Travis Parker isn’t your average pro shred. The man takes risks and has always danced to the beat of his own drum. And for these reasons, the kids connect with him. Examples, they’re aplenty—like, say, learning how to snowboard all over again. Or pedaling through snow storms atop a four-man bicycle.
I heard you have a new stance?
Yeah, at the beginning of the year I was like, “What am I going to do now? I needed to challenge myself in order to be happy as a pro snowboarder so I changed from a goofy foot rider to a regular foot stance—it’s very, very challenging.
What is the hardest aspect of riding regular?
Learning how to keep my weight on my new back foot is difficult—doing straight ollies, letting it run through the trees, and riding fast through powder. Ollieing off bumps and not leaning to far forward takes a lot of practice. It’s a whole new experience because I haven’t been at this place in my snowboarding in a long time, if ever.
It sounds tough to relearn how to ride with power.
It’s very humbling but I really love the challenge.
Are you still living up in P-town?
Nope. I moved out of Oregon. I love visiting Portland but I’ll probably never live there again.
Why did you move?
I’m just much happier in the mountains close to resort with recreation all around me.
How close are the ski areas?
I live in South Lake Tahoe ten minutes from Sierra-at-Tahoe, and twenty from Kirkwood. I’m within and hour from every resort in Tahoe and just a lot happier in a small town environment.
You’re at the DC Mtn. Lab. What are your immediate plans?
I’m going to Alaska in two days for a Wasilla middle school book demo. A bunch of kids who read over five books get to watch me and Jason Borgstede jump and spin and bounce off the school walls on our snowboards. It’s to promote reading in the youngsters. It’s really cool … and I get fresh Alaskan seafood, halibut and King crab when ever I want for attending (ha-ha). Seriously.
Cool. Then what?
I rest at home for a couple days and then head over to Europe for David Benedek and Christoph Weber’s contest. They’re building the safest, biggest jump ever to promote the progression of snowboarding. They built the first version of the jump for 91 Words For Snow so this will a newer more perfected version of that jump. They’re looking to break the four seconds of airtime record and promote new innovative trick. Then it’s back home to do Bikecar!
What the hell is Bikecar?
Bikecar is a handmade bike that Joey Fountain made. It’s a four person pedal powered car. Its basically two tandem recumbent bikes on one frame about the size of a Honda Civic … maybe a little bigger, like, the size of a Ford Taurus. It doesn’t take electricity; just leg power and we’re going to burn our calories all the way across the Northwest. Scotty Wittlake, Louie Fountain, and Joey Fountain pedal from Moscow, Idaho to Spokane through Washington and Oregon going to resort to resort to snowboard.
Sounds nutty! Are you doing anything special with this project?
Yeah, definitely. We’re going to document the whole thing and produce an entire Bikecar movie. Basically, the four of us are going to pedal and snowboard like crazy—it’s going to take a month. Take a look: www.bikecarmovie.com