Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

Photos: Ashley Rosemeyer

Of all the action sports, snowboarding is probably the least misogynistic, but that’s not saying much. It’s still a man’s world. It’s not that women in snowboarding are asking for special treatment – just a non hostile environment where it’s cool to be yourself, and maybe a lower contest entry fee if they’re competing for a smaller prize purse. And it will get there, especially with motivated girls like Danyale Patterson to pave the way. With ear muffs on to block the haters, and the drive to make just about anything happen all by herself, Danyale is someone who will be remembered in snowboarding long after her body gives out (the streets are a harsh mistress, ya know.) It doesn’t hurt that she’s singlehandedly making a women’s street video happen right now, either. It’s been a long time coming, but this is Dangy’s hump day.

What do your parents think about your chosen life path? Are they supportive?

My parents are the dankest and just want me to be happy. My dad taught me how to snowboard and is pretty much the same as me. He’s in mags for like ice climbing a stuff.  My mom is such a sweet heart. She wants me to go to school and get a real job, but my happiness is most important. My mom dropped me off at a weed trimming scene last summer.

ha! How was that?

Well I was fresh outta knee surgery, but I wanted to make some paper. So she drove me to Cali and dropped me off. She’s an angel.

What percentage of the snowboarders you see in videos do you think support their snowboarding by trimming weed?

70%. That and drug studies

What’s the job like? Gimme your average day.

It’s so boring. Just sit there with lil fiskers and trim away while Listening to radio lab. Roll up. Collect finger hash (Your fingers collect hash from handling the weed). Get money.

A highly athletic switch nosepress at Sugarbush.

Do you worry about being a bad influence on younger girls?

No. I don’t do anything that bad. Weeds legal, drinking’s legal. I’m straight.

Do you feel pressure from the industry to clean up your image and be a nice girl? Do you think if you weren’t into partying you would have an easier time getting support for your projects?

Of course. I get so harshed for partying. I don’t get it! We all party! God, the cover of that 32 movie was Dylan Alito puking. We aren’t doing anything that sloppy. Why can’t girls party?! I mean they all do but we aren’t allowed to show it?? Why? It’s fun. It’s really fun. I have a lot of priceless stories and memories of partying with my friends. When I edit I like to show those good times. They make me smile. I meet a lot of good people while partying. It’s a douche bag male run world and women are supposed to be clean lil virgins for the boys. Grow the fuck up, bros. It’s not offensive, it’s fun. I don’t drink or get high while snowboarding. Apres, dawg. If you get worked up over a flipping Too Hard edit your life must really suck and you should go have some fun. But yeah sponsors are always saying wack noise like “can’t help you out cuz your image is too risky.” Guarantee no dude is hearing weak stuff like that. If you ask me they should be shut’n the hell up and enjoying the show.

Are you an idiot, or a genius?

Genius.

How do you figure?

Cuz I can solve like almost any Sudoku.

Ha. How did you get Vice to do a series on Too Hard?

I impressed them with my Sudoku skillz and they were like, “Whoa! We gotta do a series on this baddie.” JK. That was all Lukas Huffman. He worked pretty hard too. I just chilled.

Are you happy with how it came out?

I am! I mean it only showed some sides of Too Hard. I wish it showed how much fun we have. I’m not usually hurt and bummed out. It was definitely a super fun trip and so cool to be on Vice and even cooler that Lukas chose us. Such an honor. He’s a legend.

You girls definitely took some flack for it – was it discouraging?

Yeah. But not really. Like it is when people say shit like, “ignore the hate girls, you rule.” Or like how you just asked that question. The hate comments don’t bother me, it’s the fact that people think it bothers me.  I don’t notice the hate until people like shove it in my face, I guess.

Yeah, don’t feed the trolls. If you let it bother you, they win.

I’m not really a pussy when it comes to that, cuz I also get a lot of love too. Sometimes I get more hate and sometimes I get more love. You win some you lose some. You just gotta try your best.

Life in the streets is hard for a playa. Photo: Ashley Rosemeyer.

How did you get that shiner?

I was in Quebec at a house party. My dude friends got in a fight and I tried to join in haha. I tried to punch a guy and then he punched me. haha. I flew into some bushes. And then the bro ran into the house and locked the door. And my friends broke the house windows. OMG such a funny night though. Just a brunch of idiots and fighting outside and breaking windows. I bet the neighbors were like WTF!

How did your knee hold up this season?

Not great. I had a fucked up surgery. So I had to have two surgeries. And then my rib started popping out. But because my rib started popping out, it forced me to stop boarding. And now my knee feels really good. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been now. I’ve been skating and I don’t get tired as fast as I used to and I ollie way higher.

What happened to your rib? That sounds gnar.

I just got bucked and landed on it. It started popping out. And I didn’t stop riding or drinking. I was in Quebec and just couldn’t stop sending it and it was next level painful. Every time I laughed or did something with my abs it would pop out. After two weeks I forced myself to go to AK and chill. Now my rib is fine.

Seems like you’re always at the gym, did you work out or do any training before you got hurt or is this a new leaf for you?

I’ve always been into physical fitness. Papa bear raised me that way. But actually I usually work out a lot every summer. And last summer I just skated way more, I kinda think that made me weaker. I don’t skate tranny either so I’m just ollieing non stop. Might have wrecked my knees. But shit happens. And I don’t get to work out a ton in the winters. I’m either filming some one or getting filmed or helping at a spot or editing. It’s a full time job.

Yes, you can wear pink and be a bad bitch.

What was it like filming in Yonkers? I remember you said it was one of your favorite spots.

It was so kush! You don’t get kicked there. And I was with Corinne. It’s always smooth and mellow with her.

Why don’t you get kicked out of spots there?

Cuz there’s less anal rich white people.  Not to be racist but yeah, black people are chill and they are always pumped too. After the Bronx I went to Worchester (white/religious place) and no one is excited or hyped. They just want you gone. Like really? You could watch some chick eat shit or land something cool. Something you’ve never seen before and you are just pissed. They like super scared of different things, I guess.

Old white people are the worst. You spent some time on the East Coast this winter – what did you think of the scene there? A little different from Alaska…

Yeah. Everywhere is different from AK. But yeah east coast vs west coast. West is more laid back and easier. East is hard and cold and makes people more hard and cold. But they both good. West coast seems less intelligent, but happier.

Did you spend much time in AK this year?

AK is cold and harsh and dumb. Haha. But people are NOT afraid to be themselves no matter what. And yeah, because I’ve been so hurt, it’s better if I’m not around friends. So I don’t drink. Cuz if I can’t board with the homies I can only drink with them. But if I can board with them, it’s all good.

Do you think people in snowboarding are afraid to be themselves?

That’s tuff. It really depends who your talking about. I guess the majority are like Worchester, they are afraid of different things. Mostly rich white people that prob started snowboarding because it was “cool” and don’t want to risk not being cool or different.

Doing work. 

Speaking of cool and different, what’s up with Pozi Pozi?

It’s Gus and Estes project. It’s sooooo legit. They make all the music and it’s freaking beautiful And este is so good at filming and editing, they are geniuses. A full movie will be dropping soon.

Everyone is obsessed with social media and staying relevant and you’ve got it pretty well handled. Is there a secret to being popular on social media?

Yeah, Study it. You gotta know what’s cool. I mean it depends who you want to be popular with though. If you want a bunch of sheep then you just post pretty shit. Sexy pics or pics of beaches and you know tag shit and like people’s photos. If you want cool people to like you, you have to be witty and only post if it’s solid. If you questioning it, don’t post. But if go for sheep, you’ll get wayyyy more followers.

Are followers all that matters?

Depends what you want. Followers or respectable respect. I go through phases. Sometimes I’m on point and I’m witty and my gram is dope. Sometimes I don’t care and just post whatever. I always lose followers when I post though, unless it’s a snowboarding pic and I hate posting those.

Why do you hate posting snowboard photos?

Cuz when I’m snowboarding I’m not taking pics or thinking about the ‘gram. So if I post a snowboarding photos it’s like, “Hey, look at this photo of me snowboarding from last month.” I mean sometimes you can post an current snowboard pic. But the nice ones are weird to post.

What’s your favorite social network?

Snapchat cuz it’s real. Insta is too planned out and careful and fake.

A lot of people like to bemoan the internet and social media because it’s made things harder, or whatever. How do you think it’s changed snowboarding? And what opportunities has it afforded you personally?

It’s given everyone opportunity. So now people without budgets can get famous. But it’s so cluttered and such a mess now. I think it would be better if people stopped posting so much. But you have to post to keep up. And to keep posting shit you’re not even proud of sucks.

But the WORST part is that your good shit gets the same views and respect as the bad shit. That’s why I wish social media would slow down. But also, The majority of people watching don’t know much about snowboarding. So you could post the same shit over and over and most people don’t even notice and it’ll get the same hype.  On Too Hard the most popular posts are the unique ones. Not good snowboarding. Or good editing. But like just a dog pulling and girl or a girl snowboarding and drinking a beer. Stuff real life people could do. But sponsors don’t respond to that.

Sideways at Sugarbush. 

So, are you really considering trying to do contests? Why didn’t you go that route first?

I did do contests when I was younger. Like Rev Tour and Grand Prix and Opens. But now I’m just concentrating on winning le bad bitch race. But really, contests were just too expensive to travel to and it was hard to go to school and travel. I lived in Tahoe and started going to spots with Nicky v and Le BHappy crew and filming was more fun and easy to do while I was going to school. I also like editing and so it just made sense to go the video route. But yeah, contests sound fun. To switch things up. I miss jumping a lot. I’ll jump some this summer and see how it goes. Jumping is pretty magical. Like floating through space for a second.

Do you think you have what it takes to be the next Jamie Anderson?

I wish.

Do you think you could make it to the Olympics? What would it take for you to make that happen?

A complete change in my lifestyle. Steroids, training, living at breck and riding jumps non stop. But yeah I believe anything is possible.

