Nick Visconti doesn't just think outside the box, he lives there, in a universe that some of us find bizarre and uncomfortable. He dresses weird, speaks his mind, is kind and considerate, and is outspoken about his faith. His flare for the obscure can sometimes overshadow his actual snowboarding ability and is often fuel for message board flames. But no one can really deny that Visconti is one of the most progressive snowboarders riding today. After grabbing the final segment of this year's Think Thank movie, and impressing all season with his always-entertaining Danger Zone edits, Visconti has proven that with snowboarding, like life, we are only limited by our imaginations.
Nick, how are you?
I'm doing so good.
I just saw your Think Thank part -- it was crazy! How did you start filming with them?
I was in Tahoe for the winter of the 100-year storm, so there was a ton of snow in Reno. I met Gary Milton at this down-rail, and he made an introduction for me. I got a ton of footage that season and sent it to Burtner, and he used it for his movie. That's how it started.
You have the ender. Is that something special for you?
It is -- it was definitely a career goal. You know, I have worked really hard every year. I was in a good environment this year. Everyone was pushing each other and it was really encouraging. The final product was really just a reflection of the hard work that the entire crew put in.
How many years have you been filming with them?
This is my fifth part.
Do you look at a video part as a tool for self-expression?
In the past I didn't really know what I was doing. I was just trying to board and I didn't really have an identity in myself. I didn't have an identity in snowboarding, and I didn't have an identity in Christ. In the past I would maybe have a few good tricks, but it felt really bland. But I have started to figure out what it means to me to film a video part, and what that means to me is different than what it means for someone else.
Now at the beginning of the season I just try to film a video part that I know I would want to watch. So every time I go to a spot or have an idea about filming something I ask myself: would I want to watch this? Is it entertaining? I think about if it's pushing my limits, the sport's limits, and expressing my individuality.
Was the Christ Air a homage to your spiritual beliefs?
The Christ Air was multifaceted. As in all my snowboarding it points to Jesus Christ, the history of our skateboarding roots, and something that has never been done on a snowboard.
So much of snowboarding is based on appearance, and sometimes the industry will push that before they push someone based on his or her character. Is it important in snowboarding to be a genuine human being?
Absolutely, not only snowboarding, but also our whole society is socially constructed to think, believe, and to act in a certain way. By living in that conformity we are literally prohibiting ourselves from being the individuals we were created to be. If nothing else snowboarding should be so far beyond that, because we are individuals it's an expression of ourselves. It's an art form.
We shouldn't live in the constraints of our industry or of society. We need to find the identity of who we are, not who people say we are. It doesn't matter if you're talking about trick selection, how you dress, or your attitude -- it's time to move beyond the social oppression.
I saw that you recently did some work with Protect Our Winters?
I got involved with them through Hot Winter Cool Athletes. It's an outreach program that goes around to different schools with a climate expert and an athlete to give presentations about climate change and how we can reduce our carbon imprint. It's been an awesome, really powerful experience to have a way to connect to the youth in my community. It's true that knowledge is power.