Scotty James just keeps getting better.
The most dominant Aussie snow sports athlete ever has been absolutely ruling the World’s best pipe events. Off the back of his new Oakley Signature Line Miner XL goggles release we caught up with the laid back legend for a quick Q & A.
Between training (he’s back in Europe now), maintaining his social media channels and signing goggle sleeves, he’s one busy boy..
SA: We’ve been loving your lockdown stuff. Especially golf. Is that your 2nd super power and back up next career move?
SJ: It was definitely a new hobby for me golfing around the house. Was keeping me occupied. If only the skills in the house would transition to the course.. we may have another career!
SA: But it must have been great to get out of lockdown finally. How did you escape Australia, did you have to do the online application to Border Force like mere mortals, or did someone upstairs sort an exemption?
SJ: I was a little sad to leave honestly, but I was also grateful that I got that much time at home. We had to go through the full strenuous process of approvals, but we had some special assistance no doubt. I also love the show Border Security so I probably would have thrown my hand up if we got stopped, ha ha!
SA: This must be the longest you’ve been off snow since forever. Do you get rusty – guess you’ll find out now?
SJ: I’d like to think I won’t be rusty but I’m sure I’ll have to iron out a few details in the halfpipe when I get back in there.
SA: Do you normally ride much at home anymore, just get out with your mates and relax a bit, go for a slash in pow or whatever?
SJ: Sadly not much anymore. I do try to get up as much as I can with friends when I’m back home as it bring back a lot of memories growing up. But typically in the US or Europe these days.. I’m still biased to Australia though. There is nothing like riding in the gumtrees.
SA: X-Games says your riding improved dramatically the past 3 years, that “Once he got a taste of podium he kicked his training into overdrive to ensure he’d be on top of it every time.” Was there a moment when you actually thought “I’ve got this” type thing, that you own top spot, or is it always comp-to-comp focus?
SJ: I made some changes internally on my side which helped a lot with the success to date. Different couches, mentors and a lot of work I had to do on myself. I look at my career and it’s funny when they talk about “the past three years”. I have been traveling and competing since I was 13 now and everything was a learning curve until I discovered what worked for me. It took 9-10 years of hard work before I found what worked for me. I am just persistent and wasn’t going to let up because I knew I could do it.
SA: Is X-Games harder than World Champs? Is it a bigger buzz? LAAX looks crazy fun too. You got favourite events?
SJ: X-Games is a unique one. It definitely carries a lot of hype and it is special to compete in with all the lights and fans. I really enjoy all three of these competitions, with Laax being one of my favorites if not my favorite of them all.
SA: Have always wondered how you focus under the spotlights at mega night comps like X-Games?
SJ: I have always looked at it as an opportunity to do what I love and show the world what I work hard for. Those big shows are all about perspective. I don’t let the hype overcome what the actual goal is. That keeps me focused.
SA: At just 27 you will have been to 4 Olympics. Beijing 2022 is closing fast. Is that #1 unfinished business for you (not putting any pressure on or anything from couch potato land)?
SJ: The goal for me is to be the best I can every year and every competition no matter how big or small. If I do that, then the un finished business with anything I set my mind to will get done.
SA: A few years back I went to have a look at Shaun White’s personal super pipe at Perisher. Watching your lets-build-a-Superpipe-downunder video on All Day SJ the thought popped up that if Scotty James ever had a personal pipe he’d invite mates and rivals to share it, Olympics or no Olympics?
SJ: Getting a private pipe is the holy grail and a huge benefit to success in competition. Getting the opportunity to get repetition on tricks is always the hardest feat to overcome with there always being elements to look out for in other scenarios. With your own pipe you can have that mental freedom and learn a valuable amount of tricks. I’d love to have this every year regardless of the Olympics. I would probably have a few friends there too to enjoy a dream come true with me.
SA: There’s no shortage of athletes with more attitude than results. You’re the opposite. What keeps you so grounded?
SJ: I am the youngest of four. It’s impossible for me to get a big head about it all and my siblings will always keep me grounded. There is always attitude when I’m out competing though. I just learnt how to turn it off.
SA: Last but definitely not least, how is the new Oakley Scotty James Signature Line Miner XL going to help us all nail those switch backside double cork 1260s, give or take 1080 and a cork or two?
SJ: My signature goggles are going to give snowboarders the extra edge they need on the mountain by providing the ultimate peripheral vision! These goggles are pulled closer to the face than ever before, which allows for incredible downwards and side-to-side periphery. Then of course, every snow athlete will benefit from the goggle’s PRIZM lens technology, because it helps see contrast on the mountain in a variety of light and snow conditions. Then, I’ve chosen PRIZM Torch lenses and bold graphics so that snow lovers can look great while enjoying the mountains!
SA: On your site you have a charity link for Challenge, looks like something pretty worthwhile to be involved with?
SJ: I work with a charity called Challenge who help and support kids and families living with cancer. Check out what they do. It’s really special.