CCS was lucky enough to have a little sit down interview with Nike Snowboarding pro Louie Vito this month. With Winter X in full swing and with the snow still heavily falling around the country, now is as good a time as ever to catch up with Louie. From his hometown mountains of Ohio, to his new home in Utah and even a bit about his stint on Dancing With The Stars, this interview touches on a bit of it all. Check it out.
What are your plans for this winter?
My plans for this winter are pretty much to just have fun, push myself, ride with friends, do contests and be stoked to wake up and snowboard everyday!
Who are your favorite people to ride with?
I am one of those people who, depending on where I am, like to ride with a bunch of different people, but if I had to pick some favorites I would say Stevie Bell, Greg Bretz, Luke Mitrani, Lago, Mason, MFM and probably Pat Bridges.
Who was your biggest influence in snowboarding when you were coming up? What about now?
Growing up in Ohio we were kind of out of the loop on snowboarding early on, but I always loved Jamie Lynn, Terje, Todd Richards, Jeremy Jones and JP. As I got older it was Danny Kass, MFM, Bozung, and Lauri.
Any riders you’re stoked on that are up-and-coming?
I am really hyped on Toby Miller. He's like my little brother. He rips, he’s stoked on snowboarding and he’s just a good kid. I also back Gabe Ferguson. I just get hyped seeing little posses of kids ripping around the mountain. Park City has a lot of kids that kill it too.
What mountain did you grow up on?
My home mountain was Mad River Mountain outside Columbus, Ohio. For part of middle school and high school I went to Stratton Mountain School so that became my home mountain.
Any advice for the kids out there trying to "make it" in snowboarding?
Just have fun. Snowboarding is about having fun with your friends. Push each other. My Dad used to tell me, "If you’re good enough, they can't ignore you." So just go ride and things will come!
Where is home for you in the winter?
I live in Sandy, Utah. That means I get to ride all the Utah resorts which is sick. There’s good resorts and really good riders out here.
How was it like growing up in Ohio and snowboarding?
It was a different scene than it is out West. We had a tight crew of snowboarders. My pops used to drive me up to Boston Mills/ Brandywine every weekend for USASA and we would ride all day and all night. I was always the baby of the group. The older guys really took care of me and helped make me the rider I am today. Ohio, in general, made me the rider I am today. Everything is around 300 vertical feet, but we have night riding on the weekends until around 3 am. Not many of the resorts had a park, but we use to just build stuff and ride anything and everything. I loved those Ohio days.
You went to Stratton Mountain School, right? What was that like?
Stratton Mountain School was where I kind of learned that I had a passion for the sport. In Ohio, I couldn't ride everyday, but in Stratton, I was riding everyday—riding with kids my age who all ripped and was traveling all the time. Everyone at SMS became my family. By the time Junior and Senior year came around we had the tightest crew of friends that ran the school. Some of the best times I have had was living at school with my friends.
Which Nike boot do you ride? Why?
I ride the Nike Kaiju. I’ve been on Nike Snowboarding since the beginning and have ridden them all, but the Kaiju just seems to work for me. I like the flex, the comfort and the shape of the boot.
What contests are you doing this season?
Those always move around, but I will definitely be at the Dew Tour stop in Breck, Park City Grand Prix, US X-Games, Sochi World Cup, Euro X-Games, US Open, and maybe one more here or there.
What was it like being on Dancing With The Stars? What was the most memorable moment?
Dancing With The Stars was a cool experience. It opened up a lot of doors for me and a lot of eyes to the sport of snowboarding. I think the most memorable moment would be all those Monday shows—being able to complete the entire dance in front of a live television audience of 22 million people and having to do it all in front of the judges. But, I also will never forget all the people I met on the show!