Check this out from TransWorld Snowboarding. What makes this part supremely epic is that this video makes you want to grab your deck and go ride. In many ways, Jake Blauvelt's time "off the grid" surfing in Costa Rica and shredding with Nicolas Muller paid off. And that result is this video. The terrain and tricks aren't earth-shattering. What really makes this video shine is Blauvelt's ability to combine the terrain, next level tricks and style that can only be classified as smooth, surfy and natural.
Tim looked pretty strong at World's last year and is a nine-billion time National Champion while J-Pow won the USGP series and would have won Nationals if not for a poorly timed crash and foot to the rear cantilever brake.
CrossVegas will also feature the likes of Trebon, Wells, Driscoll, Chris Jones and a bunch of other dudes. I'm personally excited to see Marco Fontana race on US soil as well as Nicole Duke, former DH'er and of course, Mo Bruno-Roy.
Regarding Tim and Jeremy, I'll leave it to you to tell me which one is Ali and which one is Fraiser.
Art of Flight Premiere = Marketing Awesomeness Written By: hoon
Just taking a moment to toot my own horn. Red Bull's Art of Flight movie premiere was awesome at the Beacon Theatre in NYC, but seeing the latest Red Bulletin with the new 2012 Creative for the Cannondale Jekyll ad on the back cover really stoked me out. Sharing space with Travis Rice on the cover is a true honor. BTW this issue will be available at every Art of Flight premier in addition to the usual newstands, subscriptions, Sunday newspaper insertions and digital format. In the immortal words of Hannibal Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together".
More to come shortly on Art of Flight and the Beacon.
Cannondale Scalpel 29er Full Suspension MTB Written By: hoon
Woo hoo. Straight from Sea Otter. Cat's out of the bag. Been in the works for a while. More details to come shortly, but a 21.7 lb FS 29er is pretty bad ass. Can't wait to see the Cannondale Factory racing guys rip it up on this. You can find more at Bike mag.
The Last Couple of Months Have Been A Blur. Written By: hoon
It's no surprise. The last couple of months have been a blur. A great example is that we expected to be in a new home, our new home by Memorial Day. Then it we said, Labor Day. Now we're targeting Thanksgiving. Here are a few quick photos from August, September and the beginning of October. There's been some traveling, a little bit of hiking/biking and a few exciting twists and turns. Hope you enjoy.
Shit. That Was Hard. AKA My Trip On Stage 17 of the Tour de France Written By: hoon
Ever wish you could go back in time and make that one fateful change? Instead of saying "yes", you would have said "no" and all would be good in the world. That's how I felt as I climbed, very slowly, up the Category 1, 7.5% average grade, 1474m mountain called the Col du Soulor. What was more disheartening was the fact that in a few days, I would watch the pros ride up this mountain like it was flat as a pancake, seemingly not even breaking a sweat.
During these moments, you also realize that giving up is not an option. Walking may be an option for some, but it's not an option for me. Cursing is ok. Crying is not ok. Setting up your bike for maximum comfort with the easiest possible gearing is ok. Thankfully I was rocking what I think was a pretty optimal set up (for you bike geeks): Cannondale SuperSix HiMod Frame and Fork SRAM Red with a compact crank and 11-28 cassette FSA OS-99 Stem, Wing Pro Compact Bar and K-Force Light Seatpost Speedplay Stainless Zero (Liquigas) green pedals Fizik Arionne saddle, nicely broken in and bar tape Mavic Kysrium SL wheels
The trip itself was completely amazing. A little business in Pau and afterwards in Bagneres de Luchon, and some exquisite riding in between. When you're dying on the bike, it is pretty cool to soak in the view. Or the first moment that you realize that the roads that you are riding are the EXACT same roads that you've seen on TV so many times and that the pros have ridden and will ride... For the TOUR DE FRANCE.
Sadly like many domestiques and wanna-bes, I was swept up by the broom wagon 12kms from the finish. So I made it up a portion of the Tourmalet, but not the critical portion at the ski resort. Of course we had an additional 30km to ride to get to our pick up spot after the day. It was fucking hot (90 degrees F), but pretty rad.
Like any good roadie, I already have my excuses set. Excuse #1: I don't ride my bike much because I now work for a bike company. Excuse #2: I crashed two weeks before the race landing on my left shoulder and slamming both my wrists (and yes, it hurts like a mofo after 100 miles). Excuse #3: I'm built like a squat brick shithouse. Which is not optimal for climbing large hills. Have you seen Lance Armstrong or Andy Schleck or Contador. I'm pretty sure I weigh as much as all three combined. Excuse #4: I'm too egotistical to ride a Synapse so I was the dumbass on a full-on race bike.
So below there's some images of the stage profile, the route and a slide show of a few shots from the road.
No. It's not a pregnancy tally although one might few this as my new "baby." That's the tally of months since I started my new gig. Since then the blog posts have been infrequent, short and often only a repost of a biking related event or news piece.
Is the adventure a dream? Reality? A huge pain in the ass? Alex, what is: D all of the above. No lie, it's phenomenal to be working on something you love, especially when your mental playground is some of the best possible toys in the world. On the flip side, the airport is my new "home away from home" and a regular exercise routine is a fleeting memory.
I've confirmed that home is truly a mental not physical construct as we continue to try and find our own house, but seeing Magoo, the Bean and the pups tells me I am always home.
Ironically with the best "gear" at my fingertips, I cling to the items I know will never let me down. As when you're in Switzerland one day, France the next then Utah, it's gotta work because you don't have time to hit Best Buy or REI. C'mon, who am I kidding? There's always time for the Apple Store though.
Never fear, once the winter itch ramps up, I'm sure I'll post those 2011 board reviews you're looking for or some juicy gossip about snowboard or surf team trades.
In the mean time, here's my current view: a brief respite from the madness while lounging in VT.
Congrats to Scotty Lago: You Made Us Proud Written By: hoon
Congrats to our homie, Scotty Lago for boosting an amazingly sick run to make all of New England proud. Bronze in the Vancouver Olympics is pretty impressive. You did us proud.
Making TMZ for some party photos then getting the express ticket back to NH, only makes us prouder. What's that saying? You can take the rider out of the EK, but you can't take the EK out of the rider.
Interesting that TMZ photos of Lago showing his stomach and a (sort of) suggestive shot of a women biting his medal resulted in a quick trip home and an apology to the US Skiing nazis.
Honestly, those photos aren't that bad in perspective. Have you seen any of those Lindsey Vonn photos from SI's Swimsuit issue? Shudder. I didn't hear any apology from Vonn to the USSA (or us) for these.
Linchpin or Lynchpin? Are You Indispensable? Written By: hoon
About two months ago, I signed up to receive an advance copy of Linchpin by Seth Godin. In return for a donation to the Acumen Fund, I was able to preview a copy of Linchpin about a month before it was released to the public.
Coincidently, during the same time, I was/am going through a major upheaval in my career and life. When the book arrived, I had recently received an offer for employment for what could be termed a "dream job" directing the marketing/brand for a well respected player in the sports industry. This new job also required a relocation from our comfortable home in Massachusetts to the unknown of Connecticut (not that far, but yet far enough). It also brought with it a bunch of unknowns:
Where would we live?
Would we sell the house?
Would we find a new house?
Would we be happy?
How long would I be away from the Bean, Magoo and the boys?
Could I succeed in this new "dream" role?
The pressure was certainly on.
I immersed myself into Linchpin as I was curious to read Godin's new book. This book was a bit different than his previous marketing/business reads as it focused on the employee instead of the company, the industry or the brand.