Would you want to do that though?

I do want to jump all day. But I would never live in Breck. Hmmm. I don’t know where would be livable with good jumps. PC was the dopeness til Vail bought it. Vail ruins everything. Northstar used to be cool too. Fuck Vail, infinity times.

Yes, their $150 lift tickets are not that sweet. Which brings up another thing. There’s definitely talk that “accessibility” is important in snowboarding lately. Do you think if people stop throwing themselves off buildings more average people will get into snowboarding?

I don’t know. Not really. I think the more media it has, the more people will do it. Like if it’s in movies and cartoons or on TV, I guess. And the more of the inner city free hike parks the better! It’s something for people to do, but first they need the idea, and then they need a place that’s accessible.

Wardrobe malfunction. 

Alright, speed round: Plead the fifth or drink a fifth?

Drink a fifth

Weed or addys?

Weed

Tapout tat on your upper back between your shoulder blades or hatchetman tramp stamp?

Tapout tat, fo sho.

Whats your biggest fear?
My mom’s Roomba.

Who are your dream sponsors?

An airline company, some booshy hotel, American Apparel, Land Rover, Wells Fargo, Versace, Gucci

And your actual sponsors?

Gnu, Airblaster, Dragon, Outdoor Tech.

All photos: Robert Harold Sell III

What do you do when you get laid off from your job, have some money in the bank and want to see America? If you’re Robbie Sell, you put your stuff in storage, buy a camper van, and map out an epic adventure to capture photos from all around the continental United States. After six months on the road, Robbie has been lots of places and seen many things, and although he’s going it alone, he’s also bringing everyone along with him through the magic of social media. With over 20,000 miles already under his belt, we figured it was time to catch up with Robbie for an official Vancarious Hump Day.

Brooke: Why did you start this trip in the winter? Seems like van camping is a bit more desirable when it’s warm out.

Robbie: Well, I got laid of from Arnette when they discontinued the goggle product line, so I was out of work at the time and I didn’t immediately find another opportunity to jump into a similar career position. I knew that I had to take advantage before I found something else and do the stuff that I wouldn’t be able to  when I sat back down at a desk or got a girlfriend. I was like, I gotta go on a roadtrip. I was thinking, well I can do a few cool little spots that are within whatever time frame, or I could just do it right and do it as big as I can. To me that’s a cross-country venture, which I had never done.

Brooke: Oh wow, you’ve never driven cross-country before?

Robbie: I’ve been to numerous places across the country, all the snowy regions and a couple random spots for trade shows but no, I’ve never driven farther than Cook City in Yellowstone for snowboarding film trips. So I’ve never driven farther than 1,000 miles in one stretch.

Brooke: It’s a big country.

Robbie: Yeah, right? When I decided I wanted to do a road trip, I started doing research. How I would do it, what kind of vehicle, how long it was going to take me? I had a car at the time that just was too small, so I knew I had to sell that and the DMV put me through a bunch of delays before I could sell the car, and it took me like 4 months. I was planning on starting in the summer but it was near winter and by the time I got the title, sold my car, and found the exact van. I didn’t wanna wait any longer. I’d already been telling people like, “hey I’m gonna do this project,” and I didn’t wanna back out on my word, so I was just like fuck it, I’m gonna go in the winter. Having been a pro snowboarder in the past, what’s a little snow? I’m not afraid of being a little cold, I’ve experienced it so much that it’s like fuck dude, I’ll just reroute my path a little bit and send it.

Brooke: I actually think that it’s really fun to go to tourist attractions in the off-season because there’s no people to get in your way.

Robbie: Yeah exactly! There’s huge pros and cons to going to a lot of these locations in the winter – avoiding the average tourists and people that are scared of cold climates when they could go do it in the summer. But the downside to it is the major touristy destinations that are kind of business-oriented are typically closed. I went to Niagara Falls and there were a bunch of parks that are still under renovation and they had it all blocked off. When I was in Washington DC, a lot of the monuments were being spruced up for all the summer tourism. And then some places were just totally shut down because of the snow, so I had to do a little covert mission, jumping over fences and stuff that were meant to keep some people out. But once upon a time I was a skateboarder and a snowboarder and that never stopped me, so I still have that mentality. I feel like no trespassing signs are just a mere suggestion for people who it would benefit.

Brooke: Yes, absolutely. Just trying to keep people safe. Okay speaking of skateboarding, how on earth do you take the selfies of you doing kickflips?

Robbie: All the self portraits are mainly just because I want my photographs to have a subject in them, and I feel that makes an image tell a little bit more of a story. It’s human nature to be a little more interested in seeing what another person is doing, so being that I don’t have a person with me along the way, I have to take a photos of myself. I set up my camera on a tripod and then I hookup radio transmitters – basically the pocket wizards that are meant for studio flashes. I have it set up so that I use it to trigger the camera shutter instead. I have one in my hand that I usually try to hide. If I’m doing something where I’m jumping up and down on a rock or I’m skating, I just put it on sequence mode and shoot a bunch of frames so I can try to time it right. I don’t have a super fancy camera anymore, I have a more amateur one that only shoots 3 frames a second so it’s not like when I use to shoot snowboarding and I could shoot like 8 frames and have a bunch to pick from. I typically have to time it just perfect, and it’s not easy. Those ollies or kickflips that I do, it should only be a couple shots to get it, but I usually have to try it like 20 or 30 times, just to get something I’m satisfied with. Having been able to shoot professional snowboarders in the past, now I strive for that perfect moment, so being that I’m not a really good skater it takes me a long time to get those shots I’m at least mildly satisfied with. Or I’m just tired and sick of it so I’m like ah, it’s good enough. It’s a lot of work, but I just want the picture to be a little more interesting to the viewer.

Fuck it. From Iowa and Missouri in a Hurry

Brooke: You’re trying to make a book out of this right? So you don’t want half-assed photos.

Robbie: Yeah in the very end I wanna have a tangible product to remember the adventure from because all these websites, you know they’re so quick to archive everything, and nobody looks through the keyword metadata, you know searching into it. These days they’re just like, “What’s next! What’s next!” so I wanna have something that’s a little more easily found. It’s gonna be sitting on your bookshelf or coffee table. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it, I don’t have the cash to really front it, so I think I might try one of those crowd funding things, so if somebody wants to they can just kind of like pay for it up front and I’ll hook them up. Maybe if I can create more of a compelling story, I might even try to get a random small town publisher to see if they can work an angle on it.

Brooke: Yeah, well van life and travel is always hot so…

Robbie: Totally yeah, Foster (Huntington) already paved the for me. And his stuff is really cool, but I have a novel story, a solo road trip. His is more about documenting others’ lives via their van vehicles.

Does it get any better than a limo ride with Alex Mertz? Not likely. From I Heart NYC (Dirty Version)

Brooke: What’s your favorite spot you’ve been to?

Robbie: Kind of recently my favorite spot has been New York City, mainly because I had so many friends there and after having been on the road for, I think at that point it was like 4 months, it was really great to just kind of see friends and kind of revitalize my enthusiasm for the remainder of the tour. I was getting burnt out right before that, so hanging with friends and not driving for a few days was really nice. Just kind of getting to act normal for a minute. So that was a favorite spot, but Washington was really beautiful, like all the scenic areas up on the coast.

Brooke: Did you get up to Forks?

Robbie: Yeah I did. I went to those huge trees are on the beach and The Vance Peak bridge, the abandoned train bridge that tumblr and instagram made famous, and now it’s illegal. And then I went to the Mt. Baker ice caves, that was pretty cool up there. Other than that, Detroit was insane. Going up there and seeing a city that claimed bankruptcy just a number of years ago, seeing all the abandonment and the poverty that’s going on there, it was kind of sad. But it was really cool because I got to sneak into some really amazing abandoned buildings. Beautiful old churches and the Michigan theatre, like the whole urban decay kind of vibe and the urban exploring has been a kind of fun thing for me to do and try to document and share with everybody.

The Florida natives can be unruly. From Floriduh

Brooke: How was Florida and the Keys? Are you gonna move there and retire?

Robbie: I actually didn’t like Florida. Driving through Florida, it’s like a sprawling suburbia. I don’t know how many stop lights I hit down there, but it kind of started me off on a bad note. The Everglades were cool, but getting to them was kind of miserable and it was definitely the hottest region I had gotten to so far. Just super humid. And the Keys were scenic and photogenic, but when I actually got to Key West it kind of reminded me of what Mardi Gras would be like – just streets full of chaos and people just drinking on the streets and acting like a bunch of shit heads. It was a really cool experience to go there, but I don’t know maybe a different, season or if I would have had friends with me to…

Brooke: Get hammered and party?

Robbie: Yeah, party. But for me just kind of rolling solo I just found myself the most authentic local food there then took off and went up along the Eastern edge of Florida. Checked out Miami and all that. The Everglades were cool, you know seeing alligators and shit.

Brooke: What about Louisiana, did you go to New Orleans?

Robbie: I got to New Orleans exactly a week after Mardi Gras, so the locals, like all the shopkeepers and what not, seemed burnt out. Like they’d dealt with like going to war. There wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm when I was there.

Brooke: Bummer.

Robbie: Before I got to New Orleans I went by one of those preserved plantations, where there was like heavy slavery and what not, and went on a tour there. I’ve never really been in a region like that so it was kind of a culture shock. Going through there is like walking into a history book. And just kind of feeling that weight, like well you know sure I never had anything to be ashamed of because I’m not racist by any means, but that region still is so racist and it just felt super strange.

Oak Alley Plantation. From the Lame Past of Louisiana

Brooke: Did you go through Baltimore, speaking of racism?

