BOTH SIDES OF THE LENSE DROPPIN’ COIN AT COPPER BOBBY BLUMPKIN BACK AGAIN YES WE DID! WILLETT’S DOUBLE CORK TRICK TIP D*FACE’ING DECKS
FEB. 2012 R: Jack Mitrani P: Zach Hooper
COOPER HOFFMEISTER JUSTINOLSEN.COM NS Factory Built, Denver CO.
WE MAKE THE GREAT DAYS BETTER CHRIS COULTER & SKYLAR HOLGATE
PHOTO: SCOTT DW SMITH
THE I/O GOGGLE - THE REAL CHOICE OF SILVERTON LOCALS
R: JACK MITRANI P: AARON DODDS
CONTENTS FEBRUARY | V.2
FROM THE EDITOR
JOURNEY W/ JJ
CIRCLE OF TRUST
OUTSIDE THE BOX
WE’VE GOT COMPANY
NOT SURE WHO BOBBY BLUMPKIN IS? WELL YOU MAY KNOW HIM BY HIS MORE COMMON NAME, DYLAN ALITO. IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD EITHER OF THESE NAMES, THEN FLIP SOME PAGES AND CHECK OUT OUR LADY KILLER SECTION THIS MONTH.
ON THE COVER Rider: Jack Mitrani Photo: Zach Hooper Location: Snowmass
SCAN THE QR CODE TO SEE THIS MONTH’S COVER SHOT IN ACTION.
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Jack Mitrani and Frends visited Colorado’s very own Snowmass Mountain in Aspen Colorado. As usual Snowmass had hits much too beastie for us regular park rat wannabes. Luckily for our viewing pleasure, with cameras ready, Jack stepped up and delivered. As did Zach Hooper, (along with other great photographers and videographers) catching the magic for the rest of us. If you want proof of Jack surviving this harrowing session, then scan the QR code to watch Liam Gallagher’s edit, and first hand account of how this month’s cover came to be. Enjoy!
S TA L E S A N D B E C H
White Smoke Jacket x Shell Pant
WWW.OAKLEY.COM/SNOWBOARD ©2011 Oakley, Inc.
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S TA L E S A N D B E C H
White Smoke Jacket x Shell Pant
R: TIMMY FLETCHER P: CHRIS FARONEA R: SCOTTY ARNOLD P: AARON DODDS
FROM THE EDITOR
POWER OF THE CONSUMER
AS THE HEART AND SOUL OF SNOWBOARDING, IT’S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW THE POWER YOU HAVE. IT’S THE PURCHASE POWER YOU POSSESS THAT CHOOSES WHAT SUCCEEDS AND WHAT FLOPS IN THIS INDUSTRY. YOU DECIDE WHICH BRANDS PROSPER, WHICH ONES DIE, AND IF TRENDS THIS SEASON WILL EVEN MAKE IT TO THE NEXT. YES, IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF YOU. THESE DECISIONS YOU MAKE HAVE SUCH AN IMPACT, IT’S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE AN EDUCATED CONSUMER. DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON NEW COMPANIES AND PRODUCTS. DISCOVER HOW THEY RESEARCH AND DEVELOP THEIR PRODUCTS.
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This is an industry built entirely on the love for one thing, snowboarding not the money. It’s unique in the sense that there are more passionate people in this industry than in any other. Know that your hard earned paycheck is going to a sustainable company that in turn will help produce new innovations in the future.
IN TURN YOU WILL FIND THE MONEY YOU SPEND ON SNOWBOARDING IS NOT NECESSARILY AN EXPENSE BUT AN INVESTMENT.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Shaun White Terje Haakonsen Nicolas M체ller John Jackson Mikey Rencz Hannah Teter Kelly Clark Gabi Viteri Mark McMorris Ethan Deiss Enni Rukaj채rvi
8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
Kevin Pearce Jussi Oksanen Jeremy Jones Frederik Kalbermatten Keegan Valaika Danny Davis Mikkel Bang Charles Reid Jack Mitrani Linn Haug Christian Haller
15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
Marko Grilc Peetu Piiroinen Kazu Kokubo Mark Sollors Kim Fasani
Stephan Maurer Werni Stock Zak Hale
View the moments and memories that define these riders at burton.com/team
EDITOR IN CHIEF: ADAM SCHMIDT ART DIRECTOR: ANDREW LANGFORD ASSOCIATE DESIGNER: CODY ADAMS ASSOCIATE EDITOR: JUSTIN LESNIAK OPERATIONS DIRECTOR: BILLY CONNOR FEATURE WRITERS: JEFF AGUILAR JAKE BLACK MACK COLLINS LESLIE GLENN MIKE GOODWIN SKYLAR HOLGATE PAT MILBERY CHAD OTTERSTROM ADAM QUEEN JJ THOMAS TIM WENGER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: AARON DODDS CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: AARON BLATT JEFF BROCKMEYER JEFF CURLEY JEFF CURTES TRIPP FAY ETHAN STONE FORTIER CHRIS GARRISON DEAN BLOTTO GRAY ZACH HOOPER ERIC HOSTETLER NICK MCCRIRICK JEFF NASS JEFF POTTO TERRY RATZLAFF ZAK SHELHAMER JAY STEWART SALES EXECUTIVES: JESSICA DEAL
Special thanks to: Sikander Tareen, Liam Gallagher, Mark Belden, Copper Mountain, and Echo Mountain. Snowboard Colorado is a free magazine distributed nine times per year, once a month from September to May. Contributions: Snowboard Colorado Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions unless otherwise agreed to in writing. Send all contributions and job inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Snowboard Colorado 565 E. 70th Ave. 8-E Denver, CO 80229 To carry Snowboard Colorado in your store please send an email to email@example.com. Contact information for advertisement rates, specs, publication schedule and distribution is available online at www.snowboard-colorado.com or by calling 303-325-3040. Copyright © 2012 Core Market Media LLC. All rights reserved.
redprotection.com Action by Cole Barash Product by Michael Sipe
LADY KILLERS BY MIKE GOODWIN
ALITO D.O.B.: 09/20/90 RESIDES: Evergreen, CO HOMETOWN: Evergreen, CO SPONSORS: Volcom, Electric, 32, Etnies, Celtek, Satellite Boardshop, Hobo, Organix, Breckenridge, and Aerial 7 STANCE: Regular f: 12 b: -12
A THROWBACK TO A ROWDIER ERA OF SNOWBOARDING Some insist ignorance is bliss. There are times, however, being unaware can get you into some pretty sketchy situations. While we may never truly know, there is a solid chance that an honest misinterpretation landed a couple of Japanese gals in the latter category. “These girls in animal costumes thought I was the ‘naturally nice guy’,” says Dylan laughing, recalling a couple of women he met on a Japan trip this past November. “Girls in like a pig costume and a sheep costume, but I didn’t have the money for sucky fucky. That would have been a night.” Dylan must of met these ladies before he competed in Burton’s Rail Days in Tokyo, where the man ripped his way to a 2nd place finish and padded his pocket with a nice $8,000. “The scene was kind of weird,” says Dylan. “People were either really psyched on you, or really bummed on you. The people that were psyched on us were crazy; I have never seen fans like that in my life. After the contest we went in the crowd and they were all like surprised that we would even go in the crowd. I took like 80 pictures, just crazy fans shaking my hands that were all sweaty and nasty. They were loving it.” Tough not to love it following the half-nude two step Dylan brought to the contest stairs during his contest introduction. Just a few weeks prior, Dylan swung his axe to a win at the Downtown Throwdown in San Francisco, and has now taken to the road with a healthy bank to afford the essentials of partying on the move. Looking to keep it rolling and top an impressive output from last year with parts in both Thirty Two’s Ammo, and Role Model’s Cockfight, Dylan has got himself double booked again. “This year Volcom is making a movie. They are going to
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R: DYLAN ALITO P: AARON DODDS
release video parts online, like every week or so for a couple weeks and then they are going to have a DVD you can buy and maybe like a couple parts put together for a DVD in a magazine or something.” The dudes over at Role Model also have a project in the works this year looking to round out what has been an awesome stretch of videos. “It’s actually called One Mo’ Gain, I think it’s the last one. Big number ten. Ten seems like a good number so we’re just giving it one last hurrah.” With almost the entire country hurting for snow (hopefully that has changed by the time this goes to print), Dylan joined a trip to Michigan to get cracking on this year’s effort. Unfortunately, this Michigan town’s boys in blue had a bit too much time on their hands. “The town we were in was all on it. They knew snowboarders were in town and shit. The snow was alright but the cops were just so on it. They were just making round trips for snowboarders.” Make sure you continue to keep up with the Volcom road-tested episodes and all the Role Model updates. Dylan is not going to let the law get in the way of bringing the heat. I see Dylan as something like Colorado’s wildman, a throwback to a rowdier era of snowboarding. Just when the Colorado scene is feeling a bit too safe, too cut and dry - when it seems the only thing you’re going to see out of Colorado for a season is pipe results, Dylan and crew drop a loose edit with plenty of spleefing and skier hating to scramble the bitch up. The dude can shred everything under the sun and sure as hell doesn’t let off the gas once the sun sets. Whether he’s crashing your house party in Summit, or just ruling from his roost in Evergreen, Bobby Blumpkin (Dylan’s alias) is always down to let ‘em know, One Mo’ Gain.
