From the outside looking in, Dan Brisse might seem like a madman hell bent on destruction. Brisse claimed the coveted ender part in Absinthe's movie, NowHere, and snagged a TransWorld Snowboarding cover with a building-to-building ollie that left a lot of folks wondering if he might have some screws loose. We sat down with Brisse to find out what his family thinks of his death-defying snowboarding and how jumping whole streets in a single bound can earn you a gang of fan boys.
Where are you right now?
I'm in Vancouver, Washington with my wife's family.
Nice, you had a killer year; it seems like you're blowing up. What's it been like?
It's been insane. Last year I decided to focus on building a video part, and I stopped doing contests so I could work on this one project. I got insanely lucky and got the end part in the new Absinthe movie. It happened really quick. In the last three months my life went from being pretty calm to just being insane with a ton of interviews and coverage. It's opened up some doors for sure -- like this new X Games contest, I don't know if you have heard about that?
Yeah, the video part contest?
Yeah, it's called Real Snow. You have to film a one-minute video part, and it airs during the X Games. I think it's a pretty sick little contest -- it's something new for the X Games and I'm stoked to be part of that for sure.
Your TW cover is a pretty burley shot: you're jumping from building to building! Do you ever get grief from your wife or parents when you're putting your life on the line?
No, they understand. I always stress to everybody that my first priority is safety, if I don't feel comfortable hitting something I don't do it. That's not to say that the risk is completely taken out, but I feel like the risk involved is much smaller then it looks. When people see the photos or the video they think, "Well that guy's crazy -- he's completely mentally lost it." Over the years you learn what works and what's not going to work. That's not to say a rope won't snap or something like that, but my parents and wife know I want to be healthy and that I'm not going to risk my life for one photo or video clip.
It's just calculated risk, like when Jeremy Jones and those dudes are riding huge lines in Alaska.
Exactly, it's just like when you see those guys charging down a big AK line, you're like those guys are completely nuts. They have enough experience to know that the chances of them making it down safely are much greater then them not making it out alive.
The reality, though, is that ultimately what you do could result in you getting killed.
Right, there's no denying that.
I saw a video of you dancing on stage during one of your college courses. Maybe you can just be on "Dancing With The Stars." That's much safer.
[Laughs] Yeah, it's a class called the History of Rock and Roll. The class was super boring, so I thought it would be fun to hop on stage and start dancing!
You aren't some big snowboard scene party dude. Is that a conscious decision?
Yeah, I don't party anymore. There was a time when I did. I was never some extreme partier, but we would get it done. I haven't drank at all for the last couple of years and I don't smoke anything. It's the path I chose and it's worked out really well for me. I feel better on a day-to-day basis. Drugs and alcohol are just mood altering tools, and I would rather be able to have normal feelings and enjoy life.
Do you worry about people labeling you as sort of a jock snowboarder?
No, I don't really care if people label me as that. Label me however you want. I'm not going to change who I am to fit in with some dumb ass snowboarders. I am who I am.
Do people fan out on you a lot?
That's happened a lot more lately. It's kind of weird because you don't know these people at all and they come up to you and they know everything about you! I try to be really humble about it. It's weird but it's all good, I appreciate it.
Has anyone ever cried?
So you're not the Michael Jackson of snowboarding?
[Laughs] No, I honestly don't see that ever happening.