When it comes to making quantum leaps in performance, no other action sports athlete is impacting their sport the way Travis Rice is these days. The 30-year-old snowboarder from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has redefined the art of big-mountain riding by incorporating huge tricks (the kind usually reserved for the roped-off snowboard parks) into the ridiculous lines he carves during incredibly gnarly descents.
According to Pat Bridges, editor of Snowboarder magazine, “Travis Rice might not be the winningest snowboarder on the scene today, but he is currently our greatest champion. Travis has been able to bring exposure to a side of snowboarding that is raw and awe inspiring and seemingly a completely different sport than the one familiar to X Games and Olympic viewers.”
While Rice is no stranger to competitive success, the type of riding he actually prefers (and the type that has his fans raving) simply can’t be bottled up for competition. ESPN and NBC would have a very tough time getting those television trucks up giant Alaskan peaks. Nevertheless, the movement he’s championing was put beautifully on display in his groundbreaking movie, “Art of Flight,” which still has audiences raving more than a year later.
And while it’s nice to have adoring fans, when your peers are among your biggest, you’ve reached a whole new level of cool. In the clip above many of the world’s best boarders are paying homage to Rice, who’s more affectionately known as “T-Rex” now that he’s become the scariest monster in the snowboarding world. Watch and you’ll see why.