R: MATT LADLEY P: ZACH HOOPER
R: DYLAN ALITO P: AARON DODDS
MAN EATERS BY LESLIE GLENN
GABI VITERI D.O.B.: 08/26/88 RESIDES: Breckenridge, CO HOMETOWN: Breckenridge, CO SPONSORS: Burton, Anon, The House, Sweet Cheeks, Seshn STANCE: Goofy f: 15 b: -15
THE BACKBONE OF WOMEN’S STYLE. Everything about Gabi oozes style and passion, from her fearless riding to her positive attitude and fashion sense. She has been riding since she was eight-years-old and competing and sponsored since 13. Although snowboarding has swept her off her feet, she has remained grounded and true to herself each step of the way. Gabi’s snowboard journeys have brought her all over the world through filming and competing with more places yet to see. When she’s not out following the snow, Gabi is at home in Breckenridge, Colorado, which coincidently tops her list of favorite places to ride, adding “I love Colorado. Our mountain selection is insane, all with totally different terrain, and the city is close too.” You can check out Gabi’s signature style and skills in the latest Peep Show video, Winter Wars. Watching Gabi ride, you can’t help but notice her relentless drive and creativity in all aspects of riding from urban missions to backcountry and park features. She defines snowboard style as “an expression of a rider’s natural personality,” and describes her own style as “adventurous and a little crazy at times because I like to see what’s on the other side.” Over the years Gabi has also become more focused on filming and less concerned with competitions. She has dedicated herself to a full schedule of heading to spots all over the world to stack footage. In her own words, “filming really intrigued me because it’s so unique, and you can go do whatever you want. I don’t like to be tied down or on other people’s schedules.” She also acknowledges that although there are perks and added freedom to taking the film route, it is “definitely a lot of work, between finding spots, setting it up and then finally riding.” She continues to say, “sometimes it can take hours to get the shot you want, and you can get so frustrated but you just can’t walk away from it.”
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R: GABI VITERI P: JEFF CURTES
The unfortunate experience of recovering from a couple of injuries has given Gabi new perspective on snowboarding as well. She came to the realization that snowboarding represents joy and happiness in her life and that she wanted to keep it that way. Resolving not to take anything too seriously, she is excited to have fun and not concern herself with any outside expectations or pressures. A new workout schedule and paying extra attention to eating and living as healthy as possible, has added positive side-effects to her time off snow, healing from a dislocated hip last year and more recently a knee injury. Gabi also has a huge heart. She is very close with her family and uses them as her motivation for snowboarding and everyday life. Their support has been a huge part of Gabi’s success and she strives to make them proud in everything she does. Gabi has also made efforts to help children in need, teaming up with Hannah Teeter’s Sweet Cheeks charity benefitting impoverished villages in both Africa and Mexico. The experience has been truly rewarding, last year Hannah and Gabi were able to visit one of the African villages that has received support from their efforts and was wonderful to see their hard work paid off. This season, Gabi is excited to come back strong and healthy and has plans to snowboard in Iran for a documentary called Boarders Without Borders. The concept of the film is to bring together snowboarders from completely different cultures without any political pretenses. Apparently, snowboarding is huge in Iran and they get a lot of snow, who knew? Gabi is always on the look out for new adventures and fun on the horizon. Keep up with her latest endeavors on burtongirls.com and stay tuned for the Boarders Without Borders documentary.
R: GABI VITERI P: JEFF CURTES
R: GABI VITERI P: DEAN BLOTTO GRAY
OUTSIDE THE BOX BY ADAM SCHMIDT
AARON BIITTNER D.O.B.: 11/17/84 RESIDES: Salt Lake City, UT HOMETOWN: Salt Lake City, UT SPONSORS: DC, Skullcandy, Park City, Milosport, Ethika, Celtek STANCE: Regular f: 15 b: -12
VID PARTS, BLESSINGS, AND GIVING BACK; BIITTNER’S STATE OF MIND WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Born and raised in Salt Lake. DO YOU THINK GROWING UP IN SALT LAKE HAS GIVEN YOU A MAJOR ADVANTAGE? I think it has. I’ve loved living here, and just having such close access to so many different options as far as mountains go and different places to ride. DO YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR SEASON AT HOME, OR DO YOU FIND YOURSELF TRAVELING MOST OF THE SEASON? I travel a lot, trying to just go where ever the snow is good and also where ever we have a crew that’s filming. That’s kind of the big priority throughout the season, trying to film and get stuff done. WHERE IS SOME OF THE BEST PLACES THAT FILMING HAS TAKEN YOU? Oh wow! All over the place. Anywhere in Scandinavia is awesome to go shred, and really cool people are out there. Japan is awesome, New
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Zealand and Chile, anywhere in the south in the summer has been a huge bonus. I like going to exotic spots. OVER THE YEARS YOU HAVE F I L M E D W I T H A LOT O F D I F F E R E N T C R E WS A N D BEEN A LOT OF PLACES, WHICH HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE TO YOU? I gotta say my very first trip, back when I started filming with Mack Dawg back in maybe ‘05 or ‘06. Filming for From Blank With Love, I got invited on a trip basically just to see if I would mesh with the crew and if I could hang filming. That was the most memorable for sure. O F A L L YO U R FAVO R I T E FILM PARTS, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE? M y favo r i te f i l m p a r t wa s actually the season following that (first year with Mack Dawg). I had a little bit more money to travel and film with, so I got to travel more and be on more trips. I got to pick my own music for my part, and everything, so it all worked out
R: AARON BIITTNER P: CHRIS GARRISON
well that year. Still one of my most memorable parts. Filming with Videograss was fun too. DO YOU STILL GET THE SAME FEELING WHEN YOU STARTED FILMING AND ALL THESE E X P E R I E N C E S S TA R T E D OPENING UP FOR YOU? It’s nothing to complain about, you know. Every once in a while, filming for this many years and being on so many trips and stuff, you start to realize that some are better than others, and sometimes things just don’t work out. I still love everything we do and love getting to go on cool trips, whether it’s to ride a park on the East Coast or go ride some pow somewhere, it’s still so much fun. WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST H I G H L I G H T I N YO U R SNOWBOARDING CAREER THUS FAR? The fact that it’s lasted this long, (laughs). I’m 27 now, I got into this when I was 20-years-old. I can’t believe it’s turned into a job. That is just the highlight in itself. As
far as picking one moment, being able to jump on with the Mack Dawg crew was amazing. That opened up a ton of doors for me, tons of opportunities. Snowboarding is fun, can’t complain at all, it’s been an amazing dream come true. DO YOU SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF EVERY SEASON? I try to stay open minded about every season and kinda play it by ear as far as where we are gonna go, and what’s gonna happen. I definitely have goals of progressing my snowboarding, and of course you don’t want to get hurt. Mainly, my main goal is just to have fun, make sure I’m enjoying it because I’ve seen some people get burnt out before. Which is hard to understand when someone gets burnt out on snowboarding. I try not to put too much pressure on myself and just have a goal of having fun, progressing and just kinda staying true amongst all the madness, you know. Do what you like no matter what anyone else tells you.
ULTIMATELY, I JUST WANNA STAY SMART, BE RESPONSIBLE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT COMES. WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING AFTER THE DAYS OF SNOWBOARDING? As far as professionally, I still wanna be part of the industry. It would be awesome to work for a successful brand, or have my own type of cool brand to give back. It would be fun to give back to what snowboarding has given me, to do something p o s i t i ve fo r t h e i n d u st r y. Ultimately, I just wanna stay smart, be responsible and see what happens when it comes, you know. I’m not going to school, but there’s so many options, you just got to take it as it comes. I’m not really planning on it being over any time soon, but when it happens it happens. Like anything else, try to make a change and get into something else. YO U S AY YO U WA N T TO GIVE BACK TO EVERYTHING SNOWBOARDING HAS GIVEN YOU, CAN YOU SUM UP WHAT SNOWBOARDING HAS GIVEN YOU? It’s given me so much happiness. I’ve met so many great people through snowboarding, and had so many great opportunities to travel and to see the world and learn so much that way. I just want to figure out a way to pay it back somehow. I mean, whether it’s a non-profit working with some brands to try to help out some kids that didn’t grow up with the opportunities that all of us have had to go snowboard and find that happiness it brings.
R: AARON BIITTNER P: ERIC HOSTETLER
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ALTITUDE SICKNESS BY MIKE GOODWIN
DAVIS D.O.B.: 06/22/88 RESIDES: Truckee, CA HOMETOWN: Highland, MI SPONSORS: Burton, Analog, Gravis, Frends, Mountain Dew, Nixon, Boost Mobile, and Dragon Optics. STANCE: Regular
155 cm. (park) / 158 cm. (pow)
FRENDS OF A FEATHER, START A COMPANY TOGETHER. SNOWBOARD CREWS ARE INFINITE. IT SEEMS EVERYONE HAS THE CREW THEY CRUISE AROUND WITH, PARTY WITH, YOU NAME IT. IN THIS DIGITAL AGE THE CREW PROBABLY HAS A WEBSITE, A CAMERA AND A VIDEO RELEASE. BUT IT IS RARE TO FIND A GROUP THAT HAS AN INDELIBLE PRESENCE YEAR-AFTER-YEAR – A CREW THAT IS ABLE TO OBTAIN ANY SORT OF REAL LONGEVITY. EVEN MORE RARE IS A CREW THAT IS ABLE TO TURN THEIR POSSE INTO A BRAND, A SUCCESSFUL ONE AT THAT. FRENDS HAS CONCOCTED THE RIGHT FORMULA, AND THE INGREDIENTS FOR THIS CHARGING HEADPHONE UPSTART WERE FIRST TOSSED AROUND RIGHT HERE IN COLORADO.
