way that have shaped the human being that I am today to all these people I still have in my life thank you.
Any low moments or hardships you experienced along the way?
All the positives far out way the negatives through the years. A couple injuries were tough, losing some friends along the way to death were hard.
What’s your favorite moment just snowboarding with the bros? With the pros?
I have had special experience with my close friends riding but also equally amazing experiences with some of the pro snowboarders that I have met along the way on my journey. Also many of my friends from the industry are still some of my closest friends still. Snowboarding is a big community of people who I love and cherish. Some of my favorite moments now are special sunny powder days that I share with my wife Bethany in my backyard at Mt. Baker without the pressures of being a pro feeling like your wasting the opportunity.
What brought about the decision to transition from a pro shred career to a job with 686?
I had been a pro snowboarder for over 10 years. I felt like I had reached a lot of my goals in life. It was time to give other riders the opportunity to ride professionally and I wanted a chance to work for a company that I believed in and that believed in me. 686 is that brand, and the crew that we have been working on putting together is amazing. Team trips have a family vibe and that is all I really want to create. It also means a lot to me to give back to the companies that believed in me during my career so to go in house with 686 was a blessing.
Describe the difference it makes when a crew hunkers down for a week in a cabin with no internet and focuses on riding everyday.
It makes a difference, but it all depends on who you’re with. If you surround yourself with people who are motivated and have a plan you’re gonna kill it. I like riding where there is no night life or scene because it allows you to focus live in the moment and not think about some night activities that will take you away from the snowboarding side of things. Also reflecting on the day and experiences along the way mean the world to me.
Break down your philosophy on building a proper backcountry jump.
You get what you give. I guess my philosophy would be to show up early, snowshoes are crucial. Knowing how to place blocks and that you have enough speed is also super important. Mostly just making sure you got a strong lower back and you have your plan early is the most important.
What motivates your fascination with gardening and home improvement?
I love to watch things grow around me and make my houses a reflection of who I am and what my personality is. With house projects if you have the energy time and money you can do anything you want. Seeing it all come together and come to life in front of me means the world to me. Plus having a beautiful home over your head that you can be proud of is amazing as well.
How do you wake up every day to work at 530am, even if you are hung over? How do you stay so energetic?
I am a morning person that is just about it. From 5:30 am to about 8 that can be your time of the day and I always feel better when I have accomplished a full days work and activities before 8 am in the morning. I guess I just like coffee so the earlier I get up the more coffee I get in my system.
Can you describe what you feel like when you charge a line at the hill with the homies?
I love the feeling of riding with the homies all day never looking back, sometimes you lose everyone but on those good days you’re not worried about it at all.
Why does everyone seem to call you “Sarge” nowadays?
Nate Lind called me the Sarge. Mostly my team likes to call me the Sarge it’s kinda funny to me really. “Sarge is in charge of our days and our nights.”
Next stop Washington State Governor? Heard you might continue the family political dynasty someday.
I am not going down that road right now. I have been just focusing my energy and efforts on my public speaking at all my friends weddings. Politics are cool, but making a difference in kids lives is probably more important to me. I want to continue to inspire the kids and let them know that there dreams are tangible and possible. Nothing comes easy in life and you get what you give. You make your own luck. Its your life – make it happen.
