Tag Archives: Snowboarding

Video

BreakTheIce In Detroit

Back in February I went to Detroit with some friends and shot a series of videos with Coors Light. Noted graffiti artists RISK and SEVER were on as well to add some flavor to our chosen urban zones. While there I got a chance to check out some of the best food Detroit has to offer like Vinsetta Garage and Star Deli as well as take a private tour of Shinola’s factory, more on that soon. Enjoy this video, which I had the pleasure of editing and make sure to pick up a 6’er of Coors Light, if that’s your sort of thing.

Cheers!

Advertisements
Video

#happymotoring: 2014 Buick Regal GS

First episode of my new automotive web series that focuses on the soul of a car rather than the technical data. I know what you’re thinking, “Andrew, cars don’t have souls, especially red ones”. Technically you’re correct, machines do not in fact have souls but they’re a product of someone’s artistic vision and I think to some degree that translates to having an inkling of a soul. Philosophical debates aside, i hope you enjoy this episode and will stay tuned for all those to come.

Cheers!

Video

Sun Mtn Sessions IV

For the past four years between December 26th and 28th Bromley Mountain has played host to the Sun Mtn Sessions. The freeform snowboard camp run by Tim Benasich and myself, focuses on progressing freestyle skills by way of using the excellent natural terrain found at Bromley, as well as educating riders on the rich snowboard heritage of the area. Many of the scene’s top athletes and personalities got their start at Bromley and jump at the chance to stop by during the holiday season.

Though heavy rain stole away the ample early season snow that Bromley had received, this past year proved to be as fun as ever. A day of snow, a day of sun, a day of man made mountains that proved incredibly entertaining, that was Sun Mtn Sessions IV.

The closing party once again featured excellent wood fired pizza from Sammy’s in Manchester,VT and product giveaways from Burton Snowboards, Vestal Watches, Smith Optics, The Nice Life Apparel Co, Vew-Do Balance Boards and 3L Apparel.

Proceeds from the camp are donated to J.I.S.P. which helps get local kids to the mountain and into a group instruction program. Special thanks to Burleigh Sunflower and the Bromley Mountain Snowmaking Team for making sure the conditions were the best they could be.

See you in December for our 5th Anniversary year featuring a concert by hologram Tupac and The Muppets!

Olympic Course Breakdown + Shaun White, Ultimate Core Rider?

Picture 1

Click to watch the course preview on WhitelinesMag. This Russian rider is sketchy as hell and a terrible  filmer but at least he was able to get this online. 

Adding slopestyle to the Olympics isn’t about elevating the sport to the highest level or welcoming snowboarders into the world class athletes club. If it was they would have flown Gunny and the SPT crew out to Russia to build a course designed by the riders themselves. If you’ve ever done a slopestyle competition you know that some courses feel right and some don’t, it’s a matter of flow. This course appears to have zero flow, looks like whoever designed it played Cool Boarders 4 and their expertise ends there. Everything is so jammed together it’s like they expect riders to hop from feature to feature making for really large combo points.

Most people don’t know what the hell I’m talking about since most people can’t seem to understand the basic fact that slopestyle is just the competitive form of what we call “taking a park lap”. So for those less informed and for those who want to understand why I think the course looks to be shit, let me break it down.

The top rail section is a mess, they tried to recreate the gap to down pipe with stairs setup from Mammoth but half assed it and added some useless rails on the side plus the first of two ride one boxes on the course…RIDE ON BOXES.

The second section looks perfect…for skiiers. They can do their sideways slides or oppo sideways slides to 620 out on any of those features. If one rider in the contest can miller flip that center tube I’ll be really impressed. Not as impressed as I’d be if Magoon was there and rode under it, hopped to the left then frontboarded the down of the flat down but impressed none the less.

The third rail section immediately following (and I mean immediately following) the middle section has the second of the ride on boxes, a wave rail borrowed from Snow Summit’s 90’s collection, a flat down tube and a gap to down rail with a lip that appears to be as high if not higher than the rail. Again, nicely setup for skiiers so they can twirl on and twirl out.

The final rail section has a gap run in on the left to an up flat tube, might see some cool switch ups there but I doubt it. There’s a Russian Matryoshka doll, which would actually be cool if it popped out smaller dolls should a rider bonk it, but instead it’s just there in the middle, poorly setup far from the lip at an odd height hanging out, alone. To the right there’s a gap to another box which will be the mandatory “NOseslide” feature for the ladies.

