Guess what, Todd Richards had another big week. I know, shocking right, the guy that gets everything just got more. Anyway, because some of you are slow and others just don’t care, I’ll explain. Todd released yet another movie this week. Yes, I said another. You do remember his last movie right? And his role in Out Cold among other flicks? You don’t? Whatever. Anyway, now that it’s obvious he’s rich and famous, let’s ask him about the days before he became tall, dark and handsome and loaded to the gills with hundred dollar bills.
I noticed you have a big house and are presumably rich in Part 1 of your new movie. What was life like in your early 20’s, before snowboarding really paid out for you?
The salad days? That’s when snowboarding was truly a free money giveaway. Just look at any old mag, there were so many pro models in there. Each of those dudes was getting paid more than the kids now, and at least 89% of them were terrible at actually riding a snowboard. I myself had a big disposable income, which was nice, but my mom made me buy a house right away. Thanks mom.Â When I first started I didn’t have shit, I was basically eating ramen all the time and bumming for rides or gas money from people. I would trade a lot of my product for money. I guess that’s called selling but I thought of it more as a trade. I was living in Boulder in the shitty part of town driving to Vail five days a week.Â I was making maybe $2500 a month, maybe.
In your early twenties $2500 a month isn’t so bad. Was there ever any time you truly considered “hard”?
I was really lucky. I had a mom that was sympathetic to my cause. If times ever got really hairy, like if my car broke down or something, I could call and beg her.
There were a lot of times where I had to wait a couple days to buy real food.Â I had a bunch of friends that went to Colorado University though. We would all help each other out. If someone had cash from parents they would buy. We would rotate that. Like I said, I was lucky. $2500 bucks a month is not a lot after insurance for car and health, car payment and rent. I guess if you don’t have health insurance or car insurance it could seem like a lot. Health insurance is key, kids need to know that, you are not invincible and when you finally go down, your going to get dry raped by the hospital system. You may be getting dry raped already but that’s more of a lifestyle choice.
When you were living in Boulder and eating Ramen what were your goals? Did you ever think you’d be so prolific that a team of Vice dudes would document your every move?
I wanted it bad. I didn’t have as much natural talent as like a Terje or whoever else was hot then. I had to struggle for a long time. I really wanted to win the US Open, that was my dream. As far as anything else, I never in a million years I would have done any of this. I was a nerd in high school. My whole life I heard you’re not big enough or you’re this or that, so I was just so accustomed to sucking; IÂ never thought I would do anything but suck. I think that’s why I eventually got better at snowboarding and life in general. I still think I suck and work hard as shit.
It’s obviously a long process, but how did it happen? How do you go from a nerdy kid to a legend, living in So-Cal with a bunch of money and a big house and kids and a wife and a travel schedule that’s probably more hectic than the President’s?
Jesus, I didn’t pay any attention to the outcome. That’s the key. Just do what you need to at that moment. I started getting better at snowboarding. Riding Vail a ton and just learning shit. Then the pipe stuff I just did vert runs that I always wanted to skating. I just kind of got some momentum and it snowballed from there. Once you break the inertia it becomes easy. It’s scary to give it everything you have.
Is it true what Biggie said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.”?
With more money comes more financial responsibility. Hopefully your parents gave you that gift because its a real hard one to learn. There are like four guys in the whole industry now that will retire on the money they made from snowboarding. That’s not many out of 400 pros. The rest will spend cash on dumb shit and work at UPS in five years. Save some cash, that’s my advice.