Kevin Pearce Pro Spotlight

Have you gotten the visit for Olympic drug testing yet?
We’ve been on that program—USADA [United States Anti-Doping Agency]—for about a year, but I haven’t gotten drug tested yet. They haven’t come to my house yet, knock on wood …

Why knock on wood?
Well, just ’cause it’s such a hassle. You have to give them a time—an hour every day when you will be at your house, and they can just show up whenever they want. I have seven to eight in the morning, so I know there’s a good chance I’ll be at home sleeping. But basically, they can come into your house and pretty much take over—totally exploit your space. I think I must be kind off the radar though, maybe because I’ve never been to the Olympics and never did too well in the Grand Prix.

Photo: Chris Wellhausen

How do you feel about your chances of making the Olympic team?
It’s going to be tough, but I’ve definitely been trying to put the work in. No matter how you look at it, the U.S. is stacked and everybody knows that, but I feel like I’ve been focused on pipe for the last eight months or so. And it’s tough to focus so much on that because I love to ride everything. But I feel like it’s worth it to buckle down and take the time now and give it my all. I feel like after last season, I put myself in a good position to make it happen, which feels good, because last time around I wasn’t ready.

And you’ve got some new tricks going into the season.
Well, yeah, you saw the New Zealand Open, everyone knows about the doubles. That’s what’s happening. And we had that pipe in Mammoth, so I got to learn a couple there. For me, it’s just getting my head around those tricks, getting the rotation down—it’s just fully committing to those new tricks. And it’s so scary, just because I haven’t really done these before—just the fact of doing two flips, it’s pretty hectic … I feel like when doing a double on a jump it’s a lot easier to save yourself, but in a pipe, there’s such a small zone to land it right. You’ve gotta really dial that shit in. Mine aren’t a hundred-percent dialed in yet, but …