There is zero room for creativity (that’s ok, judges don’t reward it anyway) and overall the rail section looks like a mishmash of various crappy USASA setups from the Sugarloaf years. Bottom line, nothing I see out there looks properly thought out. It’s sad because the first time slopestyle is on the world stage, it’s setup in a linear, stogy fashion that will no doubt produce a bunch of the twirly, tappy, SSX type of riding the FIS want’s to see.

Now how bout those jumps. They’ve already had two degrees taken off the lip and they’re big. Is that a bad thing? No, hell no. Snowboard contests need big jumps but they need to be properly built big jumps. Have these jumps been built properly? Sorta looks like it and most of the riders have no complaints. It’s really the only part of the contest I’m looking forward to because the easiest way to separate the men from the boys is building big jumps.

A lot of today’s slopestyle riders have been coddled with foam pits and small, poppy contest jumps. It’ll be fun to watch who can hang on these grown man jumps. I know Sage Kotsenburg actually rides his snowboard to train for snowboarding and he does it at Park City and they certainly know how to build big ‘ol jumps. Then there’s NH dirt Chas Guldemond who’s been hitting massive jumps since before some of his competitors were even riding.

I’m hoping that judges will reward big clean flat spins because that’s what these jumps look to be ideal for and something that both those boys are damn good at. In a way, these jumps could be a blessing in disguise for snowboarding because big step down jumps are not built for double, let alone triple corks.

Of course the BIG news this morning is that Shaun White (you may have heard of him) has dropped out of slopestyle and I for one do not give a rats ass. Yes it sucks that in dropping out he has effectively denied another person their shot at competing but it’s not his fault an alternate was not brought along, that’s up to the governing body of Olympic qualification, the FIS. This is what happens when assholes who don’t care about your sport get final say over how it’s run. They don’t care about snowboarding, they don’t care about snowboarder’s safety or course quality. They care about money, they care about making Coca-Cola, P&G, McDonalds and all the other corporate sponsors happy. I can’t wait to see what type of ad’s are run during the “prime” 10pm slot they’ve given slopestyle.

I’m not mad at Shaun, you could even say he’s doing the most core thing possible in dropping out of the contest if his reason for doing so is really that he believes the course to be sub-par. We’ll never know if that’s the real reason, we’ll just continue to speculate and argue amongst ourselves, all the while losing sight of the real problem here, we’re being prostituted for corporate gains. It’ll keep happening too because most professional snowboarders are happy to “live the life” instead of forming a union like NFL players have.

With Shaun out of slopestyle the spotlight is bound to fall one someone and I hope that someone is Chas because he knows what I’m talking about and has spoken out about it in the past. I hope that when the mic is in front of him he speaks up and talks about how now more than ever snowboarders need to come together as one to push for change in competition. You might say I’m encouraging greed but I’m not. I’m simply saying that if you were risking your life every time you went to work, wouldn’t you want to be compensated fairly, especially if you weren’t in control of your job description?

For this brief moment the eyes of the world are upon our little community we call snowboarding, hopefully we’re able to show them that we’re ready to be taken seriously. That being snowboarder is about taking calculated risks and sometimes the risk isn’t worth the reward. On the other hand, maybe we’re just a bunch of stoned adrenaline junkies, doing Jackass stuff on the mountain and we should be so lucky as to get even the smallest piece of the Olympic pie.

* I know some riders have tweeted or made statements that put the course in a positive light. To each their own, I’m just saying from where I’m sitting, it looks boring and poorly thought out.

Video

adidas Snowboarding| Welcome: Kazu Kokubo

The “Welcome:” series from adidas Snowboarding is a perfect example of what good filmmaking is all about, honesty. From the first piece featuring Jake Blauvelt I knew this was going to be an exercise in truth, not just an extended commercial for adidas. It’s no surprise seeing as adidas has always had top notch skateboard content and a carefully cultivated team. I’m just happy that eye for special talent and individuality crossed over to their snowboard program.

It’s been nearly 11 years since I first met Kazu and having watched him transition from a quiet contest kid to one of the truly elite riders in snowboarding has been something very special indeed. I knew the stories of Jake, Eric, Forest and Keegan before watching their pieces and while that didn’t make them any less enjoyable, it did in some ways spoil “the moment”.

