From Big Life Magazine (Mountain Life at its Best)
Mike Doyle Tribute
Words by Larry Castruita, longtime friend, travel partner and snowboard buddy of Mike Doyle.
You may not have known Mike Doyle, but we all know Mike Doyle because he's one of us. He lived with a sense of style and panache that has come to define a lifestyle, creating a paradigm that so many of us passionately follow as surfers, skiers, snowboarders, and adventurers.
An international champion surfer and legendary waterman in surfing's golden era, Doyle was also a ski pioneer who loved the mountains. Never content with riding what everybody else was, he invented the Monoski in 1972 as a way to better simulate surfing in the snow before becoming a skilled snowboarder and spending numerous winters in Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, and Aspen. Like many ocean transplants to the mountains, Doyle recognized the close relationship between the ride and aesthetic of skiing and the gravity-propelled glide of surfing. If you were lucky enough to be around any of those mountain towns in the '?Os, '80s or '90s, you probably saw Mike Doyle. He was the guy ripping turns on his monoski and then later, on his carving snowboard, drawing beautiful lines and always smiling. He'd often enlist his surf/ski friends to test his new designs during helicopter skiing trips in the Canadian Rockies.
By the time he started skiing, Mike was already a worldwide legend in surfing, known by millions of surfers, but you'd never know it if you rode with him. He was just another guy who loved being in the mountains with his friends. Open and approachable, Mike loved helping anyone learn. It didn't matter if it was surfing, skiing, snowboarding, and then kite surfing or carving, he was a natural teacher and mentor. Always up for a laugh or an adventure, his enthusiasm was irresistible and his drive for excellence was inspiring. He exuded that certain something you couldn't define but that everyone could sense. You could never mistake anyone else for Mike Doyle.