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R: DANNY DAVIS P: AARON DODDS
As the eleventh Winter X Games rolled into Aspen the winter of 2007, Danny Davis and Kier Dillon were looking to keep their heads clear. “Me and Kier didn’t make pipe finals at X Games and it was the worst bummer ever,” admits Danny. “Kier was like, ‘oh come over to my house, we’ll watch finals in my place because I am going to want to kill myself if I have to go up there.’ I kind of wanted to go up and ride pipe, but he was moping so I was like ‘I’ll go mope with him,’ and that’s when we kind of started Frends. That was the first time we ever thought of the name.” At this point, Frends was just that, a name, among others tossed around like, Umbrella and “some other random shit,” says Danny. The dudes weren’t sure it was a company they were starting, but both knew they wanted to get something of their own going and knew who they wanted on board. “We all wanted to start something, but Jack (Mitrani) and Kev (Pierce) and Luke (Mitrani) had a thing called Tassel, and that was kind of like their crew. It was their hat company when they were younger. Then Kier wanted to start one and we kind of started Frends. I remember
“COMPANIES FIGHT FOR GUERILLA MARKETING LIKE THAT AND WE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WE WERE DOING IT.”
R: DANNY DAVIS P: JEFF CURTES
running Frends by and having to let it catch traction with the other boys, but everyone was down. It had an I in it when we started it in Aspen after we fucking blew it at X Games.” A year later the boys dropped the I and let ‘er rip. Former Burton team manager Dave Driscoll printed a few shirts and facemasks for the dudes to rock during the X Games and there it was, Frends, right on the face of Danny, Kevin, Kier, Mason, the Mitranis – you name it. It was a DIY mission at its best. “We were pretty influential without really knowing it, cause we were so young,” says Danny. “Companies fight for guerilla marketing like that and we didn’t even know we were doing it.” Since that initial run, Frends as a crew has been leaving their mark all over the snowboard world, but it took some time to figure out what the hell Frends, the brand, would actually make. “Everyone had a sponsor for every single thing, so it was like, we should make underwear, or we debated making shoes and then I don’t know, headphones was something that was out there,” says Danny. “We were just like fuck, headphones really seemed to involve snowboarding. We fly on planes everywhere and all that shit. We are all into music, so headphones seemed a pretty good match, and it was a pretty sick market to get into. Now it’s good, but it’s saturated.” Getting in early is always a good thing, and with a touch of experience to toss around the Frends dudes are getting to explore the more enjoyable, creative side of business ownership. “I think the ideas we have of making cool looking headphones
IT’S NICE TO SEE HEADPHONES THAT AREN’T FLAT BLACK WITH SONY PRINTED ON THE SIDE. IT’S RAD THAT A 15-YEAR-OLD GOING BOARDING DOESN’T HAVE TO ROCK THE SAME HEADPHONES HIS DAD IS WEARING AT WORK. will only get better and better because the longer you are making headphones the more freedom you have,” says Danny. When we first started, it was only colors. What you had was what you had. You couldn’t do like denim or even like print or designs. Now we have reached a point where we can start to do that stuff and become a cooler company.” As Danny points out, it’s nice to see headphones that aren’t flat black with Sony printed on the side. It’s rad that a 15-year-old going boarding doesn’t have to rock the same headphones his dad is wearing at work.
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R: SKYLAR HOLGATE PHOTOS: AARON DODDS
JUST SAYIN’ BY SKYLAR HOLGATE With all the amazing feats that have gone down to make Silverton Mountain the most unique and world class mountain in the Continental United States: From the steepest and cheapest heli skiing available, the old laundry step van that seems to keep on running year-after-year, shuttling powder hungry shredders back to the base area with minimal maintenance in sub-zero temps, or how the hell Aaron Brill got that chairlift from Mammoth Mountain to the side of steep mine claim with only a handful of helpers working for pennies, hand digging each footer in solid rock like the miners that roamed the area before them. The list of great stories goes on and on, but today’s story tells how Steaky came to be, the hairy elk head that sits at the top of the mountain, mounted on the upper patrol shack. About four or five winters ago, the San Juans were hit by a early burst of snow which is not uncommon in Southwest Colorado. Making it hard for a lot of elk to travel down the valley after getting separated from the heard during hunting season. I learned about this first hand by having a cow elk in my yard in town slowly withering away under my deck, in freezing temps, and no food. These elk were just waiting for mother nature to take her course. I tried to get the DOW (Department of Wildlife) to come and put these poor elk out of their misery or get permission to do it myself. Unfortunately it is not allowed and we had to just wait for nature to do its thing. One evening, my roommates, Chad O. and Aaron Dodds, and I sat on the deck and watched two magpies literally start eating the elk alive. We watched this poor elk trying to survive while a bird had its head deep in its back strap pulling out pieces of meat as the sun went down. That next morning, I woke up to eight coyotes in my driveway that had finally put this elk out of its misery, and had almost completely consumed the entire animal. By the time that I got home from work, there was nothing but a bloodstain and pile of hair in the driveway.
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HEADLESS ELK + DISGRUNTLED CUSTOMER = SILVERTON ICON. This now brings me to the story of Steaky. That very same week we had a 5x5 Bull stranded at the bottom of the Stooges Trees. With nowhere to go and nothing to eat, he just stood down there everyday. We tried to give him a fighting chance by closing down the ever-so-popular trees and putting some hay bails down for him to eat. This just delayed the inevitable. About a week went by and at the end of the day, I was coming out the backside and looked down into the creek bed to see that the birds had started to peck away at Steaky. With fresh blood in the air I knew that the coyotes would be on him by nightfall. So that next morning I grabbed my eight guided guests for the day and headed straight for the Stooges. Not giving them the heads up, I just told them to follow me and I’d show them something pretty cool. Sure enough as I came out of the trees into the creek bed there were four coyotes tearing apart Steaky. I bombed out of the trees on my snowboard clapping my hands and hollering at them. The coyotes ran about 50 feet away and just sat and looked at me. So I pulled out my Leatherman and started to take the elk’s head. One by one, my clients came out of the trees to see me using my board and knife to cut through Steaky’s neck with coyotes just waiting for there turn to go back to their meal. Let’s just say all the guys in the group were stoked, but some of the ladies gave me quite the ear full. After I got the head strapped to my backpack, I started breaking trail out of the creek bed. One guest asked to talk to my supervisor, but when we made it to the shuttle pick up zone and my boss saw the head strapped to my pack, and her first words were, “Sick! You got Steaky’s head!” The not so stoked client kept her comments to herself. Steaky now lives at the top of the mountain reminding us how rugged and tough living in the mountains can be for all walks of life. I guide thousands of clients each year and it is hard to always remember that specific person on that specific pow day we shared, but every once in a while one of those eight folks from that day comes back to Silverton Mountain, and reintroduces themselves by reminding me of the day when I took Steaky’s head.
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with Eric Willett
R: YUSAKU HORII P: AARON BLATT
JOURNEY WITH JJ BY JJ THOMAS
DREAMS OF JAPAN
I can’t wait to get back to Japan for a snowboard trip! It’s been too long, six years to be exact. I think this is the season to get back in touch with the country I’ve always enjoyed visiting. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Japan has three things to offer that I really like; powder snowboarding, great food and hot springs! Yes, those three things alone are deal sealers in themselves, and then you add the culture of the people accompanied by their politeness and you have a great trip in the making!
Hokkaido is a magical place that gets nailed by heavy snow coming off the surrounding seas. The snow in Japan is very similar to the snow at Lake Tahoe. It’s a lot heavier than what we are used to here in Colorado, but the up side is that it sticks to everything, so that makes every tree, cliff and building a unique feature that you can get busy on!
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a few different areas in Japan, but without a doubt my favorite place is Hokkaido, the northernmost island. I can remember riding through the woods there (which by Japanese custom they don’t do, and prefer you not to do either) and being blown away by the amount of amazing and unique terrain. It’s as if you are at the movies watching Nicolas Müller flying off some pillows and getting submerged up to his neck. That is Hokkaido.
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I can go on about this great country forever, but I thought it was time to pay respect to a country that loves snowboarding as much as we do, and maybe even more. If the opportunity ever comes up for you to snowboard on the north island of Japan, do it! P.S. Japanese riders are on the rise right now! Keep your eyes peeled for these young, high flying ninjas coming to a mountain town near you.
BACKCOUNTRY OPS MTN APPROACH SKIS BY CHAD OTTERSTROM This month I’m going to talk about a totally new product out there, MTN Approach Skis. We coined the term “freestyle hippie” the other night while talking about splitboarding. I like going out into the backcountry, but when I do, I’m looking for things to get wicked on, or a good run with some good powder to slash. As fun as splitboarding is, I still haven’t seen anything out there that actually gives you the feel of a regular snowboard. MTN Approach Skis have changed that. They are the key to finding the freestyle hippie inside of you. They allow you to ride your regular everyday snowboard while hiking in the mountains with the accessibility and speed of a splitboard. Cory Smith started working on these skis a little over three years ago. Cory lives in Idaho now, but has deep Colorado roots. He was born and raised in Silverton, growing up selling rocks to tourists that came in from Durango. He started a snowboard career at the age of 18, and has been involved in the snowboard industry for over 20 years. The folding skis he invented are basically like snowshoes, but better. With snowshoes, you catch every time you set your foot down and have to lift your foot up to keep hiking. With MTN Approach you glide up the hill in the same fashion as a skier or splitboarder, utilizing the same skin track. Nothing worse than boot-packing or snowshoeing up an existing skin track, a sure fire way to piss off the hippies.