Though Kazu is a friend, I’ve never quizzed him on what makes him tick or the details of his childhood. Perhaps it is for that reason that Kazu’s piece is my favorite of the series. He grew up on the other side of the world but for some reason I’ve always felt a certain kinship with the guy and now I know why. If you think about it, a small town in Japan is not so different than a small town in Vermont. People work hard, value nature and a-lot of them drive Subarus. Hokkaido may as well be Japan’s New England, how’s that for an incredibly bold statement with no academic reinforcement?

All the cultural differences, the language barrier, they’re of little consequence when it comes to snowboarding because in snowboarding style speaks louder than words and Kazu has always had it in spades. Flipping of judges, straight-lining the pipe, refusing to conform to a clothing standard, that’s Kazu’s style, real, honest style and it’s something snowboarding can’t get enough of.

Video

IP3: Pat Moore

I like watching Pat ride because he does so with purpose and emotion the result of which is style, a-lot of style. You can’t train for style, you can’t fake style, you can’t be taught style. Style is like personality, you either have it or you don’t. In fact I’d go so far as to say style is the physical manifestation of one’s personality. Take that and apply it to your favorite riders, see who you’re still a fan of after.

Seen & Heard: Naturally

naturally

This past Tuesday I shot down to Oakley’s HQ in Irvine for the world premiere of Naturally starring fellow Vermonter and #vanlife afficionado, Jake Blauvelt. As I sat in traffic on the 405 I had plenty of time to think about what I was expecting the film to be like and how it would stack up against the film I’d seen just 5 days prior, Nike’s NeverNot. I was completely (and pleasantly) surprised by the style of Naturally and I cant’t say how it stacks up against NeverNot because they’re such different films. Even though they’re both comedies about golf you can’t (shouldn’t) compare Happy Gilmore to Caddyshack so I’ll leave it at that. Continue reading

Today’s Most Wanted: Burton 2014 Jackets

Picture 2

Let’s talk about softgoods. You want to look cool on the hill, everyone does, especially the people who say they don’t care about how their gear looks. It used to be an issue of function over fashion that separated one outwear brand from another. Now it’s quite the opposite because everyone has a premium line guaranteed to keep you warmer, drier and more comfortable than the other guys. What separates one brand from another is their attention to detail, fit and design quality. Being the large company that it is Burton is able to do these things better than almost anyone year after year. Pulling from their extensive archive and taking inspiration from a myriad places, the Winter 2014 Outerwear collection is a solid one. If you can’t find a kit you like then you might as well ride naked (please don’t) because they’ve really covered all the bases.

Continue reading

Today’s Most Wanted: Burton 2014 Hardgoods

Image

Remember! Remember! The 13th of August! The boards, the bindings, the boots! This is the season, the season of reason and we all aught to be ready to bomb chutes! Ok, it’s not as good as the original but I tried. Just imagine Hugo Weaving saying it, makes it better.

Anyway, it’s here, winter is here, you just don’t know it yet. It’s creeping into the back of your mind and soon you’ll be searching for video premiere dates, thinking about what pass to get, even looking at early snow tire deals. In Southern California winter isn’t so much a season as it is a state of mind so winter can start anytime I want it to and now seems about as good a time as any.

Like Killington always opening before any other mountain in the U.S. (even if it’s just one patch of snow on half a trail), Burton likes to beat everyone to the punch on their winter site launch. In the olden days I’d be overjoyed when “The Catalog” would arrive in the P.O. Box (google it kids) but now I settle for an email in my inbox letting me know the site is up.

Saving pictures of gear isn’t as much fun as reading and re-reading the catalog, dog earring pages, Sharpie in hand just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. But this is the modern world we live in and at least I get to share my two cents with anyone who’s willing to read my babble.

So, thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy the product and find what you’re looking for…in terms of snowboard gear, I’m not qualified to guide you in any sort of larger existential search for meaning in this world.

Cheers! Continue reading

Partyboarding @ Northstar

ImageFor the past four years I’ve headed to Lake Tahoe around the end of March or early April to get in some spring time snowboarding and for the past four years I’ve been met by a late season blizzard. Don’t get me wrong, I love surfing the powder but that’s more of a January/February type of thing for me. This year, mother nature was on the same page with me and that meant it was game on for one of my favorite pastimes, PARTYBOARDING! Click the pic and enjoy our edit which will probably make you wish you’d rode more this winter and/or have you counting the days until you can get to Mt.Hood this summer.

Cheers!