One of the most well-known athletes from any sport, this 25-year-old transcends both of the sports that have made him famous. He's won two Olympic Gold medals in snowboard halfpipe and eight X Games gold medals. He is the first athlete to win both a Winter and Summer X Games gold. The native of Southern California is most well-known for innovative tricks, huge air, extreme mental toughness and, of course, his long, wavy red locks. The Deseret News' Amy Donaldson caught up with him this week when he came to Salt Lake City for the second stop of the Dew Tour.
Question: Are there similarities between snowboarding and skateboarding that give you an edge?
Answer: "It's tough to say, I mean, I think each sport is really specific to it's own abilities, if you will, but I think that skateboarding gives my snowboarding balance. I'm not strapped in when I'm (skateboarding). The skateboard is a lot smaller so I really feel it helps my balance. Just recently I was in a scenario where I wanted to learn these double cork flips on a snowboard. Just so happened that I was at the Olympic training center here and I was trying them on my skateboard into the foam pit. It was a direct like, wow, this really completely affected my snowboarding, being able to skateboard. That was a major turning point right there."
Question: You snowboard, skateboard, surf, so are there any other sports you'd like to try?
Answer: "Fantasy football. I would like to; my friends are all into it, but I don't know anything about it."
Question: Is there anything that can be done to make the sport more safe?
Answer: Foam. Lots of foam. (Laughter) Foam parties, foam hats. I'm coming out with a new foam line. Just foam. Honestly, being in a sport like this, or any sport, you're pushing yourself. You're either in the gym working out harder or your on the mountain trying out new things. Football is dangerous sport. Driving your car is probably the most dangerous thing we do, and we do it everyday. I just feel like when you go to a mountain, to do a sport, play within your limits. Do what you're comfortable with. I see friends coaxed into doing something all the time that is just way out of their skill set. They crash and they pay for it.
Question: You have a clothing line, compete as a professional in two sports, is it too much?
Answer: It's bizarre, but for me, it's refreshing. The more project I take on, it really kind of helps my snowbording because I feel like there is stuff for me to do after riding. It's fun and it's not only that, it's fulfilling.
Question: What do you do for fun? Hobbies?
Answer: "I love to play music. I won a guitar at the X Games (years ago), and obviously I'm no stranger to practice, and I'm pretty competitive … so I am alright. I travel with a guitar everywhere. (Write music?) I've done some bad covers.