Red Gerard’s journey continues with Burton’s backcountry film a love-hate relationship with contests
COPPER MOUNTAIN – The adventure of snowboarding – balancing the competition scene and backcountry shooting in the world’s best snow – continues into a new decade for Red Gerard.
In a frank chat on Friday afternoon at Copper Mountain, Red was in the midst of his last successful moment of life. The night before, the Ohio native and Summit County resident took the stage with his older brother and filmmaker, Malachi Gerard, and professional snowboarding friends to accept Snowboard Magazine’s Film of the Year award. for his first foray into the backcountry: Snowboard movie.
The honor was the validation that his time spent last winter diving in the deep hinterlands of places like Japan was the best way to spend the season after his 2018 Olympic gold medal and become famous. .
Red was also nominated – along with “Joy” co-star Sage Kotseburg and backcountry killer Travis Rice – for the Snowboarder’s Rider of the Year award, which Kotsenburg won. And earlier today, Red competed for Team Burton in the Dew Tour team challenge, two days before qualifying for the men’s slopestyle snowboard final at 12:15 p.m. Saturday in Copper to take on the world’s best snowboarders.
It all followed Red’s trip to Japan last week. His second time in the legendary bottomless powder across the planet, Red was there with other Burton riders for his latest snowboard movie project. Dubbed “One World,” Red said the film would take him and other Burton snowboarders to Jackson Hole and then “wherever the snow is good”.
“Just follow it,” Red said.
Those last two weeks of globetrotting with his board in tow summed up Red’s snowboarding life two years after his victory on the Pyeongchang slopestyle course, making the 17-year-old the youngest American man to ever see. win a gold medal in an individual event. in the history of the Winter Olympics. On the competition side, Red is always warm on the competition scene. When a contest is going well, when he can draw a line through the puzzle of a slopestyle course like he did when he won the Burton US Open last year, there is nothing else he can do on a course. board.
“It’s a top you can’t get anywhere else,” he said.
That said, Red isn’t a fan of the other side of the competition, when things don’t go as planned during landings or the weather doesn’t cooperate. He is candid that competitive riding often brings out the worst in riders like him. But Red did a good job having fun at competitions, and his clutch skills on a snowboard helped keep things positive.
If Red has learned anything last year, it’s that he can find and create more fun for himself and his backcountry snowboarding friends when he might not be here on the contest scene. Japan doesn’t have the steep faces it’s used to here in the Rockies, but Japan’s natural hilly jumps are blissful, he said. It’s perfect for doing fun tricks like back rodeos and 540s, the kind of ride he can’t do outside of competition jumps where the bigger the better, even if it isn’t. is not so beautiful.
It’s also the perfect warm-up to strengthen Red’s legs for any backcountry outing later in the winter and a competition like the Dew Tour. Saturday’s Dew Tour final is the latest competition that features a long list of riders who are all elite and capable of winning. Defending champion Stale Sandbech of Norway made a statement during Thursday’s team challenge, stepping off the rails and redirecting hips and walls in stunning ways. Canadian Darcy Sharpe wins gold at the X Games in Aspen, Swede Sven Thorgren snowboards with incredible energy and Canadian competitor Max Parrot is looking to make up for the difficulties of the X Games.
Then there are the young American riders and friends of Red, Brock Crouch, Judd Henkes and Luke Winkelmann, all set to shine in the spotlight of the podium. But if there’s one rider Red thinks he’s ready on Saturday, it’s accomplished Canadian and Burton compatriot Mark McMorris.
Whatever happens on Saturday, Red is ready to continue to find fun – joy – wherever his snowboard takes him, whether it’s competitions a few miles from his family’s home near Silverthorne or pillows of powder. at the other end of the world. He’s frank that he really doesn’t know what he still wants to accomplish on his snowboard. If anything, it’s to achieve what Kotsenburg did on Thursday night
“I would love to win the title of runner of the year,” said Red. “I would really love to do that.”