Chatting with the Pros: Freestyle Boarder and Music Enthusiast Scott Stevens on the Evolution of the Snowboarding Industry

Published on 04/20/2023 · 32 min readCurated Expert Kat Miller sits down with freestyle snowboarder Scott Stevens to talk everything snowboarding and the evolution of the sport over the last 20 years!
Kat Miller, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Kat Miller

Photo from ThirtyTwo's short film, Scott Stevens A Day in the Live 2021

Meet Scott “Sleepy” Stevens: one of the most talented skateboarders-turned-freestyle snowboarders of our generation and a tenured team rider for CAPiTA, Union, Coal, Smith, and ThirtyTwo. Scott has changed the snowboarding narrative and reminds us that if you aren’t having fun, you’re not doing it right! You may know him from his appearances in Think Thank’s “Right Brain Left Brain” and “Stack Footy” or, more recently, ThirtyTwo’s “T32M.”

Scott started his professional snowboarding career nearly 20 years ago, and I had the opportunity to sit down with him, talk about the evolution of the snowboarding industry, his journey from rafting and climbing and cross-country skiing with his family, to skateboarding and snowboarding, and what is next in his career!

I was so excited to sit down with someone who has been an idol of mine since I started snowboarding, and I have been watching his film features and YouTube videos for the duration of his career. Not only is he an unreal snowboarder, but he is genuinely one of the most down-to-earth guys I’ve had the pleasure of talking to and crushing it as a husband and dad to his two daughters, Violet and Elsie, who are destined to be the future of snowboarding!

I'd love to get the chance to pick your brain with some introductory softballs to give everyone a chance to get to know you if they’re not familiar with your background. Maybe you could start by telling us a little bit about yourself: where you grew up, your home mountains, where you call home now, and where you're riding these days.

It's crazy because so much time has passed, and it's pretty shocking how long I've been doing this. I kind of forgot because I just got caught up in it. But yeah, it all started with cross-country skiing.

My parents were really outdoorsy. They were married in a cave, and they did a lot of wild caving. They took me rock climbing and rafting on class five and six water when I was a kid, which I did not want to do! I was terrified of falling out of the raft. They ran a business, actually, [focused on] repelling, kayaking, caving, rock climbing, and all that seems like another lifetime for me.

My dad would take us cross-country skiing. When you're a kid, it's boring. I wasn't really looking for cardio. Now, cross-country skiing is absolutely the best thing I could do with my dogs and stuff. So we were cross-country skiing in '91 and '92, and then he would take us ice climbing too.

At the very end of '94, we went snowboarding, and it was a mountain called Mount Tom, and we got lessons [there]. It wasn't easy at first. I was like, “Whoa, I know how to cross-country ski. What am I doing this for?” I liked the culture. It looked cool. But I was like, “Man, I'm going to need to really focus on getting good at this.” Eventually, it clicked. You get around the right friends that are interested too. And then skiing was just left in the dust, unfortunately.

Hey, there's no judgment here. I also ditched it! That's a great start to another question for you—do you remember the first time you went snowboarding? What made you fall in love with it?

The first time was a lesson at Mount Tom, which was frustrating, and that was with my dad. And then I took a lesson at another mountain called Blandford, which is now closed [as well]. When I got the lesson at Blandford, it was just night and day. I'm going down and not initiating turns, but I was like, “Oh, I love this.” And I remember looking [at the hill]—and this would've been the mid-’90s—so I saw all these board graphics that I thought were so cool. Snowboarding in the mid-’90s was a pretty cool time that people are trying to emulate now. I'm talking fashion-wise, attitude, etc.

You see these jackets and these board shapes, and you're like, “Wow, it is all coming full circle.” If you live three or four decades, you will see it come back no matter what. It's a weird feeling, but at the same time, you're lucky to be a part of that cycle. I'm grateful. It's good seeing stuff come back around.

It's crazy to see brands like Kemper, which were huge in the ‘80s and ‘90s, bring out those retro topsheets again. Everyone's just biting into it and getting back on the Kemper train. Seeing the full circle happen is pretty unique because then you start aging yourself, and you're like, “Gosh, I'm in a second [re]cycle right now!”

Well, I have to come clean because I started in the mid-'90s, so Kemper was not a thing I saw on the East Coast. I love that you threw that out there [though] because Kemper was a big deal in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, so you know your stuff better than most people I talk to, so that's pretty fun! We can work with that!

What I saw on [the] hill as a little kid—and it's crazy because I would've been 10 years old—was Burtons because I was on the East Coast. Burton Twins, Burton, and whatever the Ouija board was. I saw Morrows and Sims, like the Noah's Arc board. Ironically, I mention the Noah's Arc board because I did a bite of the one with the skate trucks before that this year with CAPiTA and Zero and Jamie Thomas. I felt like, well, if I'm going to pay homage to something, I should do it as well as I can with a professional skateboarder endorsing it. Anyhow, it is a full-circle thing, like you said. I'm doing exactly that.

You're really known for having changed the industry and having this vision of freestyle riding that is unmatched—in my opinion and plenty of other people's as well. Is there a moment that you can recall in your career when you realized that you had a personal hand in that change of what was happening to the sport and what that could look like in the future?

Well, I can think of riders that completely changed my perspective because when you're a certain age, 10 to 15, I was literally enjoying it and catching snowboarding on television [on ESPN]. It was on a lot on the Outdoor Life Network; if people remember that, it was on there. So I wasn't logging the names [of] who I was seeing. I was just like, “This is so fun!” But as soon as I started following videos more and being a fanatic of the video thing—because when I got a Hi8 camera, it changed everything for me—I started watching videos and filming and just being obsessed with getting these clips.

One of the best parts [of filming] is when you catch something in the moment, and you can never recreate it again [on snow], but it's something you can watch repeatedly.

I just loved it. It added to everything about being a snowboarding fanatic because it fit in there so well. Although, the funny thing is, when I was young, we didn't film snowboarding a lot because it was so fun to do it, so I don't have that much archival footage of myself as a young snowboarder because it was cold and cameras were expensive. We have lots of skateboard footage because that was easier. But snowboarding, it was like, “No, we're here to release some energy.” None of your friends want to stand in the cold with a camera!

To a certain degree, for so long, I would see the level of snowboarding in the early 2000s and mid-2000s, and I was just like, “Dude, I'm not as good as these guys.” Chad Otterstroms, the Jeremy Jones, the Kevin Jones, and the David Benedicts. But I was like, “I love it.” So I would film my friends a lot, and I would get filmed, and then I would do my stuff skateboarding, and I was doing it anyway. Eventually, you’re going to get to a level where you have to be delusional and say, “Whatever, I'm just having fun doing it!”

But for me, [and] my riding, it had to take a different direction. And it wasn't a premeditated thing. I saw dudes like Jason Brown, who are doing things a little differently in the Mack Dawg movies and doing things differently was just newer, so fewer people were doing that. And people were just like, “I want to do a Cab 7, Cab 9.” 1080? 1080 is psycho. Who the hell's doing 1080?

And now you're talking about something that's relatively standard [in the freestyle world].

Yeah! And I was watching skateboarding exactly 50/50 with snowboarding. My skate and snowboard heroes are in the same spot; they're on the same tier. Although [with] snowboarding, we're recreating a lot of skateboarding, we have something different. If I do a boneless on a snowboard, it's still sick, it’s inspired, but this is the same thing. Not everybody sees it like that. And that's cool because some of the snowboarders who don't skateboard are some of my favorites. [But] I love those who do both, to be honest.

You touched on this a little bit, and I want to bring it back because I think it is super important. When you started growing up riding, who were some of those key inspirations [for you]? I heard you say Jeremy Jones, a bigger name, and now those people are household names alongside you. What did those influences do for you?

I love that question. Maybe a lot of people don't reference who they got inspired by, that I see. But that's super important to me. Here's a few that are my favorites. Travis Parker. When I saw his stuff in Robot Food, I remember it changed everything. It was awesome. I know he has influences, but he's a little elusive, so you don't really [know].

So Travis was doing natas spins on the trash can lid in that first Robot Food, and I was like, phff. I was living in Leadville, Colorado, and I was like, “Well, I'm going to steal a trash can lid and go do this.” And I did. I have footage of it. And at that point, I was 19 years old, so I didn't know what biting was. So I was just like, “Dude, these are my heroes in the video. I'm going to do exactly what they're doing.” And along the way, you pick up your stride. But yeah, Travis was huge.

JP Walker was huge, even though, I mean, it was really freaking hard to recreate JP, because I didn't have backcountry. He was doing backcountry and rails and doing so much.

Tadashi Fuse is really fun. Unfortunately, nobody talks about him as much as they probably should! He was so heavy for a little bit, riding backcountry and one-footing and being quirky.

Terje Haakonsen is who I think of when I think about snowboarding. I can't look like him or be as nimble as him, but I think everybody wants to be [like] Terje, Peter Liner, and Jamie Lynn.

I'm so caught up in that era. I have a hard time even thinking past the mid-2000s to now because I guess I was doing my own thing. I was with Burtner and my friends.

I should really talk about that because, for a while, it wasn't about those guys that I grew up with. It was our own thing with Gus Engles and Think Thank [a snowboarding film production company that mottos “progression through creativity”]. I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Think Thank because in 2004 or 2005, when I met Jesse [Burtner], he had an entry in to a video that had distribution, and if you didn't have that in, you couldn't upload to YouTube or Instagram. You were waiting for that big break.

A completely different playing field [with social media], yes?

It's crazy to talk about because back then, if Instagram were around, I would've been the type of kid that was like, “I'm going to go out, and I'm going to get a viral clip for Instagram. That's my goal. That's how I get noticed.”

Social media was barely even on the map yet, so it really speaks to what Think Thank is doing [with you] and having this opportunity for a raw and candid moment that isn't just for throwing up on social media in an Instagram Reel or hoping it blows up on TikTok. These are real, authentic moments that were pieced together and can't be recreated. It’s genuinely raw footage. I think that that's a testament also to how times have changed with photography and film in the winter sports industry as well.

Nobody saw your footage raw unless you sent it straight to a company. So all my footage for five years, once I got my foot in the door, was edited by Jesse [Burtner], and 90% of the time, I would like how he did it, and sometimes I'd be like, "Where did that trick go that I worked [on]?"

I don't have any incentives to do social media with my sponsors or anything, unless a sponsor comes to me and they need a post, and we're marketing something, which you see a lot. I love that I don't because if I'm going to be on social media, it's going to be because I'm proud of what I'm putting up. Many people's favorite snowboarders are like, "Here's the new GoPro." And you're like, “Okay, this is an ad,” but they have to do it.

I'm kind of glad it’s the way it is, though, to be honest. Being close to 40 years old, I think if snowboarding was still doing the VHS tapes, the DVDs, and the yearly drops, I might have a better chance of survival with social media.

For some people that may not know, how did you acquire the nickname, “Sleepy” Stevens?

I hope nobody gets too freaked out by this, but that would've been 2006. I know dates really well! So much stuff that I wish I could fill my head with, but for some reason, [I know] dates and snowboarding. So 2006 would've been one of my first Snowboarder Mag trips, and I went on this vegetable oil, greasing out gas trips across the country, and I was with a guy named Ben Fee, who used to make a lot of East Coast snowboard videos, and the videos he made are cult classics. Preston Strout, who owns Crab Grab, would've been the main guy in those videos doing tricks.

I was 20 years old at the time. I broke my tailbone in Park City trying to do this front board on this rail. I wasn't going to fly home back to my parent's house, although I was living with my parents because I didn't have any money. I wanted to be a pro snowboarder. So I was like, I'm going to stay in this RV, and I slept the whole time. Ben Fee, the guy who made those videos, nicknamed me “Sleepy” Stevens because of that.

Hibernation and recovery mode.

Exactly. Honestly, you said it better than I did.

You're working so hard! You really wanted to do this!

Just being in a magazine and having your name in a magazine meant a lot different than it does now.

I want to pick your brain a little bit more and talk about the industry as a whole and get a little bit more technological because we have a ton of people, myself included, that really like to see how the snowboarding industry advanced from when you started riding, when I started riding, the late '90s, early 2000s. It's just really shifted. What are some technological designs and inspirations behind creating your pro board with CAPiTA?

Yeah, that comes with being a fanatic, for sure. And it also comes with really respecting elders. I honestly don't think Jamie [Thomas] would've wanted anything to do with me if I didn't know his history so well. Or even the history of his favorites. Because he doesn't know much [about] snowboarding at all. He respects it, and I can tell he respects me, but having his blessing, so to speak, is heavy for me. The guy was in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater game! So, why would he sign off on me using a Zero graphic?

And the fact that it came to fruition was a dream come true. I told him, "Jamie, this is a Make-A-Wish Foundation thing for me." And he's a busy guy, so I think what we would've wanted to have done was get him on snow. But I don't think he has an interest. And that's okay! As snowboarders, we're really influenced by skateboarding, but it's like a skateboarder is, "You don't like snowboarding, but you respect it?” Cool. I'm cool with that.

And it's funny because the first was Jamie. Once I realized that Jamie wanted to do a board and then he wanted to do my pro model board, that made it really personal because he didn't just want to do a collaboration, he wanted to do mine.

It's not a secret that you're responsible for putting the Defenders of Awesome Two on the map. I remember when that teaser dropped, and the freestyle world went nuts. The Defenders of Awesome [DOA] is well known for intermediate riders, park riders, and people wanting to get into more of that park rat range and try to expand that toolkit. But what does it look like to watch a board develop that really revolutionized the sport and encouraged riders to push the envelope a little bit?

You get on some of these boards, and they're just too aggressive. And you get on boards like mine, which may be too user-friendly, so they can't handle some speeds. I can handle it because I've been snowboarding forever. I know how to ride a playful board. But the DOA sits in an area where it really is the one ring to rule them all.

It's crazy to see how many other brands want to make something similar and really fine-tune what CAPiTA tech offers. And it's hard to replicate something that works so well.

Agreed! Corey Smith doing his artwork on there. He really has a style. It's aggressive, but it works. And when I say aggressive, it's really high-end! He's talented at what he does, but you're right. Again, I'm not trying to throw any shade at anybody, but a company like CAPiTA just hit that aesthetic that resonates with people so well that these other brands are like, “Yeah, I know that thing does some serious numbers.”

So between your [Scott Stevens] Pro board with CAPiTA, your very sought-after Union Contact Pro [bindings], which everyone likes to try to get their hands on, and your collab with Thirtytwo with your TM-2s and others that I haven't mentioned here, what has been one of your favorite projects to help develop and bring to life for other riders to use?

Well, I'm going to answer this as honestly as I can. I rode the TM-2 boot when I initially got on Thirtytwo close to 15 years ago. And I have not switched it because it is a medium-stiffness boot. I like breaking it in—it's like a baseball glove. But I like it because when you get a boot that starts off soft, you have to switch. And I'm a creature of habit. So when I wear the TM-2, I just ride it the whole year, and it's a beautiful boot. People might think that I would like a softer boot the way I ride. But it's the one aspect of my snowboarding that I'm like, "I ride a medium flex boot because I like to see it evolve, and I don't like to change boots throughout the season that much." But bindings? I like soft bindings.

Over the years, I've let CAPiTA have equal creative control. Because Ephraim Chui, who does a lot of the graphics with CAPiTA, is so talented that, sometimes, if I get in there too much, I'll make something too niche. And we're trying to sell something at the end of the day. So if I go too niche sometimes with Thirtytwo outerwear, I'd be like, "I want a red coat and these bright blue pants," and then the sales [team] come back, and it's like, "Dude, you don't…."

Yes, many people know who I am, but I'm not Shaun White, so I don't have the type of influence to have people go out and buy red and blue! The majority of people ride black or more subtle colors.

I will say no, you're not Shaun White, but you are Scott Stevens. So there is something to be said about that!

I'm super humbled by that because it's been this weird journey where I get a sweet amount of recognition, but any more would be hard for me to process. I love the little niche I sit in.

Case in point, because we talked about social media. I don't think anybody from Instagram would ever approach me about getting a blue checkmark. I don't think I'll ever be that dude because I sit in this weird little reserve. But I get tagged in stuff from these snowboard sites like The Bomb Hole.

I shouldn't bring pay into it, but I don't try to make companies bleed. I'm not a businessman. I want to keep going, do my thing, and not feel pressured. But I get tagged with these really high, high-premiere snowboarders. I'll get tagged with Shaun, Torstein, or Travis, and my name will be there with Mark McMorris or Marcus Kleveland—these guys that I love [too]. But I get thrown in there, and I'm like, "Wow." I don't know. It's just super special. And I love being where I am—flying under the radar but not really.

What is your opinion on the industry boom and changes to the competitive snowboarding lifestyle? So big air, slopestyle, and half-pipe are getting attention at the Olympics now, and just watching the evolution of the X Games over the past decade. Even more recently, the Natural Selection Tour that Travis Rice designed. What is your opinion of what that looks like for the industry?

Snowboarding has been around long enough that if we don't see these new things come in, embrace them, and be excited about them, it looks pretty stale! And I think Natural Selection is so fun. It's gnarlier than people think. Those aerial angles really dwarf the speed those guys are riding at because you'll see an iPhone [video] in somebody's story, and they're looking from the bottom, an angle that TV crew doesn't get. And it's like, "Dude, that is so gnarly!" And for a rider like me? I couldn't do it. I'm not trying to be humble. I couldn't. If you threw me in there, it'd be such a joke. I can't ride powder to that level. I just couldn’t!

But X Games? Knuckle Huck is funny because I like watching it, but I could see other people ask, "Well, this is evolution after 25 years?" But the thing is, when Zeb Powell's at the top and I'm watching him, I'm watching as such a fan. And I'm like, "What are you going to do, Zeb? I know you will impress me, but what will you do?" And he does it!

It's a pretty incredible thing to watch. People have been watching the Olympics forever, and X Games has really caused a huge industry boom in Aspen each year. Watching Natural Selection evolve over the past few years, it's a different style of riding and seeing something that's not [just about] freestyle. We're talking heavy hitters in the freeride world. How do you feel about Natural Selection coming onto the scene so quickly?

It's where snowboarding should be in 2023. These guys only get a few tries. Tricks that I put out on Instagram or anything? I try them 50-plus [times]. These guys are getting four tries at landing something in a contest run with other riders taking up fresh landings and stuff. It's really cool. And no wonder Travis Rice is the man behind it because he's done so much.

I wanted to touch base as a female rider talking to a male rider, the snowboarding industry initially catapulted as a male-dominated sport coming from the skateboarding world, but there’s a transition. We now have some absolute female powerhouses taking names in the industry! We're talking about Olympians, Chloe Kim and Jamie Anderson. We've got X Games powerhouse Lindsey Jacobellis. And then I also like to touch on your fellow teammate and CAPiTA pro rider, Jess Kimura. These are huge inspirations to me. We all look up to these women. So I wanted to get your perspective on if you feel like that gap is closing and who some of those key women are in the sport to really keep an eye on in the future.

Well, you just named them right there. Regarding contests, I mean Zoi [Sadowski-Synnott] is absolutely shocking to watch ride a snowboard. I would argue that watching the women's slopestyle can sometimes be more unpredictable and fun to see what runs they're putting down because they are closing that gap quicker and quicker. And man, the style that she puts out? And Jamie Anderson? She's been phenomenal for so long. I like to think about how would I ride that course. And I'm like, "No, there's no way I could put that run down as these ladies do." I once watched X Games Big Air and was like, "This is incredible. They're flipping twice on these rock-hard jumps at night under pressure."

I don't want to say I'm the male version of Jess, and she's a female version of me, but we're more aligned. However, she's much more of a backcountry guru than I am. She can ride a sled, and I would be the weakest person in the crew if I sled. But seeing Jess transition into more powder riding from just going nuts on the street forever?

And then she had a few clips in The Uninvited where she had high-end footage. She had some footage of riding [in the] backcountry, doing front-side inverts and just some nice grabs while the snow twinkles. And coming from her background of being a jibber and just crushing some one-foots, I'm just like, "Oh, hats off!" I wish I had that shot at my career right now. But yeah, the gap is closing.

Yes, I would agree with you. What do you say to the younger rider that's really looking to get into the sport? What are your words of encouragement?