MAKE TWO TRACKS UP, TO MAKE A BETTER ONE DOWN. The skis are 3.8 pounds per ski, and conveniently fold into thirds to fit into the included backpack. This is ideal because the skis sit right against your back, close to your center of gravity for the ride down. Strapping snowshoes to your backpack with them flopping all over can be cumbersome and dangerous. The bindings are also a perfect fit for snowboard boots unlike a lot of snowshoes on the market. MTN Approach Skis are great for someone who wants to get out, ride good terrain and doesn’t want to sacrifice board control by using a splitboard. This is also another company out there run by a snowboarder who is passionate about what he is doing, so support the real deal and go find your inner freestyle hippie.
The MTN Approach Skis have a permanent climbing skin attached to the base, a nylon material with directional fibers that allow the skis to glide forward but not backwards. This enables you to slide your foot uphill and prevents you from sliding backwards. The skis also have a heel elevator to use when the climbing gets steep, flip them up and make the mountain a staircase.
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VIDEO STASH BY MACK COLLINS
R: NICK LARSON P: NICK MCCRIRICK
NEVER SUMMER INDUSTRIES SHRED ‘EM ALL In a chaotic time of occupying Wall Street, your school, home mountain, toilet, whatever it is now, there’s a universal message being broadcasted to the masses in despise of corporate greed. It’s undeniable that every outdoor industry has these financial empires trying to exploit their demographic to make an extra buck, and snowboarding is certainly no exception to this. Corporately owned snowboard companies try so desperately to market themselves as a “core lifestyle brand,” but at the end they are no better than the energy drink companies that have infiltrated their logo on to every other lift tower at the mountain. Since 1983, Never Summer Industries has been manufacturing some of the best quality snowboards in the entire industry locally here in Denver. They have strived for the integrity as a core snowboarding company, maintaining a solid brand image without overly hyping their company as the cat’s meow. As a Colorado native, I have a certain sense of pride in what they have done for the state’s snowboard community, and I believe their approach and contribution will continue to be an integral component of the snowboarding scene here. Shred ‘em All is Never Summer’s second video installment to date. Does this film blow the lid off the progression of snowboarding? In all honesty, no, but what it does is make you want to hop on the old board and literally go shred ‘em all with your friends. The bar is set high now, and watching this made me think about how the current generation of snowboarders worry too much about being “progressive.” There comes the time when we need to just ignore the fabricated pressure, and simply just ride because it’s fun. Never Summer’s flick “shreds” light on this epidemic with good old fashioned soul riding captured through helmet and bro-cams, complete with plenty of steep and stacked
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INTEGRITY OVER PROGRESSION, NEVER SUMMER CAPTURES SNOWBOARDING AT THE CORE powder boarding mixed with some park cruising, and sprinkled with a bit of urban riding. Stand out rider’s parts are Brady Farr’s dynamic, Alaskan rooted ripping styles, and 11-year-old Colorado native Chris Corning’s up and coming grom skills (watch out for this kid in the future because he is already making victims out of the local rocky mountains). There is a tribute to classic heavy metal culture, which arguably was a large counter part to snowboard culture in the first place, all of which is rad! This film is available for free on the Never Summer website, as well as on DVD at your local NS dealer.
THERE COMES THE TIME WHEN WE NEED TO JUST IGNORE THE FABRICATED PRESSURE, AND SIMPLY JUST RIDE BECAUSE IT’S FUN. Sponsors: Never Summer, CandyGrind, 686, Bluebird Wax, Cheetah Factory Racing, Osiris, GoPro, Banshee Bungee. Riders: Chris “Chach” Chance, Chris Lynch, Cooper Hoffmeister, Ryan Cruze, Tony Pavlantos, Brady Farr, Nick Larson, Jake Williams, Rajat Bhayani, Jason Elms, Nick Decicco, Alessandro Boyens, Ryan Stephens, Jason Hindman, Tom Flocco, Rick Rodriguez, Bill Rodriguez, Colby Sears, Cooper Sclar, Mary Boddington, Heather Baroody, Sky Seabrook, Stephen Plenies, Chris Corning, and Anthony Corbo. Filmed on location: Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, and California.
E TO RID
ed pass us m o c , d nsulte se Map co st in ca u j , it k che ack Avalan ed on p p p a r t oard s Snowb wn way do e h t r o sf Snack on enture v d a e Awesom w! the sno
WE’VE GOT COMPANY BY ADAM QUEEN
R: DEREK DENNISON P: ETHAN STONE FORTIER
BRANDBASE Boulder, Colorado is home to a company called Brandbase. This company was started five years ago by Trent Bush, Cole Taylor, Marc Frank Montoya, Ethan Stone Fortier, and Simon Chamberlain and his brothers Matt and Andre. The idea behind Brandbase is to take a few small companies that didn’t have a strong infrastructure and create a combined backbone. Ideally, this would help each company grow, without dying, due to excessive overhead. The two major brands associated with Brandbase are Technine and Nomis. Since Brandbase has started, both companies have been in good shape, even in the bad economy that we are stuck in right now. Almost 20 years ago in Vail, Ethan Stone Fortier started a small binding company. The name of that company: Technine. Fortier was at the forefront of the new school movement in snowboarding at that time, moving snowboarding from a ski/ surf type background to a more skateboard oriented vibe. Technine was, and still is to this day, true to these roots. Fortier also rode for a brand called Twist, along with legendary riders like Tarquin Robbins, Adam Merriman, J2, Nate Cole, Jay Nelson, Dale Rehberg, Janna Meyen-Weatherby, Shannon Dunn, and Tina Basich. Twist had a lock on the early Summit County scene. Everybody was down, so naturally, everyone was down with Technine. The company operated on its own for many years, and when it was time to take the next step, Brandbase was formed with Technine as a key brand. Nomis was founded in 2000 by brothers Simon, Matt, and Andre Chamberlain. Originally a streetwear brand, Nomis operated on its own for several years. Shortly after joining Brandbase, Nomis launched its first outerwear line. The brand experienced rapid growth and needed more capital when the economy went down the drain, so Brandbase was a natural fit for Nomis. For next year, Nomis is going in a different direction as far as their outerwear goes. They are taking more inspiration directly from 38
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BOULDER-BASED GROUP SLAYS STREETS AND SHOPS their own streetwear line and incorporating it into the outerwear. Prints are on the way out, with more focus being put on fabric texture and finish. The prints they do offer are very subtle. The backbone of the new line is more earth tones and darker colors on the men’s side. As for the women’s line, the prints are also less prevalent, but there are more bright colors involved. Technine is continuing their history of innovating binding technology for next season. Team rider Lucas Magoon helped design the new Double Scrubhook. Other new hotness includes the all-new TN-12’s with Techbed 3’s and Comfort King strap combinations and ratchets. Technine has also completely redesigned their entire board line to include a variety of cambers and flexes, so you can handle any riding situation. The main design in the board line everyone is talking about is the Asym-Elements design, which is built for unmatched precision and control. The biggest news for Technine is its new distribution deal with Blitz Distribution. Brandbase still owns and operates Technine, but US distribution will be entirely handled by Blitz, who supports Technine on a core level, something the brand absolutely needs. The deal with Blitz will also allow Brandbase to focus its distribution efforts on Nomis. It’s a win-win situation for everybody involved. When Brandbase was formed five years ago, the idea was simple, help a pioneering company in the snowboard industry survive and continue to grow. Now that Nomis is onboard with Technine, the idea seems like an even better one, and it continues to work. With Technine celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, they needed this logical next step to keep going hard. Nomis is ten years deep and hopefully, with the support of Brandbase, they will continue to thrive and reach their own double decade mark. As Colorado snowboarders, we should all make an effort to help these two companies keep killing it, just like they always have. FEBRUARY 2012
Available at your local dealer
GLOVES PRODUCT SHOWCASE FOR EVERY PAIR OF GLOVES SITTING IN A SHOP THERE IS A PASSIONATE TEAM OF PEOPLE BEHIND THE PRODUCT. EACH PAIR IS CAREFULLY CRAFTED WITH YOU IN MIND. WHETHER YOU SPEND ALL DAY IN THE BACKCOUNTRY, FLYING THROUGH PARK LAPS OR SNAPPING PHOTOS OF PROS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF GLOVES TO KEEP YOUR MITTS HAPPY. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE IS BIG BUSINESS IN PROTECTING ALL TEN OF YOUR FINGERS. THAT’S WHY NEARLY EVERY COMPANY, BIG OR SMALL, MAKES GLOVES. HOWEVER, ALL GLOVES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL, AND THAT’S WHY WE BRING YOU AN OFFERING OF GLOVES THAT HAVE US STOKED. WORDS AND PHOTOS: JUSTIN LESNIAK
BURTON MIX MASTER GLOVE
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A WORLD OF MASTERFUL MUSIC AT YOUR FINGER TIPS, LITERALLY. All Mountain. Built in Bluetooth remote and iPod controls.
CANDYGRIND HANDBAG MITTEN
EMBODYING WHAT COLORADO’S MADE OF; CRAFTSMANSHIP, FUNCTIONALITY AND STYLE FOR DAYS. All Mountain. Side zip for critical access at a moment’s notice.
STRAIGHT FROM THE VAULTS OF QUICKSILVER, THE VADER, READY FOR YOUR FREESTYLE ONSLAUGHT. Pipe/Park. 5k Waterproofing/Breathability Hipora insert.
GLOVE PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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DROP VERTEX GTX
CELTEK PHILLY MITTEN
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PIPE AND PARK FIT MEETS BURLY GORE-TEX PROTECTION. Pipe/Park. Gore-Tex X-TRAFIT Waterproofing.
