Posts Tagged ‘Snowboarding’

2013-13: It’s All Replaceable

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

There is no feeling quite as bizarre as boarding a flight with nothing but the clothes you’re wearing, a loaner backpack and an empty water bottle. And the only reason I had those two things was so I didn’t feel totally creepy. Moreso I felt embarrassed, hopeless and alone, but I still got on the plane.

I had to. I had no other choice, as some dickhead, Riverwester decided to smash in my window and steal all my luggage, a few hours before I was supposed to head to Denver for SIA. The good news is I made it. I landed, grabbed some replacement socks, underwears, tees, and kept on bopping. What else can a man do? It was better to be pist and surrounded by free beer and rad people, than to be pist at home, alone on the couch.

And I did get free beer, and I did meet good people, and I did see rad things.

 The Free Beer:

Shout out to everyone who helped ease my pain. Ezra at C3, and thus the Nose, kept me moving for a few hours. Dale and the people at flow had a few cans for me, as did the Rome guys. Keith, Lauren and the Burton crew fed me beer and liquor. Several times too. Which was great!

The Burton crew was also rad enough to toss me a couple tees to wear. Thanks for that, gentlemen.

Also, a tip of the hat to Adidas for bringing in coffee guys who kept me going before beer time every day.

 The Rad People:

I was a bit distracted this year, I’m not gonna lie. I was dealing with insurance from 1200 miles away and trying to figure out what I lost and what I still had. In fact I’m still finding new things I’ve lost on the daily. But it’s all replaceable. That has pretty much become my mantra.

Anyway, the Yobeat crew. Those dudes are pushing it so hard. It’s an honor to get to hang with them and see what they are doing with that little website. I’m pretty lucky Brooke thinks I’m funny enough to prop up.

Nick Green is back in the Midwest, where he belongs, repping the crap out of Skullcandy. Lauren O from Burton is a friggin’ peach and so very helpful. I actually got to spend a fair amount of time talking with Ezra from C3 and that dude has some history. Super interesting to hang with him for a minute.

I also met Steve from Bird’s Eye in Brooklyn. I like that guy. He cares about the scene and seems like a rad guy. I would recommend conversation with Steve to other conversationalists. And you can even buy things from his shop.

Then I met this dude:

Jesse is all around solid. I felt bad for busting out on him so quickly, but I’m pretty sure I’ll speak with him again. There are some goofy images of the two of us running around on instergramps. Thanks to his lady for making that the love connection happen.  Plus, he said he read this blog. That’s also a good ego stroker.

 Burritos was in the house, but we all know that.

Old enets compatriots, James and Caitlyn were in the place as well. Fuck, those two are good people. It seems that James has something happening over on Shradtastic, so you might want to check that out. Another old enetster, Jgriffs, is now a Denver local and made sure the nights were super rad. THANKS, J GRIFFS!

Then of course there was Dale Rehberg, Chanelle Sladics, Dave Downing and Chad Otterstrom, who gave me some time. But we’ll get more into that later.

The Things That Were Seen:

This is the woman I call Boss (Bonus: Nose sighting).

Oh hey, Adidas is making boots as well as coffee. They look good as well.

It’s good to know Awesome will be safe for another season.

This Endeavor board was pretty much the best looking thing at the show.

Understairs Jesus with a couple broads named Jenny.

This coat is almost better than getting a tattoo of tattoo gun drawing a tattoo of a tattoo gun.

I apologize for the crappy images, my phone was all I had. Probably should have made them all 3D.

Speaking of things I didn’t have.

Here’s the list of what was lost

  • 1 MacBook Air
  • 1 160gb iPod Classic
  • 1 iPad 2 16gig and cover
  • 1 Rode Podcaster mic
  • 1 Rode Podcaster shockmount
  • 1 Audio Technica AT2020 mic
  • 1 Nikon Coolpix p7000
  • 1 Sony Bloggie
  • 1 Dental mouthguard
  • 1 pair prescription Gucci glasses
  • 1 pair prescription Ray Ban Square Wayfarer sunglasses
  • 2 mic stands
  • 1 Burton Riders Bag
  • 1 Burton Focus Pack
  • 1 Gravis Sidearm pack
  • 1 North Face Recon pack
  • 1 pair Benny Gold Gold Standard denims
  • 1 Pair B Son pants
  • 1 Benny Gold button-up shirt
  • 1 Stussy Toronto sweatshirt
  • 3 pairs Huf Plantlife socks
  • 4 Hanes Perfect Fit tees
  • 1 Upper Playground Shinagist tee
  • 1 Upper Playground UP zip-up sweatshirt
  • 1 Aculpulco Gold Jodie Foster tee
  • 1 Uniqlo flannel
  • 2 J Crew button-ups
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • 1 pair Ariel 7 Phoenix Headphones
  • 1 LL Bean monogrammed personal organizer
  • 1 Gorilla Grip Tripod
  • 1 Coal Mason bamboo and cashmere hat
  • 1 Sigg 32oz water bottle
  • 1 Obey Scarf
  • 4 8gb memory cards

