In an ongoing series, Pique asks top name skiers and snowboarders about their music-listening habits on the mountain. What's blasting through their headphones as they compete, train or just hit the hill? Next up: freeskier Mike Riddle, who is part of the Canadian National Halfpipe Ski Team.
Mike Riddle had a busy season dashing around the world to compete in — and often dominate — various freestyle ski events. Most recently, he scooped up top spot at the FIS World Cup in Spain this week, despite unfavourable weather conditions, and secured provisional nomination for next year's Sochi winter Olympics. He also earned the FIS Crystal Globe as the top halfpipe athlete this season.
"This trophy means more to me than pretty much any trophy I have right now," Riddle said of the win in a press release. "Aside from an Olympic medal or a world championships medal it's the biggest thing you can get. Up to this point I've never really been able to show that kind of consistency and do well for a whole season. So it means so much to me to get it. It's pretty cool."
We caught up with Riddle by email to ask him about the songs that motivated him throughout his successful season.
Pique: When do you ski and listen to music?
Mike Riddle: I am almost always listening to music when I ride, even if it's just on quietly, but I turn it off on the chairlift so I can socialize!
Pique: Do you listen to different songs depending on whether you're training or competing?
MR: Nope. It's generally the same mix no matter what I'm doing, but I will pick a song from that mix that gets me really pumped up on that given day when I compete.
Pique: What role does music play for you?
MR: It keeps me focused when I need to be or it can keep my mind off of things if I'm nervous; basically it brings me back to what's important and helps my mind not to wander.
Pique: How do you listen to music? (iPhone? iPod? Streaming? Full album vs. shuffle?)
MR: iPod shuffle... on shuffle.
Pique: Do you make playlists?
MR: Not really. Sometimes I end up with the weirdest mixes cause I pick a couple songs that I like then have my computer fill the rest of the memory randomly and my computer playlist is compiled from all kinds of music.
Pique: What has been your best recent musical discovery?
MR: Nothing too crazy, but I just started putting top 40 dance/club songs onto my playlist with rock and found that mix keeps me pretty amped on the hill.
Mike Riddle's mountain playlist
1. "Heads Will Roll" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (A-Trak Remix)
2. "That's All" by Genesis
3. "We are Rebels" by Alice in Videoland
4. "Go Hard" Quake & Kayo (Featuring SonReal)
5. "Loud Pipes" by Ratatat
6. "Party And Bullshit" by Ratatat/Notorious B.I.G.
7. "Kickstart my Heart" by Mötley Crüe
8. "Pursuit of Happiness" by Kid Cudi (Steve Aoki remix)
9. "Crimewave" by Crystal Castles
10. "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons