We sat down to talk all things surf and snow with Travis Rice, Bryan Fox, Austen Sweetin & Miles Fallon
Powder turns, deep corduroy cuts and side hits – surfing the mountain is a feeling like no other. With that in mind, it seems somehow fitting that Quiksilver, a brand with its roots deeply embedded in both surfing and snowboarding, has decided to emphasise the euphoric feeling that connects boardsports by naming their new collection ‘Surf The Mountain’.
Quiksilver’s snow team is stacked with some of the best individuals to ever strap in. The combined creativity of the riders, and the distinct personal styles they bring to the mixer, speaks volumes for the brand’s versatility. From dressing backcountry enthusiasts to park lappers, and everything in between, Quiksilver’s roster demonstrates to the world that they’re a brand that really knows what they’re doing.
We sat down with Travis Rice, Bryan Fox, Austen Sweetin and Miles Fallon to talk about the new ‘Surf the Mountain’ campaign, and what influence surfing and snowboarding has had in their lives.
Hey guys! You’re currently out on the team trip with Quiksilver. I bet it’s been a lot of fun?
Travis: We’ve basically been living the Quiksilver dream out here. Surfing and snowboarding. It’s been good.
Quiksilver’s new campaign is called ‘Surf the Mountain’. How would you say surfing has affected your snowboarding style and vice versa?
Miles: I think surfing is my biggest inspiration to snowboarding.
Travis: Surfing and snowboarding complements each other. If you only do one, you’re looking at a very imbalanced physique. I think the ocean and surfing is great therapy for the patterns that snowboarding calls for, and vice versa.
Austen: You’re going into the mountains, you’re going into the ocean. It’s a great way to express yourself and see what you’re capable of because you’re teaming everything up. It’s not like skateboarding where you’re in the city or an urban environment with a lot of chaos. Surfing and snowboarding is more about finding some peace.
Bryan: Now when I’m older I feel like it’s pretty amazing that a storm creates this swell and then the swell travels through the ocean, hits the ocean floor and you stand up on it. It’s pretty magical and it’s the same with riding powder. Rarely can we interact with nature in a way that makes us part of it and not part from it.
Do you feel like you can bring your style from surfing into snowboarding?
Bryan: I surfed before I ever snowboarded. I grew up in southern California, so I’d say part of the reason why I love snowboarding is because it’s so much “easier” than surfing. For me, it felt like I could have the control and speed that I wanted on a surfboard.
Do you guys ever get to surf with the Quiksilver surf team and vice versa?
Austen: It’s really cool to be in the mountains with the guys from the Quik surf team, and see how foreign it [snowboarding] is to them. It’s a whole new way of riding the board. And then once we get in the ocean it’s the complete opposite so we kind of share this common interest of learning a “new” form of board riding, to expand our skills and to progress together.
Is there anything in particular you notice when you see the surfers hit the mountains? A specific style or trait that might come from surfing?
Travis: Anyone who’s at that level on the surf crew is so dialed in. They’re specialists chasing the heaviest of the conditions and knowing how to deal with it. It’s really easy to communicate when you bring them to the mountains. They get it, they understand what it is, what we do and how we’re trying to approach it. I think it’s a lot of shared respect for the environment.
Travis’s career has been defined by pushing boundaries in snowboarding. When riding at such an advanced level in uncertain conditions, being able to rely on your outerwear is obviously important.
Together with Quiksilver, Travis has been able to help develop two different collections that complement his riding style: The T. Rice signature collection and the HighLine Pro collection. We asked him what he loves about the collections and what’s gone into creating them.
Travis: It’s a collection that’s based on twenty years of experience from my side and all of the experience from the Quiksilver team that is building and designing the apparel. It’s about trying to find wisdom versus reckless decision making because undoubtedly, we humans have to base our positions on past experiences.
How do you feel like the collection has evolved with your riding?
Travis: It’s evolved through the range. I used to ride alot more park and some street trips and my needs back then in terms of what I wanted from style and technical performance were very different from what they are today. Today I’m looking for the absolute best technical performance garments that work as armour in the backcountry: you go out before the sun gets up and get home once the sun goes down and you see everything between.
