Since he first strapped in at an east coast golf course in the mid-80s, Todd Richards has grown steadily with the sport of snowboarding. A standout competitor in the halfpipe, he transitioned to slopestyle and eventually film, earning a reputation as a sharp-witted personality as well as a dominant rider along the way. Now holding down the job as NBC’s voice of snowboarding, Richards educates the masses on style, respect for your elders, the state of competitive snowboarding and much, much more.
…What do you see missing in snowboarding?
Soul. I think there’s too much grabbing right now—grabbing for what’s in front of you and not a lot of holding on to what you have. It’s pretty rad, what we have. But it’s always more, more, more. How do we expand? Expand! Expand! Sometimes you have to just be there with it and realize what you have.
Do we really need to re-invent the wheel every year with this sport? And I’m not talking trick-wise, I’m talking across the board, between outerwear and new board concepts and ad campaigns and videos and all this stuff. Sure, you need an influx of new ideas, but do you really need to flip everything on its head and make everything that happened last year obsolete? Is that where we’re going?
Do you think the current state of competitive riding is good for the sport?
The sport’s gonna go through its ups and downs. It’s an evolution of something that is successful. Snowboarding has become a marketing tool for companies that are out of touch. It seems like, “Okay, well we need to market to a younger demographic.” I think when I was coming up it was way more edgy. Now it’s just normal. Any sport your grandmother can do is not edgy. Snowboarding has lost its edge. I wish snowboarding still had a little bit of the “F U” in it. We can have fun, but I’d like to put the “F U” back into the fun in snowboarding…