Head Injuries, Art, and Snowboarding With Scotty Vine
The first time I ever heard of Scotty Vine was when someone introduced me to a completely unknown SoCal movied called Pheel This. He had the ender and it was just put together so well and captured his style so well I found myself watching it over and over. To this day that DVD gets more play than anything else in my collection. Whenever Scotty does something I will completely drop what I’m doing to see what it is. That’s why I’m stoked Dan was able to get this interview with him done. -Avran
Hey Scotty how have things been going?
Scotty: Good, I’ve just been researching things online the last few days exercising my
Ah nice well lets get right into it then because that’s one of the things I wanted to ask you about. Lets talk about your head injury …
Scotty: So my head injury was on July 15th of 2011. Previous to that I had never had a head injury that traumatic before, and it took three week just for me to be cleared to drive. It took about four and a half months for me to be cleared of the post concussion syndrome effects that linger after that. So during that process I began researching ways to improve and strengthen cognitive functions that I felt I had lost from that measure of time from not being able to function normally and started living healthier because of it. I adjusted my lifestyle, started exercising better, eating healthier, and wearing a helmet now for the rest of my career and really just learned a lot about head injuries and never want to have another one of that severity again.
Yeah I joined the helmet club too this season…
Scotty: Yeah it won’t necessarily prevent a concussion, but it could save my life if I’m hitting a rail or something…
So how did that injury affect the way you viewed your snowboarding? Like getting over that mental block of hitting the bigger things you have to hit as a professional?
Scotty: Well the injury happened as I was coaching and it was a pretty basic thing, a front three off a rail, and I just got off balance and didn’t really fall properly. Its just something that happens on smaller features where you don’t think you’ll get hurt. I was able to jump back into it in the winter with no issue at all. I wasn’t afraid of another head injury because the human brain can heal 100% from brain injuries so I didn’t feel like it was affecting my riding at all.
When I started doing some research for this interview I noticed that your are pretty artistic across multiple mediums music, visual, do you consider snowboarding part of your art..
Scotty: I do consider snowboarding an art because it’s a display of style and technicality. Just as you see different versions of art and styles of music there’s always different ways of expressing things to get a point across or to I guess put on a show essentially to put out a piece of work and use that to sell product eventually. Snowboarding is something that’s helped me grow as a person and I think its one of the best forms of art out there in the world. The best means of self-expression that I’ve ever found.
Ok then obviously now you are a professional snowboarder but lets say hypothetically what would happen if some other art form that you do now suddenly took off… like what if your music suddenly became super popular or your artwork became sought after would you pursue one of those avenues more seriously?
Scotty: Um I think that if something did pick up I’d still wait on it because snowboarding you can only do professionally at today’s levels for only a certain amount of time before your body starts to deteriorate. So eventually I’m going to have to stop snowboarding, but not for years, and if something else did pick up I could pursue that later. For now snowboarding comes first, I’ve spent over half my life trying to make it work.
And you’re actually going to school now right? What are you studying in school?
Scotty: I’m going to school for business marketing. I hope to get my education done before I’m done riding professionally and eventually find a company that I really believe in and start working on the industry side more.
Do you find that there are a lot more people doing that now. Like it seems back in the day few people were going to school and now it seems like everybody is balancing school and professional snowboarding. Does it seem like balancing snowboarding professionally and school has become easier?
Scotty: Hmmm I would actually disagree.. I think the most successful people put off education till close to the end of their career. Its been a slow process for me but you see others that seem to be able to do it like it was a breeze. It’s a big accomplishment, there’s a lot of time demanded for producing enough content as a professional rider. I will just be happy to finish, even I have to wait until after my career, as long as I’m taking steps towards it I’m happy.
Speaking of making content for yourself as a professional snowboarder you’ve released online video parts the last few years. Do you prefer that over working with a production company or do you just kind of go with whatever comes along?
Scotty: That’s funny because I’ve been asked that question quite a bit lately. What I’ve found is that releasing videos online seems to get a lot more attention because everybody has a phone or computer that they can look up the video online. It just works numbers wise because a company that produces a DVD they don’t get as many views. You even see more and more companies release full parts online after the DVD is released. What I’d like to do is work with a company that does that so I could still work with a crew. Working with a crew has significant value compared to going out and working alone. Knowledge of spots, working with people who are available vs working with a single group for a long period of time for example. Eventually I’d like to find a solid crew and do it that way but for now this is what’s working and I get to meet a lot of interesting and talented people doing it this way too.
Switching gears a bit I want to talk about Arbor for a hot second. So right now I’m riding Arbor boards, specifically the Westmark but five years ago if you had told me I’d be on Arbor product I would have said you were nuts. How did you come into the company and what were your initial thoughts about bringing your style of riding to a traditionally big mountain type of company?
Scotty: When I joined Arbor (this is my third season) it was after getting dropped from my then sponsor and I was stuck looking for a company with just a couple of months before the season started. I didn’t know what to do and Brad (Farmer) approached me with this offer to try Arbor and I really didn’t know too much about them but I was friends with Nick Visconti and knew he rode for them and thought it could be a good option. So I sat down with Brad and had a good discussion about plans/expectations and it kind of took off from there. Brad kind of took the whole team and really started a connection between the teammates that helped us promote each other and the brand at the same time. It just started growing and it was based on relationships within the team with everyone getting along really well and trying to make things work.
The company really was able to become a core market brand and branch out from the big mountain riding and created their rocker system and grip-tech and it just really works. The riders really like it and a lot of Arbors design process comes from feedback of the team. It took some time but with the tech and team momentum over the last few years they’ve really been able to create a good thing with it. They focus on the absolute best boards that they can make and then make them in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
So as the season is just really getting into gear what plans do you have?
Scotty: Well my plans are just coming together. I’m waiting to hear back on filming projects but I’d like to spend some time in Washington this year and get into some more back country. I took a break from the back country last year due to the slow snow season. I have a lot of high hopes for the season and I’d like to get a lot done and incorporate more team members from other brands I ride for. Help them get shots and help myself at the same time…
Ok well be fore we go, speaking of other sponsors, why don’t you give us your thank you’s and shout outs to everyone important…
Scotty: Well Angrysnowboarder for one, and all my sponsors for sure because without them it wouldn’t be possible to go out and have fun on the shred stick: Arbor Snowboards, Bear Mountain, Flux, Aerial7, Active Ride Shop, Elm Company, and a new edition Sandbox Helmets.
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