Robbie: Yeah, I have a friend, this chick Lindsey, who used to work at High Cascade back in my day, she and her husband live in Baltimore, so my experience was going up and hanging out with them for a couple of days. But I really wanted to visit the 12-O’clock boys, but didn’t see any quads or dirt bikes ripping down the streets, so I was kinda let down. I wanted to see just a squad of people overtaking the roadways just causin’ a rukus. I went to a roller derby. A bunch of butch chick just smashing each other and it was fun.

Brooke: You’re hitting all 48 mainland states, right? How many do you have left to go to?

Robbie: Well, I’m in Texas right this second, even though I’m trying to catch up my blog and it looks like I’m just touching New York. As far as the public knows – unless they’re following my Instagram – I’m way far behind. But I’m in Texas and doing all of the Southwest. I’ll be going from here into New Mexico, touching Colorado and touching Utah, going into Moab and Zion and all those beautiful state park areas. Then Arizona and then probably down into Southern California. So it seems like I’ve got just a little bit left, but it’s gonna be a couple thousand miles at least, and probably going to be about a month before I wrap this thing up.

Perspective. 

Brooke: Have you gotten a lot of Instagram followers out of this trip? Is that all that matters?

Robbie: So I wanted to make this like a marketing project, like a portfolio piece. And when I’m finished show it to a potential employer or brand. I was kind of fancying myself as like a marketing consultant or something like that, and I feel like a fucking failure.

Brooke: Why?!

Robbie: I had a really small following in the beginning, like I think it was less than 2,000 followers and right now I think I’m like almost at 5,000, but I thought I was gonna be in like 10-20k plus range. When I pitched the project I had a whole turnkey package that I wanted to partner with a number of relevant brands in the youth lifestyle market, Coal Headwear, Arnette, DVS shoes, Ninja Suit – since I was shooting all these photos and subtly using their product in them. I was gonna have them use the pictures on their social media and then kind of like tie it back to like, “See this guy is on a cross country adventure, tune in to see where he’s at now.” If all these brands that I pitched it to did it, I think it would have really caught on a lot more. But a lot of the marketing directors that I spoke with are just either overwhelmed and they didn’t wanna add anything else to their plate or just idiots and didn’t see that they had a great opportunity to engage with their current audience or even build a bigger one. So for me it’s kind of a little bit of a let down, cause I was expecting so much more from it.

Brooke: Yeah.

Robbie: I’m appreciating what I’m doing, seeing the nation and experiencing the culture that I wasn’t really around growing up. But having the background of working in marketing and trying to be an ambassador for these brands and what not, I couldn’t help but put bigger expectations on myself. But it’s not done yet, it could sky rocket at any moment.

Brooke: You just need one photo to go viral, that’s it. One. One photo.

Robbie: True, and when it’s finished too I’m sure it’ll get some traction, you know, here’s the package. If and when I do the Kickstarter, I’ll use that as an editorial piece in its own right, too.

Washington’s future is bright. From Let’s gota the Dakotas

Brooke: Definitely. I think our whole need for immediacy and the now now now can kind of taint experiences in that way.

Robbie: Yeah, being at the age of kind of being in the millennial lifestyle but remembering, you know, analog photography and actually reading books.

Brooke: You know you can still do that stuff, right? You can still read books even though kids don’t.

Robbie: Yeah, I have a couple of books that I brought with me on my road trip that I’ve dabbled with here and there, but I’m incredibly busy – like you’d think “oh you’re just driving and taking pictures you got all the time in the world,” but being that I have a very very small budget, I see my bank account just getting smaller and smaller. It’s like, will I have enough money for gas and peanut butter and jelly to get home? I’m not trying to lag too hard because I wanna get back and post up and find some way to have a little bit of income. I’m shooting, I’m driving, I’m planning, I’m editing, and then I’m exhausted and sleeping, so there’s not really much downtime. It’s kind of exhausting.

Brooke: Vacation is the most exhausting thing in the world, right? You try so much harder then in regular life. So, after this you have absolutely no plan? Is there anywhere that you’ve been where you’re like maybe I’ll move there and figure it out?

Robbie: During the trip I’ve kind of in the back of my mind. I’m literally living in the van and I don’t have a location that I need to go back to for a mortgage or girlfriend or employment. So I’ve been open-minded about what’s next. In all these locations thinking like, “What would it be like to live here? What kind of opportunity could I have? Could I try to start another restaurant? Could I offer some sort of something, you know? Could be a damn constructive worker?” I’ve been thinking about that all along the way and there have been some really cool zones and I always weigh the pros and the cons. Minneapolis is amazing and even though I can handle the cold, would I wanna handle their brutal winters? The community and culture there is super cool. I’ve kind of seen the same exact thing in a number of other locations too. There’s that in Baltimore, there’s that in obviously New York, there’s that in a lot of those major hubs across the nation, but nowhere is perfect and if it is perfect, it’s probably overpopulated and crowded and annoying.

Brooke: Right.

Robbie: I haven’t fallen in love with anywhere and it makes me think, do I want to go back to where I grew up in Lake Tahoe? Should I get back into snowboarding? You know I saw actually a really good change with Corey Smith when he went back there like it looked like he was really enjoying himself and I think that’s when he started all the Spring Break stuff. I hope I could find something inspiring wherever I go, but I don’t know where it’s gonna be. Like I said I have my fingers crossed that this project will get noticed or discovered.

John Wells. From Wyoming because

Brooke: A dream job without having to try. Isn’t that what everybody wants?

Robbie: Yeah, I have been fortunate in the past, a lot of things have fallen in my lap, but I can’t rely on that, of course. I’ve been making a lot of notes about possible brand ventures. I’ll need to come up with business plans and find investors and what not, but you know, dreams come true. I’ve been fortunate enough to make a few of mine a reality from becoming a pro snowboarder to being an established photographer and starting a restaurant and then actually making this adventure come to life, it’s like it all started with just a thought and then kind of talking about it and it just comes to life. So if I keep making these notes and then put a little more thought into it maybe they can also be something to put into the past.

Brooke: Another chapter in the book.

Robbie: Mmmhhhmm.

For more visit LivingVancariously.com or follow @Robbiesell on Instagram and stay tuned tomorrow for the story of how we managed not to die in the New Mexico desert!

I was pretty much convinced Robbie Sell was going to kill me. Not because I am super annoying (I can be) but because after he picked me up at the Albuquerque airport, I realized what I had just gotten myself into. A three-day camping trip in the Southwest, going on treacherous adventures in the middle of nowhere, with only my own wits and a scrawny ex-pro snowboarder with bad knees to protect me. Things could definitely go poorly.

Robbie, incase you haven’t been following along for the past couple days, has been around the ‘ol snowboard industry for a minute. First as a pro rider in the Neoproto era, and then a photographer and most recently the Arnette Marketing Manager, who helped us put on things like the Crew Clash, and made it possible for me to (try to) force my employees to get tattoos at SIA. When he posted on Facebook offering to pick up any would-be travel companions along the way, I figured Living Vancariously with him for a few days would be fun. And like they say on the Internet, YOLO.

Robbie had been on the road for six months at this point, and more or less had it down to a science. In addition to the meticulous planning skills acquired as an adult babysitter for Arnette, he had technology. I shook off any fears of failure, resigned myself to his care and prepared myself for adventure. Our first stop: the Bisti Badlands of New Mexico.

Copping Robbie’s big places, little people tech. 

The Bisti Badlands are part of the BLM, which stands for Bureau of Land Management, basically public lands that are completely unsupervised and unpatrolled. You’re on your own out there. But lucky for me, I had Robbie, who’s professional plan included detailed directions copied off the Internet to his phone’s notepad, and even a topographical map, which he’d made me save to my phone too, just in case. We were happy to find there was even some cell service out in the middle of the desert.

I didn’t know exactly what we were looking for – the rolling sand dunes, rock formations and petrified wood all looked pretty photogenic to me – but Robbie had a vision. We came to the end of the well-worn trail and stopped to hatch a plan before wandering off into the wild. Dried up river beds twisted through a vast maze of hoodoos, different colored sand and rocks and even some formations that looked like wet concrete. The dunes were covered with tiny holes, and I was convinced a rattlesnake might pop out at any moment. But I was not in charge (and didn’t want to be), so I did my best to keep up as we trekked deeper and deeper into the Badlands.

“If anything happens to me,” Robbie said, “ just follow the power lines. They’ll eventually lead you somewhere.”

I look at the towers in the distance and laughed. “I just won’t lose you, ok?’

 

See anything? Maybe if we walk a little further…

After a solid hour of walking to the tops of highest peaks, only to discover more of the same, I was getting tired. I should have worn hiking boots not Adidas skate shoes, and why did I bring all this crap to weigh down my backpack? By this point I’d taken at least 50 photos, and had several snapchats pending, but Robbie was yet to take his camera out of his pack. I asked if he was ever going to take a picture.

“I will,” he said. “But I realized early in my trip that if I was too concerned about getting the shot, I would miss out on the experience, so if I don’t take any photos, whatever.”

We cracked some beers and kept on our search for whatever it was that Robbie deemed worthy of his digital pixels, but with the exception of a few small rock formations, found only more of the same. It was around 5 pm when we’d left the van in the small parking area at the Southside of the badlands, and now it was nearing 7. Off in the distance, the sky had blackened with ominous looking clouds and the occasional lightning bolt struck down. Though Robbie had still not taken out his camera, we decide it would be best to head back to the car. “Guess this is one of those places I’ll just have to remember,” he shrugged.

I don’t know, do those cloud look ominous to you?

While absolutely nothing looked liked anything we’d seen before (and yet everything looked pretty much the same) we were able to get enough service on our phones to get a general idea of the direction we were heading. The only problem – neither of us really had any idea what direction that was supposed to be. The clouds were moving quickly and we definitely didn’t want to get caught in a sudden downpour, so Robbie’s pace hastened. But before we knew it, the sounds of thunder were right on top of us as we traveled across open swaths of sand. Despite the impending darkness, we decided it may be best to wait out the storm next to something tall. We put on our jackets, opened another beer, and hunkered down.

The storm didn’t last long and in its wake left an epic full rainbow. Robbie finally got his camera out and we giggled like school kids capturing what was definitely the moment he’d been waiting for. Of course, due to excessive snapchatting, my phone had died (losing all the snaps in the process) but I made do with my DSLR. With photographic evidence of our adventure captured, and all the beer we’d brought gone, there was really only one thing to do. Get the hell back to the van, and quickly. The sun was starting to set and we were still in the middle of the desert.

I think they call this a Kodak moment. 

I could tell Robbie was getting worried as he walked quickly through uneven ground, cactus and sagebrush, leaving me hundreds of feet behind wheezing and attempting to will my legs to move faster. Every once in awhile he would disappear from view and my heart rate would hasten as I struggled to keep up. The New Mexico sand had turned to mud and was now caked all over my shoes, making each step even more arduous.

Every time Robbie would get to the top of a mound he’d pull out his phone and try and get a lay of the land, but AT&T service proved unreliable. Maybe if I hadn’t snapchatted so much and my phone was still alive, Verizon would have worked better. But I guess we’ll never know.

I think this is the stuff Robbie was looking for, so I stopped to take a photo even though I knew we were screwed. 

As night fell and we were still trudging miserably through the Badlands, and things were not looking great. I tried to locate the power lines, but they seemed to be in a completely different direction, and very far away. Off in the distance though, we saw a light. Without knowing if it was a house, a methlab, or an oil rig, we figured we might as well walk to it – at least we’d be near some sort of civilization if we were spending the night in the desert. As we got closer the building – which turned out to be a cute little house – we could see a TV blaring, and hear a dog barking away.

“Of course they have a dog,” Robbie said.

Having already accepted the possibility that we were totally fucked, all we could do is hope that the inhabitants weren’t something out of Breaking Bad, and weren’t going to chase us away if we knocked on the door. Well I tried to assure myself it would be fine, Robbie was less optimistic. Wet and muddy we knocked and stood hopefully on the porch.

An old Native American woman came to the door and looked at us curiously.

“We’re lost,” we explained. “We were hiking, went the wrong way, and then it got dark.”

When you’re lost in the desert and you find any sign of man, it’s exciting. Not that this fence helped us in anyway. 

I assume we weren’t the first idiots to find ourselves in this predicament as she shook her head, and opened the door, welcoming us in. Still reeling from the potential of a night in the cold, wet desert, being inside felt amazing, even if it was a stranger’s house in the middle of nowhere. We tried to explain where we wanted to be, and the women and her husband informed us that it was about 7 miles away. In other words, we’d walked in the completely wrong direction.

We stood there, awkwardly making conversation with the old couple, who were incredibly nice. The man was recovering from a total knee replacement, and a small child in a pink nightgown ran in circles around us. While I wasn’t about to walk seven miles back – even if it was on marked roads, but it seemed a bit presumptuous to ask for a ride. Luckily, their son-in-law, in his mid 20s, wearing superman pajama bottoms and a tapout hoodie, had come out of the other room and asked the old folks for directions of how to get us back to the van. Our savior!

Elijah turned out to be thankful for our foolishness – he was just in town helping his girlfriend’s parents while her dad was recovering from surgery and had actually been going a bit stir crazy, so he was excited for the excuse to get out of the house. Back at the van, we took off our soaked footwear and offered our new friend a beer. Everything had worked out fine – as it always seems to when you’re traveling – but man, that could have been really bad.

If you want to see the full rainbow, check out Robbie’s photo here. 

Stay up to date on all Vancarious things at Livingvancariously.com

Matt Alberts was sick of looking at a screen. While the Denver-based skateboarder and photographer enjoyed making and capturing images, the world of digital photography had sucked much of the joy from the process.

“I shot a lot of film photography in high school, and the darkroom is where I really fell in love with it. A lot of it had to do with that hands-on feeling and the smells and the red light and just like the making, instead of sitting in front of your computer, which is really the part that was driving me nuts.”

 

The image that started it all. 

He found the inspiration he was looking for in the process of wet plate photography. He’d actually grown up with a few of family heirloom tin types – his fourth great grandfather was a wet plate photographer in the 1800’s – but it wasn’t until he saw what went into it that it really clicked.

“I saw a video that glorified the process and I was so inspired by it. I was like, this is what my ancestor used to do, I gotta fuckin’ learn how to do this.”

Through a friend, he got linked up with Quinn Jacobson, one of the best wet plate photographers in the biz, who ended up taking Matt under his wing.

“He saw my passion for wanting to learn about it and do something with meaning and he basically just taught me for free. He pretty much just gave me the keys to his studio and was like here you go, come by anytime you want.”

Not shot on wet plate. 

Shooting with collodion is not cheap – Matt’s 11 x 14 camera body alone cost nearly $7000 and that’s not even counting the chemicals and set up required to make the actual tin types. Matt poured his own money into the project, and is still paying off the debt. With so much invested, he wasn’t just looking to shoot photos of just anything. He wanted an appropriate project to give even more meaning to his images.

“There’s a lot of noise in the collodion world where people are just making tintypes not for any sort of reason besides the aesthetic. To take this much effort to make something by hand and to make these photographs, you should have a reason. That train of thought lead me to wanting to photograph what I loved, which is skateboarding. I met up with Chet Childress that’s sort of what solidified the project for me.”

 

Life is pain.

Since collodion is only sensitive to UV light, it can technically see beneath the skin. For example, if you have tattoos, it often won’t even see them. Growing up in Philly, where skateboarding is often illegal, Matt had a few run ins with the law himself, and has always been aware that some people may not see his passion the same way he does.

“I wanted to photograph people who have really dedicated their lives to skateboarding culture and given back to it. To try to capture with the photographs the real person, not maybe the criminal exterior but the real, genuine, nice person on the inside.”

 

The road.

From there, Matt hit the road. “We went on this first Route 66 trip with just a destination in mind, but no real goal other than to make some tintypes and capture skateboarding. That was the best trip – we basically just went for it and did what we wanted.”

After a successful first trip, Matt’s work was starting to gain notice. He held a show in Denver, and was invited to show work in Kansas City and New York as well. With the hype growing, Matt was eager to get back out on the road, and got linked up with the marketing people at Cadillac, who saw his vision and wanted to partner with him to create more. The Lifers project turned out to be the perfect fit for the luxury car maker’s “Dare Greatly” campaign, focusing on people who’ve dedicated their lives to their passions. Cadillac actually inspired Matt to expand the definition of what a lifer is, which is how the Seasons Collection was born.

“They said to me they see a lifer as being ambiguous, and I was like well I guess it is, it really isn’t just skateboarding, it can be anything. The spin that we put on the Seasons Collection is that even as somebody that skates all the time, you can’t skate everyday. Some days maybe it’s snowing and you’re into snowboarding or you go surfing or cycling. There’s a lot of commonality there and like minded people within skating, snowboarding, surfing, cycling.”

With a brand-new Cadillac delivered to his door, and a major upgrade with a mobile darkroom in an airstream trailer, Matt spent all winter capturing snow lifers such as Bobby Meeks, Scotty Arnold. Right now, Matt is in the Sun leg of the seasons tour – which has brought him back to skateboarding and cycling, with a little surf thrown in for good measure. He, along with a group of friends and professional skateboarders, are traveling down the west coast, stopping in Seattle, Portland, at Windells and the Berrics, and finally, hoping to get a portrait of Tony and Riley Hawk. From there, your guess is as good as his.

“Is there an end? I really don’t know, especially since I’ve kinda broadened the horizons of what it means to be a lifer. I still don’t feel like I’ve fully captured everybody,” he said. “I could do it forever.”

For more on the Lifers Project, visit http://thelifersproject.com/ or @thelifersproject on Insta.

Celebs like Stan need not obey signs for plebeians (also this one was just sitting there, waiting to be jumped over.)

Summer Snowboarding is officially underway at Mt. Hood. Camps are in session, Cobra Dogs are being sauced, Volcano Cones are being scooped and the new Japanese restaurant next to the Taco Shoppe is Soy Sauce Nation approved. Or actually, Stan just said he liked it. Close enough.

Now the bad news. The the snow level at Hood is the lowest I’ve ever seen it in my 15 years of summer boarding. It’s looking like Mid August up there. In fact, this year, Oregon is feeling a lot more like So Cal every day – never ending sunshine and Californians everywhere, but it’s not all bad news – the crowds are smaller, rain days have not been an issue and the slush is on point. If you’re going to make a pilgrimage to Mt Hood, we’d recommend doing it sooner rather than later and here’s what you need to know.

The view from the Mile. Gulp.

Access: The only snow remaining is on the actual Palmer glacier – to access it you must ride the mile and then walk 100 yards or do down to the Palmer lift. Good news! You have much smaller chance of embarrassing yourself by falling in the lift line this year, as the ramp up to Palmer is already dry wood! Add in lower attendance across the board and the fact that you can’t technically take laps without unstrapping and there’s a good chance you’ll never even have to stand in a line at all.

 

Tucker Speer holding it down on the jumps at Windells. Photo: Erik Hoffman

Public Park: This year Public Park has been moved to skiers right of Palmer – where High Cascade’s lap park is usually located. Getting there is a blast – lots of rock ollies, some smooth corduroy, and a few side hits. The park has 10 or so rail features, but the real fun is lower down where the Tline park crew as assembled a variety of smaller jump features offering many possibilities for airtime. If you prefer to keep your base on the ground, you could also ride it as a snake run and slash til your heart’s content. You do have to unstrap to get back on Palmer (obviously) but right now it’s more like a mellow walk than a hike and totally worth it.

For more impressive visuals, check our Snapchat. Quick. Hurry. They’ll be deleted soon.

