As noted in the introduction for the Todd Richards interview in the February issue, we were only able to fit a portion of the conversation in print. Below is a bonus slice from the same chat.
CLICK HERE AND CHECK PAGE 78 to check out the full feature online, or head to your closest board shop to grab a copy.
Mike Goodwin with Todd Richards. Volume 3: Issue 6
MG: So when you do your announcing thing, do you get pressure to forward a certain message?
TR: I don't anymore. NBC - for what anyone thinks about them - NBC is down for the sport of snowboarding and they are down for me telling it like I see it. That is why they hire me; The so called expert in the field. So if I think that someone's run was overscored, I am going to say so. It doesn't take away from that person. I am not being personally, like, "Well that guy is just a lame individual and Oh, his run was lame too." You can be critical of something and be specific and not pointing out people's personalities because people are just people. When I am on T.V., I am there to critique what I see in front of me, strictly trick to trick between two walls of a halfpipe and if I don't like a run for a certain reason, I can say that and they will back me up on that because that is why they hire me. It goes in the industry, too. If there is something that someone disagrees with at least be specific about it. There has just been, like, a lot of bullshit-shit talking in the industry over so many years and there is so much beef under the surface that no one will ever talk to it when they are called out on it.
MG: Of course not. Face to face it's all good.
TR: Yeah, it's a song and dance, especially with reps. My god - the reps are the worst with that. They talk mad shit and then they all get together like it's nothing. And then one rep leaves and the other reps in the shop are like, "You don't want to buy that shit, it will fucking fall apart." It's like a bunch of used car salesmen getting together. At this point in the game, everyone makes a pretty damn good product, you don't have to agree with everyones marketing, whatever.
MG: What's is your opinion on the way that people look at progression now. Where progression isn't really being out with your homies, slamming until you get it. Progression means helmet, ass pad, foam pit kind of thing.
TR: Oh man. Hm. The foam pits are cool, but it just seems like it's escalating the progression to where there are no consequences and your'e not really learning what to do in the air if you take off on the wrong edge. You are not learning how to micromanage your mistakes and really eliminate them from the learning process, through trial and error. And sure it takes a lot of the risk out of it but it also seems like, without some of the heavier risk, there is not as much reward. But then again, a lot of the tricks now can kill you. It wasn't like that when I was younger. The tricks weren't going to completely kill you if you didn't land them. Now it's like that. It is funny because everyone is doing doubles. I'm just talking about halfpipe for a second. Everyone has at least three doubles in their runs but now it almost seems like you watch the guys that don't do the doubles and they are trying to make other stuff look better and it is really starting to stand out. The doubles are really starting to work against some of these guys now.
TR: Yeah, because it is kind of becoming a compulsory thing, like figure skating, where you need to have at least two doubles and at least one nine or 12 to win a contest. It is just such a weird thing. But then you watch a guy like Lago and Lago is the one that everyone wants to win because there is so much style there. You can see it oozing out of him and he is almost like struggling with it to get that perfect run and it is that struggle that I myself identify with because I want him to get it perfect. I want him to land that one run. It's that, "on your edge, will he make it." Danny Davis too. Danny has that same style. But there are a lot of guys now that have the formula so down to a T that it has kind of taken that out of it. There is not a lot of, just style. Not a lot of style in it.
MG: Back to the progression thing, you said something like a lot of kids have this fuck you attitude but it's kind of feigned. In a lot of ways snowboarding is softer than it has ever been. Care to elaborate? What's missing?
TR: Uh, man. It's so serious now. A good example of that back in the day was when Shaun Palmer and Jeff Brushie traded clothes once at a World Cup event to see who could get the higher score, like, would Palmer get scored higher doing the same tricks dressed as Brushie. Just to basically out the judges for judging on name alone. That is the kind of thing that I miss in the sport. If you can be smart and be a smart ass - if you can have a little bit of creativity with it - that is awesome. The sport is kind of soft these days. It is really generic. We don't want to offend anybody. Even the riders, the ones that come off as hardasses, if pressed, very few of them will actually admit to talking shit about anybody.