Table of Contents Steez Style
To The Mountains
X Games: An Insiders look
By Kyle Takesue By Jess Jaime
By Sarah Romanoff
As much as most snowboarders do not want to admit, clothing style actually affects riding style. It is a weird phenomenon which say for example if your style is loose or baggy clothing also known as ‘gangster style’ the more adapt you are to ride in a more lazy but stylish way, and have that chill hip hop swagger. Also while riding, it just feels more natural to have that free, relaxed movement. Take the king of this style, Chris Bradshaw. He is a well-known professional snowboarder, who capitalized the big clothing movement. It’s an anomaly when the idolized image has him wearing a XXXL shirt and pants sagged probably below the butt is a profile picture on his sponsorship’s website
The tight pants style comes with the type of music those listen to. Wearing tight pants and grungy tops naturally doesn’t adhere to hip hop music and its culture. It’s geared more towards Bob Dylan type of crowd or the retro-esque people. With tight pants style, for some reason it just seems that the rider is putting more effort into the trick rather than the baggy pants boarder who expresses more of a lazy form. It could be because the clothing is so tight that every bodily movement can be seen when performing tricks.
The last basic type of riding style is ‘tech’. Those who ride with fitted snowboard jackets made by snowboard companies and normal sized pants would be categorized as ‘tech’ riders. The professionals in this category usually have that prototypical perfect technique in their riding because of the standard fitment of clothing. The only drawback to this style is that the riders tend to have less style, but have a large arsenal of tricks. Whereas
gangster snowboarding is geared more about how good you can make simpler tricks look. And tight pants people would fit between the techies and baggies. So there you have it, three main styles influence and push snowboarding to further boundaries. One style of dress is more for show and how good you can make your simpler tricks look, and one is having less attention to clothing and more on tricks being performed. Of course
ITS BETTER UP HERE
you are always going to have the many that fall into more than one category. This is why riders look best when they wear the boot cut standard fit pants with a semi-baggy hoodie because it shows that they can still have style and have technique as well.
Tucked away in an attic corner of my mind, I keep a treasure chest full of special places I’ve stumbled across. Some (like the oak tree fort in my backyard), are tiny wonders overlooked in the rush of life. Others (like the summer haunts of my childhood) exist only as lingering recollections. A third group of places have already been discovered by hoards of other people, but retain their magical lure. When the mood hits me (when I’m feeling nostalgic or when i’m suffering through a particularly brutal bout of boredom) I sink back into my thoughts, pry open the box, and peruse my collection of memories. It’s not often that I get lucky enough to return to one of my special places. However, last Sunday was just such an occasion. The place I speak of: Grindelwald, Switzerland (a member of the aforementioned third group, should you curious. One of my German
friends described Grindelwald as “extremtourist.” But tolerating other sightseers is a fair price to pay to visit the town cradled by the gigantic rock faces of the Eiger, Mönsch, Jungfrau, und Wetterhorn). Our trip began to take shape three weeks ago, when I discovered a bus company that made daily trips from Freiburg to Grindelwald to take youngsters like me snowboarding. Waaaaaaait – a painless way to get from Freiburg to Grindelwald? And WE’RE GOING SNOWBOARDING?! Needless to say, I started scheming for any way to make this Ausflug happen (schwoops. Little nugget of German there. Think of an Ausflug as a trip, but made much better because the entire thing is jammed into one day). In the weeks
leading up to the departure date, I questioned everyone I spoke to about their snowboarding habits (I feel sure some of my classmates wanted to strangle me after I asked for the third or fourth time if they snowboard). Finally, a group of three bold Americans and I took the plunge, coughed up the euros, and on Sunday morning at 5.30 AM were sitting on a bus headed for the Schweiz. Stunning. Breathtaking. Jaw dropping. I can’t help but resort to clichés to describe Switzerland. Picture streaks of sunlight blazing through blue storm clouds and making the snowy peaks glisten as though
