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Issue #2 March – 2012


Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

Kareem El-Rafie at Gothenburg Rail Battle 2010. Gothenburg, Sweden.

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To Mike Wolfe. Thank you.

Fowzi Magazine #2 Published March 25th 2012

Cover photo by Sofie Windh Apologies: To Gussan from Kutchan-cho, Hokkaido Japan. We’re sorry we didn’t properly put your name in the caption for the photo of you sending it in the Shirakaba spring park.

Contact us Editor: Brian Wolfe – brian@fowzi.se Photo Editor / Layout: Gustav Ohlsson – gustav@fowzi.se Advertising / Marketing: Sofie Windh – sofie@fowzi.se

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

The Starship Supermarket Some things I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Like the interior design of Australian supermarkets. Why do they look like the Starship Enterprise? It’s something with the interior of the stores that just makes them feel like a spaceship. This raises a lot of questions. Is this just a product of chance? One theory is that the set designer from Star Trek found a new gig in Australia after the show was cancelled. Another is that all Australians are secretly trekkies. Gustav Ohlsson

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Joel Olovsson, fs nose press fs 180 out. Vejbystrand, Sweden.

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

Minimalism

Snowboarding the minimalist winters of southern Sweden. Words: Gustav Ohlsson & Brian Wolfe

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

Kalle Danielsson lost the rosha

Mikaela Persson, fs boardslide. Vejbystrand, Sweden.

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Photographer Gustav Ohlsson Wondering if this will even wo


Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

ambo and got to be the guinea pig. He came up a bit short. Very short. Skrea Strand, Falkenberg, Sweden. Photography: Brian Wolfe

A salute to stoke How do you become addicted to snowboarding when you live in a place that gets a snowy winter once every ten years? These people really have nature working against their hobby. Snow usually falls every winter but rarely stays. Temperatures drop below the freezing point when high pressure weather patterns pass by. There can be glorious bluebird days without any precipitation in sight. Clouds in the mood for a rain dance almost always carry temperatures above freezing as a partner resulting in rain, not snow. So what’s the solution then? Well, don’t bother with the weather. If nature isn’t

perfect, improve it. Befriend the ice-maker at the local hockey rink. Build your own dryslope out of carpet and old shipping pallets. Ride the sand on the beach and last but not least, talk the local ski hill into letting you ride their piles of man made snow before they open to the public. Here as salute to the people really stoked on snowboarding and also an inspirational guide on what to do when nature is messing with your snowboard season.

n looking for the right angle to shoot from. ork.

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Beachboarding The beach is a nice place to snowboard. You’ve almost always got a bit of a slope leading onto the beach and you’ve got tons and tons of sand, which is a great building material. Working with sand limits the need for snow. You can build your drop-in and kicker from sand and then just cover it with snow to make it rideable. Another good thing about the beach is that the sand is somewhat soft for you to land on. It’s not instant death that awaits you if you bail off the rail.

Brian Wolfe nailed this nice tail tap on the rail. Skrea Strand, Falkenberg, Sweden.

Brefriending the people at your local hockey rink is key to be able to access snow before winter brings it for you. Also, you might want to remember that snow is heavy. Don’t overload your trailer.

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

Photography: Brian Wolfe

Joel Olovsson, fs nose press. Vejbystrand, Sweden.

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Photography: Sofie Windh

Joel Olovsson, tailslide.

Brian Wolfe, bs lipslide.

If you’ve ever wondered, you don’t need snow to snowboard. Ted Johansson’s fall setup in the fields outside Laholm, Sweden.

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Photography: Brian Wolfe

Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

Ted Johansson, fs 270 switch boardslide.

Photography: Brian Wolfe

Farming Snowboard Snowboarding on the farm with a pallet dropin and plastic carpet can go down year round. There can be muddy landings and grassstained attempts of swallowed pride but it’s a means to a end. The end being a great box/rail rider by the time winter hits, if it does.

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London, Great Britain.

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

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The art of waiting Words & Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

I saw it immediately. It was just there. The perfect rock to rock transfer. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Ever since I heard about the Boulder Garden I’d thought to myself that it would be cool to do a rock to rock transfer, and I found it after being there for only ten minutes. This was not without problems though. As soon as I launched the idea of gapping these two rocks the only response I got was that I was insane. Nobody would ever say anything else for three years. That is until I introduced the gap to Ian Linde. His response was: It might be doable. It was crunch time. I’d been waiting three years for this shot. Three years of people thinking I was nuts to present them with a suicide mission. Now the time was right. It was a good snow year with plenty of fluffy Canadian pow to help out and I’d finally found a rider happy to jump it. One day was spent digging out the launch ramp on the first rock. Then a snow storm brought another foot and a half of pow, so we had to do it all again. After that we spent a day preparing the in-run. Which turned out to be quite nuts. It included negotiating two skin tracks, ollieing a rock between two spruce trees and riding the edge of a deep hole at full speed. Everything leading up to a fifty feet rock to rock transfer. Ian hit it three times. This is the first hit. It was totally worth waiting three years for it.