Yes, just do it because you like to do it. You do it because you would do it anyway—getting paid or not. And then find your lane a little bit. I was realistic enough that I don't think I'd be sitting here talking to you if I followed the ripping.

I just loved this new goofy, gimmicky, fun, call-it-what-you-will style of snowboarding that Travis was a master at. But Travis was also so good at everything! Kyle Clancy would have full video parts of him ripping, and then he would throw in some quirky stuff. But my career was more like whole video parts of quirky stuff, with some staples, some stock stuff. And I'm still going for that.

And I think these kids should be aware that you're not going to have a 15-year career unless you can somewhat be unique to snowboarding. I personally use a lot of different things to be unique. I've [always] loved music. But what got me into video is seeing the music.

I can tell your musical selection is very intentional. It's all the same wavelength and vibe, and it's old school, but they're also very timeless choices too. Most generations are going to recognize that song, and they become these hype songs and really a way to rally together. So music is a really great point.

Yes, music is just another tool. I'd say if you want to be surefire, don't lean on music to help your edit. But it helps my edits out now. Putting the edit without the song I've curated or putting it with the song I've curated are two different things.

I look forward to showing somebody a song that they forgot about!

You just get excited and really stoked, and I love that you touched on the importance of getting some good tunes in your ear that feel good and essentially set the scene.

It's funny, as many of these [interviews] as I've done, I always forgot to bring [music] up because that is so heavy in the grand scheme.

And then another thing for kids would be a crew. I run solo a lot now because I'm 38 and have a family and stuff. A lot of people my age have moved on, and that's just how things happen. But from when I was a teenager until I was 33, I had a crew of people that were die-hards.

All right, so you're saying that the squad has to roll deep as they're growing up?

Yes. Look at the Dustbox guys. They roll deep, and none of them really seem like they're feuding.

Most of your clips are you with your squad. You guys are just having a good time, and that’s the point, right? To make sure you're having a blast?

Yes, I was always the guy in the crew that would bring it back to, "Well, we have to film this." And I've always been like that.

Definitely. In some parts of my career, I was like, "All right, I'm going to fall back, and I'm going to film because I have created an eye to want to film fun.” And that's by watching all the videos and edits over the years ingrained in me. I've seen all these culminations of filmers, videos, and stuff. So I'm like, "Well, the only way you get these moments is to be present and ready to get them."

If I'm with Zeb Powell and we're on a Thirtytwo shoot, and my boss Brian says, "Scott, you're the rider too. You can't just be filming everybody!" So if I’m with Zeb and he is ready to go off, I'm like, "Oh, I want to film this so bad!"

You must keep different lenses on all the time of being in the moment or wanting to film the moment to look back on, but also trying to enjoy it. So you're teaching, educating, riding, and enjoying your skillset that you've been working on for 15 years. So there’s a lot of depth to that.

It's exhausting, and it's also a decision. You have to make decisions. You're at the hill: “Okay, here's my time to do something and be impactful and use my body. Am I going home beat up, or will I assist somebody else?”

I [just] saw Violet. Your daughters are adorable! Perhaps the hardest question I want to ask you is if Violet and Elsie said to you, "Dad, I want to try skiing," what is your response?

Honestly, I feel like skiing is getting much more popular. If you come to Timberline Spring Park, there are so many freestyle skiers jibbing rails and stuff that snowboarders are outnumbered. And you see guys my age who have not tried to keep up with the trend so much, and you're like, "Oh, shit. We're the nerds now. These guys are rambunctious."

To paint a picture for you, I was in the lift line at Timberline when the spring pass went up, and there were all these skiers in these gigantic drink sexy style pants, which is funny that that style is calling to them. And I'm standing in the lift line when I got hit by a snowball, and I'm looking around like the nerd that got hit by a snowball. And it's all these skiers; they're the punks! That's what the snowboarders were, and it just shifted. It was freaking hilarious that it had to shift like that because things do.

Kids are like, "I've seen that. I've seen this snowboarding thing for so long." It was going to happen when you talk [about the] Olympics and stuff like that. I watched that contest, and I loved it. But you are like, "What is the mind frame of a kid?" And it's like we want to be different. And skiing is different now.