Again, fuck Riverwest and whoever heisted all my gear.

Be well, and remember that it is all replaceable.

Just the tip…

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

HEY THERE!

It’s been a while since I posted anything, and for that I apologize. Who would’ve thought that rocking out on #Funemployment would take up so much of my time?

First, let’s play catch up, shall we? Here’s a list of shit that happened since my last entry:

• I got lifted many a times, and was drawn in by the McRib’s siren song many times over.
• I got my elderly swag on as I played bingo at Foxwoods. Won nothing, but did some damn good people watching.
• I got engaged! To a girl, at that! Gross, right? You’re all invited to the wedding; bring money.
• Christmas happened. Didn’t get a Red Ryder BB Gun as I had desired. Did get a Lawrence Taylor autographed Giants mini helmet though. He is def my fav linebacker-turned-sex offender of all time.
• I played snowboards just ONCE since my first time this year. Yea, I know I’m a terrible person, but at least I made it count and went out while it was puking (by CT standards) snow.
• Connecticut experienced a few different snow falls, most recent and notable was the one that dropped over 10+ inches on us when the weatherfolk were saying it’d do no more than 1″-3″.
• Turned another year older and spent the day at the Giants/Eagles football contest in the Drrrty Jerzz. Giants romped the Sheagles and we (the entire stadium) got to bid Andy Reid farewell by chanting “EAGLES SUCK!” as one. Joke’s on us though…both our teams suck.

Now, on to more or less the “snowboard” portion of this piece. During my last outing, I noticed a pain in my big toe every time I turned heel side. It felt as if it was hitting the top/right side of the boot/liner and was causing me discomfort. Now, I am not gonna sit here and claim that I am the sharpest tool in the shed, but when I bought the boots (Burton Imperials) last year, they were fine. I know how to buy boots/shoes. Being a sneakerhead, I’d have to throw myself into a raging dumpster fire if I didn’t, right? Had them heat molded to my dogs and rode on them plenty. So you can see how this could be a concern.

There are a few things that may or may not be the reason behind the pain I was experiencing:
1.) I had just recently replaced the stock insoles with Superfeet (blue) insoles, and they seem a bit thicker and were causing my toe to bulge upwards a bit more. I could grind them down slightly by using a sander but have not yet done so.
2.) I may have gained weight and in doing so, gravity being the bitch that it is, pulled all my fattyness to my big toe and is fucking with me.
3.) Maybe my boots shrunk back after packing out last season.
4.) I’m some sort of mutant Chernobyl baby with one foot slightly bigger than the other.
5.) All of the above.

No matter what the reason, something had to change, ASAP! So, I set out to do the only thing I could think of doing in order to alleviate the affected area besides sawing off my big toe…I was dead set on trimming the toe area of the liner. I mean, ANY bit of material taken off would surely help, right? So I hope the tips that follow on how to trim a liner the Czarek Leopold Kielbaski Way™ will help some of you out there.

Step One:
Rip a few bong hits. This is an essential step.

Step One*point*Five:
Remove the liner from the boot. If you don’t know how to do this, then we can’t be friends, and i wish great harm on you.

Pull it out…yeaaaaaa…jusssst like thaaat…

Step Two:
Circle the area you wish to trim down using some sort of marker that will show on the material. I used a jizz stick.

“O” marks the spot…

Step Three:
Get your dremel tool out. Oh, what’s that? You have a dremel but the only available bit is too dull? What else, you’re a baller and are gonna use a drill press with a round grinding bit? Ok, Play Boy, but make sure the press is set to the fastest speed, else you’re gonna do nothing to it but tease the tip just like when you would grind at the 8th grade dances.

“I don’t think so, Tim.” “Fuck you, Al!”

 

Step Three*point*Five:
Now I’m sure there are people out there that will stress safety, and recommend you wear some sort of protective eye wear or something. I mean, you could, but if safety was up there on our list, step one wouldn’t be what it is. So, relax, pussy, get to grinding. Gently grind the tip (giggity) of the liner and you’ll notice it start to fray. Work up towards and into the material that is fraying to loosen it.

Gleaming that cube…

 

Step Three*point*Five*point*Five:
You’ll see the material give way to the foam underneath. Now, this is where I called it quits with the grinder as I wasn’t sure if there was one more layer under the foam or not. Don’t want to go through it as you’ll have cold toes and be pretty pissed at the world. I picked the material by hand and was able to separate it from some more foam as well.

pay dirt…

Step Four:
Use a blade, be it Xacto or a simple razor from a box cutter, and get your cut on. This should be easy for you Bieber fans out there. Use the blade to cut the remainder of frayed material off of the area you circled, leaving that foam exposed. That foam, without material on it, will more than likely be all that you need to allow your toe stretch through.

“Imma cut you so bad, you gon’wish I didn’t cut you so bad.”

Step Five:
Stuff that liner back in there like a boss & try that em effer on and walk it out. For me it worked to the tune of feeling better, but I have not yet rode the boot. Hopefully will tomorrow and see how it feels. If the problem persists i will give sanding the insole down a bit a go.

Get in where you fit in. Also, don’t judge me for wearing sweatpants in public. I iz fat.

Hopefully this DIY tutorial helped. If it didn’t, and you read all this anyhow, what the fuck is wrong with you?

-CLK

2013-1: Back to Life

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

The 9000 pound rhinoceros in the chatroom:
Let’s just deal with this before we go on.

A-man rode this. That legal weeding MFer, splittered up as far he could go, then boot packed the rest. When he got to the top, he rode a snowboard back down. Holy shit, right? He’s just like, “Swot I do.”

Let me tell you this: A-man is legend in my house. LEGEND. You thought his split adventures and rope skipping were the end of it. Nope. Dude destroyed the Supernatural event with double-helichopters. He comes back next season, kills us with a quarter-helichopter, and somehow it’s progress. Then, he gets back on the splitter and does this.

In my mother’s house they just hung a portrait of A-man over the dining room table. Full fucking aureola. But then again, they were never very good cafflicks.

What else is news?
All the news that is news revolves around little sleep, fewer showers and a lot of standing in the snow. The office was shuttered between the winter solstice and New Year’s Day, so I spent as much time as possible riding on snowboards. It was fun. Early on I felt old, then I felt young and spry, then after like 5 days in row, my body felt old again. But that could be because I chose not to bother with things like sleep or healthy living.

There is also the issue of this thing:

Man, I’ve been riding on snowboards for a couple of decades now. And I’ve been suckered into some real-deal snake oils. Leashes, low backs, chain wallets (time is still gonna tell on this one) and Forum Snowboards, just to name a few. So when saw this NXTZ gear come up, I was thinking, “Well that’s cute.”

But I wanted to support it. American made products, good styles and fuck it, Dale is behind it. I was 75% on board. Then, Yobeat did one up with those fucking cats and I was sold.

Broder, I don’t even like cats, but that was just too good. Here’s another thing: Brooke made me pay for that shit, so I wasn’t even about to be Swayboardered. But you know, backing Yobeat, backing NXTZ, backing Dale’s vision for the brand, I can only dream of all my purchases being so considered.

This thing is ridiculously warm. It’s to the point now that I don’t want to ride without it. I guess I never really noticed how much cold air was blowing through my neck hole, but I do now when I’m necktubeless.

Plus, it’s enabled me to run a lot less gear and stay warm. Often this year, I’ve been out in vests and light coats with the necktube. And that’s not like running vests and light coats in Tahoe or Mammoth, shit is cold here. This is Wisconsin. We ride trash heaps and fake snow.

The Necktube works, go get one here, or get the Yobeat catz version here. They’re warm and your supporting some rad people in the game.

J-Pop America Fun Time Now
After I was old and all snowboarded out, I made the trip to Chicago to spend New Years Eve with C-blast, Metal Joe, and Xine.

Xine was recently run down by a car, but she was still able to hobble around with us. Anyway for as long as I have known Xine, she has been talking about the Xine family New Years party and how I really need to go. A decade later I’m there.

Holy fuck, how did I ever miss this? There were like 100 people there, all family and close friends. And the food. Tables and tables and tables of pickled vegetables, sushi, sashimi, Japanese soups and deserts and it was all so good.

