words by Pat Bridges
Dozens of riders have triple corks in their bag of tricks, yet Scott Vine stands alone as the only person to even attempt, let alone perfectly execute a one-foot double back.
Though soft-spoken and shy, Scott Vine has an awkward air that given the situation can be endearingly aloof or hyper intense. The latter side of Scott readily manifests itself when he is hypothesizing a new trick or contemplating the bounds of snowboarding theory. Having sacrificed his body countless times in the name of progression, Scott now employs his mind to alleviate the physical costs of pushing the limits. Yet, with the tricks he is trying, no amount of mental preparation or visualization will make these moves easy or safe.
In the winter of 2013, Scott literally took his riding to places it had never been before by venturing from New England to the Pacific Northwest and several points in between, filming for a full part and his own Postcard web series. Here, he discusses his online projects, the finer points of agro one-footers. and how someone ends up popping their femur out.
What was your highlight from last winter?
I would say the highlight of it would be Superpark, because I was able to do something that I once considered impossible. I didn't even know if it was going to work out that day, and it was just a good feeling.
Are you talking about doing the double back one-foot?
What made you feel like that was the day to do it?
Well, I spent a couple years just trying to figure out the motion and if it would work or not. I practiced one-foot, single back flips enough where I gained enough confidence that I figured that if I had the right jump and was comfortable with it, I could try it and potentially not get hurt.
Is there like a trick to doing one-footers?
Learning how to fall correctly and figuring out what I need to do with my weight to not twist either of my legs and get hurt. I also started stretching to make sure I'd be able to land in a position where even if I did the splits, I'd be fine. Back at the end of the 2011 season I was trying to see if a one-foot 1080 would work and I landed 7 just a little bit over rotated on one of the early attempts and my femur popped out of the hip and popped back in on the spot. I hit, did the splits, popped out and popped back in, and it really made me reevaluate what I was doing health wise. I wanted to stay limber enough so I could actually fall like that again and get back up and be fine.
That's fucking gnarly. Straight up, that's crazy….So when you're doing one foot tricks do you approach them with your foot in the back binding unstrapped or are you a tighter stance, stomp pad, one-footer type?
I actually don't put my foot in the binding at all. The pressure points that you need for adjusting the board on the run in is all in the front foot for control. The back foot is just for leverage for pushing down on the board. I needed a good stomp pad that covered everything so I just grabbed a sheet of grip tape. Nick Visconti was the first one I saw using grip tape on the board. I grabbed a sheet of clear grip tape so you can still see the graphics on the board and you can put a sticker job on underneath it. For Superpark 15, on the run-in for the jump that I did the one-foot seven on, my back foot was just right up against the front foot at an angle where I could push down to get additional leverage on the toe edge to make the set-up turn in to it, before switching onto my heel
Have you tried it like Nicolas Muller or any of those guys where they go down the runway with the ankle strap on and quickly slap the ratchet off before the takeoff?
I used to try that and I just figured if I wanted to do one foot tricks, I wanted to do them consistently. I found the straps get in the way and sometimes reaching down they get stuck.
You've had a lot of success with web videos. Why do you think it is such a good fit for you? Doing online full parts and all that stuff?
Well, online content was something that when I rode for Stepchild and filmed for Defective Sean Johnson was really influencing. He was doing Stepchild Saturdays. He really believed that the entire industry was switching over from DVD sales to online content, following the skateboard industry. I kind of picked up on it from him and it turned out to be so true. There is online content everywhere now.
In addition to your full part which is being released on the 14th of September, you have the Postcard Series. What can people expect from those edits?
One of the biggest reasons I did the series was because I wanted to include more of the Arbor team and really travel around and work with the other riders. With Postcards I was able to have people involved that were motivated to work for something that they could also be a part of. We have four episodes coming out. One is Mammoth and Big Bear, and then one is Tahoe. One is Boston and the New Hampshire area. We went to Loon Mtn in that one, too. And the last one was Washington.
Who joined you in these episodes that really stands out?
Mike Gray actually helped out a lot and probably did the most work with me. Matt Devino shot everything, minus a few shots here and there.
Are you going to keep pursuing the postcard project into next season?
I think so. It gives me a good opportunity to keep working with the team and show the newer guys the ropes as far as video production. I'd like to do that again this year and kinda branch out a little more broad with it. My ideal season, if it goes according to plan, would be to get out to a couple different countries and do the same thing but really showcase more of what the areas are like. I think it would be a little bit more of a struggle finding features since we are not meeting up with people that know of all the legitimate spots to hit in the streets, but it's just part of traveling and your still always finding different features. Snowboarding has evolved so much to the extent now where you can go back to an old spot that people hit ten years ago and see three or four different ways to hit the same thing.
With the double down, what is the next step for one-footers? Tens?
I don't know. Frontside just doesn't seem to work for me for the ten. I can't figure out the pressure points leading up to the jumps and the actual take off. Being able to pull up on your toes on your back foot when you do a regular 1080 off your heels is important to staying stable and being able to maintain that air awareness. When you have that lack of control, it really distorts how the trick ends up happening sixty feet later. So, I'm not sure what's gonna happen with one-foot tricks. I think that as long as things are creative and different and have never been done before there are always new areas. It's just gonna take people trying 'em.