Few athletes push the boundaries of fear like snowboarders. And few snowboarders seek shots of adrenaline like Travis Rice.
Rice is one of the snowboarders featured in a new documentary called The Art of FLIGHT, a Curt Morgan film presented by Red Bull Media House in association with Brain Farm Digital Cinema. The movie follows Rice and his buddies around the world looking for untouched mountains to ride.
“We pretty much kept it to the Americas, tip to tip,” says Rice. “We went from deep up in Alaska to the extreme southern tip of South America, southern Chilean Patagonia.”
Rice and his pals sought out mountain ranges that had never been ridden before. Being first is one of the thrills that keeps them seeking new challenges. “So much of what we do is looking for unique variables to come together underneath Mother Nature’s roof,” Rice says. “We’re constantly looking for snow conditions and specific terrain.”
Each location they visited added a story to the film project. “Every mountain range is a little different,” Rice says. “You have unique weather patterns, jet streams, the elevation . . . there’s all these factors.”
Rice admits that confronting the unknown scares many athletes, but he appreciates the value of fear to anyone who loves to compete. “Do I still get scared? Sure,” he says. “Of course, it’s natural. I think that in general, you kind of have to make it your ally, make it your friend. Because it’s there for a reason.”
It’s been a busy year for Rice. Besides the movie, he will be featured as the only real-life snowboarder in the latest SSX video game, produced by EA Sports and scheduled for release in February 2012. “It’s a little surreal, it’s cool,” Rice says. “I think they did a great job, and quite frankly I definitely got the best-looking character.” He’s stoked for others to play the snowboarding video game. “It’s got an awesome, much more realistic feel.”