When we partner with our Ambassadors, we look for people who are the best in their category, people who are committed to going beyond what’s thought to be attainable. With that in mind, meet our new partner athlete and Revant Ambassador, Carson Storch.
Carson is a professional freeride mountain biker who embodies taking on tough challenges. He’s a committed rider who’s competed at big events like Red Bull Rampage, and he works hard to further his sport and his place in it. We’re excited to work with him and gain insights from his unique perspective so we can develop some of the best eyewear products on Earth.
We spent the afternoon with Carson, and here's what he had to say:
What drew you to mountain biking and freeride mountain biking?
I grew up in Bend, Oregon, where I was fortunate to get the opportunity to take on a lot of action sports—wakeboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding. Mountain biking actually came later for me, but when I started, I was hooked on it right away. I had a big group of friends that I would build jumps with and just ride around town with. My career grew outward from there. I got into downhill, and by the time I was 16-17, I really started going at it. I always wanted to go pro at something, and I was able to get there with the help of a big community of athletes.
Have you had any setbacks in your career? Things you’ve had to power through?
Injuries. Getting hurt scared me and demotivated me. I had a scary crash in 2010, not at the start of my career, but at a point where I was starting to progress. My bike failed me and I got hurt. It made me want to not ride anymore, but I eventually got back on my feet with the help of friends and my community. I decided that this was the price you pay to do something you love.
Another one for me was attending college. While education was important, I wanted my life to be all about bikes. In 2013-2014, I dropped out, which I don’t regret. Everyone has been supportive, and when I turned 22 and signed with Red Bull (making me a bit of a late bloomer in this community), I knew I had taken the right path and done the work.
What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve gotten over the years?
I’ve had some incredible mentors and friends like Kirt Voreis and Jaime Goldman, and they’ve really influenced me. All the advice I get from them is good. For me, I’m all about relationships. Just have fun, don’t take it too seriously. Keep that head small and don’t be ego-driven.
When you’re about to start a big run, what do you see? What goes through your head?
I briefly reflect; building some of these big runs is a huge amount of preparation and work. It’s so much pressure to make sure that these massive events are built and constructed well that by the time I’m ready to drop in, it’s a relief. Sure, it’s a little scary because you’re about to put it all on the line, but most of all, it’s fun. Getting to ride something you created is fun.
What are you working toward currently?
I’ve felt like I’ve been a kid looking at pro athletes my whole life, even now that I’m one of them. After 8 years of pro riding, I’m excited to motivate kids to ride and keep moving the sport forward. For me, that just means getting people excited about bikes. Anything I can do to grow the sport is a win for me.
Lately, I’ve been in a good spot to be getting into movies. Growing the Black Sage biking event, as well as working on new projects with Red Bull is awesome. I’m also working to reintroduce slopestyle to the US. I’d love to get some competitions going. I do a lot in freeride now, but slopestyle was where I got my start, and where I first competed, and I’d love to see it have a resurgence.
Is there anything about yourself that you think people would be surprised to learn?
I come from a second-generation RV family. My grandfather started Beaver Coach, and my dad founded Host RV. Surprisingly enough, my family never rode mountain bikes. I struck out on my own from a business-oriented family.
Finally, what’s the deal with signing kids’ foreheads?
Ha! You saw that at Black Sage? It was crazy, some kids asked for it. Got some angry glares from parents, but these kids wanted their foreheads signed, so I just went for it.