The book is titled Linchpin after a fastener used to prevent a wheel or other rotating part from sliding off the axle. In the book (I'm only halfway), Godin states the premise that everyone is a "genius" yet that a combination of factors such as the Industrial Revolution, school, our Lizard Brain and The Resistance strive to keep us restricted, restrained and pigeon-holed into "safe," standard jobs which ultimately result in a downward spiral of unhappiness and obsolescence. I found the first few chapters a bit heretical and evangelistic in its proclamations. I half expected Karl Marx and Lenin to rise from their graves to lead the revolution.
As the book continues, it provide real-world examples (a la Malcom Gladwell or was it Godin that Gladwell used as inspiration?) and practical applications with individuals who have transformed their work. They changed their perception of the situation, not for money, not for titles, not for glory, but to reshape their world for the better. Because the book seeks to inspire and engage, the tone is always upbeat and optimistic. At times, it may feel preachy, but it works (so far). Much has been written about the Lizard Brain from its ability to make us buy SUVs to Godin's application of it to keep us from reaching our full potential.
In my two weeks at work, I went from meeting to meeting, and had to make some (seemingly) important decisions after only working a few short hours at the job. I spent more time in the office than out, and when I wasn't under fluorescent lights, I slept in a shabby motel with only a few spare changes of clothes. Godin's book remained (and still does remain) a helpful beacon.
Godin seeks to inspire us to strive for more, to unlock the inner genius in all of us. His goal? To shift the paradigm of work and career from drudgery and 9-to-5 to passion, inspiration and success. Can it be achieved? Is this a vain quest for the Fountain of Youth or Eldorado? After reading 119 of the 226 pages, I'm onboard with Seth. I've been trying to apply some of Godin's words into my new career as I bring myself up to speed, panic (yup, there's that Lizard Brain rearing its ugly head) and soldier onward/upward.
Once I finish the book, I'll complete my review. Of course with everything going on, it may take a few weeks.
Some reviews from others (courtesy of Amazon.com):
"It's easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say." -Time
"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still-one, to be exact-can boast his own action figure. . . . Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun." -BusinessWeek
"If Seth Godin didn't exist we'd need to invent him-that's how indispensable he is! You hold in your hands a compelling, accessible, and purpose-filled book. Read it, and do yourself a big favor. Your future will thank you!" -Alan Webber, Founder, Fast Company
"This is what the future of work (and the world) looks like. Actually, it's already happening around you." -Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
Installing a Noboard: Trippy, Giddy, Can't Wait Written By: hoon
So I'm making the jump to Noboarding. Surf the snow: for real. Look for a report back when there's pow on the ground.
Key pieces of equipment: A snowboard and the Noboard hardware. Make sure to line up the pad where you want it and mark it with a pen or pencil. Peel off the 3M backing. Watch out! That adhesive is sticky. Place the pad down correctly. You still have a little time to move it around. Once it's where you want it, press firmly and let the adhesive stick. Screw down the webbing using the provided screws and washers. Loop the red webbing handle/leash thing through the front of the Noboard pad over itself. Check it! Ready to rock. Let the board "set" for 24 hours before ripping it up! Question to Noboarders out there? What's with the dog leash? Is it a powder leash? It's so damn heavy. I can't imagine actually putting it in my jacket pocket.
Note: Going forward, Noboard will re-take distribution of its products from Burton. But for now, you can find the Noboard pad at Burton.com, Burton retailers or Noboard.ca.
A close-up of the locals in the line-up Written By: hoon
Watch out! The locals have teeth. Hola from Isabela. Quick summary: Lots of scattered showers (AKA downpour) Head high waves (HI measurement) Locals are very friendly Bean went swimming in the ocean Pretty awesome so far with two requests: sticking my bottom turn and a little bit of sun
Eastern Boarder x Oakley: Two of my favorite awesome brands Written By: hoon
Eastern Boarder and Oakley have collaborated (again) for some stylin' crowbar goggles. I picked up their last version (EAST with black iridium lenses,see ugly pic of me) about two or three seasons ago, and I still run heavy in my goggle rotation.
The goggles come with either a Black Iridium or Hi-Intensity Persimmon lenses, plus an limited EB goggle bag. Quantities are limited to 50 of each style, so if you can grab a pair, you'll be probably one of the only people on your local hill running these great goggs.
Glimpse of 2011 YES Snowboards: Lurking in the Office Written By: hoon
Check out the 2011 YES snowboards in the corner office. The white one is the Tadashi Fuse pro model, called the Hand Sign. Yep, he's on YES too. YES is where amazing, ex-Burton riders go to be cool, I guess. The board is reverse reverse camber (man those swiss really have the coolest shit). Check out my review of the 2010 YES 154 on Southofthenorth.com.
Glimpse of 2011 YES Snowboards: Lurking in the Office Written By: hoon
Check out the 2011 YES snowboards in the corner office. The white one is the Tadashi Fuse pro model, called the Hand Sign. Yep, he's on YES too. YES is where amazing, ex-Burton riders go to be cool, I guess. The board is reverse reverse camber (man those swiss really have the coolest shit). Check out my review of the 2010 YES 154 on Southofthenorth.com.
Updates from Da Creek: Mountain Creek Brings the Rain Written By: hoon
Check it. If you live in the NYC/NJ area and you shred, you gotta make a stop at Mountain Creek.
And since all of us truly suck at park (oh you're awesome then why aren't you on the Dew Tour), Mountain Creek has upgraded their famry park features and offering prizes every Sunday to the kids.
And on Tueday nights, they'll be conducting female-only shred sessions. No males so don't think about going cross-dressed as a tundra wookie like in that horrid Sorority Boys flick to grab some tail.
Details are listed below, courtesy of The Double H (Hugh and Hailey).
Because Mountain Creek is completely dedicated to progression, we've launched 2 weekly super fun jam sessions. Allow me to introduce "Twisted Kids" and our "Girls Only Shred Sessions" nights.
Twisted Kids: Our Park Crew tossed in a few VERY beginner friendly boxes on Twist, a trail located on Vernon Peak. Every Sunday at 1pm, our Switch Academy freestyle coaches will host a relaxed jam session for all kids ages 16 & under. It's a great way for the park-curious grom to dabble in the park realm without diving head first into the parks at South. We'll have prizes for all those involved and we encourage everyone to come out and have a good time!
Our Girls Only Shred Sessions is similar to Twisted Kids as it's also a pressure-free, low key fun event. Every Tuesday night, all girls are welcome to register at 5pm in the South base lodge and join us to shred on hill at 6pm. We'll session 1 or 2 features for an hour and hand out some swag at the end. This is the girls' chance to get acquainted with the park, learn a new trick or dial in an old one in a supportive, like-minded environment.
Yowza! Quick Step's new recruit: Stephanie Clerckx Written By: hoon
Well, it's that time to announce the team rosters for the UCI Pro Tour teams. I know that Team Quick Step was making some changes, but evidently Tom Boonen had a special request: model Stephanie Clerckx. Yowza.
W48 Pulls Through Again: Burton AK 3L Hover Pants Written By: hoon
So I thrashed my 2009 AK 3L Burton Hover Pants. I bought them last year as my staple Gore-tex pants. The pants that would get some snow days when I'm hiking, but also to be used snowshoeing, snow camping, shoveling the driveway, etc. on shitty, snowy days.
I only probably got 6-7 days of actual snowboarding in them, but they had the wear. Duct tape kept some slashes on the thighs shut after a few close-calls in the trees (yah I like it tight).
I was worried that Burton wouldn't help me out as I've heard there's been some questionable calls with some gear over the last few years. But W48 came through like a champ. Full review to come soon.
Zipper closure issues on the RiRi zippers. Snow straight to the inside of your pants.
Ghetto slits "frozen" in the up position. No chance to run it slim style and prevent parking lot destruction.
Ghetto slits (other leg) frozen in up position. More carnage.
New 2010 AK 3L Hover Pants, courtesy of W48 and Rider Services (thanks G-money). Ahh there's nothing like the smell of new outerwear in the morning.