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Ian Linde, stale fish. Fernie, British Columbia, Canada.

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Wild Bill’s restaurant. Niseko Hirafu, Japan.

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Photography: Sofie Windh

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Photography: Sofie Windh

Surprise Good luck. The people in Japan eat a lot of these steamy-hot buns in the winter. Called Man or Manju, every convenience store sells them super hot and ready to burn the roof of your traveling mouth. The way these happy round puffy’s are displayed makes most people want one. All of them start out the same. A cautious bite and not much taste keeps you chewing till you hit the center and the mystery unveils itself. They can be filled with all sorts of mystery. Teri Mayo Chicken-man (chicken and Japanese mayo), Niku-man (spicy pork filling), fermented soy, beef curryman, pizza-man and bean jam. Some steamy buns can cost way more like the Wagyu-man (rolled with expensive lean Japanese massaged marbled beef) and you would not even know why. If you are in Japan with no kanji skills, just act like you know what’s up and buy a few different buns and hopefully get one you like. Never knowing what you are eating is a true food moment. Brian Wolfe

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Survival boot camp If you ride a lot and don’t buy or get two free pair of boots per season check this out. Words: Brian Wolfe & Gustav Ohlsson Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

In the beginning when soft felt-lined boots needed more support the cool guys cut tongues out of ski boots and fit them into soft boots. Everyone welcomed the foam liners days that felt so good as well as the solid stitched liners that were getting better every season. Tweaked cut-down boots to stiff crudcrushing tanks, riders always modified their gear and manufacturers followed by changing designs to satisfy. Some brands stitched plas-

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tic into the boot tongues or offered extra plastic tongues to slip into a tongue-pocket – a cool option for personal flex. Today’s light and tough 3D molded tongues, footbeds, jointed cuffs, absorption loving shells and liners are dialed. Crazy lacing or traditional, everybody is riding in nice boots but there is always room for improvements and tweaks. Here are a few tips for your boots that will prolong life and up the function.


Lace-loop saver

Get four steel washers. Sturdy ones.

Almost all new boots have this pull-through lace-loop design that functions really well with the jointed cuff on the outer shell. Expand on this design and sew in metal rings or washers to save the loops from wearing through. It saves the laces as well. Last season I doctored up my new boots with metal washers and they held up for the 140+ days that my feet were tied in them. They are still holding up. The previous winter I was tearing through these loops mid-season and trying to sew them back to life.

Use a round file to smooth out the inner side of the washers so that the laces run on a round surface.

Carefully cut out the stitching. Make sure you’re only cutting the stiches, not the fabric.

Put a prepared washer in place and sow it all together. Thoroughly.

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Lord of the loops If your boots were not made with metal rings sewn in the inner-lace system, this is for you. When one or more of your inner-lace loops blow-out (designed to blow out?) beat the blowout by pre-sewing some new lace loops or safety lace-loops around the loops that are about to break. Sloppy boot guts suck when you are getting into it and can make a person crazy. Laceloops can be made out of any tough material and sewn in with a little patience.

Standard two liter plastic bottles has more to offer than just being a container for your favourite drink.

Bottle bash If your boots are beat soft or you wreck your ankle and want to keep riding until the end of your trip, season or before you find the time to go in to the doctor, here are some tricks. A simple way to add support is to throw in plastic soda bottle shims in between the shell and liner in the back of the boot. Double them up if you need. Retro-fit in some thrift store ski boot tongues or hunt down some old Burton tongue shims, they will stiffen up your ride and help protect you through the hurting times if you have to keep riding while broken. These old school Burton plastic tongues are worth there own weight in gold when your boots are getting sloppy.

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Slap a slice of duct tape over the J-bar and the gel move around.


High-heeled shoe fix Believe it or not, there are shoes made with looks in mind, rather than comfort. Shoes like this can look like a million bucks but are as comfortable as walking on broken glass. Designed for improving comfort in shoes made with looks rather than comfort in mind, these gel pads can be a great way to improve your boots. One side is covered in sticky stuff so the pads stick right to the inside of your boot shell. Just slap them on where needed, and put a protective layer of duct tape over it. Your boots will feel snug like a million bucks even though they look like your dog’s chew toy to the rest of the world.

pad to ensure that they don’t

If you have a lot of play around your heel, hit up a shop and ask for the J-bars that Burton makes. They have velcro on one side and are easy to put in your liner or shell for achilles support.

