There’s been plenty of times that I’ve been riding up the gondola at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and looked out the window to see Mike Ravelson careening down hardpack New Hampshire conditions through the LMP. Regardless of weather, Rav is always, always making the most of every turn and having a really good time. He’s the kind of individual whose riding grabs your attention; you want to see what he will do next. And it’s not even the excessive amounts of skill he possesses that make him such a fun person to watch snowboard, it’s because when he’s strapped in, Rav rides exactly how he wants. With each new season, his dedication to pursuing his on-piste passion in his own style continues and the myriad of resulting videos and photos are proof it’s working out. This past year, after putting in time at Plymouth State, Rav took the trail less traveled and decided not to migrate west full-time, instead moving into a house, dubbed Studio 317, near Loon and mitigating the frigid New England winter with plenty of traveling. While Mike has been busy logging shots with Capita and Volcom, his appearance in web edits hasn’t slowed one bit. It’s been a good season for this Massachusetts-bred rider. Because we appreciate Mike Rav’s individuality-fueled sensibilities, both on and off hill, we are more than stoked to have him voice his opinion on a variety of topics in this edition of Front 3. Take it away, Mike.
– Mary Walsh
3 things everyone should do if they visit Massachusetts
– Visit Eastern Boarder.
– Skateboard around Boston.
– Snowboard at Wachusett Mountain.
3 most epic nights at Plymouth State (that you can remember)
– Johnny B.’s Birthday weekend and the Kip Sanchez Invitational.
– Setting the owner of Hong Kong’s hair on fire with a firework.
– The Plymouth Chainsaw Massacre. Dave Agan and I bought a chainsaw at a yard sale, didn’t really go over well.
3 favorite Massholes
– Nick “NE STUD” Esposito.
– Eugene “Boston George” Stancato.
– Nick “Douc” Doucette.
3 best moments in the Ham Van (RIP)
– When the East Coast crew visited Oregon and the first night we tried to flip it.
– Russell Winfield smashing out the rear window with a snowboard.
– Twelve person trip to Bend for Fourth of July.
3 things that broke in or on the Ham Van
– Second gas tank.
– The radio.
– Surprisingly nothing very important.
3 hardest decisions you've had to make in snowboarding
– What song I have playing while I snowboard.
– When to leave the mountain.
– A bunch of serious shit that nobody wants to hear about. But, I’m happy where I am, so I guess most of them worked out.
3 favorite tricks to do
– Erratic rolling around.
– Stationary handplant.
3 things you like about the East Coast more than the West Coast
– It’s home, you’re always more comfortable at home.
– Closer proximity for snowboarding. I think it’s what keeps the East Coast snowboard scene so close.
– Seems like most people are always trying to get shit done. A faster pace of life. Seems like more of survival mode than most places I’ve seen. Which I like.
3 things you like about the West Coast more than the East Coast
– The snowboarding. (Mt. Hood, Utah, Bear, etc. Some of my favorite days on a snowboard.)
– The skateparks.
– It’s an incredible escape from the East when it’s needed. I’ve met some of my best friends out there.
3 sketchiest street spots you've hit
– Jackson Hole road gap with Blake and Stax last season.
– Anything circa 2005-2008; most spots were hit with ice rink snow.
– The handrail in my backyard.
3 reasons Plymouth State turns out really good snowboarders
– It all starts with the history. So many influential people in snowboarding have visited Plymouth for one reason or the other, whether they’re attending school or just living at the Blue Lodge. When you walk around you can feel it. You feel like you’re part of something bigger than just four years of class and partying. Everyone wants to be part of something, and if you go to Plymouth and snowboard, you’re in.
– People truly love snowboarding. Any given day you can take a look out the gondola window at Loon and see the most incredible, creative and progressive snowboarding happening. The best part is most of these people are solely doing it for the feeling. But, it’s not just the snowboarding. It’s waking up hungover, rallying the troops, getting coffee, driving thirty minutes to Loon blaring music, boarding all day, and then taking the energy from the mountain to the party that night. The best days of my life without question. Thank you, guys.
– Plymouth as a university is also the reason we’re able to do this. The ability to make a schedule where you can go snowboarding three full days a week while taking classes definitely doesn’t hurt. The staff at PSU is always looking out for the greater good of the students and it shows when you walk around campus. Huge shout out to Terri Dautcher. If you want to see a educator who is truly passionate about helping students, visit Terri. I wouldn’t be where I am without her.
3 things to do on a road trip
– Pass the notebook around. Some of the most amazing drawings and reads in my notebooks were made on road trips. There’s some freaky shit in there.
– Skate every time the vehicle stops. Keep the energy high.
– Enjoy and take in every moment. There aren’t any breaks on a road trip.
3 things that went down at Studio 317 this past winter
– The entire winter is pretty blended together; every day was something new and interesting. But one thing is certain, we snowboarded every single day,
– Our brains found the outlets to create “big ass tall head guy” and “jar-hand.” If anyone wants to completely waste five minutes of their time visit @thestudio317 to see some useless content.
– Every friday night at the Bunyan room. We danced, we drank in respect to the previous week of snowboarding, we drank for the next day of snowboarding, we either got kicked out or continued the party at the Studio. Only good people allowed. Best era of my life.
3 favorite pieces of art at Studio 317 and who made them
– Dave Stags visited from the office of the website you’re reading this from and stayed with us for a month. He was constantly drinking wine and painting. He painted a possessed Miley Cyrus on one of my old boards. Thank you Dave, and continue doing your thing. Only respect my friend, stay in the color prism.
– My current roommate Scott Mccurdy is an incredible freehand artist. He did a drawing of an frustrated girl smoking a cigarette that catches my eye every time.
– Every single person who visited the Studio did something for the walls, it was a rule. I love it all. I have amazingly talented and creative friends. Put a pen to some paper and see where it goes.
3 reasons to avoid The Snark
– He’ll put vodka in your water bottles.
– He’ll put glue in your shampoo bottles.
– He’s just a bad guy.
3 things that happened while filming this year
– I came up with ideas and concepts, stepped on my snowboard, fell, got closer, fell, figured it out, landed…repeat. Favorite thing on Earth.
– Took a step back and figured out exactly what I wanted to get out of this season while snowboarding and only did that.
– I had fun.