Easy Livin Flying V Snowboard Review now up Written By: hoon
Easy Livin Flying V aka the ELFV review is now up on Southofthenorth.com. Summary is that it's a solid board, but it wasn't what I expected. I hear that the Flying V rocker (hybrid rocker which is a mix of camber and reverse camber) has been upgraded for 2011. We shall see.
I have to say my niece and nephew loved the board when we backyard shralped in the middle of the NYE snowstorm.
Ski Market, Ski Market, More than Skis. We're Bankrupt Written By: hoon
According to press releases, on December 29th, Ski Marketfiled a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, citing financial problems that were exacerbated by the downturn in the economy and consumer spending in 2008 and 2009.
Now I am never one to take delight in the misfortune of others, but I have to say, good riddance to bad rubbish!
I've been a Boston-area resident for over 10 years. Whenever I went into this chain of stores from my days in Allston-Brighton to our time in Framingham to our now home on the South Shore, Ski Market always provided a consistent service experience. Mind you, it was a consistently horrible customer service experience. I could regale you for hours on the misinformation, the lack of caring and general stupidity of their staff. When a friend or family member would beam with delight that they purchased new ski or snowboard equipment... from Ski Market, I would put on a forced smile, knowing that they were probably ripped off and now riding the wrong equipment for them. "You're a beginner? Of course a Burton Vapor and c60 bindings are perfect for you..."
From BicycleRetailer.com:According to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Ski Market owes $5.2 million to its four secured creditors—South Shore Savings Bank ($4.2 million), The Burton Corporation ($426, 409), Tecnica Group ($437, 954) and Bell Sports, Inc. ($145, 016). The top 20 unsecured creditors include several bike companies such as Scott USA with debt of $195, 253.43—although much of that may be related to Scott’s ski business—Raleigh with a claim of $124, 295.10 and Marin Bicycles, which is due $93, 351.77. Oakley and Smith Optics are also on the list.
On the upside, Ski Market did support local organizations like NEMBA and consistently was a home to the Burton movie tour year-after-year. The company and its assets are to be sold to an undisclosed company. Needless to say, this opens up a large opportunity for local retailers such as Eastern Mountain Sports, Bob Smith's Wilderness House and Easternboarder. If I was EB, I'd be looking at A/B real estate stat for a store. And I can only remind consumers, retailers and manufacturers, you reap what you sow.
DOH! Sales aren't looking so hot for Action Sports brands Written By: hoon
Doh! Not looking so good. From ActionWatch and TWBiz: November’s comparable year-over-year sales in the ActionWatch core shops continued October’s double-digit negatives. As I stated last month, this is unfortunately again a decline on top of last year’s decline, pushing retailers into sales levels that are dramatically lower than two years ago.
Hoon Summary of 2009: The High School Superlatives Written By: hoon
We're going to try something new here at the 'ol Hoon blog. It's often called the Year in Review or the Oscars or in this case, the High School Superlative Awards for three categories: Snow, Surf, Bike. So take the time Cue the music.
Underdog Brand Never Summer Snowboards Grain Surfboards Spooky Bikes
Takes a lickin', but won't stop tickin' Burton Franken Cartels Billabong Platinum shorts Mavic CrossMax wheels
Best Ever Burton Uninc 09
Why aren't you more durable? Snowboard bindings Channel Islands EPS Flyer and Wetsuits (tie) Mountain bike body armor
Outerwear Innovator 2009 AG Tactic one piece suit Quiksilver Cypher shorts Rapha (anything)
Failure to Launch Burton Camber vs. Rocker campaign Jordy vs. Dane vs. ASP GT Golden Bike
Most hyped tech Reverse Camber High volume, short little fat boards Carbon wheelsets
Biggest trend for 2011 Hybrid camber Alaia Aero carbon everything
Biggest trend by 2014 Camber Thrusters Aluminum
Most over-rated pro All of them
Hardest working am All of them
Biggest props for "putting it all out there" Louie Vito Keala Kennelly Tyler Hamilton
Best disaster to revert The former Uninc team Nike 6.0 Cadel Evans
The "next" award C3 Super Corp Insight Transition Cycles
Most entertaining Soap Opera of Lance vs. Contador vs. Kazakstan bankers
Biggest "I didn't realize that we needed that" Rocker Heated wetsuits Electronic shifting, DI2
Most overplayed theme PBR collabs
The "I don't get it" Under armour campaigns Pull-in underwear Nissan ads with Chris Carmichael
The "pour out a little liquor for my homies" Eesa and Uninc (tie) Kelly Slater's proposed contest tour format Matty B leaving IF
Biggest threats O-matic C3 Ergo Felt
Hardest working man in show biz Jonavon Moore Bobby Martinez Christian VandeVelde
Blog of the Year Board as Fuck Daily Donkey BSNYC and Fat Cyclist (tie)
Graphical version courtesy of http://tweetcloud.icodeforlove.com. Evidently it was a lot of love, thanks, hope and awesomeness for some of my favorite things, including: Bean/Callen, snowboarding, surfing, cycling, home, hoon (myself) and the weekend.
The Today Show Goes Snowboarding: Shred the Rad Written By: hoon
A nice shout out to the US Snowboarding Boardercross team via NBC. Natale Morales seems so bored... but she gets to wear a tie-dye tshirt. Because tie-dye is so hip and steezie. Wait, Asian people snowboard well?
A PSA from Our Good Friends at Mountain Creek: Snowboard for Free Written By: hoon
CELEBRATE THE FIRST DAY OF WINTER - GO SNOWBOARDING DAY! Free Entry to a Lifetime Lifestyle – A Holiday Present For All
Note: I was lazy so cut and paste the press release. Please direct all love or hate to Mountain Creek. Thanks.
Winter means everything to Mountain Creek, and there’s little doubt that winter weather in all its stormy glory is here and all the indications are that it’s going to be a solid season of skiing and snowboarding ahead.
In the spirit of World Snowboard Day and in honor of the first day of winter, Mountain Creek has declared this Monday December 21st– Go Snowboarding Day! Says Mountain Creek VP Bill Benneyan, “We’re known for our snowboard culture, and believe it’s not only a great sport, but also a great, social and fun-loving lifestyle that transcends all ages. We’re so excited about opening this weekend and the winter ahead, we want to share it with anyone who wants to learn; so much so, we’re doing it for free!”
You’re reading that right. On Monday December 21st Mountain Creek will teach any first-timers to snowboard for FREE, including lift ticket, rental equipment and a lesson. The package usually runs around $100.
Prospective ‘shredders’ are asked to call Ski & Snowboard School at 973-864-8128 to make a reservation so that instructors can take care of everyone that wants to learn.
“There’s a ton of snow at The Creek right now, and my instructors are primed and ready to get into action.”, said Ski and Snowboard School Director Chris Heidebrecht. “With the prospects for a strong season ahead, now’s the time to get those first turns under your belt and be ready for the next 3 months of fun. Give us a call before Monday to set up a time for your lesson. Those who make a last-minute decision to play sick from work that day, we’ll take on a first-come first-serve basis as we can. We’re looking forward to a fun day!”.
For those intermediates that already know how to snowboard but are curious about terrain parks, Mountain Creek’s SWITCH ACADEMY coaches will be at South (Terrain Park) all day to give free tips and pointers on your first feature-sliding experience. All South riders will need to obtain a FREE Park Pass at South Lodge first, which involves a short on-line tutorial and quiz at our special kiosks located in the lodge. Helmets are required for anyone engaged in SWITCH clinics at South.
For those that might wonder, Mountain Creek’s largesse isn’t limited to snowboarders. “In this case, there’s some precedence with World Snowboarding Day, and this is our way of celebrating a world event, the start of our season, and the first day of winter”, said Resort Chief Frank DeBerry. “This month we’ve also offered all our local Vernon kids in Second Grade free learn-to ski or snowboard lessons, for similar reasons. There are a lot of us who feel fortunate to combine our work and our play in a sport that has given so much back to us. We want to share this, introduce families to a winter activity that they can do together, and start the first step of a lifetime of fun, challenge and exuberance.”
The Hater are right. Yup, you heard me. They've got all of our numbers. Snowboarding is serious business. There's no fucking around here. If you don't have the right snowboard, the right boots, the right bindings and the right outfit, you might as well be skiing. Oh snap! You don't have the right beanie because you're wearing a helmet? Just give up now and go roller blading.
Wait, does your outfit have color in it? You're running banana? Or you're still on that Burton Custom from last year? LAST YEAR? SERIOUSLY A CUSTOM? And did I see you smile when you took that last run? Smiling is for little children and clowns. Are you a midget clown on that Sierra snowboard rocking a Burton System coat? WTF?
No, thankfully you're rocking the latest kit. It's so new, it's sample gear from your time machine set to 2024. It's bangin' with just enough swagger. Pants just too tight or with the right enough snag, or both. With a jacket that screams "go bite me," and your goggles cocked perfectly to the left (or was it the right?). And of course, your board has all the matching diecut stickers. Your boots have highlights that accent your bindings and match your gloves. And of course, you've got that snarl perfected underneath your Neffhole beanie.
The haters are wrong. It doesn't matter if you're rocking a 5150 snowboard from 2000 that you picked up at Dick's Sporting Goods with Burton Freestyle boots and some Bent Metal binders from Craiglist as you do the falling leaf down the bunny slope. As long as you're out there and having fun. Smile with pride, and you can...
in the immortal words of Bikesnobnyc tell them: All You Haters Can Suck My Balls.
Win Stuff from Burton - Web Presents: Watch and Win Written By: hoon
When I received this press release, I wasn't sure if they were talking about Web_Presents (like santa claus or your birthday) or Web Presents (like PowerPoint presentation). Turns out that the Web Presents contest is 240 hours of interactive 2.0 loveliness. Time will tell if this is going to be the next killer thing or a complete flop. One thing that's guaranteed is that there'll be a lot of potty talk on the "live chat" feature.
Step 3: Check the Twitter, visit a retailer, win crazy shopping sprees
Step 4: Shred in your happiness
Some of the prizes include: Build your own BMC board, Series 13 board, copies of the B, face masks (yawn) and season passes. Clearly some gifts are better than others. Watch, do shit and win.
Burton Snowboards is proud to announce “Web Presents,” a holiday-themed Internet extravaganza. The 10 day webcast, slated to begin Tuesday, December 15 at 12 pm EST will feature live video 24 hours a day from various locations in and around the Burton office in Burlington, Vermont.
Come for the webcast, but stay for the prizes. Giveaways will range from t-shirts and stickers to custom Series 13 boards, season passes, shopping sprees, and special trips—this is one webcast that you won’t want to miss.
From prizes, team interviews, and haircuts, to challenges ranging from sending faxes and searching your local shop for hidden treasure, the entire webcast is sure to insight a riot. The exact details concerning size and scale of giveaways and promotions are still secret at this point, but all clues lead to big doings.
Forum x Bob Ross- Super Killer Insane Collab Written By: hoon
Forum x Bob Ross
With collaborations in snowboarding (ya think?) becoming a little out of hand over the last few years, Forum Snowboards has come up with a true artist collab (artist is a loose term according to my RISD friends). Featuring original selections from the private Bob Ross collection, Forum (moving to Burlington VT) has created a series of boards, boots, bindings and apparel that live up to the legend of the original Do-It-Yourself (DIY son) art master. This limited collection of “happy little products” is available in the finest shred shops worldwide.
The Forum Crew (minus Jake Blauvelt plus Andreas Wiig)
What do I get my favorite snowboard for the Holidays? Deals from Sierra Written By: hoon
A big question each year: What do I get my favorite snowboard for the holidays? On the other hand, is my snowboard Christian, Muslim or Jewish? In any event, during the typical holiday craziness, Sierrasnowboards.com is going to always be blowing out all sorts of stuff! It started with black Friday then cyber Monday, and I guess you can all this Red Friday?
Jump on the deals that they're thrown' your way. This came through my email and I apologize for the annoying image, but I couldn't get all the HTML to fit properly without some serious work.
Great gifts for traveling with your lil snowboard love or getting him/her a friend to shred with or hang in the basement with! For more details, click here.
Legal mumbo jumbo: Prices mentioned in this email are subject to availability, there are limited quantities available.
Contact Sierrasnowboard.com 1.800.401.1751 or email Help@sierrasnowboard.com
Do you have what it takes to be a pro cyclist on Team Radioshack? Written By: hoon
This is probably one of the best blogposts I've read this year from Fat Cyclist. Find out if you too have what it takes to be part of Team Radioshack with Lance Armstrong. Here's a quick blurb:
I am willing to travel, within reason. I completely understand that this job requires some travel, and you have my assurance that this will not be a problem for me, as long as I am able to keep my “away” days to a maximum of three days per month, with the understanding that I need to be home with my kids on the weekends.
The full article can be found here. Interested in supporting Fat Cyclist and purchasing some of their 2010 kit. Head to twinsix.com for more details.
Surfing and Biking go together like sea and monkeys Written By: hoon
Two of my passions in life are Surfing and Biking. On the surface, they have next to nothing in common. Surfing conveys an image of counter-culture, too cool for school, So Cal, bro-brah speak and baggy shorts complete with busty blondes in bikinis. Biking (let's take road biking in this instance) is the province of Euro-dweebs in tight underoos, geeking out on shaving grams or shaving their legs.
Taking a deeper dive, one starts to see some striking similarities.
Surfers wear skin tight outfits, wetsuits, to stay warm and enhance performance. Cyclists wear skin tight spandex to enhance performance, and tights to stay warm.
Surfers spend inordinate amount of time, agonizing over minute changes in rocker, widths, board material, etc. Cyclists spend a scary amount of time, debating frame material, components, wheels, gear ratios, etc.
Surfers have their own esoteric language designed to alienate and confuse the casual observer. Cyclists have a similar strange language, which no one seems to really care about.
Surfers are a strange mix of notoriously traditional yet amazingly willing to accept new technology. A great example of this is the continued prevalence of the P/U Thruster while alternate construction and shapes continue to grow on the fringe. Cyclists swear by storied brands such as Campagnolo and Pinarello while embracing Zipp Carbon wheels.
Pro surfers continue to push the age boundaries with Kelly Slater, racking up a record-winning 9 ASP world championships. Pro cyclists also continue to push the age boundaries with Lance Armstrong, tallying a record-winning 7 (to-date) Tour De France titles.
Surfers can be notoriously secretive and territorial. Mountain bikers also have been known to protect their turf whether in freeride or cross-country circles.
Those are just a few similarities that come to mind. I guess what I'm trying to prove is that seemingly different sports often have a lot of commonalities. Just a little blather before Turkey Day.
Thoughts? Ideas? Wants? Needs? Reviews? Written By: hoon
As it begins to get cold and mountains begin to open, I'm going to start making the rounds and trying to test boards and product as I go. Hit me up and let me know what you'd like to see, and I'll try to focus on those items. I've got a short-list myself too, but would love your input. Cheers.
On my radar: Burton Malavita EST Burton Easy Living Flying V Yes 156 asymmetrical reverse camber Nitro Swindle Nitro Rook Capita Green Machine Ride DH2 Forum Dreamboat Rome Pusher
2010 Burton Ozones Boot Review: Everything you need, Nothing you don't Written By: hoon
There's that old marketing message that's used for everything from cars to ketchup that goes like this: everything you need, nothing you don't. After testing a pair of Burton Ozones, this slogan kept coming to mind.