THE STAPLE OF CELTEK’S LINEUP, GET YOUR MITTS ON A PAIR OF THESE. All mountain. Cel-Block 20k insert.
Copyright ÂŠ 2011. Collective Licensing International, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.
ROME THE COOZIE GLOVE
HESTRA DEXTERITY GLOVE
GLOVE PRODUCT SHOWCASE
RIP THE ROCKIES WITH GLOVES PACKED WITH CHARACTER. Pipe/Park. SynSuede palm with silicon grip and a surprising design, sure to start conversations.
WEAK RIDING NEED NOT APPLY, THE DEXTERITY GLOVE IS BUILT TO WITHSTAND YOUR WORST INTENTIONS. All Mountain. Cowhide shell with Cordura insulation.
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POW HIGH 5
“BUILT TO LAST,” WITH STYLE TO MATCH. Pipe/Park. Pow x SoGnar collab colorway.
GRENADE’S FREESTYLE LINEAGE HOLDS STRONG WITH THE BURNBURY. All Mountain. Free pair of glove inserts.
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DROP ABK PIPE II
FINALLY, A PAIR OF GLOVES THAT KEEP YOU LOOKING LEGIT AND LADY-LIKE WHILE SLAYING THE MOUNTAIN. Pipe/Park. Aquabloc waterproof, windproof, breathable insert.
LEATHER AND GORE-TEX COMBINE TO MAKE YOUR HANDS HAPPY, WARM AND DRY. All Mountain. Gnar Guard leather provides durability, waterproofing and comfort.
GLOVE PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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HESTRA HELI-3 FINGER
THESE GLOVES PROTECT YOU NOT ONLY FROM WINTER, BUT FROM YOURSELF. All Mountain. 3 Finger design. Not a traditional glove, not a mitten, something different.
BETTY RIDES DELUXE GLOVE
ONLY THE BEST FOR THE LADIES, AND THE DELUXE IS NO EXCEPTION. All Mountain. 10k Waterproofing, 8 Breathability, C40 Thinsulate insulation.
The House of Marley is committed to delivering premium quality, earth-friendly products that embody the Marley vision. Marley products support 1Love.org, a charitable organization focused on youth, planet and peace. Come check us out at SIA Snow Show, Booth #703
Bag of Rhythm
BOB MARLEY™ © Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd., 2011. Right of Publicity and Persona Rights - Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. www.bobmarley.com
COPPER MOUNTAIN BY JEFF AGUILAR
P: JEFF BROCKMEYER
Tucker Mountain 12,337’
Union Peak 12,313’
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Base Elevation 9,712’
COPPER MTN. MOST OF THE RESORTS THAT WE’VE COVERED SO FAR THIS SEASON HAVE A NICE LITTLE TOWN NEARBY THAT WAS THERE LONG BEFORE THE RESORT, AND IN MOST CASES THE RESORT IS NAMED AFTER THE TOWN THAT SPAWNED ITS EXISTENCE, AND THE PEOPLE OF SAID TOWN HAVE THEIR HAND IN SHAPING THE WAY THE RESORT GROWS AND CHANGES OVER THE YEARS. IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP MOST TOWNS AND RESORTS HAVE TO UPHOLD, THERE ARE SOME SACRIFICES THE RESORTS HAVE TO MAKE, (SINCE THE TOWN IS NOT THE ONE WHO OPERATES ONLY DURING A PORTION OF THE YEAR) BUT, WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE NO TOWNSPEOPLE TO BITCH ABOUT PARKING, HOURS, NOISE, TOURISTS, TREES, BARS, HOT TUBS, SPRING BREAK AND ANYTHING ELSE IMAGINABLE? YOU GET A RESORT THAT HOUSES THE FAMOUS WOODWARD TRAINING FACILITY, HOSTS THE FIRST MAJOR HALFPIPE COMPETITION OF THE SEASON (AMONG MANY OTHERS), HAS A LIQUOR STORE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE LIFTS, A BITCHIN SPRING CONCERT SERIES, AND A LAID-BACK ATTITUDE THAT TRANSLATES ACROSS THE WHOLE AREA. FROM THE PARKING LOT ATTENDANTS, TO THE LIFTIE AT THE STORM KING T-BAR, THERE ARE COOL ASS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE AT COPPER MOUNTAIN, BUT IS IT THE RAD MOUNTAIN THAT MAKES EVERYONE COOL, OR THE COOL PEOPLE THAT MAKE THE MOUNTAIN SO RAD?
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First opening to the skiers of Colorado in 1972, Copper Mountain is nestled between the Ten-Mile Range and the east side of Vail Pass. Its highest peaks reaching elevations in upwards of twelvethousand feet, its awesomeness spans over 2,400 acres, Copper Mountain has everyone taken care of. From the hard-charging, tree-bashing locals, to the money-spending, “it’s so dry here,” vacationing tourists. In fact, in 1954 when the U.S. Forest Service first surveyed Copper Mountain and the surrounding areas, they said that Copper Mountain was perhaps the best place in Colorado to put a ski resort. Granted, nobody jibbed, buttered, or hucked in ’54, but I’m pretty sure they knew what the hell they were talking about. Shit, if I surveyed the state right now, I couldn’t find a better spot for a halfpipe, that’s for damn sure. I know you’ve seen this thing from I-70, all perfect and painted up before most resorts have a jump line ready. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the awesome shit that Copper Mountain has to offer.
THIS IS DEF THE BEST PIPE IN THE STATE AND HAS CERTAINLY EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE CALLED ‘THE MAIN VEIN.’
R: JJ THOMAS P: JEFF BROCKMEYER
R: CHAD OTTERSTROM P: JEFF BROCKMEYER
THERE IS A MAJOR BUZZ OF EXCITEMENT AMONG ALL PARK RIDERS ABOUT JASON TAKING THE TERRAIN PARK MANAGER POSITION... YOU’LL BE ABLE TO TAKE LAPS ON SOME SERIOUSLY LEGENDARY SHIT, SON. But let’s talk about that big, bad ass halfpipe first. The nice thing about the super-perfect-looking halfpipe, is that it’s actually a super-perfect super-pipe! Yup, you’ll probably drop a deuce the first time you drop in beneath the 22’ walls of huck-able heaven. But if you keep at it all day, you’ll be mad comfortable hitting both sides of this north-facing beauty since the sun hits each wall equally! If you’ve already paid dues on pipes of a lesser quality, you will absolutely appreciate just how sick this pipe is, you’ll hafta fight the urge to literally run back to the top of this thing just to boost out of it again and again. It really is as good as it looks, consistently, day-in and day-out. Named one of the top ten pipes in North America for the third year in a row, this is definitely the best pipe in the state, and has certainly earned the right to be called ‘the Main Vein.’
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In fact, The Grand Prix (the first major halfpipe competition of the season) is held in “the Vein,” and it’s a sure way to get up close and personal with your favorite pipe-jocks as they slay the weekend away with daring double-corks, mega McTwists, and whatever other terms of pipe-pounding alliteration are on their agenda. It’s a men’s and women’s comp, so even the girls get a ride down the pipe, ha. All jokes aside, there is some serious competition to start off the season on top of the pile, and everyone brings their A-game. Not to mention the hyphie-ass after parties that are sure to ensue after such a rad comp. But what would a baller-ass halfpipe be without equally ill jumps, quarter-pipes, boxes, bonks, tubes and rails? That’s where the new guy comes in. Well, new to Copper, definitely not new to park management, Jason George is now captain of the ship that is the terrain parks and pipe at Copper Mountain. You may have seen some of George’s work on the covers and pages of our mag and others, in countless shred flicks and blogs, and even with your own eyes. Jason George is the famous terrain park manager who put Area 51 at Keystone on the map! Yup, the same dude who put together all those crazy-ass features with an infallible flow for the past few years at Keystone is now creatively constructing his next works of genius on the slopes of Copper Mountain. There is a major buzz of excitement among all park riders about Jason taking the Terrain Park Manager position, and with Copper opening up a new lift to service all these dope terrain parks (Union Creek High-Speed Quad), you’ll be able to take laps on some seriously legendary shit, son.
PHOTO : RUSSELL DALBY
DCP PICK YOUR LINE 159 YESNOWBOARD.COM LET THE RIDING DO THE TALKING
THE GRAND PRIX (THE FIRST MAJOR HALFPIPE COMPETITION OF THE SEASON) IS HELD IN “THE VEIN,” AND IT’S A SURE WAY TO GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH YOUR FAVORITE PIPE-JOCKS AS THEY SLAY THE WEEKEND AWAY WITH DARING DOUBLE-CORKS, MEGA MCTWISTS, AND WHATEVER OTHER TERMS OF PIPEPOUNDING ALLITERATION ARE ON THEIR AGENDA.
