Travis Rice Signing @ Quiksilver 09.22

Posted September 28, 2011 in

Fans line up outside the Quiksilver store for a chance to meet Travis Rice. Photo: Katie Panzer
It’s always hard being an outnumbered fan.- The snowboarding industry caters to the young so well, that I feel like being older than 25 puts me in the senior citizen category. With this idea, you could imagine how sheepish I might feel attending the Travis Rice signing for his new film The Art of Flight at the downtown Gateway Quicksilver shop. I was a bit nervous. One, I had no idea what to expect, and two, I was totally stoked to meet T-Rice.

Just as I thought, there was a small line gathered outside the store, but nothing too intimidating. The crowd was quiet, everyone minding their own business and keeping to themselves. Only the Quicksilver employees and magazine people spoke aloud. Contently waiting for my turn, a gal from Austria introduced herself to me as a HUGE Travis Rice fan. I listened in awe as she told me about her fanatic zeal, and about planning her U.S. trip around when she could see the hero. With my big-eyed reaction, I just took it all in. Our conversation went something like this, “I checked his website, and he started the Art of Flight tour in (she named a city), and I was at his signing yesterday at (she named a place), and I’m going to the premiere and the signing in Park City (I finally heard something I could remember). Oh, and I bought the video and the t-shirt and …”
“Cool,” I said.
Wow, this chicka was incessant about making her loyalty known. I couldn’t tell if I was more impressed with her personal devotion, or the fact that Travis Rice could evoke that much dedication from a fan. It didn’t dawn on me that being at a retail store in the middle of the week, in the middle of the afternoon to meet a top athlete, meant that the people in attendance probably didn’t feel luke warm about the guy.

At last it was my turn to say hello and get his autograph. I reached out to shake his hand, and congratulate him on such a highly anticipated film. He was impressively gracious and professional. My nerves settled and I felt more comfortable saying a bit more than my name. “Do you skate too?” I asked.
“Yeah, but not too much. These days I’m surfing more in my free time.” With T-dog responding like we’ve had these passing conversations before, I was so excited to reply with, “Me too.”
“Where do you ride?” he asked.
“The Canyons,” I said.
“I like the Canyons” he said. “On a sunny day that place is great.”
I started to have heavy heart palpitations thinking about how I was having a conversation with Travis Rice. Gosh, for all the shit I gave the girl in front of me for being such a big fan, at this point, I wasn’t too far behind her. Feeling even bolder I said, “Have you ever ridden Canus Lupis?”
“Uh uh, no,” he said.
“Oh my gosh,” I proceeded. “It’s like this half-mile long natural half-pipe that makes you feel like you are surfing”. My hands were accompanying my words with a back and forth wave-like motion. Travis Rice was just staring at me.

Did I really do that? Did I honestly give Travis Rice a tip off on where to snowboard at the Canyons? And all this kid has to do to get his thrills is call his Red Bull peeps, and the next thing you know he’s being taxied to the highest peak in the South America. Oh, and get the camera crew, and the snowmobiles, and call my bros Scotty Lago and Jeremy Jones and the Mitrani boys to ride with me. There I was, just hoping for him to say, “Oh really? Is that run tight? Cool, maybe we can ride together sometime?” I felt like such an idiot crazed fan.

Although my embarrassment was self-evident, I quickly collected my exorbitant energy and asked if he could sign a poster for my son as well. He willingly did, posed with me for a picture (taken by the Austrian fan club president) and said goodbye.

I walked away with mixed emotions. It’s hard being stuck between the personal labels of cool and nerd. The self-reflection was interesting as I thought about how going into the signing I was as cool as a cucumber, but left with my tail tucked between my legs. Is that what being a Travis Rice fan does to you? The snowboarder prophet ready to take everyone he meets to a place of challenge? I think the Austrian knows the secret.
Fans line up outside the Quiksilver store for a chance to meet Travis Rice. Photo: Katie Panzer The Art of Flight tour bus is P-I-M-P pimp. Photo: Katie Panzer Limited edition screen printed posters were available to purchase. Photo: Katie Panzer Travis Rice cares about his fans. Here, taking time to pose for photos. Photo: Katie Panzer