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Fl채sta Hanks, Sweden

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

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Ribersborg, Malmรถ, Sweden.

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

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An extra shot When you’re the photographer on set you get to wait a lot. It’s not always awesome. People hiking back up for a another try does not always move at the speed of light. Sometimes a true test of your ability is to keep yourself occupied. One good thing to do is try to find something else to shoot while waiting. This is one of those shots. As Ian hiked back up to hit it again, I had time to move over a bit and snap away. Gustav Ohlsson

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Point of no return Getting to the bottom of the feeling of dropping in. Words: Gustav Ohlsson

Ron Fearing wiggled his toes and then pointed it down this chute in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada.

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

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You’ve been waiting for your turn. Standing in line waiting for people to hit it. The choice has fallen on something a little bit bigger than what usually feels comfortable. It’s your turn. You step up. Everything is right. Goggles sitting right, bindings nice and tight. You’re past you’re mental point of no return and you’re off.

One of my all time favorite snowboard shots is of a drop-in. It is set in a park at some resort. The rider has just started his in-run towards a big spine. Leaning down with his upper body to accelerate faster with his arms stretched back to streamline his body battling wind resistance. The target spine is really far off out of focus as the rider has just started his descent. I can relate to this image in every way. It perfectly tells the story of how it feels to drop-in. Drop-ins can be very different creatures. One day you find yourself patting down a bit of perfect powder to strap in for what looks to be the best line of your life. The next day you’re atop a giant park kicker having serious doubts whether you can actually master it or if the grim reaper awaits you on the knuckle. We all have different thoughts going through our minds when we’re about to drop. At times it can be a tough mental process to convince your body to overcome the fear. Sometimes it feels just as natural as waking up in the morning. I talked to a few different sides of snowboarding’s diversity of street, park, backcountry jumps, cliffs, and no-falls chutes, to ask a few questions on what’s going on before dropping in. Rail slayer Cody Beiersdorf, allaround ripper Barry Buhr, and big mountain enthusiast Ron Fearing. What goes on in your mind before you’re about to drop? Cody Beiersdorf (CB):  Basically just try not to think of the worst case scenario. Barry Buhr (BB):  I’m thinking of what trick or line I want to do. I’m envisioning that I’ll pull it off but I may also have a Plan B in my mind.

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Ron Fearing (RF):  I typically look down the slope, and say to myself you need to get there. And have a quick mind meditation to thank everything for letting me enjoy this day. Most of all, I look at my bros and admire that shit eating grin they’re sharing with me. Do you have any rituals? Some things you always do before dropping? CB:  Sometimes I’ll get in a routine of adjusting little things like my shirts and my hat or something. BB:  I lace my boots up pretty precisely each time. I can feel exactly how many clicks my ratchets are at also. Typically my left boot and heel strap will be just a little tighter, perhaps due to some asymmetries with my feet and simply just what feels right. Sleeves have to be pulled over my mitts and can’t be all bunched up, goggles also have to be just the right amount of tight. RF:  I wiggle my feet, ratchet a click or two tighter, roll my shoulders, adjust the goggles, put my hands on my knees and push out a big breath, clear the mind, smack the gloves together, clear the mind and go! Which foot do you strap in first? Why? CB:  My left. It just became a habit and have been doing it since I started riding. BB:  If I’m hiking a feature where I am unstrapping every time then I usually strap in the foot which I plan on pointing downhill first. I just feel like the leading foot gets strapped first. No practical reason for this. What goes through your mind when you’ve just dropped? CB:  I’m not really sure, everything happens so quick.


Photography: Barry Buhr (selfportrait!)

This is a selfportrait. Barry Buhr in Duluth, Minnesota, USA.

Photography: Clayton Hamilton

Photography: Samuel Fenton

This drop-in is not one of Cody Beiersdorf ’s favourites. It’s actually one of the worst according to him.

A mandatory 15ft drop awaited Ron Fearing in the middle of this run. San Juan, Colorado, USA.

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Photography: Forrest Thorniley

BB:  Everything’s good to go, time for ninja focus. 99% of my focus is on the trick/line about to happen. I’m picturing how many preturns I’ll do before the jump and where I want to leave the lip. Or, if it’s a line, I’m thinking stay left past the two small lines, slight right, then blast off the cornice to the left of the craggy rocks. RF:  You know what, nothing goes through my mind. In that preceding, following seconds as the adrenaline is coursing through my veins, I’m in love with the world.