We asked some of the snowboard community why they enjoy snowboarding with PMac:
Snowboarding with Pat has always been about reconnecting with that spirit that brought me to ride in the beginning. I met him when he was just a teenager at a mountain I had been a local at for years, and he always injected a youthful charisma to the session. That’s what I always liked about Pat. He made me feel like a younger rider and in turn he was always bringing to the table the newest tricks and always pushing me on the jump freestyle scene. Being deeply amerced in the Stevens Pass scene during the 90’s the focus was always free riding, pow, and big lines. It was easy to forget about freestyle on the daily routine of chasing powder. Since I came from skateboarding the freestyle aspect of shredding was engrained into my approach, and riding with Pat at Stevens and Baker gave me the opportunity to always keep my freestyle game in check. Now that we are both older, Pat has stepped up his freeriding game quite a bit, and we find ourselves on top of the same lines these days at our favorite NW shred venues. Pat is an all-time friend and continues to inspire me in more than just riding. I don’t get to ride with Pat a ton these days but I always make it a point every season to get some days in with him. He’s a “top-shelf” homey, and whenever I reach up there to tap into that well refined spirit, his passion pours out and spills over the rim of this shot glass we call life. Bottoms up.” – Kurt Jenson
“I’ve always looked up to Pat as one of the Washington OG’s and I always seem to learn something new from him every time we go boardin. Sometimes its snowboard related, sometimes its life related, but either way, its valuable information. HEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!” – Austin Hironaka
“When I go out with Pat snowboarding he’s always positive and happy to be out there, he’s feels blessed and lucky to be on the MTN. Super stoked vibe, he’s happy when he’s there and he doesn’t care what he’s shredding from pow lines to cliff lines to jibs. Doesn’t care about snow conditions, he’s just there to ride. From a filmer’s perspective its great going out with him because he has the knowledge of how to build proper jumps. Plus he always gets at least one shot every time you go filming with him, thats an impressive feat for any rider.” – Scott Studach
Pat’s super motivated to get out to all the right spots, builds the best jumps, and we both like riding the same type of terrain. He is also one of my best friends so it makes it more sweet when you get to enjoy the good times with good friends.” – Nick Ennen
“I like riding with Pat for a lot of reasons. Full Stoke is live from the start of the day. He always knows where to go to hit the right type of feature that everyone’s feeling. He leads you straight into it, you build it, hit it, all while laughing a lot, he kills it, then it’s on to the next. After all, he is the mayor of Baker. Never a dull moment with that guy!” – Madison Ellsworth
“McCarthy is one of my favorite people to ride with. He’s always stoked and willing to drop some knowledge.” – Cam Pierce
“P Mac’s stoke for life is infectious and is the kind of person everyone wants to be around. He’s the first guy I will hit up to go shred with on a pow day at Baker. Pat runs shit in the NW and is referred to as “The Sarge” for good reason. He’s a shredder’s shredder and the guy I love to hear next to me hootin’ and hollerin’ on the way down.” – Jake Blauvelt
“Pat may be one of the most positive people at the mountain. Everything from boot-packing to the zone, building features and cheering on his friends. He keeps the vibe going until the end of the session. He makes riders better with his badass attitude and infectious stoke.” – John Laing
“I enjoy shredding with The Sarge because he is a true example of what can happen if you follow your dreams!” – Andy Bergin-Sperry
“The Sarge” – Joe Bosler
Cause no matter what the conditions are, rain, ice, pow, etc… Pat has the enthusiasm of a 12 year old boy, and he spreads the stoke with anybody that is fortunate enough to ride with him!! Reminds me of why we all started riding in the first place.” – Tristan Demers
“Snowboarding with Pat is always a spectacle. I never know whats going to happen but its guaranteed to be big, fast, and fun. I’m usually just trying to keep up with him so I can enjoy the show.” – Jason Speer
“I like riding with Pat because he turns every run into a skatepark, from the Baker Backcountry to his backyard in Bellingham.” – Carl Lautenbach
“Sarge is the ultimate riding partner. Every trip to the mountain, he seems to be having the best time of his life – nothing matters more in that moment than the hill and his crew, and he makes sure everyone around him is having the best day of your life too. Its this generous spirit that shines through when he is also keeping people safe while pushing the limits in sketchy snowpack. Honestly, without Patrick there is no way I would have found the love for Mt Baker. I see his hand in the progression of too many riders to name.” – Brent Sandor
“Because he always goes full Beastmode.” – Kyle Sanford
“By nature Pat is one of those humans with a positive energy that people feed off and want to be around, snowboarding is the same. Even in marginal conditions Pat will tell you its awesome because for him it is. If you are open to accept his vibes, you’re going to have a great time no matter what you’re doing.” – Shaun McKay
“Pat is the boss of all snowboarding bosses. Snowboarding with him is amazing, always hyped and always charging as hard as possible. Pat is a NW legend.” – Bryan Fox
Pat is a true northwest power house. His love for snowboarding grows every year and in every nipple-deep pow turn he lays into. Watch out when he slams a 5 hour energy, he’ll go beast mode on the slopes, charging down the mountain with his 12th man jersey under layer. When Pat was transitioning out of his pro shred career he said farewell and embraced change and is now happier than ever. At a time most people in his position would have found challenging figuring out the next step. But Pat knew what he wanted and went for it. I admire that and his love for snowboarding is much stronger than it ever has been. Now the ™ of 686, he’s found his calling, passing down the knowledge, drink tickets, and love for snowboarding to the next generation. Love ya Pizzle. GO HAWKS!” – Mark Landvik
“With McCarth there is just a pure love for snowboarding that emanates from his soul! He is so positive and uplifting that any day riding with Pat is a special one. Plus he’s always got some cold ones for the crew stashed somewheres handy. Cheers Brother!” – Forrest Burki
“Pat always helps me with advice on how to better complete my tricks.” – Morgan Rose aka Coonhead
“For me, riding with Pat is sweet because he possess lots of shred wisdom, is always very energetic, positive, and goofy.” – Matt Wainhouse
“To me Pat embodies what snowboarding stands for. You can see it in his eyes when you’re with him on the hill and its contagious to all that are around him. He is pure passion and 100% fun. The guy has no bad days and you’ll never have on while riding with him. He’s rad. ” – Brad Andrew
“I love riding with McCarthy, because he has no boundaries of what he can get stoked on. At any ability level, if he sees someone pushing their riding whether it be a 180 a foot off the ground, or a front seven on the road gap, Pat has the enthusiasm to recognize progression. Alongside that, he is one of the funniest and energetic people I know, so with those two personality traits, you can’t go wrong having Sarge as your riding partner.” – Mike Yoshida
“The last time I rode with PMAC was at Stevens on the top of Cowboy. He followed Kurt off of high point and I took A-ROB down rock face. Just another typical day seeing Pat at the MTN slaying it.” – Tim Carlson
Riding with Pat is probably similar to what it feels like to play with Lebron. Whereas Lebron dishes out assists, Pat radiates with positive energy and love for the sport. He’ll build up your confidence to hit a giant booter or try a new trick you’ve been wanting to do and he’s always sharing his vast knowledge of the mountains. He simply makes everyone around him better.” – Jay Kelly
“Snowboarding with Pat is so sick because he always yelling around during riding pow and he always having a good time while pushing himself and also
his homies riding to the next level!” – Sebi Geiger
“I like snowboarding with Pat because he is one of the nicest, funniest, inspirational dudes out there. He just really knows how to put the fun back in snowboarding when you ride with him.” – Jenny Tofe
“Pat is the “Sargent.” He leads the squad onto the frozen battlefield. He’s always making everybody laugh, super positive, and loves to send it. One of my favorite people to be with on and off the mountain.” – Sammy Luebke
“He’s always stoked to go snowboarding whether its raining or bluebird powder. He rides with a lot of power, real fast, and strong. Catching air is always a priority.” – Ryan Garvie
“Pat’s snowboarding is a perfect mirror of how he lives his life off the hill. He’s passionate about everything he does and always has the biggest smile on his face. If Pat is riding in your group, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the time of your life.” – Dan Manning
“Pat’s the man! He concentrates on having fun on his snowboard and that’s what snowboarding is, fun!! Always good to shred with homies that are full of positivity and amped to be on a board! That’s Pat, full of life and always hyped!!!” – Aaron Hooper
“Riding with a true mountain warrior. Just took him and Bethany (Pat’s wife and talented snowboarder in her own right) on a heli ride through the North Cascades!” – Tarek Husevold
“I love riding with Pizzle because his stoke for snowboarding is real, his heart is pure, his friendship is genuine and everything is automatically twice as sick with him around!” – Jesse Burtner
“I like riding with PMAC because he’s a fun individual and a good person to spend time with on or off the mountain. When I nicknamed him “The Sarge,” it was because he had to take charge to keep everyone in line. A true leader.” – Nathan Lind
“Pat’s energy is contagious. Always high energy, good times, and lots of laughter. I look up to him as a friend, a human, and a boarder. I’m so thankful to have met that happy human and to get to continually hang out in his presence. He is one of a kind.” – Forest Bailey
Pat always has kept the riding fun and real, his happy to do anything approach has always made it easy and fun for anybody to ride with him. He also gets stoked on simple things like a good Method or clean McTwist and loves to stoke people out while they are riding. I have never seen Pat not happy while riding, that guy is always smiling, check his photos. I am sure he is grinning ear to ear. Pat is one of the best ambassadors to snowboarding bar-none, he will also ride with anyone no matter their skill level. He truly gives back to snowboarding everything it has given him and then some. Pat treats snowboarding like Dave Grohl treats rock and roll and is always stoked to be rocking doing what he loves, that is his passion.” – Chad Perrin
Pat in Transworld Snowboarding’s Get Real
Patrick McCarthy in Technine’s Moment of Truth
“I love the snowboard community and everything that it involves. I have dedicated the majority of my life to the snowboard world riding now for 25 seasons. I love to explore the mountains and the world and take it all in. Special shout out to anyone that helped me along the way, all my sponsors over the years, all the friends and people that I have met. You make me the man that I am today. Anyone who let me sleep on their couch or spent time filming or shooting me. To Bethany, my wife, thanks for everything. Enough talk here. Thanks for taking the time to enjoy this. Winter is just around the corner.”