Every mountain has got a hometown hero, someone who can hold their own against riders that pay their bills with big lines and backside 720s. Sometimes word gets out and the accolades follow, and other times these dark knights just do their thing in relative obscurity.
Hard to say where Whistler’s Brin Alexander will wind up on that spectrum. But in the meantime, he’s certainly got the attention of his local snowboard community.
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Born and raised in Whistler, B.C., Brin grew up with one helluva backyard. And as the son of two Whistler Blackcomb ski patrollers, he learned about the mountains like most kids would pick up a second language. Not only that, he was taught how to maintain high levels of safety in insanely dangerous situations. Brin’s dad, Dave Alexander, was a stuntman for the film industry during an era when the rules were loose and the players were cowboys. Brin followed in his dad’s footsteps, right down that same metaphorical set of stairs.
“That’s basically the main income,” says Brin of his stunt work. “I’ve been doing a lot of rigging and stunt rigging and then a little bit of coordinating as well. So kind of just branching out into the stunt world because those jobs are sort of hand in hand.”
Besides the obvious athletic crossover, Brin’s schedule in the film industry actually allows for a lot of boardin’.
“Honestly, it’s beneficial for snowboarding because it’s a very well-paid job and I’ll be working two or three days here and there where I’m doubling one person and then I’m done,” he says. “It’s not a consistent everyday type thing.”
But as far as his snowboarding goes, there’s a reason why people keep bringing up his name in the same sentence as the Natural Selection Tour – easily snowboarding’s most esteemed event series right now. Brin still crushes park laps on a semi-regular basis. But he also gravitates to badass, aesthetic descents in radical terrain. In short, his riding would fit the Natural Selection perfectly.
“It’s easy to look past things when you’re younger and you’re just going up to the resort every day,” explains Alexander. “But when you really grasp the area you’re in and the places you could go and the shit people DO ski in the area. It’s crazy because Whistler being Whistler, so many people are out ripping crazy stuff.”
Whistler’s a cosmic mash of supernaturally talented shredders. The kids who grow up there stand on the shoulders of the greats who came before them. Brin grew up a few years behind Kye Petersen, freeride phenom and son of legendary ski mountaineer, Trevor Petersen (RIP).
Kye’s watched Brin grow into the shredder that he is today. And a couple winters ago, Kye invited Brin to film for Sacred Grounds, a project that took them to the legendary Mica Heli Skiing, north of Revelstoke – a zone that’s stacked with big, bloodthirsty pillow lines.
“I wanted to bring someone who was also a born and raised Whistler local,” explains Kye. “Our dads had done a lot of stuff together so I wanted to do more stuff with [Brin] after seeing what he’s been up to on his snowboard.”
“He had been doing some of the best shit I’d seen locally in the valley, so I wanted to give him an opportunity to shred some of the raddest terrain that I knew of…He crushed it.”
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Every snowboarder is a product of their own environment. And with Brin Alexander, Whistler has created a shredder who can stomp pillow lines, throw Wildcats in the middle of spine walls and efficiently rescue his crew – should the need arise – be it avalanche or crevasse. And once all that’s taken care of, the guy can boost a few airs in the halfpipe and slide a few rails on his way back down to the valley.
So yeah. Brin wouldn’t be out of place standing on a ridgeline next to his heroes, drones flying overhead with a panel of judges at the bottom.
“Oh man. Well, obviously it’d be hard to say no to something like that,” he says. “Riding with Travis or Big Air Jare – or all those dudes are so sick, just homies – I think it’d be a sick opportunity just to hang out with them regardless of the riding.”
Of course this call-up to the NST is mostly hypothetical at this point in time. He’s not prequalified like the riders who have been announced in the last couple weeks, nor has he been selected for a Duel. But Brin did submit a short edit to someone behind the scenes, so it’s more than people just tagging @betterthanthepolice on NST’s social media.
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“I’ve been shouted out a bunch, like on the Bombhole,” explains Brin. “But I know 30 other riders that are the most insane and just work normal jobs and have no following, and they just shred.”
NST or otherwise, shredding is Brin’s top priority. He’ll be out tagging lines with his friends, guys like Will Kovacic: the ACMG rock and ice guide who’s led the charge on some of Brin and the gangs’ bigger missions. And maybe instead of going toe-to-toe with Travis Rice, Brin will just go boardin’ with his homie Ryan Paterson, another shredder who’s in it for the love.
“I get mad inspiration from Ryan,” says Brin.
For the last two seasons, Brin’s had a pro model with Dope Industries, a small, snowboarder-driven Whistler brand. And he’s got enough sponsors that he takes a moment to remember them all. Between that and the stunt work, he’s got it pretty good. But if T. Rice rings him up with an invite, Brin’s gonna answer that call.