Hello Summer. This season SAXX presents the Summer Blog Series, featuring inspiring people and places to ensure you are equipped to make the best of those long summer days ahead. From sailing, wedding crashing to glacier snowboarding we caught up with professional snowboarder and co-founder of Drink Water, Austin Smith to learn a bit more about how he spends his hot summer days…
Austin, where are you from and what do you do?
I am from Bend, Oregon. I try to do as much as possible, ride bikes, play hockey, surfing, skateboarding, sailing, traveling, camping, but I am known for my snowboarding.
Snowboarding for a career must allow you to travel to some amazing places. Where are your favorite destinations in the world to travel to for snowboarding?
It really varies depending on what you’re looking for. The north island of Japan has the best snow in the world. Alaska obviously has the best and biggest mountains. Austria and the Alps are usually the most fun trips with a little bit of everything. Lastly, if you want to do a trip in the summer Argentina is the place to go, it is gorgeous down there.
Is snowboarding a year-round job or do you get a summer break?
Last year was pretty nonstop but recently I got knee surgery and it is awesome because it's the only time I get a real break. Taking breaks gives you time to reassess, reevaluate, reconsider, and refocus, I enjoy it. More office jobs should give sabbaticals, employees would come back either over it and quit or fired up with new ideas.
I agree that a break helps you pause the daily routine and look at it all from a new perspective. With your newfound free time, do you have any summer plans you are looking forward to?
I have a few bike trips planned and Bryan Fox and I host a snowboard race in the summer at Mt Hood called the Rat Race. We are working on that consistently up until the event on July 12th. Other then that I have a few bachelor parties to attend, a few weddings and then maybe hop on my friend Macy and Quintin’s sailboat headed to Australia.
That sounds like a busy summer and all the bike trips will be beneficial for your knee rehabilitation. Other then biking, what sports do you play in the summer?
Last summer I was skating as much as possible but this year it will be more low impact activities: sailing, walking, swimming, just trying to make the most of it.
You are the owner of a Hobie Cat correct? Any sailing trips planned?
The Hobie’s will be at the Rat Race for anyone to rip around on. Besides that, they just live tied up to a tree on a lake outside of Bend, OR and we use them for afternoon lake days.
You seem to spend a great amount of time in the Pacific North West in the summer. What are your favorite summer vacation spot?
Sweaty skate trips to NYC rule, I always end up in Encinitas in the summer, but it is less about the place and more about the people. A big group of us go to Sasquatch every year, and 4th of July in Bend OR is the best destination of them all.
You are known to be quite the wedding hopper. How many weddings are you attending this summer and where are they?
I have 6 weddings to attend thus far, all in the Northwest; it's going to be a hell of a season.
From sports to weddings, you undoubtedly spend a great amount of time hanging out with friends. Do you have any go-to summer drinks?
Is this a set up? Well especially, post surgery as of now, I just Drink Water. It’s also not a bad option on the hot summer days.
What about the BBQ season? What are your party-favored BBQ recipes?
I usually wait for Curtis Ciszek to catch me a fish, but for the most part, I'm terrible at cooking. I am more of a blender guy, I have a great smoothie menu and a Vitamix that can blend anything.
When you are not listening to the sound of your Vitamix blending the next smoothie do you have a summer playlist you listen to?
I will go to music festivals and dance at weddings, but I’m not too into music. I have all these NPR radio shows that I nerd out on, its my substitution for not going to college.