It was a Facebook event with over 16,000 views. A large number if you consider what it was about. Tornado Hunter Ricky Forbes was betting Producer Paul Kilback he would eat chicken wings. But not any wings; they were to be the "hottest hot wings". Forbes promised to eat them if the storm chase Kilback had just called off didn't turn out to be tornadic. The loser would put the wing where their mouth was. The event was soon dubbed "The Cryening" because someone was gonna cry.
Forbes not only lost, but thought the first batch of wings lacked spice. By the time the spicier order came, the original spice from the first wing had kicked in and it was too late - Forbes had, er, made his chicken wing bed. He ate all of them. It was a true Ricky moment.
Forbes, whose main role on Tornado Hunters is driver, is easy to poke fun at because he's the youngest with extreme sport tendencies. Greg and Chris, his storm chasing partners, are especially merciless with him. But it turns out that not only is Ricky a prankster himself, he is exceptional, for someone so new to fame, at taking everything in stride and laughing at himself. We asked Ricky to answer our Proust Questionnaire on his recent trip to Salmon Arm, BC.
What is your chief characteristic? I live for adventure and challenges. I love the thrill. I also like to think I’m the clown. All that time on the road, we need shenanigans, and I like to be the instigator.
What is your favourite motto? “The most dangerous risk of all: the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” If the going gets tough and I question why I’m chasing my dream, I look back to this quote. I hate sports analogies, but when my run is done, I want to be able to look back and say I left it all on the field and pursued my absolute passions.
What is your favorite thing to do before chasing a tornado? I wish it was something funny or insightful, but my favorite thing to do before a big chase day is a solid workout. I want to be absolutely dialed in when we get beside this monster, so my driving skills are on point. Lives are at stake, our careers are on the line and I want to make the most of every moment. A workout gets the blood flowing and clears the head. I’m ready to tackle anything that comes my way.
What is your idea of happiness? I have two sides here. One is chasing the biggest and most badass adventures I can. I want to get beside the biggest storms on the planet and share that story. The other side is a different realm. Hanging out with my friends and family, chilling out in the mountains amongst the trees overlooking the ocean, soaking in nature and good times… that’s happiness for me.
What is your favourite song in the truck? Anything that annoys the fellas is good with me! My favourite trick, when they’re sleeping, and I’m stuck driving, say, about 4 am, is that I slowly turn up the heat until they’re uncomfortable. Just when they’re about to wake up, I open all the windows and crank heavy metal! Jokes aside, I love country and jamming to anything from the locals like The Road Hammers, Kelsey Segberg, Jess Moskaluke and Codie Prevost.
What quality do you admire in others? A quality I immediately notice and admire is kindness: how do you treat others around you? Do you brighten their day with a smile or politeness? The world is tough enough. I was raised to believe that if someone needs a hand, you help out if you can. Other qualities I really admire are: strength, courage, openness, spontaneity, ambition and being humble about it all. Life is meant to be an amazing journey. I love to feed off people who live that way.
What do you appreciate most about your friends? The laughs and the adventures. I have a great group of close friends I can always rely on for belly aching laughs and ridiculous shenanigans, followed up with some incredible adventures and experiences. I wouldn’t be where I was today without the amazing group of friends I’m lucky enough to have.
Who do you admire? My mom and pops. They’re the definition of chasing your dreams. They’re strong, kind, spontaneous, smart, and loving people that are ambitious for life and adventure. I learned from the best and I’m lucky enough to have them for support and guidance.
If you could go back in time and give "little you" advice, what would it be? “Rico, don’t get caught up in the rat race. If it makes you happy and stoked to get out of bed in the morning, chase that.” Growing up, I was so concerned with material goods that I worked way too much. I wanted a fancy house, fast car... I was lost and didn’t recognize I'd never find meaning or happiness in possessions. I pulled the cord and made a change. I started chasing adventures, experiences and friendships. My heart could not be fuller now. I’m truly happy and so lucky to say I look forward to getting out of bed every day.
If you had to be one of the other Tornado Hunters, who would it be and why? Haha! Should I be Greggles and be ready to go swimming at a moment’s notice with the squash court goggles he has on, or should I be Chittick, sleeping in the back chilling out? I’ll take Chittick’s spot; I could go for more naps.
If you were a tornado, what kind of tornado would you be? I would be the twin tornadoes! One of the most incredible days in storm chasing history.
What have you always wanted to tell one of the other Tornado Hunters but were waiting until this public moment to tell them? Chris, it was Greg’s idea to cut the sleeves off all of your shirts.
What is something no one knows about you? I’m tall! Six feet five inches! That’s the first thing I get almost every time meeting somebody new.
What actor would play you in the Tornado Hunters movie? Haha! We talk about this all the time, just to make fun of each other. Greg is Carrot Top, Chittick is Jonah Hill and I’m Jack Black. That would be funny. But legit, Jim Carrey would be awesome.
Tornado Hunters Season 1 premieres on CMT Canada on Sunday, October 18 at 9e/p. You can get all the latest at @THuntersTV, Tornado Hunters and CMT Canada. The Tornado Hunters also have their own social media accounts. Click here to follow Ricky Forbes on Twitter!
To Watch "The Bet" Part 1 click here. For "The Bet Part 2 "The Cryening" click here.
Photo of Ricky Forbes courtesy of Greg Johnson.