Austin Smith is a dude. As well as having circular skills that allow him to bag super versatile video parts (most recently his strong opener in Videograss' Retrospect), he's also real down-to-earth, and you're quickly aware that in this day and age where snowboarding's shuffling round confused as to whether it's a still a core sport or a mass-market primetime TV product to flog stuff off the back of, he has a clear opinions on what is important. Case in point: his and good friend Bryan Fox's Drink Water campaign, which you'll be able to read more about here shortly.
We caught up with Austin at the recent Videograss premiere in Munich and hit him with a High 5...
TOP 5 SNOWBOARDER OF ALL TIME
Oh my god… I hate that question because I have an incredibly bad memory, I’ve hit my head too many times. So this is on the spot, but for me now that I’ve gotten older it’s changed a lot from the people that I’ve met and gotten to know their personalities: that has really influenced my favourite snowboarders. It’s made some great snowboarders even better and some great snowboarders maybe a little less cool in some aspects. Like Louie Vito… I mean NOT Louie Vito (laughs), Louie Fountain – they’re way different (laughs) – Louie Fountain. Awesome dude, best dude ever so he’s definitely up there. Lukas Huffman. He helped me out a lot and let me film with his movie ir77 and is an amazing dude so he’s definitely up there. Andrew Crawford… is just one of a kind, total badass, awesome snowboarder, awesome human. And then just more like strictly snowboarding I really looked up to David Benedek when I was a kid. His parts were always really well-rounded: he had backcountry, he had halfpipe, he had rails and when I was a kid I always thought that was cool when people could snowboard on everything so I kind of tried to do that which is becoming less and less I feel like these days. You have to become more specific. One more… This answer is a little longer than you were expecting… It might be Gigi Rüf. I always looked up to him when I was a kid cause Gigi was so young, or at least he looked young – in Happy Hour he looked like he was like 12 at the time and I was like ‘Who is this kid?! How is he so good?!’ And then he’s just continued to be a pretty rad dude. That’ll work for 5. Or Josh Dirksen, he’s pretty great too.
TOP 5 AWESOME GUYS TO RIDE WITH
One of those would definitely be Jake Price. I don’t know if he’s internet famous enough for people to know who that is. He’s the Volcom filmer, he helped make the Robot Food movies and ir77 and December and now the Volcom stuff (like 9191) and he’s one of my best friends. Beyond that, Bryan Fox. He’s an awesome dude. Curtis Ciszek, he’s probably my best friend, always have fun with him. And then… Knut Eliasen. That’s probably number one dude in the world maybe. He’s got the best attitude and the most talented snowboarder also but he’s had a hard time showing it. One year though he’s gonna blow the fuck up. One more… Lucas Debari. He gave me my first snowboard and taught me how to snowboard basically. So he’s a good friend, good times, he charges. He’s a maniac.
TOP 5 SKETCHIEST SITUATIONS YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN INTO
This one’s gonna be tricky with my shitty memory. One through ten is hitting my head and not remembering what happened the following three days (laughs). I haven’t really had any good avalanche scares, which I like, and then my injuries. Although they’ve been pretty shitty they’ve all been boring. Just blown-out knees. Erm… I’m just pretty loose in general so I roll with the punches when it gets sketchy and I just bring on the sketchiness. Let it roll.
TOP 5 TRICKS OF ALL TIME
Number one is turning. It’s probably my favourite trick. And I’m not that good at it, that’s why I like it so much. Curtis Ciszek and Josh Dirksen are incredible at turning and it really is harder than it looks to make it look as good as they do. Then… probably just like a lot of normal tricks like Methods, backside 7s are super fun cause they’re really easy and you can just do them off anything kind of. I like to hit rails sometimes… I don’t know. Just sliding the rail, that’s a good trick (laughs) , turning in powder, doing some spinny things and then just getting upside down. I try to make it a daily thing to get upside down at least once. It just keeps you excided, keeps you on your toes.
TOP 5 SNOWBOARD MOVIES OF ALL TIME
I think my first snowboard movie… I lived at Mount Baker so I bought a lot of local videos and you’re pretty focussed on Mount Baker cause you think it’s the best, which it is, so I was pretty focussed on just that area. But my first main movie was probably The Revival, that was a really good one, and then Optigrab… I really liked that one. That was probably like the last Standard Film really that I liked, unfortunately. Some Kind of Life, that’s a little newer – that was one of my favourites, and the definitely one of Benedek’s movies like 91 Words for Snow. I thought the GAP Session was awesome too, just because it was such a simple idea and they made a really good movie of what they had. And then the latest one is The Rascals. Bryan [Fox] and Scotty [Wittlake]’s movie. That’s top 5. Just cause of how crazy everything is getting right now; Travis is making 15 million dollar movies and everything is getting so serious and so crazy and they just did a good job of bringing it back a few notches and keeping it true. It’s a very honest movie, just a couple dudes who picked up a video camera and wanted to go snowboarding every day and they did a good job of showing that.