they were overlayed with diamonds. And add in the breath-taking clarity of the air, the breeze tugging hair across your cheek, and the excited chatter of good friends. Grindelwald was nothing short of amazing. Apart from the heart-shattering views and great skiing (which, let’s face it, every Swiss town has), this trip to Grindelwald held a special significance for me. It was a chance for me to revisit a sliver of my past life. When I was a wee toddler, my family lived in Welkenrädt, Belgium. In those days, the Swiss Franc to U.S. dollar exchange rate was wonderful for American visitors (sigh, if only Icould s ay t h e
same today). While in Belgium, any vacation days (and there were plenty of them – a starting position at a company in Belgium entitled a worker to six weeks of vacation a year) meant a perfect excuse for a drive to Switzerland and a week’s stay reveling in the beauty of the Alps.I don’t remember much about those trips. I was probably more enthralled by my teddy bear than by the static views of boring mountains. But my parents were determined that my brother and i should truly experience Grindelwald. Two summers ago, we finally did. I remember walking dazedly out of my room in Grindelwald to find a landscape of rolling green hills spread out beneath the stony rock faces of the Alps. I vividly recall the deep sense of calm
that filled our days there.I can still hear echoes of the light fall of rain, the distant rush of a mountain river, and the faint musical tones of a wandering cow. Last sunday I stepped off the bus to find exactly what I had been hoping for: the serene beauty of the Grindelwald I remember. I felt again the glowing sense of freedom sweep through me as I breathed in the crisp air. The gargantuan mountains seemed to grin down on me like old friends, welcoming me back. And after a day of snowboarding, as I slumped, exhausted but satisfied into a bus seat, the cloud cover over Grindelwald finally broke and the town shone with a parting smile. “Until next time,” i t s e e m e d t o p r o m i s e , “we know you’ll be back.”
We had been waiting for the bus for exactly twenty-three minutes now, and the temperature was dropping well below freezing. The bus was scheduled to come every forty-five minutes but the crowds were delaying normal traffic flow. The enthusiasm was captivating as college aged students, bundled in oversized snowboard jackets, eagerly awaiting the menâ€™s snowboarding big air finals. When the bus finally arrived, the crowd burst into song chanting familiar elementary school favorites. The excitement of the bus ride over seemed to perfectly capture the energy of the crowd within the Xgames. Everyone was buzzing with stories and predictions. Friends were reuniting after a long day on the slopes. Enthusiasts were buying souvenirs from vending stations, while food trucks positioned in the corners were attracting the hungry spectators. All eyes were on the mountain watching the distant snowboarders prepare to take their turns on the big jump. Time seemed to stand still with the endless waiting during the night. We waited for what felt like hours for the bus, the security check, the bathrooms and the competitions to begin. When the music finally started and the announcer prepared the crowd for the first jump, the audience quickly began to shuffle inwards creating warmth from the magnitude of bodies squeezing together.
I am rather short, about five foot three inches, and struggled to get a good view of the event. Mostly I watched the large screen and occasionally glanced through the lens of my camera waiting for that perfect shot. I left the competition with an erroneous amount of pictures of little unrecognizable specks jumping in the air. Itâ€™s funny how many pictures we try to take of moments wholly unable to be captured on film. Even the videos of the event cannot compare. The experience of standing with thousands of equally energized, like-minded, screaming spectators is one I hope will not be taken for granted. The same applies to any sporting event, competition, or concert. I am sure you know the feeling and the excitement of being in an endless crowd, sharing one special moment together. The competition itself could not have been any more thrilling to watch. It had been a sunny day and the track was flawlessly smooth and slippery. I could see the ice shining through a thin layer of week-old snow as the Xgames logo was projected onto the track. Marco Grilc set
the tone of difficulty with a gigantic wipeout into the railing during his first Heat. Though a painful fall, he immediately stood up to raise his arms in victory. The crowd erupted into praise as we all clapped our hands while jumping up and down for the national television cameras. Torstein Horgmo, the competition winner, also fell during his first run only to win with his second Heat. He ranked first place with the first ever triple-flip completed in a competition. As the crowd erupted in excitement, a proud Horgmo threw his helmet into the air like a graduation cap. In the end, Sebastien Toutant took home the silver medal with a backside 1260 and Sage Kotsenburg took home the bronze.
For those extreme jumps , Wear a helmet