The man behind the Natural Selection Tour is Travis Rice, now 38 years old. Almost 20 years ago he won gold at the X-Games, 15 years ago he won the title at the Air & Style contest under the Olympic roof in Munich, then he became a worldwide brand in snowboard films - and it's exactly these two worlds that he now combines with his baby called Natural Selection.
One person who has known him well for years and has already produced a film with him, "Dark Matter", is Elias Elhardt from Allgäu. The 33-year-old has a similar career path to his buddy Travis: Junior World Champion at 17, X-Games, Air & Style, change to film, psychology studies in Innsbruck, a few competitions on the Freeride World Tour now and then. His films: not snowboard porn mainstream, but rather thoughtful, questioning reflections on the contradictions of his sport, on growing older and growing up in a sport that has dedicated itself to eternal youth.
Asked how important Travis Rice is to the snowboard scene, Elhardt says, "There's no one more important," and follows up with, "He has an incredible amount of energy to move things forward, is such a doer! Calculated, focused and concentrated on what he does. He's a go-getter who wants to get things moving and can do so. Natural Selection is his legacy of snowboarding, so to speak, with which he wants to take the sport even further. He has made snowboarding accessible to the general public through films like "Art of flight" and "That's it, that's all", has become an advocate for the sport. And riding-wise, he's in a category all his own on the board again, dominating the sport for 15 years."