The Ozones fall in the middle of the Burton lineup with a cost of $279.95. Pro riders testing, defining and riding the Ozones are: Mason Aguirre, Jussi and Dave Downing. The boots feature such Burton innovations such as Speed Zone lacing, EST optimized soles with B3 gel, articulating cuff and Park-Specific Soft Flex 3D® Molded Tongue.
In the past, my go-to boots have been the iconic Burton Sabbaths, which have been remade into the Grails, and the Vans Andreas Wiig pro model boots. You'll notice that both boots offer similar features: stiffer, freestyle flex, adequate cushioning and laces.
The Ozones are a different animal. Lightweight, Lacing system and medium flex. Kudos go to Burton as the Speed Zone system has continually evolved for the better. The boots are also ridiculously light yet have sufficient cushioning to handle many a flat, icy landing with my thrashed knees. Articulating cuffs are great, nuff said. And I have a size 9 foot, but the footprint reduction really helps when I happen to jump on a smaller deck or Women's board. The EST optimized sole seemed to offer better feel when paired with an EST binding, but I can't offer a definitive answer on this. Of course Burton's boot are compatible with anyone else's binding but always have that glass slipper feel with their brethen binders.
Complaints? Worries? Jabs? After about a few months of riding, I started to notice a tear in the back of the boot around the calf as well as some wear and tear, usually consistent with a longer length of riding (6 months). It could possibly be he killer calf bite of my Cartels. I can only speculate that the light weight of the boot comes at the cost of long term durability. Or that the size 9 boot wasn't designed for a 185lb dude.
All in all, a sick super fun boot! It felt like a skate sneaker (and I think weighs the same) and cushioned like that goose down pillow on your bed. If you're rotating boots each season, I suggest that you add the Ozones to your line-up. But if you want a boot that lasts a few seasons (a tough request by most standards), I'd look elsewhere.
How to Handle Facebook Phishing Scams Written By: hoon
Normally this blog isn't about dispelling useful advice or relevant information, but this was too juicy and hysterical to pass up. My friend, Ryan, sent me the link that provides a "Conversation with a Hacker" from a friend of his who was recently Facebook hacked. This is priceless and perfect for a Monday.
Be careful on the interwebs kiddies. That recently turned 18-year old virgin ASU hottie that wants to be your "friend" is probably some chain-smoking, 65 year-old dude with a bad back sitting in a Mumbai basement.
Teton Gravity Research Launches Snow Lab, complete with monkeys! Written By: hoon
TGR aka Teton Gravity Research aka those dirtbag, ski bums in Jackson in the orange truck aka the heirs to the Warren Miller throne have launched the TGR Snow Lab. In the Snow Lab, you get weather, snow reports, resort news, avalanche safety videos, avalanche news and opportunities to discuss all about this geeky, yet important stuff.
To be honest, I went to the link which points you to http://www.tetongravity.com/community/, and I didn't see anything different than a standard, news, content, online community-based site like sierrasnowboard.com or Fuel.TV. But I just did a quick roll-through and didn't bother to wait for all the banner ads to rotate by.
According to Todd Jones (yup one of those brothers in the orange truck): “This is a great resource and gathering spot for like minded backcountry users who want to know what it going on in the snow universe.”
The Snow Lab is presented in partnership with The North Face so you know there's gotta be some solid content kicking around there somewhere. And the TGR forum is legendary for its knowledgeable community, especially on the topics listed above. Perhaps it will all slowly be rolled out as the 2010 season fully gets underway.
Cédric Gracia goes out on his own: CG Racing Brigade Written By: hoon
According to Bikeradar.com, Cédric Gracia is leaving sponsor, Commencal, after 2.5 seasons, to go his own way, creating the CG Racing Brigade. Gracia rose to fame as part of the fabled Volvo-Cannondale squad from 2001 to 2005.
Gracia told Bikeradar, "I will start this year with myself, a full-time photographer, a team manager and a mechanic." Evidently the photographer is on staff to capture the intersection of racing, freeride and the lifestyle of the pro mountain biker. Time will tell if Gracia's move is the right one or if he's been lulled by a combo of ego and bravado.
More info can be found at the CG website or on Facebook. Impressively, CG Brigade already has about 2,400 fans.
The Undisputed 5 Year Champ: Burton Cartel 2010 Bindings Written By: hoon
What can you say about the binding that can be found on more pros, joes and ho’s then any other binding over the course of the last five years. Yup, that’s no typo. Count ‘em. Five years at the top of its game. I bet you can’t think of another snowboard product that can claim that title. Here’s a brief sample of some of the riders who are riding or have ridden Cartels: Travis Rice, Aaron Bittner and Mark Landvik to name a few. Oh, and did you notice those riders listed aren’t Burton-sponsored?
The truly phenomenal success of the Burton Cartel derives from its “everything you need, nothing you don’t” philosophy. It was originally build as the park and freestyle domination machine, utilizing Burton’s solid, time-tested chassis and a highback that just won’t quit. No wedgies, cinches, FXT’s, cable-activated BOA’s or other useless crap can be found on this binding. Aside from the steezie and slick color schemes year after year, the Cartel offers solid features such as smooth glide ratchets and ultra capstraps. Plus it has consistently had one of the tallest highbacks in the game. Up front, it’ll bite you in the calf until you get a few days under your belt, but like that dominatrix down the street, you’ll be beggin’ for more. Also for all you non-EST converts, the Cartel comes in both an EST and disc version. Perfect for those missions that find you on a 3D or 4x2 snowboard. For 2010, the Cartel has received a bit of a facelift. Burton has backed off the height of the highback (ever so slightly) and also included full baseplate padding (about damn time!). You’ll note that it comes in lift-line arresting bold colors like purple and orange, with only a few subtle accents. In a world where bindings seem to have more flair than your local TGIF, it’s refreshing to let the colorway to the heavy lifting.
As you probably can gather from this post, I’m a Cartel junkie. You’re probably asking yourself: Why the undying devotion to these bindings? There’s plenty of awesome bindings out there. So true, but I haven’t ridden any other binding where after five years, the baseplates are just starting to show a bit of wear and tear. Granted I’m frankenbinder’d the shit out of these guys over the years, but those baseplates are still the original Polarized White. Until I can find a binding that can perform like the Cartel and stand up to that abuse, the Burton Cartel will always be my go-to binding in a pinch.
Original catalog copy from 04/05 Rule the freestyle underworld.The all-new Cartel™ is today’s standard in freestyle capability. For an insane snow feel, we removed some of the material from the baseplate but added Pressure Distribution Feet for improved weight displacement. This purifies the interface between board and body and reduces damage to your precious ride. The redesigned Team Skyback® is 13% lighter than last year and maintains the same amazing strength, response and stompability of the tallest hi-back in our line
Andreas Wiig leaves Nitro and goes to Forum: Rockstar girlfriends aren't cheap Written By: hoon
After many years with Nitro snowboards (ok just three) and a very successful (and kick-ass) pro-model board, Andreas Wiig is leaving to join The Program, specifically Forum. 100% of the Forum team is head-to-toe affiliated brands, so it'll be interesting to see what happens with Mandreas. I wonder if he will retain long-time sponsors Vans and Pro-tec and new, yet enthusiastic sponsor, Matix.
Justin Brock goes PRO: Celebrate by buying some Ltd chinos Written By: hoon
Who the hell is Justin Brock? Sponsored by Real, Thunder, Spitfire, Nike SB, Quiksilver, Roughneck Hardware, CCS, Huf, raised in the mountains of North Carolina, Justin Brock is a Hellraiser with a capital "H". The boys got balls bigger than the bull's heart that his team talks about when referencing his riding-style.
To celebrate Justin's upgrade to the pro team, Quik has Justin-zed (or is it Brocked) a pair of their Union chinos. The Brock Custom chinos feature an enzyme wash and a North Carolina-tweaked flag (Oops I thought it was Puerto Rico) to celebrate Justin's roots.