R: ZACK BLACK P: ZACH HOOPER
P: AARON DODDS
P: JEFF BROCKMEYER
P: JEFF BROCKMEYER
“Hey, what if I can’t switch-nollie hardway-two-sev-disaster a double-kink? Or spin a front nine, or even a front one? What does all this terrain park stuff mean to me,” you ask. The answer, young grasshopper, lies within the barn. You’ve probably heard about it from your friends, or seen it online, but unless you’ve been there for yourself, you have no idea what Woodward at Copper can do for your riding. Over 19,000 square feet of indoortraining-excellence await you with everything from Snowflex to skate ramps, and from foam pits to trampolines. But how do trampolines help your riding? Aerial awareness my friend, aerial awareness (Google it, I don’t have time to explain). Fighter pilots, gymnasts, ninjas, cheerleaders, some strippers, and yes, even snowboarders need it, and the awesome coaches at Woodward can teach you quite a bit about it in just a few moments. From there, you take what you learned on the Olympic grade Flybed trampolines, and send it off one of the three Snowflex jumps and into the foam pit. Ha, that foam pit is all anyone wants to do when they think of Woodward, but I personally learned like three new handplants, and a couple Miller flips in just a half hour on the trampolines with the foam wall, and I’m no spring chicken, which proves that it isn’t all about double corks and rodeos at Woodward. The coaches are pro riders themselves, so they can
AERIAL AWARENESS... FIGHTER PILOTS, GYMNASTS, NINJAS, CHEERLEADERS, SOME STRIPPERS, AND YES, EVEN SNOWBOARDERS NEED IT. 60
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R: PAT MILBERY P: JEFF NASS
show you the more technical stuff too, if that’s what you’re after. There’s over 6,000 square feet of Snowflex in the barn, and in case you’ve got bad knees, bad ankles, and a bad back like this writer, you can stay relatively close to the ground and still progress your riding. One of the Snowflex areas is a little jib run with a box, a flat down rail, and a quarterpipe at the end. There’s even a sick little log stall on the quarterpipe, pretty fun, really. But seriously kids, if you want to take your riding to the next level, Woodward at Copper is how it’s done. They ask you at the beginning of each session what tricks you want to learn, and help you to learn them by the time you leave! But knowing how to flip on a tramp or off a fake snow ramp does you no good unless you can take it to the snow, right? Exactly, that’s why the Barn is like two minutes from the lifts, man! And now, Woodward at Copper offers ‘Woodward Wednesdays,’ where you can ride Copper, try out the Barn at Woodward, and pound a beer or soda at Endo’s after, for just $35! Yeah, you read that right. Check the Woodward at Copper website for all the details, there’s always details. I know, I know, the entire shit thus far has been all about park and pipe; I apologize, because Copper Mountain is so much more than that. While world-class parks are plentiful around this place, the peaks, ridges and bowls are no joke either! Don’t believe me? Well, kiss my ass. Then take your non-believin’ ass up to the top of the Storm King T-Bar, once you get there you may have to catch your breath for a bit (12,441 ft.), but once you do, you’ve got some options. You can bust it out all day in the Spaulding Bowl, layin’ fat tracks all over the wide open areas up top, and then bashin’ through the trees in the Spaulding Glades, taking the Resolution Lift back up. Or, from the top of Storm King, head
P: TRIPP FAY
down the Lillie G Traverse and see what you’re made of in the Upper Enchanted Forest, with all its natty windlips and trannies, you’ll be sure to catch some air along with some ill face shots. From there, Upper leads to Lower Enchanted Forrest which has some of the best steep trees on the mountain. If you don’t wanna make the traverse from the top, haul ass down the Hallelujah Ridge and on to Hallelujah run, where you’ll encounter some rad natty hips and drops; which are referred to as the rock garden amongst those who know. From there, smash into Looking Glass or Cache Glades for some dope trees (Not those kind of dope trees you dirthead). Now, that’s just the beginning of what is available to slay on a pow day at Copper Mountain, should I go on? Of course I should. Check this out, there’s a free snowcat operation on Tucker Mountain back there in the Copper Bowl. Yup, the Tucker Mountain Snowcat will take your lazy ass up to the top of, you guessed it, Tucker Mountain (12,337 ft.). Well, you still gotta hike a little to get to the tip top, but this is definitely a pretty sick spot to be, lots of dope shit to shred around here for sure. I remember stepping off the Tucker Cat into a couple feet of fresh, back when skiers really hated on snowboarders, instead of trying to mimic our every step as they do now, and this old man suggested that the snowboarders wait for all the skiers to go ahead and eat up all the untracked pow. His reasoning being, that in all that deep powder, a skier could easily lose a ski, and a snowboarder should be nice enough to find it for him. My homies and I politely reminded the ignorant old bastard that if we had to stop to pick up his ski, he probably wouldn’t like where we put it. Our straight-line fat-tracks looked glorious next to all those ski turns that day. Anyway, Tucker Mountain is loaded with awesome,
wide-open pow turns on the right day, The Nacho, The Taco, Chutes 5 through 2, the trees between 1 and 2; all super sick when the snow is deep. From the top of Union Peak (12,313 ft.) there are even more sick options to get your legs burning. From the Sierra lift, get warmed up by bustin’ through Buzzard’s Alley and catching Sierra back up. Then Make your way to the extremely wide open Union Meadows and into the trees below. This is a good route to take if you showed up a little late to the powder party, or if you stayed up too late at the other powder party, mainly because these trees are pretty much untracked in the right zones. Don’t do this one last, you’ll wanna kill yourself, this makes for one long ass top to bottom run! There’s definitely more secret stashes at Copper Mountain, but I’m afraid that’s all I can give up on paper. Now that you have all necessary information to shred and enjoy Copper Mountain to the fullest, what are you gonna do when you’re done? I’ll tell you what you’re gonna do, you’re gonna walk into The Cage and buy a Snowboard Colorado Magazine t-shirt! That is if there’s any left! The Cage is another extension of the far stretching arms of Woodward. A dope little shop located in the Village at Copper that not only sells gear from the international brands, but has a huge focus on all the local Colorado brands that we all love. You can get fitted up from soup to nuts in this beeyatch and exit the building lookin’ fresh as the sky is blue. You can also paint your own skate deck, skate the 3’ mini bowl, play video games (both classic arcade games and PlayStation and Xbox 360), play ping pong or foosball, or kick it on one of the couches or beanbags, whatever’s clever the Cage has you covered.
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P: AARON DODDS
Does your exit strategy not involve fresh new gear? Would you rather blow the dough on food and booze? Jack’s is always a great place to chill, especially with their huge patio and outdoor bar and grill come springtime. Would you rather get down like a local? Check out Pizza Carlo, our graphic design genius Andrew Langford swears this is the coolest place in Copper. As usual, he’s right! Pizza Carlo is right by the American Eagle Lift, a location that lends itself to several pre, post, and mid-game pit-stops to get the belly warm with a shot of whiskey. Already warm? There’s always killer beer specials goin’ on and the friendly bartenders have no problem getting ‘em to ya in a hurry. There’s always something crazy goin’ on after the lifts stop running, some of the things I’ve heard about cannot be repeated on these pages, but you’ll hafta see for yourself. Pizza Carlo is a great spot to kick back with some good beer, good people, and good pizza after a long day on the hill, just be cool, relax and see where the night takes you!
If you’re gonna party in the mountains, you’re gonna want a place to crash for sure, especially at Copper. But since it’s a village, all the places to stay are right next to the lifts and bars and restaurants! When Snowboard Colorado Magazine crashes in Copper, we stay with Copper Colorado Condos, they have condos in a bunch of different spots in the Village at Copper, like Tucker Mtn. Lodge, The Cirque, Copper Junction and West Lake Lodge to name a few. These are not your side-of-the-highway motels either folks, they are condos. That means kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms, no remote glued to the end table, no weird beds that you can’t put anything under, no ice buckets; just legit, chill ass spots you will be stoked to bring some honeys back to, if ya can, ha. All of these places are completely ballin’ outta control, and to keep you ballin’ like you’re s’posed ta, they even offer discounted Copper Mountain lift tickets if you stay with them. Just to recap; killer crib, close to lifts and bars, discounted lift tickets; sounds like one hell of a win-win situation to me.
I know we’re all focused on making it snow a shit ton in the high country, and trust me I love powder more than anything in the world, but once the fluffy Colorado powder subsides, and the temps rise, so does my need to be in Copper Mountain for Sunsation! Going on its 13th year, Sunsation (Closing weekend, April 14th & 15th) is just one of those things that you have to do as a Coloradan, or we kick you the hell out of the state. I’ve seen some legendary bands play here in years past, bands that were on my bucket list for sure, bands that I thought I would have to travel to see, and pay a hefty ticket price for. But not at Sunsation my friends, all the outdoor concerts are free and last year the line-up was pretty damn ill, as usual. Especially if you’re not some sort of moron who only likes one type of music. MiMOSA, The Gin Blossoms, Quiet Riot (yeah, Quiet Riot), the Samples, and Reel Big Fish all made sweet love to the crowds of eager party people enjoying the killer spring riding that Copper has to offer. This year’s Sunsation is sure to be a banger as well, so stay updated on the lineup and events via the Copper website.
So as a native, I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t get the chance to ride Copper as much as I should. Don’t let this happen to you! Every time I make it to Copper I’m reminded of what it’s like to just exist in such a laid-back environment, ride where I want, how I want, without any judgments being passed my way. It’s all smiles and waves from the moment you pull in, to last call at the bars. You can truly feel the spirit of the good old days alive and well both in the people and in the mountain itself when you ride at Copper. Yet they are still on the forefront of new park technologies and rider progression, always looking for new ways to make one of America’s oldest pastimes enjoyable for everyone, for years to come.
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R: MADISON ELLSWORTH P: AARON DODDS
EVERY TIME I MAKE IT TO COPPER I’M REMINDED OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO JUST EXIST IN SUCH A LAIDBACK ENVIRONMENT, RIDE WHERE I WANT, HOW I WANT, WITHOUT ANY JUDGMENTS BEING PASSED MY WAY.
