Originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, Mountain GOATS celebrates the most influential snowboarders of the last thirty years (1987-2017), otherwise known as the Greatest Of All Time list. With over 70 men and women riding into the ranks of the Mountain GOATS, check back as we release their bios and celebrated accolades over the course of the next few weeks!
Mountain Goat: Todd Richards
From his days as a team rider for Funky Snowboards in the late 80s, to having a front row seat at our sports Olympic debut in Nagano in ’98, to being chased around Snowpark New Zealand by Ken Block in his rally-ready Subaru Impreza in 2007, the endless list of snowboarding achievements Todd Richards can claim could fill a book. Oh wait, it has. P3: Parks, Pipes and Powder by Todd Richards is the true story of a Masshole skate rat who used snowboarding to live out all of his vert ramp dreams.
As the first New Englander to win the US Open—not once, but twice—Todd Richards showed that Brushie wasn’t an outlier and that the east coast could produce freestyle talent as good as or better than anyplace else on earth. While the Funky sponsorship was short lived, Sims, Morrow, DC, Quiksilver, Special Blend, Oakley, Nixon, Spy, Airwalk, Rossignol, Bluebird and Gotcha all benefited from being associated with Todd as he spent the 90s racking up victories and stacking clips. To add to his US Open titles, Todd podiumed at the X Games, Vans Triple Crown and World Championships in the halfpipe as well as slopestyle and big air. In 1998, the backside 900 McTwist, i.e. the Wet Cat, became Richards’ signature move, and with it he earned another US Open podium.
In film, Kingpin, Mack Dawg, Fall Line and High Voltage all rolled tape on Todd, but perhaps his greatest cinematic achievement came from his portrayal of paraplegic Dr. Barry in 2001’s Out Cold, where he really sold the paralysis by not walking in any scene, and it was impressive enough that in 2008, Todd was cast to play himself in Me, Myself & I which was the big screen adaptation of P3: Parks, Pipes and Powder. As of late, Todd has wielded his wit, intimate knowledge of our sport and outspokenness to become the voice of snowboarding for mainstream spectacles like the X Games, Olympics and US Open, never failing to let the core perspective be heard. After all, who better to provide a gateway into the mind of a snowboard competitor than someone who knows firsthand what it is like to stand there shitting themselves as they are about to take a halfpipe run on national TV? This perspective is culled from a true episode in Todd’s life as stated in P3, where he got so nervous before dropping in on TV that he defecated in his pants in the starting gate.