Monday, February 6, 2012

Red Bull Supernatural Comp & Judge Mel Simmons: BSA Industry Interview

Travis Rice & friends Gigi & Nico. Winning... Photo: Christian Pondella

"It's a game changer for sure. Bringing in the best of the best to battle it out before a panel of snowboardings' acclaimed legends? Next level". (Mel Simmons, 2012)

Mel Simmons is a cool human being.  Read on...

Hometown?

Queenstown, NZ

What 3 things do you love most about snowboarding?

The places, the people, the vibe.

What are the best & worst things about judging snowboarding comps?

The best part is the progression we get to witness, up close & personal. The worst is when the results don't roll the way the coaches/parents/riders want & things get ugly.

Who's your favourite rider & why?

Of all-time? Or here at Supernatural - Gigi Rüff - his riding speaks for itself, he's such a charger & he's one of the loveliest humans you'll ever have the pleasure of hangin' with. My all-time fave rider is my homeslice Will Jackways - for pretty much the same reasons as Gigi…

How did you feel about being invited to judge the inaugural RedBull Supernatural Comp at Baldface BC?

I was FIZZING. Froth factor was off the richter. I seriously thought someone was fucking with me. I got an email from "TOM BURT",  introducing himself & asking if I MIGHT be available for the window. I didn't respond at first, then Liam Griffin emailed to confirm & I was all "Oh that shit was legit?!?" needless to say I was for sure going to be available for that window… It was a lottery draw - actually. I was one of a bunch of names in the mix for the role as Assistant Head Judge & I came out trumps. So pumped. It's such a privilege to be here. Moderating a panel of judges that consists of Tom Burt, Andy Hetzel, Temple Cummins, Shin Campos & Bryan Iguchi? The highlight of my career for sure.

What's the atmosphere like there?

Out riding, the atmosphere is pure STOKE. It's so sick. Loungin' at the lodge, the vibe is so chill, for the most almost everyone involved in the event are good buddies, if they weren't beforehand - they are now… 

What do you think about this comp concept?

It's a game changer for sure. Bringing in the best of the best to battle it out before a panel of snowboardings' acclaimed legends? Next level. The format itself with the combination of freeride & freestyle elements is something I'd love to see more of in snowboarding competition. 

Where do you see snowboarding in 10 years time?

With the way snowboarding is progressing right now? I couldn't begin to try to answer that. I couldn't even take a stab at where it's going to be in 10 months let alone a decade. All I can say is: all eyes on the rookies…

Could a huge tweaked method score higher than a double-cork? 

SHIT CHEA! In my books hells yeah.

DCP and his own method. Photo: Christian Pondella


Who are you looking forward to see ride at the Supernatural comp? (who's currently killing it?)

All of them. They're all legends. Every one of them. Even the judges could have a shot at winning this - straight up.

What are your thoughts on energy drinks companies & their association within snowboarding? 

Being that I'm here on Redbulls' dime? Oh, they're great! Everyone should drink 'em! Yuuuuurr… Seriously though, they've made themselves a place in elite level extreme sports in affording athletes & event organizers alike, the means to get where they want to be & that's great. At this level, it's difficult trying to get that kind of support from other sources & if these companies are keen to bankroll, I have nothing against that. I'm just not into edc's sponsoring rookie events or younger generation riders though. Watching a 10yr old inhale a can of that shit before dropping into a slope run, just ain't cool. I've witnessed this. On multiple occasions. & it blows…

Any Mel Simmons words of wisdom for your fellow snowboarders?

Life's short, make it amazing… fucking SEND IT.

Bonus question: Woukd you have scored Shaun Whites' recent X Games halfpipe run a 100 out of 100 if you were judging ?

Nup. 98 from me. Without a doubt, a SUPER sick run for sure though he lost a lil amplitude on his backDub12 & I saw those hands on the last hit buddy…



John Jackson boosting at Baldface.  Photo: Christian Pondella

Interview by Adam Bowcutt