In his latest interview, Wend rider Daron Rahlves opens up about the Banzai Tour, his world travels, and his plans for the future.
Name Daron Rahlves
Nicknames: D, Banzai, D Money
Birthday: June 12, 1973
Home Mountain: Sugar Bowl Resort, CA
Sponsors: Atomic, Red Bull, Spyder, Giro, Sugar Bowl Resort, Contour, Wend Wax, CEP Compression
Films: Warren Miller’s Dynasty, Children of Winter, Wintervention, and Like There’s No Tomorrow;Matchstick Productions; Rage Films; TGR’s Light the Wick, One For the Road, and Dream Factory
Favorite music to shred to: Nature
Who is your greatest influence in life? Inspiring people, those who push themselves.
3 things you will make time for? Family / friends, eating, skiing!
3 things you don’t have time for? I try and make time for everything.
If you could have a drink with anyone who would it be? Warren Miller
The Banzai Tour was a huge success this year with events at four Lake Tahoe resorts. Tell us about how this maniacal event came to fruition, and where you see it going in the future?Thanks! I feel like it was a success and stoked that others notice. I’ve competed my entire life and wanted others to feel what it’s like to stand in the gate, throw themselves down the hill and find out what they are made of. Skiing in natural conditions and terrain is what we all do. I wanted to take it to the next level and create an event that rewards skiing fast with others. Like motocross on skis or a burly ski cross track. Four at a time and the first one down wins. This is what I did growing up as a kid before I raced on the World Cup. I set the course utilizing the terrain available and snow conditions at four of Tahoe’s resorts. For 2012 Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl provided epic venues for the RBT events. The future could see the RBT expanding out of the Tahoe area, but for now I want to bring competitors and fans here to my area and blow people’s minds of the grit, guts and skills our competitors have. I bet the top athletes from last year can give any world-class freeskier or racer a serious run for it. This is the ultimate test of going fast on skis and snowboards.
You are in two segments for this years film Flow State, what was the highlight of each trip? The Kings & Corn trip in the Tordrillos was amazing all around. To hang out, ski and fish with Tommy Moe and Marco Sullivan was a dream trip! Three generations of US Ski Team athletes ripping runs at “corn o’clock” and hooking up on King Salmon was lots of fun. I did crush it over all the boys with 6 Kings in one day. If we had a tuck off I’m not sure who would win, but we all loved going fast over that carpet of corn!
The Telluride trip with Chris Davenport, Jess McMilian and Josh Bibby highlight was the last day I had on the trip. We got surprised with blue skies after the report was stormy weather to continue. When we finally lifted to ski, I had an hour and a half in the field. Unfortunately when filming it takes a while to set up and I didn’t ski the line I wanted before racing to the airport to make my flight and get back to kick off the first RBT event in Kirkwood the next day. I was given the honors to drop in first on a nice couloir that had blower pow and that made my trip. To top it off I watched Bibby, Dav and Jess shred it too and we were all high fiving at the pickup zone.