So, long-winded answer. Yes, I'd be perfectly fine with it.

Some people would say, "Oh no, they're not skiing; they're snowboarding." So it's good to know that they've got all the options ahead of them, and I can't wait to see if they turn into these little mini shredders!

The hardest part right now is, in an ideal world, I would live at a resort because of how much I love this stuff, but work, life, and everything comes up. And we're in a good spot. Oregon is an amazing spot. But it would be so sick to have them grow up in the mountains where they didn't have to drive to the hill.

Everyone has just been so stoked for the winter, and now I have this newfound energy after talking with you to get back into freestyle. I haven't been in the park in a few years. I took some time off after cracking some ribs. So I have a little bit of an itch to test the waters again and find a new love for it, I think.

It's amazing to get lost in something, and you can get lost in your own progression and park riding. But you'll get it, and baby steps! I hate being gripped all the time. I turn it on when I want to, but to ride through a park and do stuff that just flows like water and get lost in it?

Totally. I call myself a tree chaser. Everywhere I go, I'm trying to find a great shoot or a tree line that I can totally get lost in. And I spend a lot of time observing and just watching [other riders]. And I especially love watching the younger kids that are fearless. I'm like, "Okay, well, if they're fearless, I can be fearless too." And I'm still learning every day when I'm headed towards 30, and I'm watching 15, 14, 13-year-olds just being like, "I've got this box, and I'm going to try this rail." And I'm like, "Okay, me too. Me too!"

And just watching the new age and seeing recycled tricks and nuances of snowboarding continue, it's really beautiful to see that regardless of how much the sport will continue to grow and push the envelope. It will also be the same core of "Everyone just wants to have a good time."

Totally. And for myself, snowboarding for so long—what is it up to right now, like a 1900 or 1800 [spins]? I don't know.

And that doesn't change that a 720 and a 360 and all that stuff are still so awesome! It's still impressive, and it's fun. So I'll find myself in the little grom park, and you just have to have an open mind, and if the big park calls to you, go, by all means. But if you've been snowboarding like me since 1995 and the little baby park calls to you, go and have fun!

I think it’s really important that you've touched on all of these aspects because, at the end of the day, when you can look back on those moments, if you're having a blast, that's really all that matters. And that's what's great about the sport and just being outside in general.

Totally. I love that! Some of my favorite memories were the car rides up with good friends, and we'd get stoked. And you say, “Oh, the conditions suck!” But now I’m remembering how excited we were in the car just to be going [snowboarding], and that’s a [key] moment, too.

Closing Remarks

A monstrous thank you to Scott Stevens for taking the time to join us today. We appreciate your time off the mountain, where you’re also crushing fatherhood at the same time and still continuing to excel and progress in your career.

The snowboarding industry has continued to make waves, and Scott Stevens has been and will continue to be a part of that monumental change and development of the sport. Snowboarders like Scott Stevens are why this sport has progressed the way it has, whether it’s his footage on the hill paired with a feel-good tune or the ground-breaking freestyle methods of skateboarding that he’s replicated on snow.

There are so many snowboarders, myself included, that have been inspired to get into the terrain park at their local resort to appreciate and pay homage to the eccentric freestyle mind of Scott Stevens. And while no one can take his place, as he is one-of-a-kind in the snowboarding world, I can’t thank Scott enough for expanding the boundaries of snowboarding and blending board sports together so everyone can enjoy it.

Check out Scott Stevens on the CAPiTA team page and his Instagram page to see what new tricks he has up his sleeve as he continues to captivate the winter sports world with his unique skill set of freestyle tricks and, of course, his music taste!

If Scott’s story has inspired you to get out there in the snow, whether it’s your first time in the terrain park, or you are just ready to get after another great winter of snow and need help finding the best snowboards, bindings, and boots for you, come hang out with me or another fellow Snowboard or Ski Expert here at Curated. I’d love to chat with you! I’m more than happy to get you hooked up with free, personalized recommendations for all your snowboarding needs.

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more interviews with the pros and dozens of gear reviews, and stay in the know with the Curated crew.

Kat Miller, Snowboarding Expert
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Kat Miller
Snowboarding Expert
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