Camps: The High Cascade/Windells merger is moving a long, and this year, many staffers are doing double duty. On hill this means a lot of the animosity between the camps has subsided (hooray!) and several of the features are shared. High Cascade’s lap park is located above Windells main lane and is open to all campers (ski and snowboard) and the massive Superpipe, which sits below the main parks, is also shared. As of yesterday, riding out of camp is possible, but sketchy and highly frowned upon by ski patrol, so don’t be an asshole and use the rope tows to get yourself back to the lift/parking lot.

Mary Rand has the right idea. Photo: Mark O’Malley/High Cascade

If you don’t want to unstrap: The Palmer mid station has never been more useful than this year – and for lazy people like us, the ideal day is spent mashing chunder and spraying skiers on the main trail. It’s great for perfecting your creative carve moves and wowing the lift riders in the process! If you have camp access, it is possible to cut over and ride through the top of lap park, which is basically a super long, wave-like quarter pipe, and still make it back to the mid station. Surfs up, brah!

Considering that it didn’t actually snow this winter, the facilities that Timberline and WAC have managed to put together are nothing short of impressive. Our official advice: get here before mid July or figure out how to get your ass to the Southern Hemisphere instead. Or, you could always mountain bike. We’ve heard that’s fun too.

Edit: RJ Sweet

Scott Stevens rolled through Hood for the first session of summer at we got the chance to sit him down and ask him a bunch of questions he’s probably sick of answering. But never fear, we cut all that nonsense out and just included some of Scott’s deep thoughts on relevance, progression and all the other hot topics in Board World. If you hate reading, the video above should tide you over, but if you really want more, read on.

As a 30-year-old snowboarder, how have you seen snowboarding change in the past couple years and how are you coping with it?

I’ve just been accomplishing stuff I want to do, which is all based through putting it on film, for better or for worse, that’s what it comes down to. Trying to create the one part that feels like something you’re really proud of. And I have put out parts I’m proud of, but nothing that is exactly what I want. You’re just always fighting injuries and trying to stay current, or maybe not stay current, and make that perfect concoction for a part. That’s what I’m trying to do.

So nothing’s different?

Well, not filming with Think Thank is huge. It’s a bad thing because when I film with Think Thank my dynamics with Jesse and Beresford and Geno and all those guys, it was so easy to enjoy it. Now it’s more of a job, but at 30 years old I want it to be a job, too. It was really nice that when I filmed with Jesse I didn’t put pressure on myself like that.

Stevens and Burtner – power couple! Photo via Think Thank

Does the pressure ever get to be too much? 

When it’s time to pull the complete trigger to get out, I will be in the industry. I look around me and if I don’t want to learn anymore, that’s when I stop. But I still want to progress. I went up today, I haven’t snowboarded in like 2 months – which I know most kids out there are saying big whoop – but that’s a lot for me. But I had a blast. I’m scared too, because I think I’m gonna go up and have a bad day and be bummed, but I had an amazing day and didn’t do that much. I fell a lot. I was riding the snowfields up on Palmer and just fell carving and was like, that probably looked pretty dumb. But you just get up and laugh it off.

Does it seem like people come and go faster in snowboarding than they used to? Why do you think that is?

People have seen lot of snowboarding. They’ve seen it all. I’ve seen a lot of it too. It’ll find a way, but right now it’s just people having fun. The features are smaller. Riding a snowboard hasn’t changed. For me, the industry is just basically videos. The videos maybe aren’t as intriguing as they used be, but we also have videos coming though by the minute.

Do you think snowboarding needs to be saved?

(laughs) No. That doesn’t work. There’s sick dudes, and for numbers wise I’m sure it’s down, but it’s good. It’s gonna flip flop back eventually, but I’m not gonna start skiing or anything. What I’m gonna do is keep snowboarding. With snowboarding you have to put in a lot of effort to get tickets, to get to the hill. It’s not just like walking about and going to a free skatepark, so snowboarders have to be pretty smart in the sense you’re always trying to figure out how to do it instead of just going to do it. Snowboarders are really smart in that way.

I think that the fact it’s hard to snowboard is what makes it so awesome.

Yeah, and by hard, I’m not saying to do the tricks, that’s pretty easy, you just have to have energy. If you can feed around the people around you you can do tricks easily. But the act of getting out there, going to a glacier or whatever and actually getting to go snowboarding is hard. For most of the people that like to skateboard as well, it’s easier to just be the best skateboarder you can six months of the year, cause I don’t skate in the winter. That’s snowboarding for me. I think we don’t get enough credit for actually how hard it is and how much money it costs. Lift tickets, gear, gas, whatever.

Well, you’re getting paid now, but do you have a plan to pay for it in the future?

If you asked me that question 3 or 4 years ago, no, I hadn’t saved anything. But lately I have been. My sponsors, Thirtytwo and Capita are taking care of me, but I don’t expect to be paid like I am my whole life. In any type of job. You always get greedy and sometimes I wish I had an agent, but it’s been good. There’s a lot of people up here with nothing in their bank account, just scratching and I’ve been there. Now I’m here and I just have to keep adapting to whatever’s there. But when it is time, it’ll feel good to take off the pressure of having to be good at something. I just dread that I won’t find that video part yet. I just want to have that part that is a well rounded video part that I really respect from afar of myself.

You don’t feel like you’ve made a part you’re proud of?

I have, but I just want the one where I land some tricks that I couldn’t do again. Every year I have the little tricks and the next year I figure out how to tweak them better and look back like, that’s nothing. It’s just about the video part right now, and days like today when there’s no cameras and it’s just fun.

Do you ever just wanna say fuck it?

When I get out there and I have five bad grabs or just do something that I’ve done many times in a row I’m like goddamnit, you get paid to snowboard. Pull it together.

Who are you stoked on right now?

I can still watch stuff from my past and those guys will never not be the guys I’m stoked on. I started snowboarding in 1995, might be kinda old to some of the viewers out there, but there are guys that run companies that are like that’s nothing! But the forum 8 and Mack Dawg movies and Kingpin movies and the Standard movies and Absinthe movies really caught my eye. Transcendence and Vivid really grabbed me and those guys in those videos will always be the guys I’m stoked on. The new guys, some guys are creating and realizing, I really like Ben Ferguson. I love Rav, I just watch his edits and I understand where he’s coming from. Jesse Paul puts up stuff that’s incredible. Of course the Yawgoons, those guys are filming and making it interesting. It’s like they’re putting on a show with those edits. Jed, I love watching Jed and Kuzyuk and Danimals is one of my favorites right now. Burtner, anything Burtner does is amazing. Nicolas Muller, Gigi, and Haakon is still one of my favorites. Jamie Lynn still looks exactly like he did when he was killing it in the 90s. Jeremy Jones, I was skating with him recently and I was like, I can’t backtail a rail at a skatepark, but you can! That’s incredible. I’m sure Otterstrom is out there just shredding harder than I ever could. And my friends. Chris Grenier’s real snow part – I didn’t even know he could snowboard like that. Louif, any Deja Vu dude. Rendered Useless is probably gonna be one of my favorite movies. The Think Thank guys, Mitch Richmond. I could go on forever, I follow it pretty closely. This year I took a little break because I don’t think I was stoked on myself, but when you’re feeling great everything’s better. I think I’ll have a good part in the 32 video, at least, I tried.

Want more words with Scott? Check his recent Buoloco interview.

Ken Achenbach is widely known as the father of Canadian snowboarding. He opened the first snowboard shop ever, was instrumental in getting resorts to allow snowboarding, and has been at the helm of Camp of Champions since 1989. More importantly, he still loves it every bit as much as he did the first time he strapped in. This summer, we headed up to COC for the full Whistler experience and I spent Ken’s daily afternoon commute down Whistler, chatting with him about the past, present and future of snowboarding as well as a few of the lessons he’s learned along the way.

What was Camp of Champions like in the olden days?

We had a lot of fun. It’s funny, it’s changed a lot, but it hasn’t changed at the same time. All the best pros come and coach, kids from all over the world come and hang out and ride with em. Everyone makes a bunch of new friends and pretty much has the best week of their lives. The park has changed for sure, but the experience is pretty much the same.

Tell me about starting the first snowboard shop ever.

Well, I ski raced until I was like 15, but I figured out pretty quickly as one of four kids with a single mom, that I was never gonna make it to the national team because I wasn’t rich. So one October duing dry land training for ski racing, I walked up to my coach and just said, I quit. Winter is pretty long and boring in Canada if you don’t do anything. I grew up here and I don’t even remember learning to ski, I was so young. It was our day care. I skied every single day of the winter. To go from skiing everyday to doing nothing, it was like oh, God – which was is serious? I called up Tom Sims and bought a snowboard, went one run and was just like, this is the best thing ever. I called up and ordered 6 more because I figured everyone was going to want to do this. Nobody wanted to sell them. My original plan was to sell them to ski shops, but nobody wanted to them, so I just opened the Snoboard Shop. Maybe I should have pick a named that was a little more franchise able, but whatever.

How long did you run that for?

I never really ran it, I just sort of had it. I opened the Calgary store in 1980, and we closed the one in Whistler in 96. It was pretty funny. I gave the one away in Calgary and I found out later that the dude sold it for $2 million. I’m not the best businessman. Had one here and Doug Lundgren was the guy running it and he was trained to be a heli ski guide at Weigles and one fall Mike Weigle called him up, “Doug, you wanna be a heli ski guide?” Our lease was up in a month and we were going to move to another location. He was still on the phone with Mike and he looks at me and says, hey, you wanna run the store? I was like, nope, so he took the job and we closed a week later and that was that. We actually closed our store for powder – no lie. In before everybody and out before everybody.

Ken and his empire. Photo courtesy Camp of Champions/Low Pressure Podcast

Do you ever miss having a shop?

Oh God no. I think every day I wake up glad I don’t have a store. I never wanted to be that 50-year-old guy that’s behind the counter watching a video, selling kids snowboards. I sold snowboards, but for me the store was just a way to turn people on to snowboarding. And that’s what camp has kind of transitioned into – just a way to get people snowboarding and get em stoked. Now I don’t have to sell em anything and I just have to keep them excited about snowboarding and now skiing.