The 3L collection is about full commitment on winter days and being prepared for anything. It’s got this super comfortable over the shoulder upper bib component and it’s got super functional huge bibs, great pockets. The material can bounce off trees or scrape against rocks but is light enough to be super manoeuvrable and not restrictive. It’s got a loose enough fit that I can layer underneath.
Known for his light-on-his-feet float, Bryan Fox is a keen surfer who’s transferred his passion for surfing into clean lines and smooth turns in the deep. With surf-inspired lines and patience gained from endless hours in the water, Bryan hunts for the turns that feel good, which is exactly that feeling he looks for in his outerwear too.
Bryan: I don’t want to be restricted in my movement. I wear baggier clothes just so I don’t feel my outerwear because I don’t want to be hindered by it at all. Subtle colours, waterproofing and breathability, that’s other things I value. I’ve been on the Quiksilver team for a long time and I have always been pleased with what I wear.
Right now I’m wearing the Mission Gore-Tex jacket which is at a price point that I feel comfortable telling my friends that it is a very good option for a Gore-tex jacket that won’t cost you a month’s worth of wages. Together with that, I wear the Altostratus bib pants that have years of development gone into them. And then I also wear the Forever jacket.
Basically, I do appreciate anything Gore-Tex. I mostly snowboard when the conditions are premium so you need to be geared at a certain premium to protect you from the elements. If you pick the wrong clothes, in some dramatic scene it is life or death. A lot of times we go into places where preparations are vital and for you to be able to enjoy your day, you need good outerwear, good layering, good socks… That’s something where surfing and snowboarding relate too: if you have good gear, you’re going to enjoy yourself more than if you have bad gear. All things are not created equal.
Austen Sweetin and Miles Fallon are ambassadors for Quiksilver’s High Altitude line. The collection is known for its bold colours, retro prints and boxy oversized fit, and draws its inspiration from Quiksilver’s 90’s heritage – a perfect style for the energetic duo.
Are you guys excited about the new collection?
Miles: Yes! There are jackets with removable hoods and all the pieces in the line go together so you can mix and match which is really sick.
Austen: There’s a little bit of flavour for everyone. The Flame On Fleece is my personal favourite in the collection. It’s got no cuffs so it’s nice on the wrists and not too tight on the neck. It also fits very nicely underneath the jacket.
Known for his high-octane energy and a raw, spontaneous style that is yet controlled and considered, Austen’s personal riding style is reflected in his outerwear. The Dominate Gore-Tex jacket and the Snow Down Gore-Tex pant not only do a good job at catching your eye but thanks to the Gore-Tex material they keep the rider dry through the turns as well.
Austen, you’re known to be a bit of a speed demon (you absolutely SENT IT at the Natural Selection on that natural hit!). Would you say your riding style reflects your personality off the mountain too?
Austen: I think that the best way to express yourself is to just let it all go, let loose, go crazy. On a snowboard, I found that going fast and going big doesn’t always work out. It’s more about those moments when it all connects and makes you feel really good. It’s this feeling I am constantly chasing and for some reason, I just like going fast. I’m a pretty energetic person and that probably translates into why I fell in love with riding boards as much as I do.
What I love about my current kit is that it’s pretty simple. The pants are a single colour, they’ve got two pockets on the side, and honestly, that is kind of all I need in a pair of pants. The jacket is really lightweight and Gore-Tex so it keeps me dry. It’s a good everyday kit.
Miles is known for always rocking a massive smile on his face and the super positive vibes he gives off. It’s only been a year and a bit since Miles joined the Quiksilver team, and he’s already become a part of the family.
This is the second year you get to represent the High Altitude collection together with Austen. How was it to go back out to film with Austen for this year’s collection?
Miles: It was sick. We went to the Snowking resort in North America and were just hitting side hits and little jibs.
What are you currently wearing from the High Altitude line?
Miles: I’m currently wearing the Live Wire jacket and the Snow Down pant. It’s a great kit in terms of tech and it looks sick too. It’s loud and definitely inspired by the past. Every time I go up the hill everyone keeps on telling me it’s a dope kit.
Whether you’re all about backcountry missions, park laps, casually cruising, or a little bit of all three, Quiksilver’s collection caters for the needs of everyone.
Check out the new collection on Surfdome here.