Would You Rather: Pro-Snowboarder Danny Davis
Editor's Note: When particularly awesome friends of ours decide to drop by the office, we're going to play a little game with them. In addition to a normal Q+A (which you'll find below) we'll also get inside their heads as they evaluate a series of ludicrous hypothetical scenarios. We'd like to thank Reddit's Would You Rather community for the inspiration, and Danny Davis for being our crash test dummy on this first round.
Danny Davis is not your average professional athlete. Straight off his flight back from the Sochi Olympics, Supercompressor sat down with the (formerly bearded) snowboarder and 2014 X Games gold medalist to catch up on headphones, festivals, Olympic Tinder, and duck-sized horses.
Supercompressor: Do you think growing up in the Midwest shaped your perspective of snowboarding?
Danny Davis: One thing that was great is that I grew up snowboarding on really icy snow, so once I moved out west, or even when I moved out east, [everything] was so much better. My local mountain was only 306 vertical feet. Being stoked on that tiny hill pretty much ensured that I'd be a happy camper anywhere in the world.
Weirdly I wasn’t really into snowboarding in the beginning. I didn’t look at magazines and I didn’t watch snowboard videos ‘till I was 15 maybe? We just didn’t have Pros or anything on our local mountain so we didn't really know that there was this whole world out there. We were just snowboarding because we were bored and it was fun. It was never competitive either, nobody was asking, “who’s the best?” It was just about who could do back flips, because back flips are sweet.
Speaking of who’s the best, the snowboard community seems to have mixed feelings on snowboarding being part of the Olympics. What are your personal thoughts after competing in it?
In short, the Olympics bring snowboarding to a lot of people. I am a huge fan of inspiring more people to snowboard. It’s made me very happy in my life, and to get it in front of the eyes of more people, specifically kids, it’s a great thing.
Do you think it's a game changer that Sage Kotsenburg won the Olympic gold for slope style, and Shaun White was bumped out of a medal?
Sage is a great representation of snowboarding. He is a true snowboarder. I look at some of the past people who have done really well on their Olympic journey, but as soon as they’re done with it, they’re like, “I just want to not snowboard for a month!” and you’re like woah, what the f*ck? Whereas Sage has already been shredding back at Park City and having a blast. Same goes for Jamie Anderson, she is a true snowboarder. They are good ambassadors for the sport, no doubt.
As for Shaun? It’s a shame. It’s hard to fall, and it’s hard to fall twice. I think for him, it’s probably harder because he had a whole lot of people riding on him to do well. It sucks to have the journey of going to the Olympics, then have nothing happen. I would have loved to have an American on the podium. But, in the same respect, the people that rode great that day definitely deserved it.
Serious question: Were athletes using Tinder to get down in the Olympic Village?
I heard that Tinder was going off down there. Also before I even got there, there were rumors of like, “250,000 condoms were passed around the Olympic Village... blah blah blah.” But the thing is, there is no alcohol in the Olympic Village. It’s dry and you cannot get a drink. To be fair I didn’t stay in the athlete village a lot of the time. I was out a lot because it was so removed. Most of the good restaurants and stuff were down by the coastal village. But yeah, I would like to say Tinder was the jump off — must have been all the horny curlers.
Back to business, tell us about Frends headphones. How did you end up competing in the high fashion headphone market? Was that your original plan, to sell headphones to chicks with Hermés bags?
[Laughs] So basically what happened is we started making guys headphones and it was me and seven other friends, including Keir Dillon. Keir was coming to the tail end of his career, and said, “Let’s start a company, and I’ll run it. You guys just support it, do exactly what you’re doing, pump it up, be stoked.” So we did it. We made guys headphones — we made some girls stuff — but mostly focused on mens.
We had some trouble at first, then we learned about factories. Who’s a good factory, who’s not. Really making sure you try out all your sh*t before to see how it works. Then it got to the point where Keir was like, “It’s really hard to make money selling guys headphones... [but] nobody is making women-specific, pretty headphones.” And so, because we were running out of money, [Keir] said we were going to make women's headphones for a while. Hopefully the day will come that we can get back into guys headphones. A lot of headphones, even Beats by Dre, are kind of boring. And there are a lot of ways to make them look good.
We wear our [Frends] headphones all the time. On the hill. On the plane. And I see people on the subway, walking down the street. They’re a true accessory, like glasses or watches, so they should look good. It’s been rad to see some babes wear them too. Brittany Spears for instance. Even Snoop Dogg. It was definitely all Keir’s doing, but it’s been cool to be a part of it.
While we’re speaking about Frends, the Frendly Gathering in Vermont: what is it, and why is it?
Basically we have three days of music. We’ll probably have 20-30 bands this year with a mix of bluegrass, rock and roll, and DJs. All around good time. Only 3,000 people total and we cap it at that. It’s on a big mountain so you can camp in your own area, get into some really nice views. It’s great.
What was the gnarliest thing you have ever seen go down there?
We don’t sell any booze, it’s all very much BYOB and there was some guy making money off of selling jungle juice recently. We had some super drunk kids, like crazy drunk kids, over 21 and cool kids, but they were just going off on the Jungle juice. We have a couple late night shows, like 3 a.m., 4 a.m., so those are always kind of wild. All around it's just an awesome time.
OK, now for the hard stuff. Rapid fire:
Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or a hundred duck-sized horses?
One giant duck would be so scary... those beaks. A hundred duck-sized horses you could just, like, kick away.
Would you rather be able to lift 100 pounds with your mind, or 10,000 pounds with your body?
Would you rather receive $20,000 right now, or gain the ability to summon Stone Cold Steve Austin three times in your life?
Totally Steve Austin. $20,000 isn’t worth it.
Would you accept $10,000 per year for life if it meant every time you hit your funny bone you pooped your pants?
Follow up Q: But what if you were on a date?
Who cares about the date? Now you’ve got $10,000 bucks.
Would you rather hold your horses, or cool your jets?
I am a big fan of horses, so horses.
Would you rather have a soup, or a side salad?
Big salad guy. Definitely salad.
Would you rather have hair for teeth, or teeth for hair?
I’ve got really nice hair, so hair for teeth for sure.
Would you rather have one hand that perpetually shrinks every day or speak with the same tone and intensity as Donald Duck for the rest of your life?
Does that mean every time your hand shrinks your dick does?...Don’t those things go together? Donald Duck you could get famous for... Donald Duck, definitely. Final answer.
Would you rather sweat gold or piss diamonds?
Piss diamonds is like passing a kidney stone. I'd rather sweat gold for sure.
Would you rather have your entire browser history available for people to see or fart confetti for a month?
I’ve got nothing to hide, YouJizz is probably the worst. Maybe? I'd rather have everyone see my entire browser history.
Special thanks to Chris Wellhausen for letting us use his image of Danny up top. For over a decade he has been splitting his efforts between editorial and commercial photography in the snowboarding world. In his position as Photo Editor for TransWorld SNOWboarding, Chris is responsible for some of the most legendary snowboarding imagery out there. Stay tuned to Supercompressor for a Photo Roll feature on his work!