But that was only half of it. Her family is the family you wish you had—all so friendly, intelligent, rad and super welcoming. It was pretty much the best New Year’s Day I’ve ever had. Tip of the hat to this lady:

That’s all I got. I hope you’re all still alive.

Spreading the stoke & other shit

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Last Wednesday, the day before Turkey Day, I took a 2 1/2 hour drive up to Killington in the green state of Vermont to ride. Day one of the season. I was pretty amped for it. Making it more exciting was the fact that I was going up with a friend who I had never rode with, and it was just his 3rd time on shred stick ever. He told me what he could do and what he has done, and much to his credit he didn’t hype himself up and claim to able to charge it when in reality all he could do was the falling leaf. Emphasis on “falling”. Because if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when a person is all like “I get sick with it on a snowboard” and when I ride with them they are exposed as a fraud. That’s grounds for tar and feathering. I never hype myself up. Never. Once someone finds out I ride and am then asked if I’m “any good” at snowboard riding, I usually laugh it off and say something corny like “I guess, I dunno, I just like to have fun.” I rarely explain that this is my 21st year riding or that I have taught people how to ride as an instructor since age 15 (though long since worked as one) or that I once had USASA Level 2 coaching certification and coached freestyle snowboarding (park) up at a little hill in New Hampshire. Me? Brag about shit like that? Never.

Anyhow, my buddy was very humble and said he wasn’t good, and he even feared that I would get upset at his lack of skill and be pissed he was holding me back from having fun. Nonsense. I love spreading the stoke, especially when it’s to a friend doing something I love. He even bought my lift ticket as a “thanks for sticking it out with me” show of appreciation…or simply because he’s the shit.

There were only a handful of trails open and the “bunny hill” wasn’t one of them so I looked at him and said, “guess we’re taking it to the top”, as I pointed to the gondola. I could tell he was a little scared at what he was going to face at the summit, but I assured him the green runs were really mellow, and that he wanted a bit more pitch as it’d help him out. Riding up in the gondy, he was snapping pics on his phone, sporting a giant grin and looking more excited than nervous.

view behind us as we moved towards the heavens.

I won’t go into the specifics of what was taught and how, as we’ve all been there and can pretty much imagine what went down. But know this: he had his balance and could control his board from killing people downhill from him. However, he could not turn for shit. Yet. The length of the run we were taking was probably just under a mile. Took us almost an hour. Constant stopping, coaching and assuring he was good and not going to kill himself or others if he just gave turning a try. Got to the bottom. He was SOAKED with sweat, and he didn’t layer too heavily either. He was getting a serious workout. We each slammed a bottle of water down the hatch and decided to run it back. Off to the gondola we went.

This time, he finally started to link turns, riding with shit tons more confidence, and stopped less frequently. Making it even more impressive, is that the man-made snow was turning really mashed potato-like and becoming harder on the legs to keep the edges up. He didn’t care. He rocked that shit. The level of stoke and confidence he had hit was the highest I saw all day. All of what I was saying to him was starting to click. Total time, on the same run, to the bottom this go around: maybe 30 minutes. He was exhausted. And rightfully so. Called it quits after that, which is something I told him there is no shame in. I told him only he knows when he’s had enough and when to walk off the hill before possibly getting hurt. I also explained to him to never call last run. He understood. So I took a few solo runs, and I too got tired. After all, it was my first day of the season and my legs were burning.

the stick says it all.

We both had a great first day. On the ride home we discussed his progress, music and where to eat. I was going to introduce him to the glory that is Tacos Tacos in Ludlow, but he was adamant that I drive south to Brattleboro and hit up The Vermont Country Deli. I had never been and I was happy I took his advice to stop there. HOLY SHIT is the food there great! I got a cup of baked potato, cheddar and prosciutto soup and a honey bbq ham sammich in a garlic & herb wrap. Both were quite tasty, but the soup was good enough to stab someone over if they got between me and it. The fact that it looked like baby vomit did nothing to deter me from destroying it in a matter of minutes. I could have gotten so much more awesomeness too; they had pulled pork, mac & cheese, pot stickers any sammich your little heart desired and more candy, pop corn, chocolate and pastries than your little heart could desire. I had wished I had smoked before stopping in just so I would’ve ordered more…because the worst case scenario is that I’d have leftovers.

if you don’t stop here, you’re an asshole.

It’s safe to say that I am looking forward to playing snowboards this season. Got yet another person addicted to it. And in no time, I’m sure, he’ll be slaying it along my side. If you haven’t had a chance to ride yet this year, I feel bad for you. It’s pretty much all that and a bag of chips…but I’m sure you already knew that.

As far as other shit that happened since then: there was Thanksgiving (meh), and then Black Friday when some shopping was done by yours truly and topped off by rewarding/punishing myself with McDonald’s breakfast. Egg McMuffins just need to be had sometimes. Also, there was football. Specifically, Giants vs. Packers football. Suck it Wisconsin. And finally, I went to a job fair yesterday to see if I could become gainfully employed again. Seeing as I have been riding the #Funemployment wave and watching oodles of Law & Order, Law & Order SVU and Law & Order Criminal Intent, I figured I’d shoot for the stars and get me a lawyer or detective job. Didn’t want a property manager or building super position though…they, more often than not, seem to be the ones that always find the dead bodies and have to call it in to the cops. Dunno if I could handle that kinda responsibility on top of finding the drain snake to clear the obstruction in the sink in apartment 5E. Anyhow, no such luck finding any jobs that I liked or that started off with a salary of over $500,000/year.

rispekt.

 

-CLK

2012-81: Winter is Coming™ or Some Shit Like That

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

One:

I rode a snowboard this past weekend. I also saw this thing:

Pretty badass, right? Renegaded.

Twice:

And this happened as well.

Third:

Then this classic gem:

Laster of Aris:

I guess this is a thing:

Really, aren’t we all veterans of this war.

You guys remember when New York plates was ghetto yellow, with broke blue writing?

End Transmission.

2012-74: Forum Dies Again

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

So word came down yesterday morning that Burton is pulling the plug on The Program (Forum, Special Blend, Four Square). It was interesting to see the different reactions from the industry and the community, those who are on the periphery. I won’t go as far as to say the community was outraged, but there was some indignation. Most notably has been the rise of #GiveForumToPeter. We’ll get to that in a minute.

First let’s go over some of the finer points. Forum was a company on the edge of collapse eight years ago. It had been horribly mismanaged, and had Burton not taken over, it would have most likely disappeared long ago. At the time there was heavy speculation that Big B was just going to turn it into a price point brand—Forum would be available at Costco, Sports Authority and Dick’s and any other masterjock big box. And in time they were, but so were Burton boards, and Gnu and Rome and Endeavor and heaps of Ski-board brands.

When Burton did take over The Program, they cited their desire to keep a pure snowboarding company in the hands of snowboarders. And they did that. They tried for eight years, which was how long the company existed independently, and it failed to be a strong element for their business.

Just like Analog Surf/Skate and a global Gravis brand, the Program was not driving enough sales. I don’t really find this surprising. When was the last time you saw a Forum board in the wild? When was the last time you saw someone wearing Four Square or Special Blend gear? I mean apart from the lanky, mock-nerd on the Big Bang Theory (Who watches that show?).

As for the riders, Peter Line will always have a place in history. Pat Moore, will always have New England gnarliness behind him and the Slayer promodel to his name. But the rest of the team, regardless of how talented they were, seemed to have a hard time building a buzz about themselves. Yeah, you might know their names, you might get stoked when you see them ride, but that has never really moved boards.

Graphics sell most boards. Guttershits ride Capita decks. Quarry pit partiers probably have a 4-year old Rome deck in their garage. Jibbers for jesus are most likely on Stepchild boards. And people who are kinda into snowboarding have Burtons. Forum never really found its niche (Hippies ride Niche). And its graphics were all over the place. Cartoony to fuckall and then Helvetica-ed DRUGS. It was the constant plight of “where does the brand fit in?”

Back when there was the Forum 8, they had staked their claim. But that team dissolved, and word got out about some really low-quality decks. It was a particular time and place in snowboarding. It’s happened to other brands as well—Ride, Shorty’s, O-matic. But trends come and go and those times are fleeting. The Big B overlords were never able to recreate it, but you can’t blame them for not trying.

So The Program’s time had come, twice now. It was an iconic brand and this is a good way to keep some value in the name. Ask yourself if you would rather see the brand go the way of Sims, Lamar or Morrow? To be truly sold out? At least Burton is giving it a proper burial this time.