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Ah parks, some of your favorite memories probably come from parks. First time down a slide, first kiss, first wedgie, first jump off the swing set…oh, wait. My bad, wrong kind of park. Nevertheless, countless unforgettable memories surely come from onmountain parks as well. Many of these are memories that are shared by all of us, and fuel the collective experience if you will. First time hitting the big boy jump line, most impressive jib, hardest bail, biggest achievement and high fives from the homies, all moments each of us cherish. It’s these moments that connect us as a community, a culture and a family. In the end, park design may be one of snowboarding’s most indelible contributions. With that in mind, take in the sights from many of Colorado’s finest parks. Words: Justin Lesniak
KEYSTONE, CO R: ANDREAS WIIG P: AARON DODDS
BRECKENRIDGE, CO R: MATT GUESS P: JEFF BROCKMEYER
BEAVER CREEK, CO PG 70
R: BILLY RODRIGUEZ P: RYAN BREGANTE
travis rice uses it.
rider: travis rice photo: scott serfas
very water / sweat resistant alpine specific formula UVA / UVB broad spectrum NZ manuka honey PABA & paraben free
SNOWMASS, CO R: BODE MERRILL P: AARON DODDS
WINTER PARK, CO R: LUKE KESSLER P: JAY STEWART
SNOWMASS, CO PG 76
R: JACK MITRANI P: DEAN BLOTTO GRAY
We are about to change the way you see in color.
Premiering in February at SIA. Available at your local shop Fall 2012 Jake Welch
SNOWMASS, CO R: DANNY DAVIS P: AARON DODDS
SNOWMASS, CO R: ERIC WILLETT P: ZACH HOOPER
MERINO UNDERWEAR AND FIRSTLAYER DESIGNED FOR THE RIDERS LIFESTYLE
GO TO FACEBOOK.COM/MONSROYALE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A TRIP TO NEW ZEALAND!
ON STATION JANUARY 26-31
WEAPONS FREE - Engage. Check out our 2012-2013 munitions at our SIA booth in Denver. Shoot guns, win prizes! Arms dealers will be ready to help operators determine what ordnance they need to ensure victory in their 2012-13 campaigns.
Want more intel?
Visit www.echelonsnow.com for the full story.
T H E
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T R U S T
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M A T T
L A D L E Y
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H O O P E R
CIRCLE OF TRUST
FEBRUARY ISSUE 2.6
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T R U S T
T H E R E L AT I O N S H I P B E T W E E N R I D E R A N D P H O T O G R A P H E R
Every month you eagerly swing by your favorite snow shop or ritually check the mail waiting, needing the month’s new magazine. Craving the opportunity to dive into that two-dimensional marriage of ink and paper that continually delivers your fix of wintry euphoria. Each page filled with words bursting with the adventures of those who dare dream, to fail and to succeed. In an intricate dance with the words are photographs documenting the moments, the split seconds, freezing time itself to pull you into the essence of the experience. What you see in the mags isn’t a mere coincidence, it’s the fermentation of the photographer and the rider’s shared vision of what can be created through an abundance of talent, on both sides of the lens. The addictive content you seek in each issue is a byproduct of the “circle of trust,” the result of a seasoned relationship between photographer and rider.
Written by Jake Black
Your favorite photo begins with an idea, which stirs within the imagination of both the rider and the photographer. N ex t t h ey b ra i n s t o r m t o g e t h e r, contemplating on how to best use the mountain, street or park. Whether funded for an ad campaign or fueled by pure passion and love for the sport, the idea of the desired outcome is the foundation of this circle of trust. Searching endlessly for the right feature, the right angle and the right light to capture the moment is driven by the desire to push the limits of creativity. The circle of trust is a team effort, in order to create that trust both parties must work together to a near fanatical degree. Agree, disagree, agreeing to disagree, arguing, the foundation of partnership, but only as long as each party stays true to the shared ideal. There is always give and take depending on the situation at
ball if you can see the shot from two different angles, the same rules apply to capturing great snowboarding. The photographer, understanding both sides of the equation, strives to accentuate and elaborate the scene, the action and the feeling.
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hand, but to keep within the circle of trust you must be willing to compromise and collaborate. The rider works with the canvas provided by the mountains while the photographer works within the confines of the camera frame, both are determined to push their boundaries and test their comfort levels, because anything short of results are mediocre p h o to g ra p h s . I n s o m e c a s e s t h e photographer takes the lead role, this is possible due to the majority of photographers with backgrounds based within snowboarding, and not solely within photography. This causes them to eat, sleep, and dream snow just like the riders, only from a different angle. A change in perspective can vastly help keep the circle in check. Like a game of pool, you’re more likely to sink the
Other times the rider takes the lead, constantly eyeing out spots to get down, fantasizing their favorite tricks over and over again, or dreaming of something new to learn, the rider fueled by adrenaline and ambition brings creativity and physical ability to the table. The world is literally their playground. Often imagining the photo they wish to create, the rider can add a second opinion to the composition and style of the photograph.
CIRCLE OF TRUST
J A K E Z A C H
FEBRUARY ISSUE 2.6
B L A C K H O O P E R
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F O R E S T Z A C H
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B A I L E Y H O O P E R
CIRCLE OF TRUST
FEBRUARY ISSUE 2.6
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N I C K T E R R Y
L A R S O N R A T Z L A F F
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CIRCLE OF TRUST
A U S T I N
J U L I K - H E I N E
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The circle of trust involves many inherent risks in capturing that moment in time; the rider must put their faith in the photographer and their own ability. If the rider is in over their head and is caught in an avalanche, who would be first on site? If the rider slams into a rail, the ground, or anything else, who would be the first to react? If the rider’s frustration gets the best of them, who would be there to help? The photographer is almost always going to be the first to respond to any of these situations. The rider must have faith that the photographer will be ready to go above and beyond the lens. On the same note the rider must have faith that the photographer is on the same wavelength to correlate the idea into motion. The photographer depends on the rider just as much in these situations. Having faith that the rider will perform at a high enough caliber to create the best photograph possible. They depend on the rider to understand how they are shooting the photo in order to work within the limitations of the camera. Sometimes when the rider and the photographer set up, time and attempts are limited and the rider can only hit a fresh backcountry jump so many times
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before the landing becomes a mogul field. Or the opportunity to session a rail for so long until the cops bust the party. This can ruin motivation and the overall appeal of the photo itself. The idea of these photographs is to create some form of perfection in motion from corner to corner of the frame; and a tracked out landing or a shut down session can put a huge damper on things. Some situations, both rider and photographer are only given one chance to get the shot, so they must have faith in each other to get the image right the first time. Emotions can run high when one side of the circle isn’t holding up their end up the bargain. The idea is to feed off of each other, to create something bigger, to inspire each other, to both make a living doing what they love to do. Even after the picture is taken, the game is not over. The photographer is weighted with the responsibility to represent the rider and portray their style, so the rider must trust that the photographer will represent them in a manner they feel is appropriate. Style can make or break a photo. It seems today, that in contests, style is relevant, but can be easily overlooked. For
example, a missed grab here, a slide of hand there isn’t a deal breaker. However in photographs style is everything, and the smallest details matter. The focus, exposure, shadows, depth of field, way the grab looks, tweak of the board, facial expression, posture and arm position are all under surveillance when critiquing photographs. Some form of perfection is expected on both parties, and the ability to adjust and adapt to ever so slight changes in riding and shooting can make a world of difference when trying to capture the moment in its finest form. The photographer has to expect and trust the rider’s style to help accentuate the photograph. With the number of photographers and riders today, to create something that will stand out, the circle must strive for perfection. Every time, they must strive to achieve something different, yet captivating beyond the realm of the previous image, the previous adventure.
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D O R A N
L A Y B O U R N
J E F F
P O T T O
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CIRCLE OF TRUST
FEBRUARY ISSUE 2.6
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M A D I S O N T E R R Y
E L L S W O R T H R A T Z L A F F
Overall, the relationship, the circle of trust, is a bond of friendship, “you watch my back and I’ll watch yours.” It’s about the positivity and the good vibes. Hooting and hollering happens, a lot. High fives fly. Hugs. Homies. Pure Stoke. It’s all about working together to create some smiles. It’s overcoming the struggles of life with a friend. Photographers never wish to be under prepared for any mission, so they pack heavy. Often photographers have two, maybe even three packs of equipment to lug around into the battlefield we call the mountains, but the rider is there to cover the photographers back and keep the good times rolling. So they lend a hand, they grab a bag or two and start trucking into the zone of choice. Half the time the photographer doesn’t even get a chance to ride, but that can’t keep them down because they were there, they lived it, they created that moment, they shared the memory. The photograph is such a small piece of the puzzle. Only a taste of what happened, a taste of the tale.
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You can ask around, talk with the riders, talk with the photographers, and they will tell you what happened. They will go off on how awesome that day was, how cold it was that day, how much it was puking snow that day, how the session never ended that day, how pumped they were to be there at that time. But even the story can rarely even touch the surface of that moment. That day. That adventure. In the end, we create these images to share our stories with the world, to put out the good word that you can have your cake and eat it too. Nothing is beyond reach if you put your mind to it. Imagination is the key to living. Great minds think alike, and if you combine forces with a photographer and a rider, dreams can come true. It’s about trial and error and about getting up when you fall. It’s about experimenting. It’s about surprising yourself. It’s about using the world around you to capture something special. These images are the best way to express the rider and the photographer. These stories last forever in the blood of the page—within the unspoken words, within the vibrancy of
the colors, and within the fibers of the paper. Few things will last forever in this life, snowboards break, cameras outdate themselves, but pictures can create the keys to reigniting our minds, our memories that can last forever. Memories are made with friends, good times, and good people. In life we all reminisce, we all share our memories, we all share our stories, and we share our hearts. We all go about our demeanor differently, and in this case we strive to create art— creativity doesn’t have to be determined by yourself. Sometime you need a little help from your friends. If the pictures seen on these pages inspire you, then the photographer and the rider have achieved their goal. To share just a fraction of their story, to expose a little something, to inspire someone they may never know is the greatest reward of all. These stories create the bond, inspire the relationship, and build priceless friendships between the rider and the photographer. Creating art to pave the way for an unforgettable life, that is the goal of the circle of trust.