When did you add skiing at COC? Was it a tough decision?

No, JP Martin and I both came from ski racing and skiing families and half our friends skied and so we would always get our ski friends asking to ride the park. How do you say no to your friends? It’s like in Alberta when we had the store, we had more ski resorts to ride at than probably anywhere else in North America. How do you say no to someone you’ve known your whole life? Doug Lundgren’s parents used to own Mt Norquay, my mom and dad used to be ski patrollers. Back in the day everyone skied because that’s what you did, so even though we were snowboarding, they couldn’t suddenly not like us. We were kinda lucky that way, and I just didn’t take no for an answer ever when a ski resort wouldn’t let us up. We would hound ya nonstop, and it worked. I can relate to Jake. He did it in the states and we did it in Canada.

Do you think it was easier to get acceptance in Canada?

Yeah, it’s Canada. Just do what you want. Canada is pretty awesome that way. It’s why camp is so much fun as well. When you don’t have to worry about getting sued every three seconds for sneezing or whatever you can do a lot more stuff that’s a lot more fun. It obviously safe, but you don’t have to think about if we’re going to get sued. That’s why our camp is so progressive. We had the first 22′ super pipe, actually ours was 25′, and we’ve had pretty much every rail configuration you’ve seen started at camp. So much park progression and maybe it is because we’re in Canada and we have that freedom of thought so your first thought is “wow this sounds really fun” instead of “well we could get sued.” We always had a more open mind or we just didn’t care.

OG. Photo: Scott Serfas via Instagram

I know you were not a big proponent of adding snowboarding to the Olympics. What was your objection back then and how do you think it’s turned out?

Every generation of snowboarding takes its own approach and makes it into what they think it should be. I’m some 50-year-old dude now that grew up snowboarding, but snowboarding belongs to the 15 year olds. Who cares what I think. But personally, FIS ruined ski racing and moguls. They ruined skiing basically by turning it into the regimented thing where all the fun and freedom is taken out of it. You have to do it like this and you have to point your pinky. Why would we want snowboarding, which is way closer to skateboarding than skiing, to be like that? Don’t even get me started on the fact they’re a bunch of gangsters.

FIS is run by Gangsters?

Well they’re all gangsters. I remember the first day I started at CBC commentating snowboard contests. Being the mouthy person that I am I asked the producers “since when do you guys give a fuck about snowboarding?’ He goes, oh we got told we had to. This was 95/96, and they had been told by FIS that if they didn’t carry FIS Snowboarding they’d lose FIS ski racing. And whoever controls the media, controls snowboarding.

What do you think of the snowboard media in general?

It doesn’t matter. We used to make movies and go to crazy places too, but snowboarding in the magazines, so much of it is no relation to what real people do for fun, because everything’s ad driven now. In the old days we’d do a trip to Europe but we couldn’t say “Barfoot goes to Europe.” You look at the mags now and it’s all Vans does Europe and Burton goes blah blah. I wish we could have bought the cover back in the day.

Do you think the ad influence has stifled creativity in some ways though?

I don’t know. Snowboarding is always creative because it’s just the way of the sport. I think snowboarding is as creative as its ever been. Look at Capita, look at Lib tech and even Burton. The thing was the creativity back in the day was driven by necessity. When I made the twin tip it was a matter of not liking the boards we were on, and got our asses handed to us by Kidwell, so we thought, how can we make a better board? Me and Neil Defrain came up with the twin tip and now that’s the DNA for all snowboards pretty much. Same with baseless bindings. I wanted a more poppy board and the baseplates made a dead spot in the board. I was like if we got rid of the baseplates and mounted the bindings on the outside it would get rid of the deadspot. That kind of turned into the EST system. The creativity is there, it’s just a lot harder to come up with something new. But you can’t blame kids for not being as conscious of what makes a board epic when the board they’re on is epic. The general wickedness of snowboards these days is awesome, even a piece of shit is epic. We did it so they don’t have to. But luckily there’s the JG’s and the Alex Warburton’s of the world who think about how to make snowboards better so we don’t have to. That makes me stoked when people always push stuff forward. You can always make stuff better. That’s why I laugh when people diss Burton because pretty much everything started with them. Same thing with Lib Tech, it’s such an amazing brand. Mike Olsen, Barrett, Pete Saari are geniuses of snowboarding. The creativity is there, it’s just different than it used to be.

Taking care of business.

Do you think the pro dream is still the same?

Yeah. Everybody wants to go pro. Snowboarding is exactly the same as it was in the old days. I never got paid as a pro! (laughs) The dream is still there. You might not get paid but it’s still pretty awesome to travel around the world on someone else’s dime and make friends all over the world, go to different countries, see things and do things, have people come up to you and ask you for your autograph or say, your section is blah blah was so sick! That’s awesome. Money is just a bonus.

Helps ya buy things though.

That’s what jobs are for.

Who wants one of those, though?

True, I’ve been trying to avoid that shit my whole life. But on the other side of the coin, the fact that there is no money in snowboarding unless you’re one of the few people getting paid is it makes you think of your own stuff. It makes you start brands or create something so you own it and you can’t get ditched the first time you break your ankle or blow your knee. It makes me so stoked to see Blue Montgomery start Capita. That’s what you’re supposed to get out of snowboarding is to figure out your own life. Like you with Yobeat. When you started snowboarding did you ever think you’d start a website and you’d be driving down whistler in the middle of summer doing an interview?

No.

But you did. And the neat thing is when it’s your own you never quit and you try harder and you go up and down with the cycles, but because you love snowboarding at the end of the day that’s all that really matters. And you do whatever you do to keep snowboarding. Maybe I’m still 15 in my head, but that’s all I ever wanted out of snowboarding was to go snowboarding.

That’s funny people always accuse me of having a 15-year-old mentality and I think that’s not a bad thing because I think snowboard media should either appeal to 15 year olds, or remind you of being 15 when you read it.

I’m with you. When you’re 15 everything is awesome and you make the friends that are gonna be your friends for life, and you have more fun than you’re every gonna have, because you have no responsibilities other than to have fun. And that’s what snowboarding should be. I’m totally with you. My wife left me cause I’m basically a 15-year-old kid. What can ya do?

Moments like this aren’t going to capture themselves. 

Have you ever considered growing up?

No. No way, I’m never growing up.

What’s your take on Mt. Hood camps and then new ones popping up from Woodward?

The more the merrier. More people getting people stoked on snowboarding the better. I don’t know about their parks, but that’s just my personal opinion. The neat thing about snowboard camp, and I don’t just mean ours is snowboard camps are the churches of snowboarding. The kids that come to camp are the most rapid snowboarders from wherever they live. And they meet the other rapid snowboarders from all over the world and they make the next snowboarding. Mary Rand came to camp when she was 12 and now she’s rookie of the year and a guest pro. Andrew Hicks, he’s working for Billabong and he met his wife at camp when he was 15. The friends you make and the connections you make, you don’t get that anywhere else. I think the media should support camps a little more. If they wonder why snowboard sales are down – give support to the true hardcores, which are the kids that come to camp.

What do people get out of camp?

People come to camp to be pro snowboarders or whatever, but the one thing I really like about camp is you may come for that but when you’re here you realize, oh man, I’m never gonna make it as a pro. But you’ll be like I could be a filmer, or a photographer, or a writer or a marketing director or an editor for a magazine. It’s amazing. You look at the snowboard industry and everyone in it came through camp.

I have to ask, is this the lowest you’ve ever seen the snow?

This is the worst winter I’ve ever had. Me and Don Schwartz and a couple of friends own Powder Mountain cat ski and we cat skied 6 days. We usually go 90. It was New Zealand this year. No snow down low and tons of snow up high. Up until May 1 we had pretty much the same snow we had last year and then it got hot and didn’t stop.

Do you think it’ll turn around?

It has to man, it’s all I’ve got. (laughs) Snowboarding is all I’ve got and I’m not even that good at it! It’s gonna snow. Whistler had something like this in the late 70s where they had three years of no snow and the only reason it wasn’t as tramatic for the resorts is we had all that Olympic snow making. I called this season Colorado good. There wasn’t any powder but it was sunny every day and it was white and you could slide on it. Colorado perfect, it’s what everybody – other than people that live for powder – it’s what you want on your vacation. So it was an awesome year if you like that, but I like powder, so it could have been a little bit better.

Marcus Rand.

Tell me a story about when you were a pro snowboarder.

Well, when I was a pro I kinda transititoned into being a photographer. Back then It’s kinda like you’re the best hockey team in Alaska. Being a Pro snowboarder didn’t mean much, it just meant you got your ass kicked by Terje every year. But snowboarding hasn’t changed much at all. You get a crew of friends the snowboard shop posse was ridiculously talented – we had Boyer, Warburton, Shorty, my brother Dave, Steve Matthews, Keith Duckboy Wallace and Evan Thein, Brushie and Nicole Anglerath. All these people would come and coach in the summer and they were the same people you’d hang out with in the winter. Snowboarding hasn’t changed at all and that’s why I laugh when people talk about it. It’s like my keys to reality story. Snowboarding hasn’t changed, you’ve changed. You’re 12 or 15 and all you do it dream about moving to a ski area and then as soon as you’re old enough to move to a ski area, you either move on your own or with your friends and you get a crappy job as a busboy a pizza delivery guy and you snowboard every day. And you have the best time and you live life simply. Your hungry and your clothes are dirty and your always broke, but you have a season pass and you have the absolute best time of your life. You do that and then one day you decide to buy a car and then you get a job to pay for the car and then girls talk to you because you’re not a loser snowboarder that has no money and all of a sudden you blink and you’re forty years old and have a house and a job and you’re not that kid anymore. I’ll fully admit, I’ve changed, but I still like to think of myself as a dirty little snowboarder. All I’ve ever wanted to do is snowboard and I’ve been lucky enough to make that happen.

