If you’ve seen Travis Rice’s 2016 opus, the Fourth Phase, you know snowboarding’s wünderkind moonlights as a sailor. In a practical sense, when the surface you ride on – snow – is a seasonal phenomenon, you need a hobby to pass the time during the doldrums of summer and fall. As Travis addresses in the Fourth Phase, though, sailing has similarities to snowboarding in that ultimately Mother Nature is in control.
This fall, Travis pushed his sailing – as he does his snowboarding – to the limit with an epic journey, voyaging approximately 2,500 nautical miles between Tahiti and Hawaii, and surfing in between, a trip we touched on here at The Inertia in September.
He recruited big wave hellman and father of two goats, Ian Walsh, to accompany him on the journey. The trip had an enviro-spin as well: every hundred miles or so the crew gathered samples of surface water to send to Adventure Scientists, a company that gathers data to address these big-picture environmental problems. AS used the samples to test for microplastics in that part of the Pacific Ocean.
Finding waves was almost secondary. Ian Walsh’s uncertainty says it all: “Will we see surf? I don’t know. But we’ll definitely see some surf potential.”
Nice, Ian. Cautiously optimistic. This is the trip’s full edit. As you can tell, it was a good one.