But apparently the community of riders thinks Burton should give the brand to Peter Line. #GiveForumToPeter is ridiculous. First off, is Peter walking around thinking “I need to have Forum right now”? Maybe. Then of course there is the fact Burton paid for the name. Perhaps SellForumToPeter would be a better hashtag. That way he could sink a bunch of money into it, it would quite possibly fail again, and he would end up broke down in the end. I don’t know Peter’s financial situation, but I hope he’s not going to end up driving a snowplow or hustling tees at SIA. He came up in a time when snowboarders could actually make a few dollars. And if he played it right, I suspect he’s going to be alright. The same goes for Pat Moore.

Relax guys, you’ve earned it. Yes it sucks that your job is gone, but it had to be a pretty good ride, Right?

As for the rest of the team, I can only assume they are being supported throughout the season as well. If this is true, they are in a solid place. They have a season to start the sponsor hunt. It sucks. Job hunting always sucks. But really good riders are always going to end up somewhere. Maybe a couple of them can jump on the Yes or Slash teams.

2012-34: The Sweetness, or TL, DR

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Somehow, this is 2012.

FlawsyFiles recently made the ridiculous claim that there never was an “us” in snowboarding, snowboarding was never ripped from us and that the scene is loaded with a fake history. But I’m about to disagree.

For me it started way back at Christie Mountain, home of the Blue Hills Beast and the racialistly coded slogan, “Christie Mountain, you’re all white.” I remember seeing some dude up there with a K2 board, just blasting girl methods off anything. I’m pretty sure they weren’t even called girl methods back then. The dude was pulling tricks that were way cooler than my rawdog, spread-eagles off gutter jumps. Even at 9-years-old, I knew that guy’s shit was wicked awesomer.

I should note that at this point in life, my exposure to snowboarding was essentially through TV, and TV has always made it look like some super lame bullshit. Sure, they would show footage of Damien Sanders back-flipping off a cliff in hard boots, but were they going to show him filing his teeth into fangs (Did this ever really happen?)? Were they going to show his harem of Black Flys fly girls?

But something about seeing that guy riding in person clickity-clacked with me. I wasn’t any sort of a stand-out kid. On weekends I rode bikes and played football with my friends in our parents’ yards. We would have sleepovers and sneak out of our homes, just to see what it was like. It was boring. But when I saw that guy on a snowboard, I knew I wanted to be part of that. Fuck it, it was pretty much over. I was already hooked.

It’s like an addiction. It’s just the way some of us are. We’re simply wired that way.

I can only liken it to growing up gay—this comparison I can only speculate on and do so with no intention of trivializing the struggle that it must be to grow up gay.

But I went through middle school struggling to fit in on various sport teams. Not because I wanted to, but because it was what you did. If you didn’t join the team you were pushed even further out of the acceptable crowd. It was a crowd I was already on the edge of thanks to oversized pants, chain wallets and heroes like Steve Graham and Gilligan Yoder. So I played along, and at football games I sat on the bench waiting until the last four minutes to play.

Like all kids, I eventually found those like me—those who were just as obsessed. They became my “us.” In a way it’s where I learned what snowboarding was all about. Backyard picnic table sessions, driving around for hours to find a good road gap in Wisconsin, picking up skateboarding only as something to do when we couldn’t snowboard, and fanboying over all the new decks at the shop in August—all of that is the shit that creates an “us.”

Snowboarding in those days was accepting of so many kinds of people, so long as you were a little bit on the fringe. If you had a snowboard, you could hang. Often anyone on the shred had a similar outlook.  The school-sponsored team sports weren’t for them. They weren’t very good at free throws or interceptions. But none of that mattered, because, snowboarding was simply about you choosing to do it and the awesomeness you found hanging out in sub-freezing temperatures.

The public image of snowboarding was reckless. It was still six-year old images of Damian doing back-flips off cliffs. They kept their distance. But had the public gotten any closer it would have been worse. Cigarette smoke, white dudes with dreadlocks, missing teeth, drug use, bar fights and puke breath were par for the course. Snowboarding was as gnarly as the skate and surf crowd it devolved from, or at least that was the way snowboarders told the stories. And often snowboarding was mocked for this. Look at the snowboarder in Ski Patrol. Classic public perception. Disgusting. Being represented by a three-faced dude in a movie wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but whatever, it was Hollywood. Hollywood ruins everything.

Perhaps I am looking back at youth with a rose-colored lens, but I refuse to believe that completely. My evidence comes from the fact that it is still easier for me to talk to snowboarders than most skiers. There is something that connected this pastime to each of us, and we share that bond.

