Intro by Ryan:
I stopped on a Todd Richards
post last week as I was thumbing through some Instagram feed. He’d commented “Holy box of memories” and instantly I recognized some of the memoirs he’d accumulated. I was working for SOL | Snowboarding Online in that era and our editors were on location in Tahoe, Stratton, even Nagano. I’m pretty sure Todd got 2nd at the Vans event in Tahoe, Terje 1st, Fabian Rohrer 3rd? I’m also pretty sure he got the win in Stratton too (’97 or ’98) and we might have had one of the first audio interviews posted within an hour on the site. I know you’re thinking ‘an hour’, right? This was like 1997/1998 and that was no easy task, but I digress. Anyway, my point to all this is that I figured it was time to educate the youngsters. I found the 1994 flick Sexual Chocolate produced and directed by ‘Whitey’ and Kingpin Productions in an old box of VCR tapes in the basement. It had some names in it now, Todd Richards and Peter Line both come to mind. I plugged it in, it worked, we watched it, here’s the results:
Answers by Justin Phipps:
What’s up with the film quality?
I guess it was alright, i guess compared with today, i think today is like 10% better.
Ok like 90% better.
What’s a videocassette/VCR?
Is like what plays those big huge fat tapes!
Was there much terrain park shredding?
No, it was mostly like back country and like some rails maybe that they setup.
How did the jibs look?
They looked pretty hard to shred cause like some of the takeoffs almost looked like they had vert on them and they looked sorta slushy and bumpy. They looked like they might have been a little tough to bring speed onto.
What about the jumps?
i guess it woulda been sorta hard to hit the jumps. They did look a little slushy and bumpy.
What kind of tricks were they doing?
Well I think the biggest spin I might have seen was like a five or a seven, but they kind of either reverted out or dragged their hands. I think the best looking trick was probably like front three tindys with tweaks in them.
Did you recognize any of the riders or had you heard of them before?
I had only heard of that one rider Todd Richards, oh, and Peter Line too. His style definitely stood out.
What type of equipment or gear did they shred in?
Well I know that it was probably pretty tough to ride because their bindings had no bases in them and some of them had to use snow boots. And their boards probably weren’t the best quality either.
How about their outerwear?
Their outerwear looked mostly like tee shirts and sweatshirts, like it was filmed mostly in the spring. But they all had snow pants.
How would you compare this to snowboarding today?
I think that today’s snowboarding is much much much better than back then.
Well because we have better equipment, better quality, and we definitely have better built features. Because we have all that it’s probably a whole lot easier to stomp your tricks, probably. It definitely makes me appreciate what we have because if I had to ride bindings with no bases in them I probably wouldn’t have very much fun because I wouldn’t be able to get much done. That we have real snowboarding boots, and the features in the parks, real jumps and real landings and the takeoffs don’t go right into the jibs.
Any Final Thoughts?
Yeah, at first I thought that it all kind of, well I don’t wanna say it, I just thought that it wasn’t very good, but after you explained all the things that we have that a lot of these guys never got to have it makes a lot more sense and makes me feel really good about that things that we have in snowboarding today.