Truckee, California's Nick Visconti came away the big winner at this year's Downtown Throwdown in Seattle so, naturally, we wanted to find out what it takes to come out on top. Visconti is a rail magician who sometimes...dresses like a magician and, while contests aren't usually his go-to for good times, he has shown off his technical jib skills and penchant for weirdness in both Think Thank and Autumn Line's videos and been a regular guest on Fuel TV. For pure positivity, obscure observations, answers in the form of song lyrics, and Ecclesiastical musings on the state of shred, we highly recommend you read what the man has to say. And then check out some of his "Dangerzone" web videos.
ESPN: So you just won the Downtown Throwdown, besting pretty much every fancy-named jib kid, gypsy and handrail hobo on the planet. How'd you do it?
NV: Lately I have been practicing Kevin Bacon's Flash Dance from "Footloose." I think that got my body ready to get loose and groove.
Now be honest: Do you think you won maybe because you appeared on the poster for the event?
Haha, yes; it was fixed like the early 20th Century World Series.
How did the set-up at the Downtown Showdown compare to other Metro Rail Jamz you've participated in? Krush Kulesza is known for having a way with fun events...
In all honestly, a few years ago I did a plentiful amount of rail jams and now The Downtown Throwdown is the only one I'll do. Krush puts his heart and soul into this event and creates a realm of pure love, positive vibes, and rad shredders. This rail jam is the premier event of the early season because it doesn't have the aura of a contest. It really is a family of snowboarders smiling, shredding, and getting the public amped on the season.
Any other riders there who impressed you with their pre-season skills?
There is a season for anything. A season for joy, seriousness, fun, hard work, adventure, relaxing, playing, teaching and learning etc. A season for gangster, gypsy, big mountain, park, rails, backcountry, soul shredding, work shredding, colors and black.
Who "imFRESHed" me? That was way funnier than you're making it seem. Everyone killed it; it's wild. A few years ago, tricks that were for sure to be "best trick" winners now seem to be warm-ups. Everyone participated in this intercity galactic dance party. Forrest Bailey was shining hotter than the sun, but Milbery's creativity on the slopes got me hyped!
What's the best city in the USA in your opinion and why?
"We was known from the 60s From panthers to hippies Now were known for Murders pimps and three-sixty's Side shows high speed chases, too And a crack epidemic that will turn yah blue And an AIDS epidemic that can end yah, too It's the Yay baby brothah and I thought you knew Oakland to Vallejo Vallejo to the Zay The Zay to the Sko' AKA as the Bay"
--San FranciscoZion I
So when you get a fresh box of clothes from your sponsors like 686, do you just bust out the scissors right away and lop off the collars?
( In the sound of Justin Timberlakes "Put Your ___ In A box")
Step 1: Open the shirt
Step 2: Cut a hole in the shirt
Step 3: Put your neck in the shirt
And that's the way you get fresh -- put your neck in a shirt!
Name three icons of personal style and why.
1. David Bowie - Was fresh from "Labyrinth" to "Space Oddity." A revitalization of Glam and eccentrism.
2. Michael Jackson - Inspirational messages of love and individualism.
3. Sex Pistols - Not showering is the new black.
Dangerzone is the brainchild of Joshua Parker and myself. It is a interactive experience giving the most dangerous insight into the extremities of Tahoe Living. From local rippers, nightlife, to the weird intricacies of our minds, Tahoe Dangerzone is the epitome of snowboarding in the Lake Tahoe. All the greats of the past have their own look: Zoolander had Blue Steel, Hansel was so hot... Dangerzone has "The Danga!"-- a dangerous runway look that captivates even the strongest at heart!
I saw a video of you and some homies riding pine needles and jibbing a log in what looked like a very dry Tahoe forest. That looked challenging...
We all had the hunger that only snowboarding could satisfy. At this point we were just starting Dangerzone and wanted to get richter. So we just strapped up, found the fresh pines and started dropping. We played Ro Sham Bo for the first lines of the day but eventually all the lines were tracked. We shredded hard that day -- and we got shredded hard that day, haha. I still have the scars to prove it!
What percentage of the snowboarding public would you say gets your sense of humor?
I'm not sure who gets our humor. [Laughs.] I'm not even sure we are humorous. We don't try to be funny. Dangerzone and I are only trying to be genuine. I'm trying to stay true to me, do what makes me smile and live in love. Society suppresses people with a standard that pressures people to conforming. I want to be "transformed by the renewing of my mind..."; inspire people to express themselves as the genuine individuals they are, and love. Life truly is a journey to growth, whether I am interpreted as funny-idiotic, fresh-dirty, weird-normal, hot-ugly, eccentric-understood, introverted or extroverted etc. I am excited to fully live everyday and constantly be inspired by the people and world surrounding me.
Your approach to snowboarding is obviously "fun first" and it's clear you don't take yourself or your snowboarding persona too seriously. Do you think that snowboarding has maybe become a little stiff from people taking it too seriously? If so, how so?
I think that life has many different aspects. There is a season for anything. A season for joy, seriousness, fun, hard work, adventure, relaxing, playing, teaching and learning etc. A season for gangster, gypsy, big mountain, park, rails, backcountry, soul shredding, work shredding, colors and black. Snowboarding is just another expression of life. Just because I live my life searching for love and fulfillment every day doesn't mean that it's not another person's season for a different lifestyle. As a year has different patterns and seasons I would love for the snowboard industry to start respecting all the seasons of snowboarding.