We caught up with TRice at the International Film Festival San Sebastian- ZInemaldia, where he presented the world première of Art Of Flight in 3D. It was part of BIg Friday, a new action sport event the Festival launched for the first time during this year’s edition, the 60th of this glamorous Film Festival.
The scene was a suite in the luxurious Hotel Maria Cristina, booked by Red Bull for the interviews with the media after the press conference.
When you meet someone as famous as Travis for the first time, you usually have this familiar feeling, because even if that person has never seen you before until that moment, you know pretty much every trace on his face and his expressions. The fact is Travis is one of the closest and most down to earth persons you can meet; no trace of the grandeur and big-headness you could expect from someone as mediatized as him. On the other hand, it is a common feature on every big mountain rider we have interviewed at Splitboardmag.com, so it must be the greatness of the mountains and the power of Nature who makes them act like pure and simple human beings, although they are super humans to most of us.
Here is what he had to say…
The first that strikes me when I see the Art of Flight, with all that hectic action and helicopters flying around constantly, is that it must be quite the opposite to the days you spent with Jeremy Jones and his crew… how does it compare a day of filming Art of Flight with filming Deeper lost in the middle of nowhere.
It’s a totally different experience for sure. With Art Of Flight what we were trying to achieve, trying to get the level of action and capture it the way we do, really, we have to use mechanized vehicles, for aerial things, when we’re going in the backcountry trying to bring four camera systems, which unfortunately can’t live at night in the backcountry with all the moving parts. It’s logistical production. For me, the month I spent filming for Jeremy Jones was probably one of the greatest trips I’ll ever go to. I love everything about the way we approached the production. There were some similarities too, though, because at the end of the day, with Jeremy Jones, we still had the same goal in mind: we’re out there, we’re trying to tell a story and we’re trying our hardest to snowboard and show case the best of the world we come from. It’s funny, the juxtaposition of the Art Of Fligh to Jeremy Jones’ filming. They’re both beautiful in their own respect. I am a huge fun of Jeremy Jones. I splitboard a lot in Jackson. I have my own line of splitboards with Lib Tech, which I pushed for years, telling them “come on, we have to have a splitboard!” In the end, I think I prefer the Jeremy Jones style of filming pace, but it’s gotten to a point where for us to be productive in the short amount of time we have in winter, the Art of Flight way of shooting is kind of like this path that we’re on now.
It must be cool to be able to experience both too… that was another question I had in mind: was Deeper your first experience with splitboarding?
I’d been spltboarding a little bit two years before.
Did you split your own Lib Techs?
Yes, I split my own boards and that was a blast. I remember the first time I ever went splitboarding, figuring out how it worked, hiking up and then the reward…being in the middle of nowhere. A big splitboard partner of mine in Jackson is Bryan Iguchi. He is really into it. So when it came to going out with Jeremy, that’s when I took it a step further, in a month ling trip on a splitboarding camp. It was amazing; ever since then I really enjoy the days that I get to go out splitboarding. I splitboard with my girlfriend, with Bryan Iguchi. It is a great way to get in the backcountry. I love going to ski resorts too, but everyday, the chaos of a resort is too much.
“For me, the month I spent filming for Jeremy Jones was probably one of the greatest trips I’ll ever go to. I love everything about the way we approached the production.”
How do you see splitboarding’s future, where do you see it going in terms of hardwear and the sport itself.
It seems like it’s continuing to gain quite a lot of momentum, and like with anything, with more consumers the products are gonna get much better, more lightweight. They’ve already come light years in the product development, I remember the first splitboard I was on: huge metal plates made the bindings so stiff. The new the equipment from several different companies is so amazing now.
What about the bindings you use?
I switch back and forth from Karakorams to Sparks; I use both systems. I like the Karakoram interaction, they are high end and expensive, but really easy interaction; but Sparks are a little bit lighter and I really like the guys from Sparks. So I kind of jump back and forth, I have both.
“C2, double camber: banana between the feet and camber outside, which for me is the best. I think C2 is better in every aspect.”
You said you talked Lib Tech into developing a splitboard line…how long has this been going on? Is the line increasing these days?
I think it’s the third season they’re offered on the market. Now they have the girl’s splitboard line, I have several sizes of mine and I feel that they’ve achieved a lot regarding changes on flex pattern. If you take a regular board and split it, it loses a little bit; it’s too much flex, so they’ve overcompensated it. Lib Tech makes Nas skis, and I think that’s helped them learn a bit more about having too individual skinny boards.
What about the line, profiles…what kind of camber do you use?
They have two split lines, mine and a generic splitboard line and a girl’s line. Mine is C2, double camber: banana between the feet and camber outside, which for me is the best.
Is that what you ride also on your regular boards?
Yes, absolutely, on all my boards. I don’t ride rocker and I think C2 is better in every aspect.
“There’s some amazing places to go ride in the States, but honestly, it doesn’t compare at all to Europe in what it has to offer regarding terrain.”
What are your new challenges for the future?
Everyday, I can give you a list of fifteen challenges I face right now, but obviously is embarking on a new film project. While there’s a lot of pressure form the outside world , I think we put more pressure on ourselves. One of my big challenges is product development with my sponsors. Last year I spent a lot f time with Union on the new binding that’s coming out. On my outerwear with Quiksilver, on my new boot with DC that’s coming out, actually I spent a lot of time on that. And of course, Supernatural, it’s still for me my biggest passion and Red Bull has been an amazing ally. We’ll see how things unwrap but one of my goals is to bring Supernatural to Europe.My last question is about Europe, do you plan on filming in Europe? do you ride much in Europe at all?
I do not ride in Europe, straight up. Its’ been funny for some logistical problems it’s been very expensive for us to bring our production in Europe, but one of my personal big goals is to be able to showcase Europe for how amazing it is. There’s some amazing places to go ride in the States, but honestly, it doesn’t compare at all to Europe in what it has to offer regarding terrain. British Columbia is a better comparison to the amount of riding that Europe has to offer, but the scene, the accessibility, not everyone can just go fly around mountains…That been said, all I want to do is come to spend some time in Europe. I’ve been to a lot of resorts but I haven’t been to half of what I want to see.
Thank you Travis it’s been a great pleasure. We hope to see you in Europe soon.
Big ups and all the best.