How have things changed for you since you signed with Red Bull?
It’s cool just to see the support that they give their athletes. If you come up with an idea or if there is something they can do to help their athletes, they are in it 100 percent. We are shooting our webisodes right now, and they come out every other Wednesday. It’s just cool to have their support. We’re doing a lot of stuff in the Spring. I’m definitely happy with the choice and I’m stoked for the future.
What’s the Red Bull team like?
Red Bull has premier athletes in every sport that they touch. They have Blake Griffin, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, DeMarcus Ware, Robbie Maddison, Ryan Sheckler, Simon Dumont, Tanner Hall. Everybody. They do stuff with people at the top of their sport and it’s cool to see that. Robbie Maddison has done three Red Bull No Limits on New Year’s. Those are just ideas he comes up with, takes it to Red Bull, and they do it. They make his ideas and dreams a reality. It’s cool to have a company that really listens to any idea. That Crashed Ice that they do, like c’mon! Who would ever thought you could make that happen. They’re into it. If they think it's going to be cool, they make it happen. It’s really rare but awesome to have a company that is more than a sticker. It’s a partnership.
How has the snowboarding scene changed?
It’s definitely a lot more mainstream now. It’s not necessarily good or bad. It was always such a rebellious sport. You could party hard and snowboard hard. Where the tricks have gone, you have to take it a bit more serious. It’s a lifestyle, more of who I am than what I do. Yeah, I train for it and work out, but I do it to be a better snowboarder and to be able to snowboard more and more. If I have to go to the gym, then that’s what I’m going to do. As long as there are people who care about their sport and want a say in it, then it’ll be in good hands.
We were able to talk to Sarah Burke right before her accident. Did you have any sort of relationship with her, and how were the X Games with that?
She was such a personable person. You'd see her at all the contests. I was friends with her. I wasn’t super close, but always said hi. With Dew Tour being snowboarding and skiing and most of the contests I do the same way, we saw each other a bit. She was such a genuine person and had such a beautiful smile and was just friendly to everybody. It was nice to see everybody come together at X Games. It was nice to see her family there and see the support and the effect that she had on the entire action sports world, not just skiing. There was a crazy outpouring of love and support.
Talk about your performance in the X Games.
I felt like I took one step back to take two steps forward. I went in there and did a run that I wanted to be the first person to do four doubles in a row, because it’s never been done before. I did it, but I messed up at the end and didn’t get my last hit in. It’s X Games; I don’t go there to do a third-place run. Who goes to a contest and is like, “Yeah, I’m going to go for third place.” It was something that was a risk that I wanted to take. It gave me taste of what I wanted it to be.
What was your personal reaction, what was the atmosphere like when Shaun White did his final run?
I think it was a little ridiculous that they gave him 100. You’re pretty much putting a cap on the progression of snowboarding. I think it was a little too much. He put down a good run. 100 shouldn’t be possible because snowboarding is always evolving. You should never be putting a cap on the progression. They didn’t need to do that. He had a 94, and his run was like a 20% difference in score. I’m pretty sure he hand-dragged. He put down an amazing run, but I just don’t think you should ever be able to get a 100 in snowboarding.
How is he viewed?
A lot of us have grown up together and are super close, but he’s never really hung out with our crews, so I can’t really speak on him. He’s always been doing his own stuff. That’s my political answer. [Laughs.]
You took second at Killington. What’s your plan for this last Dew Tour stop?
I’ve got two second-place finishes at the first two Dew Tour stops. I just want to go in and put down a run I’m happy with. If I put down a good run, then I have a feeling I’ll do well. I can’t control what anybody else does or what the judges do. If I do a run I’m happy with, that’s all I can control.
Vito will be signing autographs and meeting fans at the Team Toyota Tent in Festival Village at the Toyota Championships in Ogden, Utah. Stop by the Toyota Tent on Saturday from 2:30-3:30 to meet him.
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