Mental tug-of-war

Ron Fearing. Selkirks, British Columbia, Canada.

Photography: Pamela Schmitt

Barry Buhr found a drop in Duluth, Minnesota, USA.

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It’s not all drop-ins that come for free. Deciding whether to go for it or not can be a real question for the big philosophers. Your mind goes into internal debate weighing all the pros and cons. Ron Fearing recalls one time he was put to test: –  I would have to say my toughest dropin was a blind cliff at Bald Face Lodge in BC, Canada. I ended up at the cliff by accident, and asked the lead guide to have the tail gunner spot the cliff for me. Unfortunately, in order to get enough speed to clear mandatory rocks, I had to start up higher. I could only see the tops of trees a long way down the slope. The tail guide was at the edge of the cliff, so that’s all I had to go off of: “Yeah there’s a two-tier rock down there that you’re going to have to clear,” he said. So, it’s a nice little surprise to see your landing after you’re airborne. What did you think when you were there? RF:  I typically don’t think too much. I try to completely go mentally focused. It’s almost like meditation, where you’re in the moment. You can feel your heart beating in your ears. Your senses are so keen. Fight or flight instincts are screaming at you: “dumb ass, do you realize this is a blind cliff?!” Then it all becomes so clear. I got this shit, dropping! Could you have backed down from it? RF:  Oh yeah, I usually try to leave myself some kind of way out. Granted sometimes you’re taking a colouir from the top, so you hope your info was good, or you may have a big hike back up, or a mandatory drop at some point. There’s nothing wrong with mandatory drops. If you know you have to do it. Then eye that sexy drop and give er’ some sugar, eh? What made you go through with it? RF:  I think this is universal for most riders. We put ourselves through a bit of mental tugof-war to push ourselves, and get that fat sack of “faaaaaaaaawk yeah, son” at the end of our line. Whether it be a cliff, a steep sketchy line, a gap jump, or anything that motivates us. I do it for the stoke, and for my bros whom are a huge part of that stoke.


Everything’s good to go, time for ninja focus.

Point of no return

Backing down can be a very, very hard thing. To some people it’s almost impossible to do. It has to be done sometimes though... unless you have a lack of will to live. Still it’s hard on your mind. When is your mental point of no return? Can you drop and abort a rail, kicker or big line? What would it take to make you abort it? CB:  Basically if I feel that I have enough speed and I don’t catch my edge or anything, I’ll just go for it. If i feel my board start grabbing or I’m going to slow, I’ll stop and fix the run in and then try it again. BB:  Some things can be aborted or adjusted, others cannot. If it’s do or die, well then you best be 100% focused and committed. Otherwise, hopefully there is a way out, and yeah, if something happens like someone cuts in front of me at a resort jump then I might bail out. Or, if I roll up on a blind backcountry feature and I can’t find my landmarks, I might have to bail. I guess the point of no return is just when I’m too close to possibly stop. Tell me about your toughest drop-in? CB:  I don’t know about toughest, but we’ve had some sketchy set-ups before for the drop in. For one spot this year we had to set the drop in next to a two-storey drop to concrete (or something like that) and the wind was blowing pretty hard against us. The top of the drop in was iced over so you had to have two people hold on to your board as you strapped in, so it was pretty sketchy.

– Barry Buhr

BB:  One that’s interesting was actually a tow-in. My friends were into snowcross racing and freestyle snowmobile jumping. They had an event at our local ski hill and had the great idea of setting up a jump for me to get towed into. We did it two weeks before the event and although it was crazy scary the first time, I did it and the jump was actually okay. However, on the day of the event it was super warm and everything was a sloppy mess. I knew it simply could not be done that day. But, there were hundreds of people there and I went for it. As I neared the ramp, I could feel that once I let go of the towrope I’d lose all my speed. So, at the last microsecond, I aborted, slid heel edge up the snow covered metal ramp, couldn’t stop and aired off and landed on my feet in the mud. I was thankful to be alive while the crowd thought I was full of it and never planned on doing it. So, I had to show everyone the test session footage.

The great reward

Every once in a while we all end up at a perfect drop-in. Looking down at it brings nothing but confidence and excitement, for free, without any effort from yourself. It is for sure one the main reasons people snowboard. The excitement of standing before something you know will be truly wonderful is unbeatable. What that is, differs from every rider, with the key ingredient being excitement. You take off, stomp it like there’s nothing easier in this world, and the reward is greater than the combined economy of the entire earth.

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Ian Linde, bs 360 indy. Fernie, British Columbia, Canada.

