Snow Day Reading: This is Travis Rice

Text by Tetsuhiko Endo; Photographs by Matt Gillis

Travis Rice is snowboarding's Renaissance man: He's a filmmaker, contest organizer, X Games gold medallist, backcountry hellman, and one of the most influential riders of his generation. He is also very good at being the center of attention. When ADVENTURE tracked him down in New York City a few weeks ago, he was standing on top of 90-foot, snow-covered scaffolding, which was acting as the take-off ramp for Red Bull's Snowscraper contest—a $50,000 big-air competition put on in East River Park.

Despite the T.V. cameras, the people, and the van-size speakers pumping Pantera to the entire Lower East Side, the mood was sullen high on that windy scaffolding with temperatures quickly slipping into the single digits. There were problems with the ramp. The riders were having trouble getting the speed necessary for the amount of air they wanted. And there were more than a few grumbles.

Rice didn't seem to notice. He laughed and joked, constantly bouncing back and forth on his board with a nervous, excited energy awaiting his turn to drop in. When asked, some complained about the speed or the feel of the landing, Rice responded simply: "It's rugged, man!"

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