Danny Davis on injury and ingenuity
Danny Davis has been missing in action as the 2012-13 season gets under way, recovering from a femur break at the Burton High Fives event in New Zealand in August. We caught up with him in Breckenridge, Colo. from the sidelines of the Dew Tour's Ion Mountain Championships to see what he's been up to since his injury and to check out his recycled-from-bottles Green Mountain Project outerwear collection.
ESPN: Last week we saw a full edit from the Peace Pipe session (above) that we got a glimpse of in the Burton team video "13." That was a cool opportunity to bring your crew together, do something creative and rethink the halfpipe.
It's always nice when your sponsors back you and let you run with an idea. This was the first time I really got to do my own project like that. They were like, "What do you want to do? Let's do it."
I've always wanted a halfpipe with bank landings at the end; I've always wanted hips into a halfpipe and rails on a halfpipe. The idea was really inspired by skate bowls: I'd been skating a bunch, and every skatepark you go to is completely different, every bowl is different. Shouldn't every mountain you go to have something different instead of having the same exact halfpipe? I wanted to promote riding new stuff, progression through terrain.
Can you fill us in on what you've been up to since the crash in New Zealand?
When you break your femur, there are a lot of major muscles involved -- your quads and your butt being a major part of all that -- and putting hardware in your body is always hard on your body. So it took a while to let it all heal, to get to the point where I can get strong.
I've been doing some cross-country skiing here and there, a little bit of snowshoeing, some splitboarding -- just working my way back to snowboarding and getting out in the snow as much as I can. Me and the dogs have been doing a little bit of skinning; they love that, because I've been sitting on the couch so long! I'm finally at the point where I can get strong, and soon I'll be snowboarding and getting back in the pipe.
I can't wait for that. I've been playing far too much guitar the last few months.
Even when you're at the top of your game, you're always backing your crew. Now that you're out of the mix for the season, who are you rooting for?
Scotty Lago's coming out strong; he's riding the strongest he's ever ridden. He qualified first at the Dew Tour, which was no surprise to me. I'd bet Scotty's on the podium, if not on top, at just about everything this year.
I'm also looking for big things this season from Greg Bretz, Louie Vito and Jack and Luke Mitrani. I'm just really excited to go see some contests. Those Japanese kids are ripping -- Kazu Kokubo, you know, all the boys ... everybody's ripping.
And then in slope Mark McMorris is killing it, Roope Tonteri, a bunch of my Burton boys are killing it.
You've had a go of it with injury and recovery over the last few years. What has it meant to you to have your sponsors' support through these injuries?
It's vital. It's the only way I'm still doing what I'm doing. It's not cheap to get hurt and do the tons of physical therapy and get the surgeries and trainers and things that you need to bounce back quickly, and the fact that I have companies like Mountain Dew and Burton and Dragon and Nixon and Frends, and all the fans -- all the people who support me -- it's the only way I'm still doing what I'm doing. There's no doubt about it that injuries suck.
How did this Green Mountain Project collaboration between your sponsors come together?
A snowboard brand and a soda brand aren't two things that you normally see working together, but when you're trying to reduce and reuse and be more conscious about the materials you use in new products, it makes sense to start trying to take some new approaches.
Did you have design input as the collection was coming together?
Yeah, and when we first talked about the concept, we wanted to make everything play the part: using earth tones to make it fit the recycled materials story, using greens and tans and cool artwork to make some original stuff.
The people at Burton and Dew really came together and it's good stuff; the jackets and pants perform really well. The fabric is surprisingly soft but extremely durable. There's a lot of structure to these pieces, so they don't break down and tear as easily as some snowboard clothing. And the threading from the plastic bottles can produce a better quality as far as waterproofing goes.