Pro freeskier Rory Bushfield is in the middle of a very unique ski season this winter. When he's not skiing, he's spending most of his free time filming in Los Angeles for a new ABC celebrity reality show called Splash, which premiered last Tuesday. Chosen as one of 10 stars on the show, the cast -- none of whom have a diving background -- are competing to master springboard and regulation platform diving. He appears on the show alongside the likes of basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson, and others. We asked Bushfield to fill us in on the scene and how his ski season is going.
How did you end up on a prime-time television show about diving?
I got really lucky, I think, on this one. I just kind of fell into the opportunity, and I thought 'why not?' I like to jump off things, so this should be fun. When I was cast, I was super excited to learn how to dive, only to realize a few days into training that I can't land upside down very well.
Do you have a diving background or does being a freeskier and doing tricks on skis give you an advantage over the other contestants?
I have the advantage of having air sense and being able to flip and spin. However, I have a lot of habits that are not typical dive moves, so I am trying to break them and do some good diving. It's not that easy to think about pointing my toes and landing upside down at the same time.
How do you feel about your chances of winning the show?
I think I have a pretty good chance to win but we will see. The other guys are killing it. And, it's judged, so you never know what will happen. But the training will probably help my skiing, too. I'm getting lots of "zero gravity time."
What is it like hanging out with mainstream celebrities, like actresses and NBA legends?
It's awesome to get to meet these mainstream players; the whole cast is awesome, actually. When I met Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] I was star-struck for sure. He's rad. I put up a picture of him and me in my Instagram. (@bushywayne)
What's happening with your ski career while you are filming the show?
I had the clause in my Splash contract where I wasn't allowed to do anything dangerous taken out. That was a deal-breaker for me. I have been taking off to ski when I have time off. Basically, I am just based out of L.A., working part-time on Splash. I did the Swatch Skiers Cup in Zermatt, Switzerland, earlier this winter and I am currently working with Sherpas Cinema on and off for their next movie, "Into the Mind." It's another two-year project and I'm sure it's going to be amazing. Sherpas Cinema is doing ground-breaking stuff right now.
Are you still working with Nitro Circus?
I did my second Nitro tour in November through Europe. It was crazy. Thirteen shows in like 21 days, I think. By the end, I was getting lost in the stadium hallways, because we had been in so many and they all look the same inside with no windows. I missed the NZ Nitro Tour this year because I was skiing but I hope to get on a few more stops of the tour this year. Rumor has it they are doing a tour in South America. I really want to do that one.