Stance: Goofy || Home Mountain: Jackson Hole, WY
Sponsors: Quiksilver, DC, Lib Tech, Skullcandy, Red Bull, GoPro, Union, Toyota, Zozi, Bluebird Wax, Jackson Hole, Asymbol, Polaris, Cheetah Factory Racing
While many of his peers are patting themselves on the back for getting enough hammers for a sixty second Instagram stack, Snowboarder’s fourth best rider of 2017, Travis Rice, took it upon himself to carry a full length feature film that clocks in at ninety minutes. Bode Merrill might not have gone the whole distance for The Fourth Phase journey, but he went at least one-foot alongside Travis. As a man that also shouldered the burden of a signature product with Reckless Abandon, Bode know intimately the responsibility that comes with such an opportunity. According to Merrill, Snowboarder’s 2015 Rider of the Year, “Travis is so naturally talented and fearless! You could tell The Fourth Phase was a battle for him, and he came out on top!”
Perhaps the most impressive thing Travis set out to do with this initiative isn’t any one trick, not a blind North Island mushroom gap, nor straight lining a three-foot-wide 2000 foot vertical AK orifice. Rather, where Travis truly raised the bar with The Fourth Phase is how he was able to contextualize snowboarding within the framework of a transcendent narrative. Although Rice accumulated enough accolades from our Rider of the Year voting pole to land in fourth place and garner our 2017 Big Mountain Rider of Year acknowledgment, there is no denying that he is number one in the minds of thousands initiates that his riding and this film have brought forth.
No one would fault Rice for focusing on just The Fourth Phase, yet the perennial team player also made the marquee of SNOWBOARDER’s 2017 Movie of the Year, Union’s Stronger. Multi-time X Games Real Snow Gold Medalist and fellow Union representative, Dan Brisse, doles out the usual praise by stating “Travis mad a movie that was insane, as usual… and conquered some shit… as usual!” And as usual, Snowboarder Magazine can’t wait to see what Travis does next!
- Pat Bridges