Three simple numbers Ian Linde tells the story about the drop-in to the near 100ft kicker pictured above. It’s the time for doubts to creep into your head. Its when all you’ve learned about speed, takeoff, and commitment comes into play. The countdown: 3, 2, 1… Those three numbers have such a sobering impact on you. Concentration multiplying tenfold with each number that passes.

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For me, as soon as my board points downhill there is no turning back. You chicken out once and it could go so wrong, your plan could go to shit. To quote Lukas Huffman, “hesitation equals devastation”. I agree. Now I’ve never personally been one to back down once I’m strapped in, but the


Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

closest I’ve ever been was on this near 100ft step down in Fernie B.C. I always guinea pig the jumps I’ve suggested to build. So, after way too many hours of building, I’m at the top of the drop-in. I almost always hit my mark when it comes to guessing speed, and even though I was 100% confident in my choice of run-in length, I almost puked before dropping because I was so nervous. But, I collected myself, started the countdown again for the filmer and dropped. I dropped because I was confident that I could make the landing and ride

away. I’ve never really experienced anything in life where I went from being so gripped with fear. And, within a few seconds I was feeling such relief. Whether it’s a jump, a precise line down a steep face, or an untracked powder field, that second before I drop is the feeling I crave again and again. I’m not satisfied until I’m scaring myself and it’s that fear which keeps me going. And it all starts with three simple numbers: 3, 2, 1… Ian Linde

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Unplayed Words: Brian Wolfe

The past few winters southern and coastal Sweden has had the most snow in 20 years and it’s been filling-in new street spots for snowboarding’s first time. With this luck, our local park’s steep fort walls and rails became a daily place to ride, and a small southern scene was born between the streets and the southern ski-hills. Our spot has been pulling in heads from the neighborhood and other nearby cites for good sessions and has saved us from huge lift lines at the slopes during the high-season. Fortress for days, comfy flat rails of triumph on one side of the wall or hit the viking double kink that crushes so many on the other side. Wedge it over the rail, ollie the big bush or jib a tree, it all lines up with steep landings into the old moat for butters. The relaxing park during the warm seasons transitions into a spot to keep your heads-up in winter and people have been learning fast that they have to meet us halfway in looking out. The high traffic walkway to and from the city center through the fort wall gate is never quiet and the tunnel ends in the run-out for the double kink. It can get hectic. Cops usually just watch as they roll by on their rounds to break up bar brawls and most people passing by are hyped. Teens hang out hyped up on energy drinks, cigs and awkwardness at the bus stop by the guitar shop yelling shit like “Shawn White!”. Attracting youth with systemet and snus/ candy shops close by and being illuminated with city-park lights all night, this place welcomes everyone anytime there is snow. Only if you know where it is... For a while now, Sweden, Finland and Norway have had a lot of street and rail coverage in some of the bigger film productions. We have all been hyped on seeing edits that have been shot in the streets of the popular cities up here, but I have been secretly happy that the crews from Scandinavia, Europe and the States have looked way past our fortress.

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Photography: Sofie Windh

The fortress was originally built to defend the city under the Danish king Kristian IV’s rule between 1598-1605 by fortifying the city walls, towers and trenching out a deep and vulnerable moat. Now 400 years later with the moat filled in, the unplayed steep-wall drop-ins, landings, stair sets, and rails are a blank canvas to create on. Brian Wolfe, mute.

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Photography: Sofie Windh

Brian Wolfe, bs 180 with beer.

Photography: Brian Wolfe

Johan Larsson, bs boardslide.

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All the way from Duluth, Minnesota, came Barry Buhr and nosepressed the


Photography: Sofie Windh

viking double kink. An old lady almost lost her poodle as he blitzed by after landing on the walk way below. She was not pleased.

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Highway 2 south of Calgary with the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the background. Alberta, Canada.

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Photography: Gustav Ohlsson

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Mike Words: Brian Wolfe

Clearing snow from the house, driveway, and sidewalk, was something Mike always stayed on top of. Minnesota winters can get loaded with snow, making it a big job, sometimes daily. Just scraping and shoveling the driveway-hill to get the cars up and off the street from being towed was a tough job. Then the city plow would usually make a second pass on our street back and bury the end of the driveway when the job was finished. Rad. Mike was a summer kind of guy and would mention it while shoveling-saying: “At least you don’t have to shovel heat!” He liked to put the snow to good use and would sometimes stay out after the sidewalk and driveway was done to show us how to build an igloo or a snowman like he did as a kid. He secretly liked the snow. In loving memory of Mike Wolfe.

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Fowzi #2  

Thank you. Everyone. We pretty much love you all.

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