Bryan Fox, Angel Collinson, and Kalen Thorien shred harder than most—between the three of them, they’ve been featured in dozens of ski and snowboard films and magazine stories (including this one). But each of them have passions that run deeper than just dropping big lines. Angel lobbies Congress each fall on behalf of Protect Our Winters, Kalen is a Youth Ambassador for American Rivers; and Bryan is the founder of Drink Water, a company that encourages people to eschew energy drinks in favor of water.
Pro snowboarder Bryan Fox is the people’s rider. His style isn’t flashy, and he rarely enters competitions. When he placed third at 2013’s invite-only Red Bull Ultra Natural, beating out 13 of the world’s most decorated riders, it was his first-ever podium. Even so, it’s likely you’ve seen him ride. Since his first appearance in 2004’s cult classic snowboard film Some Kind of Life, Fox has appeared in some 20 films, including his own offering, 2014’s award-winning Pathology, which he starred in and made with collaborator Austin Smith. “I’ve always thought that our obsession with snowboards is like a disease,” says Fox. “Some people catch it, and some don’t. Pathology is the study of the disease.” This winter he appears in The Snowboarder Movie: SFD. He’s also a counterculture figure within the sport—his company Drink Water encourages people to eschew sugary drinks, whose purveyors are major sponsors of action sports, in favor of water. “I just want kids to think for themselves,” he says.
Fox grew up far from snow, in a small California town called Ramona in San Diego county. He started skateboarding at age 11 and surfing at age 12. He snowboarded a few times in high school but didn’t catch the disease until he moved to Oregon a week after his high school graduation. “I saw snowboarding as the best of both skating and surfing—the flow and that sense of flying, transcending the earthbound human experience. Oregon felt like home to me, and I could snowboard year-round on Mount Hood.” When Fox decided to drop out of college to snowboard full time, his parents were surprisingly supportive. “The first film premiere I took my dad to, he freaked out. ‘I didn’t know this was a job you could have,’ he said. To this day, he describes my job as ‘jumping off mountains,’” says Fox.