Ben Rice, a mellow fellow. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Photo: Carey Haider
The first time I met Ben Rice was in a Portland loft party. The guy had a lot of swagger and looked like a young Keith Richards. Slinking around the party in some worn out gear drink in hand Ben made an impression. After some tough times, most of which he created, he’s focused and ready to blow minds. Skaters get over addictions to become better than they ever were, maybe Ben Rice can be that guy for snowboarding.
Yobeat: Ben, what’s going on?
Ben: Well, I haven’t slept in 24 hours, I missed my flight home, I just got wasted at the airport bar, and I have been drinking since. Now I’m gonna’ try and get someone to tattoo “pray for me” on my chest.
Yobeat: How much damage did you do at the airport?
Ben: Um, four tall cans and two Bloody Mary’s at the airport for $9 a piece. It’s the evening, it’s cool.
Yobeat: Where are you stuck?
Ben: Salt Lake City, Utah.
Yobeat: Are you headed home?
Ben: Yeah, North Lake Tahoe, on a couch.
Yobeat: Why are you in Utah?
Ben: Well I met my girl friend in Vegas for the (SIA) trade show and then went back to Salt Lake with her to film with Team Thunder productions and Bozwreck. Then she broke up with me, so I have had a pretty weird trip.
Hold those eyes open…
Yobeat: At first glance I wouldn’t guess you are a snowboarder, how did you begin riding?
Ben: When I started, a long time ago, it was like the bad kid thing to do and I wanted to rebel against all the dorks who slapped gates.
Yobeat: When was a long time ago?
Ben: Like, 93 or 94, I lost count a while ago.
Yobeat: You’re a young man though, right?
Ben: Currently 22, but at 12 p.m. I will be 23. Kind of sucks, I’m getting old.
Yobeat: Tomorrow is your birthday?
Ben: Yep, kinda a shitty b-day missing my flight today and having to fly tomorrow. Maybe I will get lucky and my flight will go down and just do me in.
Night time nosepick.
Yobeat: Let’s shake things up. How do you feel about drugs?
Ben: Do them, and try not to pay for them.
Yobeat: Drug of choice?
Ben: Right now I would have to say blow, the junk would just wreck me right now, not mentally stable. What’s yours?
Yobeat: I’d say Cigarettes and Fire Water. What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while buying junk?
Ben: Gave the guy $200 and he never came back.
Yobeat: How about blow?
Ben: Guy got raided right after I left. I ain’t no rat if that’s what your thinking.
Yobeat: Any blow inspired madness in your life?
Ben: Of course, last night I scored some blow. Partied all night and missed my flight. I’ve also been pulled over with an 8-ball in the car and the cop let us go with out searching us. We were all wasted and had the main coke dealer in Incline (Village) in the car. Homie ended up getting busted and hand cuffed and ran to Cali(fornia) to hide out for a bit. He got caught again.
Yobeat: How do you get snowboarding done with all this madness?
Ben: It makes me want to snowboard the next day, so I don’t feel like such a piece of shit. If I get something done and it’s cool I am way more stoked to know I had such a good time the night before than those guys who go to bed at eight and wake up at seven, strategically planning their day.
Gettin’ inverted on something weird.
Yobeat: Who is pointing a camera at you this year?
Ben: Team Thunder, Bozwreck, and The Bear Movie.
Yobeat: Are you afraid your sponsors will drop you for your habits?
Ben: Do I sound like a piece of shit? I’m a good times guy I think. My sponsors knew what they were getting into with me, and I haven’t touched junk in two years or so.
Yobeat: You’re off smack completely?
Yobeat: What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?
Ben: Lately I have been partying with Matty Ryan a bunch. We have been getting shit done too. I’m stoked to see him pumped to snowboard again. I have looked up to him for so long and now that I get to work with him it’s cool. Seriously though, the best thing that has happened to me was my ex-girlfriend June Bhongjan. She really helped me get out of this hole I was in and showed me that snowboarding can be different in so many ways. She practically reinvented it for me. She dumped me though.
Yobeat: What kind of hole were you in?
Ben: You know, digging a chinese ditches.
Ben Rice, crowd pleaser.
Yobeat: How about the worst thing that has ever happened to you?
Ben: It’s kind of a long list, should we get into the most recent?
Yobeat: How about the most exciting?
Ben: I was really into this girl in Tahoe who was 17, consent in Tahoe is 16 so I ain’t no creep. Her parents read her diary and found out that I was a few steps away from being a full on junkie, so they called the cops saying I was giving her drugs and all this bullshit. When really she was almost as deep as I was to begin with. So at the time my roommates were selling weed and blow, and the cops kinda knew, so they were trying to get into our spot and this was there ticket in. I got a heads up and left town for L.A. for a bit. The night before I left town one of my friends stole this Les Paul Studio with Jade tuning heads from this girl and it got blamed on me. So on my way out of town I tried to find him to get the guitar back and pawn it, but that never worked out. I ended up heading home after a few weeks and a whole lot more advanced in drugs 101.
Yobeat: So you’ve seen your share of hard times, drugged up times, and bad choices, but now you are off the smack and ready to attack?
Ben: Couldn’t say it better myself. Drugs are fun but there is a time and a place for them. If i have something important to do the next day I won’t stay out till the sun comes up.
Yobeat: The future is looking bright for Ben Rice?
Ben: So bright I need shades my man. Drugs can run you down but I flipped the switch on them.
Flipped and dipped.
Yobeat: So where do you go from here?
Ben: Man, I love getting shit done. Like a really good photo or shot, or even a trick with the homies can be my drug. I have gone weeks without any drugs, just snowboarding and that is all I needed. Nothing beats the feeling of landing something cool and people being stoked on you and your trick.
Yobeat: Has the addition of your new sponsors helped push this progress?
Ben: Totally, I can’t just go on week long benders. People expect things from me and I hate letting people down, nothing sucks more. Every sponsor I have has my back for once and I have theirs. If I’m stoked your gonna be stoked. I may seem like a piece of shit but I have serious integrity.
Yobeat: Favorite city?
Ben: L.A. baby.
Yobeat: Favorite band?
Ben: Right now I would have to go with Nikki Sudden and of course The Thunders.
Hello world… Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Photo: Carey Haider
Yobeat: Ever win a trophy?
Ben: Yeah a donut trophy at this Office Boy contest at Big Bear last year. It was the only one I ever liked, then it rotted, just like every thing else in my life.
Yobeat: Everything used to rot, now you are ready to conquer correct?
Ben: Things are happening, I am just negative so I don’t get my hopes up.
Yobeat: Who is paying for this weird trip?
Ben: Bataleon, Comune, Dragon, Celsius, Dakine, and The Elm Company.
Yobeat: Anyone deserve a thank you?
Ben: Yeah, Matty Ryan for really showing me what snowboarding is, Jake Divine for being so gangster, and Bob Plumb and LJ and Butters for being so easy to work with. Oh, and of course Team Thunder for giving a guy a chance.
Happy Birthday Ben, and God’s speed. Also, Yobeat would like to thank Robbie Sell and Carey Haider for providing photos.
https://yobeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/mail-3.jpeg00Nick Liptonhttp://yobeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/yobeatdotcomsite.jpgNick Lipton2009-02-25 04:55:122009-12-20 14:12:00Hump Day with Ben Rice