Mike Ravelson is his own man, always has been. Keeping his East Coast roots alive has been as ingrained in him as much as his originality on his snowboard. His wild style of riding has people turning heads; the spots that he's hitting aren't like every one else's. The kid’s got something and the people want it, they want all of it. They are relentless. Hell, they snatched up copies of his 2015 project, Rendered Useless like wildfire. After photographing him session a picnic table at Copper Mountain in CO a few weeks back, it was high time to ask Mike Rav a few questions.
Rendered Useless was a smash hit – what's it like having more creative control over a project like that?
I guess the only thing I contributed to when it came to Rendered was deciding with Jon [Stark] that we should make a snowboard video. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to go on a handful of trips with Jon, and we always sort of dreamed of working on a project like this. The creative concept was just to make a video and do whatever we want, to let the riders, filmers, and editors do what they want. We tried to not take too many things seriously, in very serious times. When it comes down to it, besides the snowboarding, Jon Stark, Matt Roberge, Eli Olson, Dave Steigerwald and Ian boll are the true creative geniuses.
Did the responsibilities ever get intense at all?
Looking back, there was quite a few “intense” moments of last season in certain ways. But when it came to Rendered we were just going. Everyone just wanted to snowboard all the time, which leads to filming all the time, which leads to a movie. So, the movie responsibilities were intensely awesome, yes.
You guys gave some opportunity to some young guns, seems like it's already pushed some budding careers. Rewarding to see?
Those guys are going to get everything they deserve. And they deserve the world.
Keeping NH as a home base the last couple of years was a different move than most. What were the benefits of being back East?
It’s hard to leave that area. So many close friends, incredible resort riding, Loon, LMP, inspirations, The Hamlet, The Studio 317, Club Garage, Portsmouth, snowboarding, skating, surfing, music. All of it, fun times.
How'd you decide to make the move to SLC?
It was a very sporadic decision to move out West. Christian Builung and Gravedi99er were planning on moving out here for a while and I was on the fence. Then I came out here for the Rendered Useless premiere in Salt Lake City and have been skating and boarding almost every day since. Now I have a house here. It all just happened so fast. This place is incredible though. I just took an avalanche course that Brighton Resort and Pat Moore put on. Really excited to keep learning about aspects of snowboarding I haven’t gotten to explore that much yet.
You've traveled quite a bit with Pat Moore in the last few years, what's it like working with him?
It’s really fun traveling with Pat. He gives me shit sometimes, but he’s really supportive and always trying to help me out somehow. It’s been fun as hell snowboarding with him the last few days here in Utah. We had an insane quarterpipe session on some snow piles at Brighton the other day with a bunch of people.
His tactic is quite different than yours. What do you guys do to keep each other psyched while out on those trips?
When we were in Salt Lake city filming for Mr. Plant, Scott Blum, Pat and I were staying in Seth Huot’s basement for a couple weeks. We spent the entire time watching all of Seth’s old snowboard VHS videos along with Flip Sorry. Good times.
What has your average day looked like since it started snowing in SLC?
They all vary. It all sort of depends on who in the house is waking up who, but we generally get up around 8:00am, make breakfast and put on our snowboard stuff, then we go to Dunkin' Donuts down the road because both of my roommates work there and we get free coffee. Then we head up to Brighton to ride the resort or the Bone Zone ’till close. After riding there’s been so much to do, whether it’s play music at Andrew Aldridge’s, skate, or just socialize. For the most part, we just hang at the house and make sure we’re well rested to board the next day. It’s been too fun to waste energy on anything else.