You still didn’t tell me a story from the old days.

Ok, it was like 1991 and every pro snowboarder lived in this one house in Whistler. The tour bus would go by and point it out – the snowboard house! Brushie lived in the hallway to nowhere and put up a sheet to keep everyone out. Terje lived there. There was like 25 people. The house was so full I basically lived in my van all summer.

What’s your favorite part about Whistler?

Everything. I think what I like the best about it – there are a lot of resorts that blow the horn, or say we care about the customer experience – but Whistler to me is the only place that I’ve ever been where they don’t even see a box to think outside of. I can’t believe this is my front yard. You end up where you’re supposed to end up so it make sense, but it’s best resort in North America. I’ll call it the best resort in the world, but I’ll definitely say there’s better riding in Europe, but as far as the whole package, there’s nothing better than Whistler. I can’t get bored of this place because if I do I will have to move to France. I’d have to find a French girl to marry like Americans do when they want to move here!

Do you think you missed out on anything by being a snowboard bum for your whole life.

No, not a chance. It’s funny, you get older and you live in Whistler and when you travel and you tell people where you live they’re jealous. And it’s like, you could live there too. There’s not a gate to get in. You get the life you want, so pick a life you like. You don’t have to be an office monkey, you don’t have to have a shitty life. If you wanna live in the mountains, do it. Sell all your shit and move, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. Yeah you’re gonna be broke and hungry and live with 15 people in a crappy two bedroom apartment and you’ll either like it or hate. If you like it, well there’s a way to find a way to make your dream come true and live there. If you don’t like it, university and real jobs are always going to be there. The stuff you learn being a free person, I think you learn a lot more about how the world works than I think you do going to university. But what do I know, I never went to University.

Welcome to the Yobeat Roundtable, a new feature where we pose pressing questions to the greatest minds and bodies in snowboarding in order to get some damn answers – or at least real opinions on the current state of Board World. For our first meeting, we’re discussing what it means to matter, or more specifically, stay a relevant snowboarder in this day and age of media overload. We asked:

The term relevance is thrown around more than ever in the Internet age, as just about anything can gain notoriety with enough social posts. As we approach the 2015/16 season, what does being relevant in snowboarding mean to you?

And they answered:

Ethan Morgan, Half German/half American Playboy/Bataleon pro: Being relevant is important to me as a snowboard pro.  Things have changed in Snowboarding, not good or bad, just different.  And if you wanna be a part of it, you just have to go with the flow.  Nowadays, you just wanna get your name out there so the world wide web can see you.  You could be the shit, have the best steez and heavy tricks, but if you’re not in that Social media mayhem program or not going to contests, you’ll get as close to just getting a shop sponsor.  Internet has it all connected, and has constant updates on what is happening in snowboarding and its different scenes.  So many snowboarding edits out there, it’s unreal.  It’s hard being relevant because there is so much Internet traffic.  So what * try to do is just be consistent with updates, bring out content and just try to get my name out there.

Danyale Patterson, Gnu Girl/Purist: Being relevant in snowboarding means you’ve filmed a memorable part.

Sean Black, Muscular Man/Arbor Marketing MANager: What is defined as relevant depends on who you ask. Relevance is relative and with so many channels of communication available to so many people on both the publishing and consuming end of the media landscape, relevance is harder than ever to achieve or quantify. I think what I’m trying to say is that Erik Leon is super fucking relevant, and everyone else to rides an Arbor Snowboard for that matter. Yeah…all of them are the most relevant. Oh, Stan seems to be super relevant too. I heard, “OMG thats Stan from Yobeat” just as often as “OMG that’s Sage Kotsenburg” last week while on Mt Hood. Both dudes are super fucking awesome so that was nice to see.

Sean Genovese, Snowboard Visionary/Dinosaurs Will Die Co-founder: Hustle.  Has and always will be the most relevant.  If you’re making an effort and participating… people will notice.  If you’re half assing it… people won’t notice… therefore they won’t care… hence irrelevance.

Chris Larson: Alaskan Hardcore/DWD Pro.

Isn’t trying to be relevant consist of trying to be unique and as irrelevant as possible?  That’s my take on how people are trying to shift their direction towards being what’s currently relevant.

Jake Olson-Elm: Minnesota Hero/Signal Pro: I think Lucas Magoon is the most relevant snowboarder out there, then it just trickles down from there!!!

Matt Heneghan: DWD babysitter/Newfie.
I think the key to staying relevant is being in the know of what is currently trending in snowboarding but not totally catering your trick selection and riding style to that norm. Incorporating some new flavour is good but it is really obvious when someone is just straight up biting something. Do your own thing but evolve in a way that makes sense to your boarding.
Fredrik Perry: Fragile human/DWD Pro.
Being relevant for me I guess is if you’re out there doing stuff. I mean, if you’re in edits and doing interviews and put out videoparts, people know what you’re doing. You can’t really force it either, which is good, but I don’t think being relevant is a thing people really think about. Is it? At least for me, just film for a videopart I’m hyped for myself and that my friends will like and also maybe, just maybe once not get injured during a season. Yeah right. I guess it depends on what kind of snowboarding you do also. If you want to win big contests you’ll have to do some pretty crazy tricks and do those every other weekend during the winter to stay relevant, for other people it’s enough to drop one part a year, maybe even every other year. For some, just make silly edits for silly boys and girls. I like those.

Jeff Keenan, Whistler OG/DWD Co-founder: For myself and DWD, it’s all about submersing in to the culture no matter where you are at. From travels to resorts and spots in Japan and Europe, to roaming through the local scenes in North America; riding and bridging the the gaps allows you to keep check with similarities in all Snowboard culture plus you’re able to meet more people and expand your reach.

Jonathan Macdonald: Bear Local/Arbor Am.  Being relevant in snowboarding to me  is knowing what’s going on in the snowboarding community, but you don’t have to follow the footsteps that everyone else takes. Snowboarding was/is made to be fun and that’s the main rule u should always have, weather your doing a quad cork or the newest euro carve. You be the judge on what you think is cool and not, don’t just say it’s cool because your homies said it is or because it’s the heavy popular thing. SERIOUSLY BE YOUR OWN PERSON!!!

Brendon Hupp: Indie Filmmaker/Professional Pessimist
Filming a video part, photos (in print), maybe an interview (in print) and not over saturating the social scene with your shitty park edits and even worse product photos.

Madison Blackley: Jib Gurl/Bataleon Pro. YOU THINK I’M RELEVANT?!?! Shocking since I’m not that cool on Instagram.  Being relevant is giving the people what they want, even if they don’t know what they want. I don’t know what is relevant anymore, being relevant is being popular.

Kaitlyn Farrington: Olympic Halfpipe Snowboarding Gold Medalist. Funny that the question is about being relevant because right now that what I’m trying to figure out…how to stay relevant and let’s say not be the forgotten Olympian :/ I feel the internet has just made things a pain in the ass because I can’t just be me to the full extent without getting comments like “should you be doing that because your neck” or the call/text “you might wanna rethink your last post parents might not like that”  my response is “yes I am drinking out of a red cup I’m 25…”

Before people really used the Internet, before shooting film was just a novelty, before the Olympics realized people actually might want to watch snowboarding – everyone who was anyone in the East would gather at Stimilon Air and Style events. Masterminded and ran by Dave and Laurie Olcott, this big air series launched a lot of notable careers in snowboarding and united a scene like no other. While the 90s had lots of cool snowboarding stuff, the Stimilon big air series tops our list of the most influential and important thing to happen in East Coast snowboarding, ever.

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Top right: Tim Karpinski. Middle: Nugget and Pat the Eye Bridges. Bottom: Adam Moran

“The Stimilon events were so ahead of their time,” Scotty Arnold said. “Dave made some of the best jumps I’ve hit even to this day, and I if it weren’t for those events I would have never been able to go anywhere with my snowboarding.”

And while does Davo deserve a lot of credit for putting on incredible events, he was quick to remember his wife and partner Laurie, who sadly passed away on February 12th, 2015 after a battle with cancer.

staff

The diligent staff who made it all happen.

“I wouldn’t be anything in our industry without her,” He said. “She did so much behind the scenes and none ever knew about it because she didn’t do it for the attention. SHE – was the reason – I was.”

We recently discovered the 1999 “Ones to Watch” brochure and realized almost half of the people on it are still actively involved in snowboarding, and the rest, well, who knows? So we figured it was time for an update.

onestowatch2

 

Click on the above image to expand.

 

mountaincreek

Memories from Mountain Creek

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Left: Nugget, right: The legendary Zack Diamond

Men

1. Myles Hallen

myleshallen

Despite our best efforts, we were unable to track down Myles. He was last seen in South Lake Tahoe, where he was busy raising a shredlet of his own. If anyone has any information, let us know in the comments!

Myles Halen

Photo: Don Landerwherle

2. Tom Flocco

tomflocco

“I live in SLC and work and ride in Park City mostly. Still shredding a lot but only in the winter now. I am a massage therapist at a spa called Align. I’ve been working there for 11 years. They are super good to me and I get lots of time to shred. Keeping the mountain life alive over here.”

flocco87

3. Scotty Arnold

scottarnold

“I have been filming a bunch of snowboarding. I started a company called Stoyach. I am a landlord in Park City. Still snowboarding a lot and competing in fun events like the Bode Merrill mini pipe. And I skateboard a lot, too.”

overall_winners

4. Adam Moran

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Adam spent several years as staff photographer for Burton, and is currently in the freelance game. Hire him at adammoran.com!

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Adam and Bridges. Photo: Poppa Moran. 

6. Mike Baker

mikebaker

 

“I’m living in southern Maine, own kayak and fish New England guide services, work for wilderness systems kayaks and am the father of 2 boys 1 girl, and married for 5 yrs. Still lurking the NH snow in the winter, hosting Mike Baker banked event and grooming at Waterville last year.”