Act quick as there's only 60 pairs in existence, and the only spot to get them is Quiksilver.com.
According to Quik and Slap Magazine: “After decades of being overshadowed by the West and East Coast scenes, the South has finally been starting to get theirs in recent years. 2009 finds a new generation of Southern Gents with the spotlight aiming their way, and Justin Brock is helping lead the charge from his base in Atlanta. In just a few short years Brock has gone from Mountain Dew-fueled grom to power am for Real, Nike, Quiksilver and more, and with two big video parts.”
How to effectively get your press release blogged Written By: hoon
On South of the North, I recently let the cat out of the bag on how to be a PRO snowboard blogger. Yup I didn't follow the first rule of PRO snowboard blogger club: there is no PSBC.
To follow up, I wanted to give some helpful hints to our friends, our compatriots-in-arms: the glorious PR agents, managers and specialists. With these tips, you and your clients will be the toast of the blogosphere.
1. We get it. Your client's product or event is the bestest thing evar. It's like iPhone of the action sports world with less glitches. But help me help you by giving me some true differentiators or in your language, some Reasons to Believe. Remember to answer the question: Why do we care?
2. Make it easy. If you want me to post a picture, check out a website or email you, give me the tools. Send me some pics, URLs and for all that is holy, in the name of Tony Hawk's toupe, please don't use words when there should be ellipses or numbers. Alicia dot Doe at dos tres Brand dot com is NOT COOL. I repeat: NOT COOL. At the heart of it, bloggers are lazy. If we weren't, we'd be journalists or marketing execs.
3. Make promises... And keep them. It's nice to feel loved and appreciated (read: bribed), but it's not a mandatory. If you make a commitment, stick with it Like Mom said, if you make a promise, keep it. Or at least email me to tell me they ran out of the Action Sports iPhone.
4. Stay in touch. I don't need you to be my best friend (accepting that friend request would be nice). But stay in touch. Add me to that BCC distribution list of what's up at Extreme Hardcore Drinks, and shoot me an email on a monthly basis. Don't email me once every 12 months and expect a three blog spread.
5. We're people too. A lot of (read: all) bloggers have zero social skills. Bloggers were the drama dorks and newspaper/TV show, mascot geeks in high school. Make us feel cool with insider info or a VIP pass to an event, even if the event is free.
With these 5 simple tips, your client's product or event will be rolling in blog posts, Facebook shares and retweets. And the beauty of it is that the ROI is invaluable. Essentially for free, your client gets coverage to the masses from an industry mover and shaker.
You can thank me in advance by sending gobs of stuff to my mountain lab in Jackson Hole in the winter and to my Kauai beach complex in the summer.
Pffft it's mega: Lance moves to second in the TDF and announces Team Radio Shack Written By: hoon
It can only be summed up with Pffft it's Mega. Lance obviously wasn't stoked with his 16th place finish in the individal Time Trial, but the announcement of team Radioshack trumps all. Radioshack agrees to have Livestrong be its exclusive charity and also means that there will be three, count 'em, three UCI ProTour teams fielded from the US of A. That's pretty impressive. Trek and Nike will also be on the sponsor list. One can only speculate that SRAM, Giro and Oakley will not be far behind. I won't question Radioshack's choice to join the pro cycling ranks, but it does follow a list of "interesting" sponsors from the US: Motorola, 7-11, USPS, Discovery Channel, Chipotle, Garmin, Columbia.... Here's the official party line:
"This is an exciting time at RadioShack," said Lee Applbaum, RadioShack's Chief Marketing Officer. "We are re-launching our brand with a new creative platform in early August, and now having Lance on our team -- an American icon who embodies the spirit of mobility, connectivity and philanthropy -- really allows us to accelerate our brand's evolution."
The power of Lance: Livestrong goes X Written By: hoon
With the Tour de France in the midst of it's penultimate stage: Ventoux and the recent announcement of Lance Armstrong to race again in 2010 with Johan Bruyneel, Trek and Nike under team Radioshack, there's been a lot of talk about the Lance effect. Increased viewership and spectators at Le Tour, increased donations for his charity, Livestrong in a down economy and increased biking participation have all been attributed to the Lance effect.
To me one of the most telling examples of the pervasiveness of Lance and Livestrong, for the two cannot be separated, is the embrace of Livestrong and "yellow" by X-TREME bmx and motocross athletes as seen below. Those representing yellow this summer have included Ryan Dungey, Dennis Enarson, Garrett Reynolds, Nigel Sylvester and Mike Spinner.
Now I know that a lot of athletes cross train on road bikes, whether or not they admit it, but it is a very different thing to embrace the Livestrong spandex-dominated campaign. But wait a minute... Has Livestrong now transcended Lance with a whole slew of Nike athletes involved?
Kudos for Lance and the Livestrong te to expand the exposure and message to other venues. But upon closer examination it appears that a lot of the doors are being opened through sponsor, Nike.
I think this is a huge step forward for Livestrong and, by proxy, spandex-clad road bikers, but I'll really stand up and cheer when we see non-Nike athletes in "cool" sports like Andy Irons or Tom Brady embrace yellow. A pipedream in today's sponsor, contracts world but that certainly would be something.
We're about a little more than halfway through 2009, and it feels like that we've already accomplished so much! Not to brag, but it's been a great year so far. At the top of the list is of course the birth of our daughter, Callen. Like every other child, a true miracle (in a non-cheesy, but really cheesy way).
Quickly following that accomplishment, and directly related, is Megan's riding of the Pan Mass Challenge only 6 weeks, 5 days, 2 hours and 23 minutes after giving birth to Callen. When we agreed to re-up for the PMC in January as a couple, we were both a bit cautious, and there were plenty of incredulous looks as we discussed our plans. It is an awfully big commitment to the organization, Dana Farber, our family and our friends to not give it your all. Often women have enough going on post-birth just sorting out their newborn and themselves and couldn't even consider adding 84 miles to the mix.
Megan was spinning into about 8 months of the pregnancy to the point where she was unable to grab the drops on the handlebar. We worried with Callen's late birth (thanks Bean) that we'd be ill-prepared for the PMC.
With the help of our families, Megan was able to slowly get back on the bike with some slow, 10-15 mile rides around Martha's Vineyard in July at about 11 mph (about 5-7 mph off our 08 PMC pace). Within the next few weeks, the training miles grew slowly as did the donations.
PMC Saturday came like a blur with lots of logistics and calculating rest stops and meetups with her mom and Callen for feedings. Suddenly it was 4am, then we're in Wellesley, and we're off!
Riding with my wife those 84 miles, I have to say she looked like she never left the bike. Comfortable, poised and even a few bits of no-hands riding. And lots of passing others. So PRO.
We motored to Wrentham with the help of Josh, our other teammate then Megan went to Dighton solo to get there for Callen's feeding while I backtracked to Wrentham with mechanical issues.
As you might imagine, riding in itself is quite a feat for 84 miles. Add coordinating and calculating feeding a newborn in sweaty, spandex under a tree, surrounded by bikes to the mix, and it's almost inconceiveable. I don't quite think that the MMA baseball team's dugout ever was designed with feedings in mind.
When we crossed the line at Bourne, it was such a joy to do it with my best friend, lover and wife. Now I also add hero to that list of descriptors when talking about my wife.
Burton and Rome Host Snowboard Summer Sales in VT Written By: hoon
If you needed an excuse to head to VT for the weekend, I'd say this is it. Both Burton and Rome are hosting summer sales this weekend. Typically, these sales offer discounts from 50% - 90% off items, and you can often score past year jems to add to your archives. These weekends also include local shops joining in on the fun in Burlington so if you're not a Burton or Rome junkie, you can score some other sweet deals (ahem... skiers).
