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Pretty Good for a Book or Two

by Melissa Larsen

Remember when snowboarding was young? We all used to argue so passionately about how to raise it, and worry endlessly about what was going to happen to it when it grew up and went out into the world without us. Oh, how we’d chide it when it got out of line; when it started hanging out with those round the way “mainstream” folks. “Remember where you came from,” we’d say softly, while tucking it in bed at night. “They don’t love you like we do. Don’t forget your roots…”

Imagine my wicked, jaded, old-schooler’s delight, when into my hands fell the task of “reviewing” the upcoming autobiographies of two of snowboarding’s most high profile pros. Two pages of variations on the article’s intro were written before the first manuscript even arrived in my mailbox: When did snowboarding officially cross over to the other side? Was it when snowboarders started taking the X-Games seriously? Was it when snowboarders started taking themselves seriously? Was it when the agents were brought in? When Target jumped on the sponsorship train? The Olympics?

Was it when Liv Tyler recognized Todd Richards on a plane? Or was it when some little kid in Alabama recognized him in a bookstore… on the cover of a book? Or was it when that little kid actually bought the book, because snowboarding’s just…that…big…

So, in case you didn’t catch it, that was one of my original intros. But upon reflection, it’s pretty stupid. Snowboarding’s hit the big time? Newsflash! Someone call the Master of the Obvious and get him to issue a special report. Right. Let’s just scrap that angle and get to the heart of the matter, which is this:

Tina Basich and Todd Richards both have autobiographies coming out this fall. Autobiography means it’s, like, about them and stuff. Tina’s book, entitled Pretty Good for a Girl, is due out from Harper Entertainment this October. Todd’s book, entitled No son, those are daddy’s Star Wars toys, is due out from ReganBooks November-ish. (Todd’s book actually doesn’t have a title as of this writing. Feel free to make your own up in the meantime.) Tina’s book is co-written with Kathleen Gasperini, of WIG and other fame. Todd’s book is co-written with former TW Snowboarding Editor in Chief, Eric Blehm. Tina is a girl. Todd is a boy. Both narrative s reflect that pretty clearly. Read into that what you will.

And though I desperately want to talk shit, I can’t. Because their stories are actually pretty interesting–and their stories are the stories of snowboarding, of its roots…and its road to the other side. And if these two haven’t earned the right to pass these tales on to the young shredies among us, no one has. Besides, better Todd and Tina than some other claiming yutz, Colorado snowboard instructor, former magazine editor, or whatever–you know it was just a matter of time. Really, we should be thanking them for doing it first.

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