Mike Baker at Sugarbush

Sugarbush. 

7. Andrew Mutty

andrewmutty

I’m back east. I live in Mass once again. Currently I’m a stay at home dad:) My contract with Nike ran out in 2011, 12/13/14 I was with Rockstar. That’s now over too. So now I am trying to refocus… see where the road leads me. Video Games is still active and doing well with USASA. I am working on the board with TTR trying to help snowboarding remain relevant as thing progress forward toward the 2018 Games. I bought a house and have become somewhat of a Macgyver in terms of how to fix things and not pay contractors to do it for me. Being a stay at home dad is a full time gig and tall task on its own. I really love the snowboarding world and I hope to find a place to grow there but the industry as a whole is in a tough spot and it’s not getting easier, so my focus maybe slightly broad right now to find a new career path… who knows, maybe some industry leader wants to kick some ass and bring me in to shake things up!”

andrew_mutty

8. Preston Strout

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After a few years as part owner and marketing director at High Cascade, Preston sold his shares and now lives in Bend, OR with his wife Dawn and helps make one-footed snowboard antics possible with Crab Grab.

Preston Strout

9. Jeff Moran

jeffmoran

“Been living in Jackson Hole for 16 years (due to the influence of Sean O’brien and Chris Danielle)

-Starting my 12th year at the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard club: 11 years as head snowboard coach (2004-2015), 9 as the Director of the Freeride Program (2006-2015) and most recently I moved into a new position: the Director of Advancement (2015-present) focusing on fundraising, marketing and communications. Jhskiclub.org

-I got “re-sponsored” (HA!) in 2012 when I started riding/designing boards for Notice Custom Snowboards out of Whitefish, MT noticesnowboards.com

-I rarely hike or even go out of bounds. Still love to take hot laps and ride the park/pipe. Pow is fun, but I’m more of a quantity over quality kind of guy.

-In 2010 I started the Wednesday Night Lights Snow Jam Series at Snow King Mtn with Rob Kingwill. It’s a local rail jam for all ages designed to be a fun, casual competition for kids and adults

-I co-founded the Wild West Skateboard Contest Series in 2013 which now has 5 events in 2 states: WY & ID Wildwestskateboarding.com

-I’ve somehow managed to stay involved with snowboarding and create a life for myself in Jackson Hole with my amazing girlfriend Amy Glenn. I feel pretty lucky about all of that.”

Jeff Moran 2

11. Pat Bridges

patbridges

Pat Bridges chain smokes, scours thrift stores for old snowboards from specific snowboard video parts and enjoy godlike-status as Creative Director for Snowboarder Magazine.

Pat Bridges

Photo: Don Landerwherle

12. Jeremiah Cook

jercook

Photo: Don Landerwherle

“Been out in San Diego for almost 10 years after 6 years in Boulder/Denver Colorado. I’m now a DJ and it has been my source of income since 2003. I only get to ride a few times a year these days at Big Bear or Mammoth, but I live at the beach so I am surfing as much as possible.”

jerry

13. Jason Ortiz

jasonortiz

I’m living in Ansonia, CT. I have an 11 year old daughter, Ava, and will be attending Lincoln Tech in September to become an electrician.

Jason Ortiz

15. Nick Scofield

nickscoffield
Well, after Stimilon I was forced to get a real job and face the world head on. I moved to Burlington for about ten years, worked at the big “B”, had a little Chemo adventure I’m sure you’re aware of and am recently officially in remission. Then I decided to move back to CT to be closer to family and help my mom who has MS. Now I work at Victorinox Swiss Army helping manage their watch repair centers in the U.S. I currently live in Shelton, CT with my girlfriend. I still skate a bit and ride, but not nearly as much since the hills aren’t as close anymore. I’ve gotten into cars a bit and go to a lot of exotic car shows. I just started exercising again as now that’s I’m 40 I guess I need to! And that’s pretty much where I am today!

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Women

1. Hannah Grant

hannahgrant

 

“I’m living in Steamboat Springs, CO. I just got married this past April and we have two huge dogs (a newf and st bernard.) I still snowboard a ton in the winter and ride mountain bikes in the summer. I work at a dispensary, which my husband owns. Life’s pretty darn good in Steamboat!”

Hannah Grant 2

Photo: Don Landerwherle

2. Anna Bock

annabock

“1999- I won the Stimilon- 1st place Overall Pro Championship- back then it was just old cameras, pagers and VHS lol.

That comp opened up a lot of doors, I was riding for Burton B team with Ali Bernsten, who has actually remained a great lifetime friend of mine. Love her she is doing great in NYC.

2000- 2001- got wildcards for US open big air, also was invited to the Grand prix big air series tour out in California and did events in Tahoe, Breck, and Big Bear. Which lead to a few the summers training at the Burton House on Mount hood. I ended up getting 4th in the US open big air in Stratton, Vt in 2001 and just overall had great time riding all over the West and East coast with the team. Around 2004 I had a bad injury to my right shoulder in a contest. Resulting in a broken collarbone. I did treatment called Ondamed -Wave Medicine with my father Dr. Steven Bock and then ended up getting certified for the therapy after

I healed. I can now treat others in that field , I did that for about 7 years. Then ventured to South Florida where I have a condo and started Photography Business called Elitestar Photography. I live in a small surf town called Delray Beach. North of Miami. I live a nice mellow and simple life. Love to travel and go to events. I still go up North and out West to see the family. Spend my free time on the beach and with friends. Love doing charities and events down here. I love simple things no kids yet but one day.”

Anna Bock

 

Photo: Don Landerwherle

Follow Anna on social media: Twitter- @annabock1 | Instagram @annabock and @elitestarphotography

3. Ali Berntsen

alibernsten

“I’m in NYC, I have a clothing brand called We Were Once Fiends. I went to FIT in 2004-2006, then worked for fashion brands from 2006-2013, and in late 2013 I started WW1F.”

Ali Berntsen at Sugarbush

4. Brooke Geery

brookegeery

“Oh hey, that’s me! After I tore my ACL, broke my ankle and gave up on the pro snowboard dream, I went to college at Western Washington University, freelanced for just about every snowboard publication known to man, interned for Snowboarder Magazine, was associate editor at Bluetorch (which became FuelTV), spent two years doing wakeboard and boardercross research for the X Games, six years running running web content at Alliance Wake, a year and a half as social manager for Nike Snowboarding, some other stuff I forget. And obviously I still run Yobeat.”

5. Lauren “Nugget” Naudascher

nugget

 

“So what’s the Nug doing? Living the life Brooke, living the life. So I am a Domestic Goddess, raising my two fantastic kids 6 and 1. I live in NH, married to my college sweetheart 16 years of love. I also have my own baking business Sugar and Flour. Jason “Larry” and I are trying to keep true to our roots and give our kids the opportunity to see the snow and skate world. Oliver, 6, has been riding since age 2 and Ellery will give it a shot this winter. Oliver absolutely loves snowboarding and can totally hang with the big boys, which is sweet. I feel so fortunate to have meet the tight group of friends that I did through Stimilon. It’s built life long friendships. Thanks to Dave and Laurie for creating something so awesome. I couldn’t ask for anything more than I’ve got! I love my life.”

Nugget proves she ain't chicken!

’98 Waterville Valley Air & Style Challenge. Photo Don Landerwherle

6. Karen Plourde

karenplourde

We also couldn’t find Karen – does anyone out there know??

MORE VINTAGE COVERAGE

1999 Air and Style Challenge

Making it Big in Big Air by Pat Bridges

1999 East Coast Contests in photos

The official Stimilon archive

RIP Laurie, you are greatly missed!

Not so long ago, professional snowboarders got paid in real money.  We’re talking enough money to travel around the world, pay a mortgage, keep their snowmobile tank filled with gas, pay for a hotels in upscale resort towns, go on lavish surf vacations in the off season, and maybe even put a little in the bank to cover them when an injury or poor decision caused them to be out of a job. There are still a few top pros  raking it in, but thanks to many factors within and beyond the industry’s control, most of people you see in marquee features on sites such as this one, are lucky to get to get free boards and a small travel budget these days. While we’re uninterested in debating the ethicality or fairness of this reality right now, we are here to offer a few suggestions on how to keep the pro shred dream alive without government assistance, energy drinks, crowd funding or ya know, actual snowboard brands.

Not-so-Illicit Drugs. It should come as no surprise that several reputable, long-running snowboard brands were started with drug money. With the legalization of marijuana in full effect on the west coast, there’s never been a better time to use some of that extra green you make growing/selling/trimming green to fund a snowboard career.

Big Pharma. Snowboarding is a dangerous activity and one of the side effects of taking calculated risks is injury. For this reason, the pharmaceutical industry has actual incentive to support our love for shred. Pain Killer sponsorship? Yes please! But why stop there? The snowboard population consists of lots of aging males. We can see the Mike Ranquet Viagra campaign now.

Lil Wayne already knows. Photo via Quatersnacks

The Rap Industry. Rich white kids helped in making hip hop a viable genre way back when, and now it’s time the rappers give back! Odd Future Snowboards? Could happen.

Dead Grandparents. Sure, this is a sad option, but that inheritance may be just what you need to travel the globe racking up FIS points! It’s what Grammy and Gramps would want you to do, really.

Processed meats. The one industry that always knows the worst time to jump into a sport. IE: Slim Jim and rollerblading, circa ’00.

Donald Trump. That guy obviously has way too much money to waste. And hey, maybe if we got him into snowboarding, he might start caring about climate change and give up on that whole presidential run thing.

The Korean Government. Surely they want people to care about Pyeongchang 2018, so it is in their best interest to provide the snowboard world with sufficient funding that everyone has quad corks on lock by then. Quad corks = ratings!

And of course, there’s always the option of getting an actual job in the off season, but think we can all agree that sounds just plain dumb.