So how was your winter? Looks like you were rolling around with Travis Rice quite a bit…
Yeah I went up to Alaska with him, and we got okay snow, but it’s tough. You really just gotta go up there and sit, and be there for a while. We had it pretty good; we had sunny days. But, we kinda missed the real good snow. But, we were still able to get some good footage.
And what you were guys working on?
Well I took a month or two and filmed for Travis’ new film, and I’ve been working on my video part for Real Snow backcountry also.
That’s to coincide with the Summer X Games in Los Angeles?
Yup. We turn it in at the end of June and I think the voting starts in the middle of July.
And how does that work exactly, there is voting online but the judges also pick a winner right?
Yeah there is the online voting which is the fan favorite. It’s a way to get people interested and get them to see the videos. And then the judged one is where you actually get your medals, and they have a panel of five or six people that judge them and pick a top three.
You can win money for both though?
Yeah the fan favorite is like ten grand, but no medal. And the judged one is fifty grand and an X Games medal, which is pretty cool.
So the prize money alone is worth going for it.
Yeah fifty grand is a lot of money! So it definitely lights a fire under your ass to go out there and get some good footage. And that’s a little bit of where the stress comes into play, because if you’re making the wrong decisions about where to go, then the other guys in the contest are potentially out getting the good snow and the good footage.
Would you say you spent the majority of your time this winter filming that?
It was more like half and half. It was a super tough winter trying to find good snow and good weather, so we filmed in Jackson specifically for Travis’ film and then we filmed in Whistler, Alaska and Jackson a little bit for the Real Snow part. So I was trying to balance the two. The Real Snow thing is a pretty rad opportunity and if you can get shots in Travis’ film you’re stoked.
That’s something that hasn’t been talked about much. Is that the third Brainfarm film?
Yeah. This is the first year of three, so not everybody’s really talking about it yet. But they’re all in, and I think it’s going to be pretty sick. Travis is psychotic so…
Yeah it’s hard to imagine what else is left for him to do!
He’s got plans for sure. But it’s just rad to ride with someone of that level to just push you a little bit further.
How did you become a part of that crew; was more of a mutual sponsorship thing, or was it more of a close friendship kind of thing?
Maybe a little of both. Definitely being a part of Red Bull, they are the main sponsor of that film so that’s a big part of it. But I don’t really know… I just seemed to weasel my way in (laughs), so hopefully I can stand my own ground on it.
But it’s got to feel good that Travis wants you to be a part of it. How’s it feel to be able to ride with pretty much the best snowboarder in the world?
Oh it’s insane. When I say he’s the best snowboarder in the world, I definitely mean it. Riding with him… I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like watching the gnarliest video part you’ve ever seen, right in front of you. I think what’s rad is his skills make such a good vibe, and everybody gets that energy. He’s doing his gnarly shit and we’re just getting stoked and pushing our riding a little further.
Did you ever think that you would be a part of something like that?
Well I’ve been filming with them for while now; I was a part of “The Community Project”, which was their first film. And then since then, I’ve had a couple of shots in “That’s it, That’s All” and “The Art of Flight”, so I’m really hoping in the next couple years I’ll film a solid segment and be a bigger part of the film.
Yeah I’m sure it’s tough with all the other obligations you have…
It’s a lot to commit to also, cause you’re going out and filming for a project that isn’t going to get seen for another three years… so you don’t really know what shots are going to make, what aren’t, and you can’t really see the work pay off right away.
You’re also the only rider to compete in both the (X Games) Real Snow Backcountry and Real Snow Street.
Yeah this year they invited me to do both, and that was pretty cool cause for me, that’s what I like to do, is have a really versatile part. So it was cool to have a platform to display that.
What are the challenges of filming both of those parts?
Well, the street one is gnarly because you have to film it in like a month. And it’s the beginning of the year, so you’re chasing these small snow storms into cities and sometimes you get it good and it snows a lot and it stays cold, other times you’re going one place to another trying to find the snow. And this year it was one of those years where the snow wasn’t that great, so the time constraints for the street ones is tough. And for the backcountry one is just dealing with the backcountry; being in the right place at the right time. But for me, I love filming the backcountry stuff more. I see the street stuff as more just something to do in the beginning of the year when the mountains don’t have snow. I just love being in the backcountry and being on the snowmobile; I just love those days of being out there searching for powder and building jumps and stuff like that.
And you worked with the same filmer for both?
Yeah I worked with Kurt Heine for both the Real Snows, and when I was filming with Travis they just gave him a RED camera and he filmed for Brainfarm during those months. So it worked out pretty well for both of us; I had someone reliable with me all the time and he got in with the Brainfarm guys and I think he may even end up getting a job with them.
Are you done with filming for the year now?
Yeah I’m done for the year. The last couple of weeks in Whistler and Alaska we were just going super hard even though the snow wasn’t that great and I ended up getting hurt; I took a bad fall into some crappy snow and injured my shoulder. It was either do that or not have a part so…
But you’re pretty happy with the footage that you got this year?
Yeah I’m happy with it. It’s a little tough because some of the best footage that I got will come out with Travis’ film, and that’s gonna be in three years. So it’s hard to be proud of the year just because it’s like, “Yeah, I got all this footage… no you’re not going to see it for while.” But the season went well, for sure.
I know this year was a bit of a transition year for you in terms of sponsors and everything as well. Are you pretty happy with the way it worked out?
Yeah, definitely bummed that Forum went out of business and a lot of my friends don’t have jobs because of that. But for me, it couldn’t have worked out any better, being with Vans and Volcom is where I wanted to be, so it worked out pretty well. One of the best things was when I went from being on Forum… I’ve been on Forum for the last ten years and I’ve always ridden their boots, and I always thought they had good boots and thought my feet were to blame for being uncomfortable. Then my first day in the Infuse boot, it was like night and day. I was just super happy that the boots were as good as they are. It made my riding so much easier for me. Before I couldn’t even really ride on hardpacked snow, just cause my bone spurs were so bad rubbing in the boots, I had gnarly heel lift, and we could never really figure it out. Now I don’t have any of those pains in the Infuse boot. It’s pretty insane!
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