Both sales run from Friday afternoon (8/7) to Sunday (8/9) or whenever product runs out.
Annoying commuter boat moment # 204 Written By: hoon
Had a nice commute to the boat, about 9 miles in 60 degree with bluebird skies. Legs and back had finally started to stretch back out post-PMC. Made it there with 5 minutes to spare (this never happens).
Go to put my bike in the back of the boat in the open air where the diesel fumes would choke a trucker. Politely ask a rather heavy-set woman to move slightly to the left or right so I can place my bike next to her. Explain last time bike got soaked in salt water and don't want to have it happen again.
Her response: "No, that's why I stand here so that I don't get wet."
I say: "just a little to the left or right?"
Her response: grunts and drinks coffee but does not move.
As I leave I touch her arm gently and sweetly say: "Thanks for your kindness and consideration. Have a great day."
Ahh the kindness of people on the Hingham commuter boat! It truly warms the heart.
I should spit on her head from the top deck. But she's already probably thrown my bike into the harbor.
Calling all scribes: South of the North accepting guest bloggers Written By: hoon
Was talking with my fellow blog buddy, Jonny, from SOTN, and he was telling me the exciting news about South of the North. If you haven't heard, they're accepting applications for guest bloggers. So for all you William Shakespeare's in Goretex or Emily Dickinsons in tight skinny jeans, now's your chance to hang with the big dog.
Interestingly when I typed "scribes" into my handy dandy iPhone gadget, it changed "scribes" to "rubes." That's pretty philosophical for Thursday AM. For more info, click here.
PS - Stay tuned for more snowboarding 2010 commentary on this blog. I promise.
Ski resorts in the summer: A time for pause, reflection and anticipation Written By: hoon
I always have a secret love of ski resorts in the summer. It's like the feeling you get when you peer behind the curtains of the play or peek into the projection room of the movie theatre. You feel like you're part of something secret and special that no one else knows about; sneaking a glimpse or peek behind the scenes. At the same time, you can sense the power that emanates from within the sleeping giant.
This weekend, while everyone is at the coast either whooping or cursing Hurricane Bill, we're spending some family time at Stratton mountain, home of the US Open. It's quiet and slow here unlike the crazed masses in the Manchester outlets (today is tax free day in VT). It's a good time to pause, reflect and consider that this will be one of many sites that our daughter will come to love over the years as she gets her ski or board legs.
You get to have some nice conversations with the cook at Partridge Deli or catch up with one of the gondola lifties and learn that his son is a few weeks younger than our 10 week old daughter. As we took our lil girl up her first of many gondola rides, we pointed out some of the key sites: there's where the family park is, and that's where the quarter pipe goes, this will be your first official run from the top (Mike's Way), and this is how you scrape your snowboard across the grates and bang each step on the way down to the snow.
After we checked out a few chairlifts, a fire tower and a few trails that would make excellent singletrack, we made our way back down the gondola, aimlessly strolled the village in the 75 degree humidity. Come November, it'll be a different story with loads of driven-families loaded down with ski poles, snowboards, gear bags and loud voices. But for now, we just soaked in true ambiance, reflecting and preparing for the next of many winter adventures.* *Yes I saw the wave cam. I'll be out Sunday PM I promise.
A tale of two Torahs (Bright): Transworld Business bit my interview! Written By: hoon
oSo I've become solely an online voyeur of Transworld Business now that they are charging $50 a year to subscribe to the monthly print industry publication. One assumes that ad sales are down, the economy is in the toilet, and even pimps need to get paid.
Harmlessly I clicked on a link to read an interview with Torah "my future's so" Bright "I gotta wear shades" and much to my shock, shagrin, amazement and a bit of pride, I realized that I was reading an almost carbon copy of my interview with Torah (new link to the Google doc here) published on March 30, 2009. Holy space continuum, Batman! What gives?
As I read more and more, I couldn't help but suspect that something was amiss in Whoville. I even saw my trademarked, incorporated, muther-frakin LLC, word associations coyly dressed up in the form of questions. One cannot describe the feelings that welled up inside me. To the Internet to complain!!
I received multiple confirmations from other wiser snowboard interwebs peeps that my reactions were not the usual paranoia. Sure questions about the Olympics, signature products and the ailing economy are commonplace these days right? Come to think of it, I haven't seen any other major interviews of snowboarders which reference the economy. And to top it off, I truly did see my beloved, snarky, inane word association (Brad Stewart, JMZ, Nate Bosshard, Torah Bright, Kjersti Buass, Thomas Meyerhoffer, the list goes on) staring me right in the face even with the same lead-off line.
I must have missed something. I don't remember talking to anyone from Transworld Media. Did my pesky doppelgänger sign a release waiver? I'll have to check with Rumorator on that one. Or with the stroke of a key and a bit of Google, a "new" interview was born.
I know that the interviews are not 100% the same. And I know we are talking about the Internet where nothing is secure, but this smells more rotten than a top 10 snowboard test/shoot out. C'mon at least give a link shoutout to the little people. Or call me and bribe me with a free subscription and some diecuts.
I will leave it up to you the reader to compare with a few choice sections below. I guess at least the interview was easy for Torah: cut & paste.
I'll just say: Transworld Media watch your back! I'm reposting all of your content and not attributing it. Shoot, you mean I'm already playing sloppy thirds as their content was already ripped from somebody else?
Screw this. I'm going to surfing. To quote one of my heroes, BSNYC: all you haters can suck my balls.
Compare and Contrast (a random sampling):
Hoon (03/09): How has the recent economic downturn affected you? TWBiz (08/09): (H)ow has the recent economic downturn affected you or changed the way that you are conducting your career and the choices that you are making for the future?
Hoon (03/09): Looking back, what were the 06 Olympics like? Representing Australia? TWBiz (08/09): ...you had to go through for the ‘06 Olympics. What are some other unique experiences from the Olympics that stick out in your mind?
Hoon (03/09): I know that you helped design your own line of Roxy gear including your snowboard. TWBiz (08/09): I know that you helped design your own line of Roxy gear including your snowboard.
Hoon (03/09): So picture this. It’s right before the big contest. Any pre-competition rituals? TWBiz (08/09): Do you have any lucky pieces that you always wear for big competitions like this one?
Hoon (03/09): Tell us the first thing that comes to mind (followed by a list of quick, random word associations) TWBiz (08/09): What’s the first thing that comes to mind... (followed by a list of quick, random questions on how awesome Hoon is)
Little Miss Molly Fund: In Memory of Molly Rowlee Written By: hoon
Usually, we reserve this space to talk about snowboarding, surfing, bicycling, marketing or some other random crap. Today, I want to talk about something truly and really important.
In February 2009, while most of us were focused on our next powder fix or spending a day in the park, the Rowlee family suffered every parent's worst nightmare. Their child, Molly was diagnosed with non Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Cancer with a big capital C. In many cases, non Hodgkin's is very treatable, but even though Molly was a true fighter with more courage than most of us, it became extremely aggressive in June, and she passed away in July. Within five months of her diagnosis, she was gone.
Throughout her treatment and afterwards, the New England scene rallied behind the Rowlees with their shop, Pioneers Board Shop as the HQ to support Molly and now to remember her. There were auctions, benefit concerts, and now sadly, a memorial fund for this special little girl.
Often I've told you to vote with your wallet when it comes to product, shops, etc. Now more than ever that is the case. The friends of the Rowlees have created a memorial fund for Molly, which will go to help defray the huge medical bills as well as create larger awareness and help the Rowlees communicate with the greater community.
We all talk about how tightknit the board sports community is, and I cannot see any greater demonstration than this in New England than the Molly fund. A lot of local (and not so local) companies like Oakley, Burton Snowboards, Griffin Technology, Eesa, and Vans, surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders and New Englanders have stepped up. Now it's your turn.
