My Perfect Adventure
He’s an Olympian and one of the world’s best halfpipe riders, but snowboarder Louie Vito isn’t satisfied yet. Up against other halfpipe greats such as Shaun White and Iouri Podladtchikov, the 24-year-old Ohio native wants to be No. 1, and he’s stepping up an already impressive career to get there.
Vito has had a solid run since placing fifth in halfpipe at the 2010 Winter Olympics, with podium finishes at 17 of his past 20 major superpipe contests. This year he snagged his fourth Winter X Games medal and reclaimed his title as the Winter Dew Tour superpipe champion, and he has won four of the past five U.S. Grand Prix Overall Championships. He also scored a prestigious Red Bull sponsorship last year after White left his spot with the energy drink giant, and, partly thanks to a tough new training regimen, he was invited to bear it all in a nude photo shoot for “The Body Issue” of ESPN Magazine last year.
Here, Vito tells us what he admires about boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr., how he prefers to get revenge, and why he thinks skeptics only make him stronger.
Describe your perfect day, from dawn 'til dusk. Where would you be, who would you meet, and what would you do?
This is a tough one. I would say I’d be somewhere in the mountains, maybe the Alps, because then you’re literally in the mountains rather than simply at a resort town. I would snowboard all day with my friends and family. Of course there would be a few feet of fresh snow. Then, after riding, we’d stay at a place with an amazing pool, hot tub, and sauna. I love being out in a pool or a hot tub with snow all around you and coming down.
If you could travel somewhere you've never been, where would you go and why?
Bora Bora. I’ve seen pictures of those huts off the docks in the middle of the craziest blue water, and I’ve always wanted to go there. The blue water makes the destination seem unreal. I feel like it would be the most relaxing place.
Where is the best place you've ever visited? What made it so special?
I don't know if it would be the best, but one of the more memorable places I’ve been was the Bahamas. I think that’s the last time I really went on a vacation, and that was around 10 years ago. My grandpa took the whole family. We went on a cruise—with islands, family, parasailing, the whole nine. Of course, my dad took the lead, and we didn't do any of the activities through the cruise, but rather through the locals, which may or may not have been the best move. We went parasailing with a sketchy guide, went to another island to pick up his friend, and ended up at a dock with no one there. Meanwhile, all the docks next to us were filled with tourists and official groups. But we survived and it was a trip I will never forget.
If you could have lunch with any adventurer, explorer, or athlete, who would it be and why?
I’d like to go to lunch with boxing champ Floyd Mayweather. People love to hate him, but he knows he's the best and he backs it up. I just think you have to tell yourself that you’re the best and no one is better than you, that no one can beat you every time you enter a contest, a fight, or a race. That’s what Floyd does. I’d love to sit and talk to him—I think I could learn some things. I met him one time in Vegas when I was with a mutual friend, but it was a late night out and about, and not the best time to pick his brain.
What's something you can't travel without? And why do you need it?
I can’t travel without my phone and my computer. I like to stay connected. I’m really lucky to have a sponsorship with Sprint, so I can use my phone wherever I go, and whenever. That’s a real life saver, especially when you have hiccups in your travel plans. My computer just keeps me connected to what’s going on around me. My emails, music, movies, and calendars—it’s all on my computer.