CIRCLE OF TRUST
B L A K E A A R O N
FEBRUARY ISSUE 2.6
P U A L D O D D S
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14357 W. Colfax Ave. Golden, CO 80401 303.277.1339
Dexterity Glove Photo: Martin Gallant Rider: Gaetan Chanut
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TRUTH IS – WE HAVE THE BEST PRIVATE PARKS IN THE WORLD!
RIDER: GUEST PRO TUCKER SPEER PHOTOS: DARCY BACHA & ERIK HOFFMAN RIDER: GUEST PRO JJ THOMAS
DYK? Our dry slopes are made of 100% recycled materials, helping make Windells a green campus!
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WINDELLS CAMP | THE “FUNNEST” PLACE ON EARTH! | WINDELLS.COM
RIDER: GUEST PRO DYLAN THOMPSON
TRICK TIPS WITH ERIC WILLETT
SWITCH BACKSIDE DOUBLE CORK 1080 WORDS: ERIC WILLETT PHOTO: ZAK SHELHAMER
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DOUBLE CORKS ARE A CRAZY TRICK AND SEEM COMPLICATED, BUT IF YOU BREAK IT DOWN IT MAKES MORE SENSE. A SWITCH BACKSIDE DOUBLE CORK 10 IS REALLY A CORKED SWITCH BACK 5 INTO A CORKED FRONT 5. MAKE SURE YOU CAN DO THOSE TRICKS IN YOUR SLEEP. BECAUSE ONCE YOU’RE IN THE AIR YOU WILL KNOW EXACTLY HOW THE WHOLE THING IS GOING TO FEEL.
Practice Corked Switch Backside 540’s and Corked Frontside 540’s. Also Get comfortable spinning Switch Backside 900’s
It’s always awkward coming into a jump switch, so just stay loose and don’t get too excited. Make sure you’re bending at your knees and not at your waist. You tend to drift more and get less pop if you bend at your waist. Do a heelside set up carve so you can get ready to carve and spin off your toes.
Set the spin off your toes and make sure to pop, it helps with the whole spin and matches you up with the landing. This is where knowing corked switch back 5’s comes in handy. At the take off you throw it just like a 5, but harder. Throw your front shoulder down towards your back binding, hard…and get ready for the rollercoaster ride. The entire spin depends on your take off, so make sure you set it right and just stay in the spinning position. Also, you can experiment with how hard you throw your shoulder. The less you throw down will help you spin faster but will take away from the cork. The more you throw your shoulder down, the more corked it will be.
I grab mute because that’s pretty much right where your hand goes, and it makes it easy to hold the spin. As soon as you take off, reach for that grab to help keep you in control. You’ll feel yourself do a corked switch back 5, and then you’ll see your landing but keep holding on cuz here comes the frontside 5. This is where it’s important to keep holding that grab and stay in the tucked, spinning position to finish the second cork. Once you feel yourself flatten out, keep your head looking over your shoulder and pull your shoulders and grab to help with the second cork. This part of the spin is a bit “easier” because you can spot your landing the whole time. You’ll realize it feels exactly like a corked front 5.
With this trick you tend to land heavy on your heels. It all depends on how hard you pulled that second cork, the harder you pull and the more dipped it is, the more you’ll land flat based or on your toes. You’ll figure it out the more you play with it. You’ll know when to let go of your grab and get ready for the landing, make sure if you land on your toes your core stays strong and pop into your normal stance so you don’t slip out or hand drag.
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BE YOURSELF AND STAY LOYAL
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ART INSTALLMENT BY PAT MILBERY
DEFIANT STREET ART INFILTRATES SNOWBOARDING
D*Face, an English street artist, born as Dean Stockton, is the focus for this month. D* Face teamed up with the Rome Snowboards Design Syndicate to create the 2011-12 MOD and MOD Rocker models. The two (Rome and D*Face) combined their artistic visions to deliver a very raw, multi-layered canvas combining a mix of spray stencil art, wheat pasted graphics and illustrated D*Face character icons. The “MOD” has gained both Rome and D*Face a ton of international coverage on a worldwide level and most importantly has given snowboarders around the planet a chance to ride a snowboard with D*Face art on it.
opened up a whole new world of possibilities for his imagination. He soon began experimenting with mediums including spray stencils, paint markers, wheat pasting and vinyl sticker art.
D*Face has been much more known, involved and associated as an artist in the skate world. This past summer, D*Face designed a limited series of skate decks for Real Skateboards that gained him a ton of worldwide recognition through his play on pop icons and his manipulation of a classic comic style approach. The release was coincidentally timed well with one of the most brilliant projects anyone has thought up to this date involving an empty backyard swimming pool with a crew of legendary skateboarders. D*Face introduced his art meets swimming pool installation through the moving medium of the skateboard, the video hit blogs hard, instantly went viral and can be found as “D*Face’s Ridiculous Paint Pool Attack.” D*Face at a young age, became highly interested in graffiti art, the street culture associated with public art as well as the culture of skateboarding. D*Face soon found himself applying to a program concentrating on illustration and design, which
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D*Face’s love for creation started him on a new mission of making street art, leaving behind his new creations on walls, sign poles or other landmarks on his daily travels throughout the city. For D*Face, these adventures became quite addictive, a new hobby fueled through his passion, which soon led to worldwide art missions that helped spread his creativity in places like Argentina, the United States and Germany. After first discovering D*Face in 2005, I have always admired his forward thinking, diversity amongst his work, getting up on a ton of walls and being an all around ninja of the streets. To witness an artist appreciate and respect a sub culture from a very young age to the point of obsession and now come full-circle with his graphics playing a highly influential role through his creative ways years later is awesome. D*Face is becoming a street art legend, if you have never been introduced to his work, please check out his Rome Snowboard design along with the rest of his work. His manipulation of Pop imagery with his characteristic iconic characters will inspire you for years to come! Stay safe and keep it creative Colorado.
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WHYGEE “I make stoner music, man!” laughs the dreadlocked man of the hour, veteran Denver hip hop artist Whygee, as he sits on his couch relaxing on a Denver afternoon, the sun penetrating the inside of his west-facing apartment with vivid brightness. His statement is his best reflection of his music, a laid back style of hip hop that perfectly portrays the scene in front of me here on the north side of downtown. His attitude and his music seem to go side by side, each one complementing the other perfectly. His music is very mellow, easy to listen to, compared to a lot of the high-pitched and high anxiety style that so many rappers bring to the table. Even people that aren’t huge fans of hip hop can get into it. It probably helps if they get down on some green before putting the record on. “It’s a recreational thing, marijuana, and hip hop is a recreational thing,” he says. “My mentality, my whole view, towards life is much more laid back and relaxed,” he says. Whygee first gained some notoriety with the “Suicide Watch” EP he did with Sunkenstate. “We lived in a house together, a squat house basically, with a bunch of other rappers. We got real close, he did some verses for me and I did some verses for him. We just got to know each other,” he says. The pair have made two albums together. “Suicide Watch,” the first of the two, charted on the C + J charts. They are currently working a third. “We are trying to work out the politics of a new project, but we are trying to do it legit,” he says.”We are shopping around the idea.” “When Sunkenstate and me did that Suicide Watch EP, that’s when we started getting more shows, and opening up for known artists,” he says. Whygee has continued performing around the front range and surrounding areas and has become one of the most respected hip hop artists in Colorado. To help his name and those of fellow rappers, Whygee started Elevation Sickness, a sort of hip hop collective that helps with the different aspects of being an artist and getting your stuff heard.
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DEFINING THE SOUND OF DENVER HIP HOP “It’s a production team, looking to help out artists. (For) anybody that needs help reaching out to youth culture,” he says. Himself, his boy Shawn, who is sitting just a few feet away on the other side of the living room during this interview, and two other guys run the show at Elevation Sickness. While the group was formed to help the hip hop community, Whygee hopes to use it to further his own career as well. “Part of the reason why I created Elevation Sickness was to try to create a brand, or some type of medium to basically catapult me to other places,” he says. With so much music behind and in front of him, he has found what he hopes will be a successful form of marketing his rhymes. “I want to be able to do online distribution, but I want to do a lot more merch and cool things like that,” he says. “You buy a t-shirt that has the art premise for the album, and you get the album for free. I want to set it up where people are paying for other things, AND getting the music.” One of the things that Whygee and Elevation Sickness will have to do to get the word out is reach into other scenes. He admits that Denver isn’t the world’s biggest hotspot for rap music. “It hinders me (being in Denver) because there’s not as many people readily available to want to go to hip hop shows,” he says. “But it helps me because the competition isn’t as tough. There’s plenty of good artists, but there’s only a handful of phenomenal ones,” he says. “There’s not an abundance of hip hop people in Denver.” Look for a bunch of upcoming work from Whygee, his basket is full of ideas. “I’m trying to create kind of an ‘MF Doom’ish alter ego,” he says. “I’m working on some concept records right now. A lot more visuals, a lot more art to coincide with the music,” he says. But I can’t really say too much about them, I don’t want to ruin the surprise!”
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