This is an excerpt from the TransWorld Snowboarding 2008 Photo Annual Issue. This is how it all started.
"Back in his days as a pro rider, the early 90's, Ian Ruhter was hella new-school. According to tight bro and former TransWorld Editor Nathan Yant, "Ian rode switch better than some pros of that time rode regular. he could adapt to any sort of terrain - hitting rails, partying off of cliffs, or tearing up park jumps. Best of all, Ruht was his own man, always speaking his mind no matter if it meant getting fired from a sponsor, or getting in a fight - no surprise since he grew up in the shadow of Tahoe legends Shaun Palmer and Jimmy Halopoff." At that time, a big part of pro snowboarding was "just being a drunk idiot" - which Ian had dialed. On a filming trip headed to Montana, he spent a night partying with Devun Walsh and the Whiskey crew, earning his moniker the "Green Cowboy." After buying some cowboy clothes to wear in Montana, he topped off his new look with Whiskey's Boozy the Clown rainbow wig, and got loose. In a blacked-out, late night video extra from the cult-classic Shorty's video, SNOW, Ian proclaimed, "Ya'll never seen the Green Cowboy..."
During that fast and dirty era in shred history, Ruht was highly visible in Blunt magazine. He got booted off Lamar and then followed it up by calling out Mike Ranquet in his Blunt interview, which ended in a fistfight in the Mt. Baker base lodge. An older, wiser Ruht explains, "All this shit was just a stepping stone to take me to what I was supposed to be doing - photography. I was washed up by 25 and was shooting photos by 26 - pretty sad." Tahoe shred photographer Aaron Sedway sold Ian his first camera and the spark was lit. Once he got behind the lens and out into the Tahoe backcountry with Kevin Jones, Sean Johnson and Halopoff, the snowboarding life really came into focus for Ian. In 1997, Ian got his first shot published in TransWorld - it was a shot of his bro, the legendary Boozy the Clown, Sean Johnson. And the rest, as they say, is history. "