Interview: Louie Vito Talks His Friendship with Yelawolf, Shaun White's Perfect Run, & the X Games

Interview: Louie Vito Talks His Friendship with Yelawolf, Shaun White's Perfect Run, & the X Games
Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito started his path to stardom in an unlikely place. He grew up in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where his first ski resort consisted of a 300-vertical-foot "mountain." His dad owns a radio station and his mom owns a jazzercise studio. Not the typical recipe for an action sports phenom, right? Vito, now 23 and living in Salt Lake City, eventually found a more fitting home in Vermont where he went to high school and developed his talents on east coast mountains. 
 
He's now one of the most versatile and well-liked top snowboarders, able to excel in slopestyle, pipe, back-country, and on the rails. He barely missed history in the 2012 Winter X Games this past month by missing his landing on back-to-back-to-back-to-back doubles, but is coming off two second-place finishes in the Dew Tour and is looking to grab that first this weekend at the Toyota Championships in Utah. He was nice enough to take some time with Complex and talk about his developing relationship with budding rapper Yelawolf, his experience doing ESPN The Magazine's body issue, and why he thinks neither Shaun White nor anybody else should ever get a perfect 100 in the X Games. 

What’d you think of the Super Bowl?
I’m not a huge Eli Manning fan for some reason, but I like [Victor] Cruz and [Hakeem] Nicks, and they got a player named Chase Blackburn that is from the town next to me in Ohio. One of our family friends is married to him. I was happy it wasn’t a blowout. Watching championship games in any sport if it’s a blowout is just a bummer. It was a good game, and I was happy with the outcome. I made some friendly bets that ended up paying out.

How’d you pick the Giants?
My dad is from upstate New York, so growing up before I had my own team to pick, I was always New York. I like the Giants defense. I like teams with good defense. I’m a Bengals fan if I have to choose, but because I didn’t have a team, I picked New York. I went to school in Vermont, so there were a lot of New England fans and I was tired of hearing about the Pats and Red Sox, so I had to stick with New York. Whoever I’ve been rooting for lately has been losing, so I got a little nervous. I have been having the worst luck and I wasn’t sure if I should say something on Twitter. It was one of those things where I was happy with the game, but it would have been nice to mix it up a little instead of New York and New England again.

Did you watch the halftime show?
We didn’t really watch it, but I saw an awkward moment between Madonna and LMFAO, and I was like what is going on right now!? You gotta give LMFAO props, though. The Super Bowl? That’s big. And MIA too, she’s big and all, but I never would have expected that. It was cool. Personally, I think that was a good move for her flippin’ off the camera and everything. I can’t knock their hustle.

What is your go-to song or artist?
I go through phases, but right now, I've been running Yelawolf’s stuff. I’ve been listening to a lot of Meek Mill. I think I have maybe five songs of his on my playlist. From that song with Jim Jones, that one with B.o.B. on his latest mixtape and some off that Dreamchasers.

We’re big fans of Yelawolf here, too.
Yeah, we’ve been snowboarding a few times. I brought out Yelawolf during Christmas time in Colorado and then we went to Utah. He’s been snowboarding quite a bit and is super stoked to do it. It’s really cool to have an artist you listen to doing your sport.

How’d you get involved with him?
He was friends with Rob Dyrdek and the Fantasy Factory, so I saw him a couple times one summer. He was on tour with Wiz and he came to Utah, and I talked to him and we saw each other around. We had the same mutual friends. I talked to him about snowboarding and I had an X Games party that he performed at. It’s been about a year and a half to two years now that I’ve known him. I just really back his music, and to see how big he’s gotten is awesome, because he’s still the same person. His shows are amazing. I hate going to a show where people are rapping over their lyrics and then talk to somebody midway through the song. His shows are so good and it’s cool to see. He’s picking up a huge following now.

It was a great move for Shady to pick him up.
Nobody is going to want anything to do with Shady Records. Nobody should ever say anything about them. You can’t mess with them. With Slaughterhouse, Eminem, and Yelawolf on there, nobody would survive. Everybody needs to keep their mouths shut.
 
Tags: louie-vito, dew-tour, winter-x-games
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