Words: Ryan Tiene
Troy Sturrock – aka Stuzz – is one seriously misunderstood dude. He’s hard-working, charismatic and always willing to help out young boarders, but has a bad boy reputation that has stuck firm – with last year’s rant (and following debacle) definitely not helping shift the stereotype.
Currently shooting Rusty Toothbrush’s latest project, “Poveri Noi”, Stuzz has shrugged off the stress and is looking hungrier than ever.
Transfer sat down with Stuzz and Alex Stewart from Rusty Toothbrush to find out what drives one of Australian snowboarding’s most intriguing riders.
Transfer: Last year you had a bit of a bumpy start to our Australian season…
Troy Sturrock: Yeah, the start of last season wasn’t the greatest for me. I got in a little strife with an article I wrote but everything is all sorted now. I’ve said my apologies, so everything is in the past.
I didn’t get to snowboard for about a month, so I was just so excited to get back on my board and ride with the homies. I had full cabin fever – you can only play so much PlayStation! I was having so much fun once I got back on my board and was in a good headspace, so I ended up having a great season and just focused on riding as much as I could.
Where did you grow up and how did this snowboarding life come about?
T: I’m from Canberra, and I still call it home despite me being there for about three months a year. I’ve lived there my whole life, apart from the three years I spent living in Fiji. I was skiing when I was about three and always wanted to snowboard, but I had to wait until I was tall enough to hire a snowboard at age seven. Then I moved to Fiji. Once I was back in Australia, we went down pretty often. I started getting coached when I was about 15 by Mark Armadio and Andy Lloyd, and they helped me so much. Hooked me up with my first sponsor and it’s all been going uphill since then.
I used to play soccer for about ten years and loved it – still do. I was playing football on a Saturday and then doing day trips to the snow on Sunday. It was getting all too hard with being tired at school and training three times a week. The love of snowboarding eventually took over and I’ve never looked back.
What drives you?
T: I know I can’t do this forever and I want to make the most of it and accomplish as much as I can, while I still can. I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get where I am and I’d hate to see it all go to waste. Snowboarding is the greatest fun and I really love it, plus everything that goes along with it.
Do you get paid enough that this is your full-time gig? Are you a pro?
T: No, I’m not pro. Pro in my eyes is someone who can support themselves entirely off snowboarding and not only just get by, but be making enough money to live a comfortable life. There are only a handful of people out of Australia living off snowboarding, like Scotty James and Jye Kearney. I still work a lot. In Jindabyne, I work at First Tracks snowboard store for the season. When I’m in Canberra, I do landscaping or laboring to make more money. I have recently started snowboard coaching with Turn and Burn snowboard camps, and that’s a great way to get me on snow and also help the up and coming Australian riders.
How did you get involved with the Rusty Toothbrush crew?
T: I met the Rusty Toothbrush guys at a DC event at Perisher. I just clicked with them all. We filmed at Perisher a little, then we discussed what we were doing overseas, and it all just came together from there. I wanted to have a productive summer, so we just started planning and then I joined them for a month in Italy and France.
They are a very productive team and days are rarely wasted. The only thing I had to get used to was how they worked as a group, Alex stealing my snacks and the fact that all three of them are vegetarian and I’m not!
Alex, how was filming with Troy?
Alex Stewart: He is solid as fuck, super consistent, stylish as hell and it was always hilarious riding the backcountry spots with him, mainly because for the first week neither of us landed shit. We gave ourselves the self-nominated title of “Bomb Hole Crew”, which we quickly discovered got quite easily mistaken for “Bumhole Crew”. We gave that name up pretty quick.
For me, a snowboarder with a bit of grit who is willing to bust his ass will always be super valuable to any crew. Those are qualities that – in my opinion – are way more essential to a successful career in snowboarding than just raw natural talent.
Luckily for Stuzz, he’s got a heap of all of the above.
Was that hunt for backcountry something you wanted to do, or was it a coincidence?
T: It was something that I’ve always wanted to get into but haven’t had a lot of chances to get out there. The month I spent filming with Alex and Rusty Toothbrush was focused on being a backcountry trip with riding street on down days or when the snow was crap.
A: If I’m honest, I love the concept of backcountry. I love the process, building and hitting the jumps, but there is a shit ton of waiting around involved that no one tells you about. Whereas in the street, no matter the conditions you can easily find, build and stack a shot all in one day. In the backcountry to do the same thing could take a week.
That said, we dedicated an entire month to filming the backcountry section of the movie with BC legend Tyler Chorlton showing us the ropes.
Cop many nose rolls Troy?
T: Haha, my first days were horrible. It had just snowed about two metres in Italy and it was so deep I just kept disappearing in the landing. It took me way too many tries to do such basic tricks. As the trip went on, I had Tyler giving me tips and was stoked to put some tricks down.
Alex, what can you tell us about the man we might not know?
A: Don’t steal his cookies. He can be quite protective of his cookies! I’m actually going to use this as an opportunity to apologise for taking your cookies Stuzz… on multiple occasions. I’ll buy you eight boxes when we get back to Australia, I promise!
[While shooting], Troy and I actually discovered the enigma code for how to pick up at a bar. All it took was a few wingmen, a camera, and a fake fiancé. Posted up at the Bar Chez Bou Bou in Les Arcs we took turns playing wingman to Stuzz, ushering over basically anyone we pleased, telling them that Stuzz was due to get married next week to his 22yr old fiancé (soon to be wife) named Jessica. We told the girls that he had been given a one-week hall pass by Jessica to do whatever he liked until they sealed the knot.
Wait till the movie “Poveri Noi” comes out, and you’ll find out how well he did – or didn’t – do…