Then something happened. It’s hard to say when. I would guess around 1994, but I’m sure those older then me would say around 1990. Bob Klein would probably claim around 1982. But everyone got invited in—it wasn’t just for the outliers anymore. Snowboarding was thrown in the Olympics. Snowboarding became less of a lifestyle and more of an activity. There were snowboarding teams and snowboarding coaches.

Instead of being snowboarders, suddenly snowboarders were supposed to be athletes. People committed to making their bodies the pinnacle of performance for one task only. And just as athletes participate in their sport after school, so did snowboarders. And if they had some inherent skill, they snowboarded a little in college and then they probably stopped. Sure, if it was on TV on a Sunday afternoon they would watch it, reliving their glory days.

I love those dudes who gave up snowboarding after college. It was like hacky-sack or soft drug use to them. I particularly like it when they try to dump their 7-year-old gear on craigslist for anything more than 10% of retail.

This is what lead to capital S Snowboarding. These are the Toddlers and Tiaras Tindies© (copyright 2012 Keef Love) crowd. These are the athletes you’ll continue to see in TV ads. Not just snowboarders, but Snowboarders. They are destined to be the pretty face of snowboarding. Allowed to have just enough edge to make parents call it edgy. Shaun White is Will Smith.

And therein lies the dichotomy of snowboarding. Capital-s Snowboarding will from now on be commercial-friendly, coached, TV-ready and soulless. Meanwhile, snowboarding will be night sessions, sleeping on couches, trunk beers, in the streets and halfway into your sister’s pants. So much of snowboarding is still on the edge of Thunderdome and Snowboarding has become the Truman Show.

And I’m way older now. My body is starting to fail me. I’ll still snowboard every chance I get, and I’ll watch Snowboarding every time it’s on TV. To me, Snowboarding is my football.  These days I’m geeking out over the technical aspects of clothing and when I find someone who wants to talk about it as much as I do, it creates a new “us” in snowboarding. And then you start discussing the cuts of coats and pants and how it’s necessary that you have at least 4 jackets ready to go at anytime. When you find someone who understands you’re nerding-out 12 months a year. There is still an “us,” it’s just not found in Snowboarding.

2012-30: Tahoe Time Machine Episode 3

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Somehow I managed to catch up on a little sleep on St. Patrick’s Day. This is surprising not because El Poco Lollo and I went out and tore up the scene in South Lake, but because we thought it would be a good idea to put off sleep for as long as possible. It was cool though. We got to hang with a couple of our Kiwi-house hosts, Tom and Tamara and USAer Jonaten. We also drank a whole bunch of PBRs talked shit, literally, for hours.

Sunday, we went back to Heavenly, but stayed on the Nevada side. I’m unsure how much snow fell overnight but the winds were blowing hard, giving us a ton of new deep spots to hit. I dumped the Cheetah for the Mr. Nice Guy. I’m glad I did too. The Cheetah kinda became a set of handcuffs after awhile. All I wanted to do was jump off shit. Besides, one of our guides Austin (not a Kiwi) had been ripping the entire time on a 147 Artifact. And he slowed down a total of zero times. Just burners, nonstop.

Speaking of burners, we were still sour diesel-less. But the one of Austin’s cohorts stepped up and was asked who wanted to make some pot smoking happen. He then proceed to pull out a full sized pipe and light it up. Now typically dudes are rolling with onies or little pocket pipes. Something convenient and won’t get in the way too much. Not this dude. He was essentially toting a centerpiece in his coat.

He then proceeded to blow our minds by loading this thing, about as inconspicuously as someone loading a shotgun in a shopping mall, and fired it up in the craziest winds ever. It was just pack, pack, snap, lit, burrrrnnnn. Directly in front of a lodge full of families eating their bread bowl chilies. That dude was a super hero.

The downside of the situation was being lifted and having to navigate flat light to grey–out conditions. I actually had to rely on some of the skills I’ve picked up in over the past 20 years. Easy-peasy.

So we slashed the rest of the day away and Lisa even fell in one time. Typical kiwi maneuver.

Day 2 was a success.

