Senior Editor

The Inertia

In recent years, snowboarding’s influence on surfing has become more and more obvious. Surfing, of course, has always influenced snowboarding, but as snowboarding hits literal new heights, it’s making a bigger mark on surfing than ever before. Two of the leaders in both sports are Kai Lenny and Travis Rice, so it makes sense that they’d throw themselves down a mountain together for an episode of Life of Kai.

Lenny hits the mountains a few times a year. He does it for a few reasons: the first, of course, is because snowboarding is stupidly fun. The second is to train for his first love.

“After getting so many amazing waves out of Jaws, getting barreled and just surviving it, it’s not that it’s no longer scary or that it doesn’t feel good,” Kai says. “It’s that that first-ever has disappeared. The similarity between drawing big lines on a big wave to drawing big lines on a massive mountain… it’s pretty much parallel. I think there is an absolute parallel with what I’m trying to do on big waves and what he’s done on big mountains.”

At the top of Kai’s trick list to practice is a double backflip. Now, just one back flip is hard enough — on a snowboard or a surfboard — but Kai’s on a level where one just ain’t going to cut it.

“Getting the double on a wave has kind of stalled a bit,” Kai says. “You just don’t have that many opportunities. Even though I didn’t come away with the cleanest double rotation, the fact that I was so comfortable going that fast at a ramp, flying that high, and going that far, actually aiming it to where you need to land it on a wave is going to be far less scary.”


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