The BME interview.
By Mikey Costello
I had a chance to catch up with The BadMeetsEvil Crew this summer, after talking with Ben and Ethan I wasn’t aware of everything they had been up to, it’s a crew on the move and sounds like there is a bunch in the works. I found this story to be unique and is relatable to any skier who has ever thought about getting sponsored or put out web edits. Below is my interview with Super Unknown finalists and creators of the BME series athletes, Ben Smith and Ethan Swadburg.
Mikey: To start off, could you give us some background? How do you guys know each other, where are ya from...?
Ethan: Ben and I met when we both moved to Summit County for our sophomore year of high school. He moved from Vermont and I moved from Colorado Springs. I grew up as a hardcore weekend warrior with my family until I moved to Summit County for high school.
Mikey: What’s up with BadMeetsEvil? Where are you guys going to take this next season?
Ben: BadMeetsEvil is the idea that no matter what we put out we want it to be raw and be seen for the skiing. The best part about it is we help edit film and pick all the music. Most edits will also have tracks from the BadMeetsEvil albums.
Next season we plan on doing less park edits and take it more into the streets and backcountry. We just want to keep releasing content that people haven't seen us do before. Also some friends will be joining us for sure.
Ethan: BadMeetsEvil is the name of our web-series but is also a crew of guys who just want to shred as hard as they can. Hard to say where BadMeetsEvil will go next season but we definitely have some large plans brewing. I guess you'll have to wait and see!
Mikey: Ethan lets start off with you as you came over first what brought you to RMU how did you get noticed?
Ethan: I came over to Rocky Mountain Underground after riding for a few different ski companies but I never really got the connection with the brand that I wanted. Jay Badgley ( phunkshun) introduced me to Mike Waesche at RMU and I’ve been riding with them ever since. RMU has really kept it like a small family.
Mikey: Ben your story was a bit more traditional but for all the kids wondering how to get noticed or sponsored not a bad angle to share.
Yea, RMU hooked me up with some old skis and told me to kinda prove myself. Ethan and I then went out and filmed the first BadMeetsEvil. We were both real hungry to put something out that would set the standard of what our series would be like. After that, I went to VT for the Carinthia Cup and won that. It was a really good second half of the year when I switched to RMU's to say the least. I literally skied on old warranty skis until I was able to put up results. Now it’s a different story with the Rippah but good to remember if you really want some things don’t be afraid to prove it.
Mikey: Tell me about the Rippah... RMU is more known as a backcountry brand, how did you all convince them to make another park ski or is the Rippah a park ski?
Ethan: Haha Ben and I were really stoked on RMU and RMU was stoked on Ben and I,... so we ended up making a ski. Haha. In my mind, the Rippah is intended for the park but more importantly is a ski that is fun all over the mountain. The Rippah lets you ski the whole mountain instead of just the park.
Ben: I think we convinced RMU to build the Rippah because it's far more than a park ski. I'm going to ski the Rippah every damn day next season. The way it's built is amazing it charges through any type of snow, wide enough to ski some deep snow but light enough to do any rail trick you want. Once they saw the design of the ski I'm sure there making it so they can ride them all year anyways. Haha.
Mikey: Tell us about the process, how do you go from....heres some old warranty skis …. let’s build a ski... to finding dimensions,.... building a flex pattern,... graphic etc.?
Ethan: A lot of talking and planning over a month or two. Ben and I were pretty like-minded on what kind of ski we wanted, so the dimensions and early rise were something we agreed upon pretty quickly. For some reason RMU let us design the top sheet as well haha, but it actually turned out awesome. We took an old RMU ski and got some black electrical tape so we could put some ideas on a ski, and we pretty much just had an arts and crafts session until we came up with a design that we were stoked on.
Ben: It was a hard process going from an idea that was shot out around a table, to skiing on the first pair of Rippah’s. I have to give a lot of credit to Mike, Steph, Dean and all the boys at the RMU’s new factory in Carbondale Colorado as they were the ones who were really working out all the fine details. But coming up with the dimensions was tough. Ethan and I really wanted to have a ski that would do it all. Something that when it got real slushy in March and April, it could charge through all of it and still ski like its 88 underfoot. (Even though it's 98).
Mikey: How was the testing process ?
Ethan: Well I was able to get the A-Basin late season, Ben took a pair to Mt. Hood, and we just skied on them as hard we could. We put in a couple tweaks from the originals, but pleased to say that they are now skiing just how we wanted them to.
Ben: The testing process went really well, definitely a little nervous at first because if I didn't like it it's not like I can blame anyone but myself. But after the first few turns I knew that it was exactly what we had in mind. It was really sick on jumps easy to carve and stomp in slush. And on rails it felt like it had zero swing weight. I've never been able to pretzel and do 6's off of rails so easily on a fairly big ski.
Mikey: Why would you choose the Rippah... and what does the name mean?
Ethan: Haha just felt right I guess. Who wouldn't want to ski on a ski named the Rippah?
Ben: The Rippah, simply because it's going to be the only skis I will need next year, for urban, park, and some pow. Well… Behind every name is a story... I got a last minute invite to the Mammoth Grand Prix, and had to leave right away, so I could make practice the next morning. I brought two cases of Monster Rippers. Must have drank 7-8 Rippers on the way out and at least 3 the next day. I was staying with Ethan and Keegan Kilbride. Keegan is from Maine so he started saying “rippah” instead of “ripper”. Then we started calling everything “rippah’s”. Did a “rippah” on the jump, let's go take a “rippah”, drink some “rippah’s”, have a “rippah”, yea you get the idea.
Mikey: If I get a pair is there anything else I should know?
Ethan: RMU is making only 25 pairs, so you could ski on a ski that only 24 other people in the whole world will have. Also it may or may not make you the best skier on the mountain!
Ben: If you get a pair, enjoy, and f'n rip it. Lifetime warranty!
The Rippah is up for sale online now at http://www.rockymountainunderground.com. This 128-98-128 ski comes in 172 and 182 for $399. Enter “newschoolers” at checkout and receive free shipping. Thanks to RMU and BME for making this happen.