Fast-forward:
How badly do we want this, NOW:

2012-29: Tahoe Time Machine episode 2

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

After three hours of sleep I was kicked awake  by Jonaten, who due to knee surgery wasn’t even going to to be riding. “You’re probably going to want to ride Heavenly today. They’re claiming over three feetz, so you can count on two feet of the goods. You’re probably going to want to give me that PBR shirt as well”

No one else in the house except for El Poco Lollo seemed to notice how cold it was. This is clearly one of the dangers shacking up with EnZedeez. Shivering and yawning I slipped into all my gear and discovered that no one in this house drinks coffee. Savages.

Eventually we made it over the California side of Heavenly and started to rip some powder. It was fun to be back into knee and thigh deep snow. I laid down enough slashes for all of my people. Compliments of Turbo Keef I was pushing the 2013 Burton Cheetah.

Mini Cheetah review: I like riding this more than the Fish. It was fun even on the groomers. Through the trees it was quick and reliable. I was on the 159 and it felt stable. It was fun. I even flew off a cat track directly on to a rock, which tossed me directly into a tree well. That only took me a couple of minutes to get out of its death grip.

Bear attack slashes aren't too bad considering I landed on a rock.

There were still good pockets to be found, even by noon. I didn’t take any pics of those, because if you come upon a nice powder field you’re first thought should not be, “I need to take a pic of this.” I did take some pics of tracked out areas though.

By 1:00pm I was fried. My brain was exhausted, my legs were tired and we all decided to call it a morning and a good warm up. We made our way down the mountain, to the Trav-erse and onto Jalisocs. I had a California burrito with pastor. It was delish. I also feasted my eyes on this:

I like to imagine that is a likeness of is me and Laura Hadar. What strong arms she has.

Part Two:
Enough of this amateur snowboarding, let’s get real.

I’m digging this video because it has 1) Jess, who is so damn good; 2) Desiree who is consistently banging; and 3) Marie Hucal, who is so ridiculously awesome on and off the snow. Back this shit.

Part three:
Stoked on this getting re-released:

Con/A Sewer/Cat by chigliakrecords

Get after it here.

2012-28: The Tahoe Time Machine Episode 1

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Assume for a minute that it is roughly 7pm last Friday, March 16, 2012. You have just landed at San Francisco International Airport. The third member of your party is supposed to land at 7:30. Then you find out that she just took off from the east coast. See you at 11pm, LV.

SF was in a downpour. There were no more planes landing for a while. So my compadre, El Poco Lollo, and I hit the rental car shop. We ended up with a Chevy Traverse (pronounced Trav-erse, not Tra-verse). This is a vehicle I have some experience with, albeit in it’s GMC, nicer counterpart, the Acadia. We hopped in and went on the hunt for some sour diesel.

This was SF, right? There had to be some MFers looking to dump some on us. We started our hunt at The Fiddler Green. We thought this with be good place to go because they were showing basketball games while serving food and drink. We tried to ask our waitress for a hookup but she was speaking with a (possibly fake) Irish accent. El Poco Lollo said it sounded as if she had rocks in her mouth. It just made me sick.

Eventually we left sour diesel-less. Luckily, the rain had stopped and I was forced to ask myself why we were still in SF. We had a serious drive to South Lake ahead of us. I think El Poco Lollo was frustrated we were still in SF and not at the Benny Gold store.

I can’t really blame him.

So finally at 11 we retrieved LV at took off for Souf Lake. We made good time up through Vallejo and into Sac, but not long after that everything went bad. As soon as we got to elevation there was snow and chain controlled roads. For the next three hours it was 25mph and sloppy. LV was blasting at me for running the tweets whilst driving through a snowy mountain pass. Like I can’t multitask? I really can’t, I never once remembered to put the Traverse in park. The last couple hours of the drive was just white knuckles and anger.

At 4:30 in the morning we finally arrived in New Zealand, where they apparently don’t have things like heat. LV kept going off about how weird it was that in EnZed they don’t keep their eggs refrigerated. It’s a pretty basic premise: when your house is like 38 degrees most of the time, you really don’t need a refrigador. We all bundled up and fell asleep, only to be woken up 3 hours later to news that there was 2+ of new snow at Heavenly.

We got motivated and eventually made it out the door. This when I discovered that Jonaten drives this beast:

Check it again. That thing has a snorkel. Fuck everything else. Snorkels, bro, snorkels. Do you even know how many rivers and lakes and swamps and wet things I would drive through if the silver spurt had a snorkel. Plus, it’s sound system is amazering.

I guess this is a good option when your neighbors keep trying to steal your other, newer  truck.

Then it was off to Heavenly we went, but I’ll tell you about that soon enough.