On the website, you can donate directly to the fund, but they've also received many donations and are offering products such as diecuts, buttons and 3G iPhone cases (sick) with all proceeds going to help the Rowleees. Show your support and get involved. I hope to see Molly stickers and buttons as I travel to shred and surf. I'll make sure to get some shots of my various snow and surf decks in as many locales as I can, but I invite you to join in your support by showing some love on your most prized real estate.
Send me photos, and I'll throw them up here and elsewhere, letting everyone know that you care. And for the person who sends me the most "exotic/remote" shot of a Molly sticker, well, let's just say I've reserved a sick care package for you brah.
Well I first have to apologize for my tardiness on this blog. I haven't done a very good job of keeping anyone updated on anything recently (arguably I never really did before either).
As you can imagine or know, having your first newborn child (we found out a year ago today!) is quite the experience, especially if you try to be somewhat environmentally conscious about the whole thing. Our whole society is geared towards me, me, me and consume, consume, consume. When you had another mouth to the table, it shifts to a singular focus on the child, child, child and consume, consume, consume.
Thankfully you have friends and family who will give you all sorts of hand-me-downs which you then politely and discretely donate them to Goodwill. Craigslist becomes your savior, and you find yourself saying things like "we need to go to Baby Gap today for cute onesies." Who knew there was so much baby stuff? Three different types of diapers, strollers for every occasion, a shit-ton of toys, and our daughter isn't even walking yet!
Yes, we've got the books, the emails, the blogs and a ton of advice, but we're still feeling our way through it. There's no book for "Daycare called, and you need to pick up your sick kid, but you have a big presentation tomorrow" or "The surf is amazing, but you're at Babies r Us (BRU for those in the know) picking out a humidifier."
But we're figuring our way through it, and it is true that one of the greatest joys is seeing your child shoot you a huge, beaming smile when you walk in the door.
Great Brewers Cup at Gloucester: Why Cyclocross is cool Written By: hoon
For the second year in a row, Megs and I traveled up to the North Shaaah, more accurately Gloucester, to watch the Gran Prix of Cyclocross. The race is held at an old Fort turned state park, which over looks the harbor. We're always excited to see our friend PVB race and watch the excitement and chaos from the beer tent. Note: PVB and I first watched the Gloucester race after a long night of drinking on a Halloween boat cruise (a story for another time)
When we mention these plans to friends and co-workers, people always respond with the same comment "Cyclo-what?", and we politely respond "Cyclocross. It's like road biking with knobby tires." I've also added that "it's the European version of mountain biking before mountain biking even existed." To be honest, I really don't know how to describe it. It's an amalgamation of a rally race, a bike race, roller derby, a trail run and Okotoberfest. Are you intrigued?
As a spectator, it's a win-win. If the weather sucks, you get to watch a bunch of men and women in tight skinsuits scramble, crash, teeter and thrash themselves to win bragging rights, a hot shower and may be some measly bike trinket. On a sunny, crisp fall day (like Sunday was when we went), you get to soak up some of Nature's last rays of glorious warm sunshine while you drink beer, watch some fast racing and go deaf listening to the commentators scream their guts out.
Unlike other forms of biking, it's hard to accuse anyone in a cyclocross race of being some spandex-wearing fairy. These men and women are pretty hardnose and have the cuts and bruises to show it. The racing is also super accessible. Spectators can watch from multiple vantage points or follow the race from point-to-point. I prefer to play it cool and sit in the beer tent, while the racers come to me. I leisurely sip on a nice hefeweizen, looking like an Asian Adonis.
Last year we went to Gloucester, Callen was a bump in Megan's tummy. This year, she got to experience all the sights and sounds. Perhaps in a few years, her old man might get off his ass and race one of these things, and may she'll participate in the kids race. Until then, you'll find us all camped out in the beer tent, rooting on Tim Johnson, Jonathan Page and other New Englanders (and of course PVB).
Going surfing at the crack of dawn is a carefully prepared task, especially when the temperatures dip into the mid-30s (F). You can't just roll out of bed after partying all night and meet your brahs shoreside like it's Blue Crush or something. There are some critical steps required to be ready to surf big, nasty, Nor'easter waves when the wind is howling at 15 knots and the water is like 50 degrees.
Step 1: Grind coffee and set the auto-on. The most important step is making sure you have coffee available.
Step 2: Gather your wetsuit, booties and a towel. Hopefully all this stuff is dry.
Step 3: Go to the garage and select the quiver. Getting to the beach and realizing that you brought the wrong board sucks.
Step 4: Get all that stuff into the car. So at 5:30/6:00am, you can get your coffee and get on the road.
Step 5: Double check the forecast online. There's still no guarantee that the wind, swell and your alarm clock will cooperate when morning rolls around.
Step 6: Try to go to sleep early. But realize that you're going to bed late because you got sucked into watching some crap on FX. Step 7: Do a little gig, say a little prayer and get ready for some good times. Be prepared to curse out your ancestors because the wind is onshore and blew down the waves.
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2010 Burton Jeremy Jones boots: Nothing says love like a new pair of kicks Written By: hoon
A few days ago, I got a delivery that included a pair of 2010 Burton Jeremy Jones boots. If you've seen any of Jeremy Jones' (the jibber not the big mountain guy), you know that he puts his gear through some serious paces. Love him or hate him, you gotta admit that he's got a lot of variety in his bag of tricks from some crazy next level shit in Minneapolis to the burly mountains of AK. A friend of mine was rocking these boots last season, so I was curious to try them myself.
The boots are footprint-reduced to prevent any toe or heel drag and have EST-optimized soles for a perfect fit with the Burton EST bindings. They also include some new features such as a Soft Edge Tongue which includes a Medium Flex Thin Profile 3D® Molded Tongue, tailored to Jeremy's specifications. They incorporate lace locks similar to the ones that were made popular on Burton's iconic Sabbath boot.
Slipping them on my feet in our den, they were buttery smooth. They locked in on my heel right away. The sole is aggressive but not overly so. The boots are almost as light as my Ozones.
I still haven't got out on the snow yet, but once I do, I'll make sure to give a full write up on this one. But for $230, you've got a really solid performance, workhorse boot: refreshing in this day and age when boots can cost upwards of $500.
From the Burton website: Jeremy Jones embodies everything that is snowboarding, and his boot is no different. Challenging the engineers to build a boot to his exact specifications and demanding that the suits keep it affordable, Jeremy’s creation has quickly become a legend in itself. Jib mobility meets cheese wedge stability in a low-profile design that brings you closer to the action; snowboarding doesn’t get much better than this.
Aegis™ Antimicrobial Coating
This antimicrobial coating inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Your feet [and your friends] will thank us for sure. Look for Aegis™ on select liners and footbeds.
Shrinkage Footprint Reduction Technology
Shrinkage™ reduces the boot’s overall footprint one full size, meaning a size 10 boot fits like a size 10, but has the footprint of a typical size 9. Shorter, lighter, and less bulky, with Shrinkage you can finally ride the board of your dreams.
Our Flex Spine backstay is designed to flex more easily both laterally and medially for maximum mobility while providing ample edge-to-edge support for when it’s time to throw down the landing gear.
Medium Flex Thin Profile 3D® Molded Tongue
Adjusting the profile of the tongue’s thickness controls its flex, enhances its ability to wrap the forefoot, and reduces shell/liner stack-up for improved comfort. Offered in soft, medium, and firm flexing options based on the ride style of each boot.
Cushioning / Trac
Formulated just for snowboarding, B3 Gel’s advanced dampening properties allow it to withstand repeated impacts without breaking down.
Low-Profile EST Optimized Midsole
Lower-profile, lighter weight, and with a reduced ramp in the heel, the EST™ Optimized midsole brings you closer to your bindings by lowering your center of gravity and improving brain-to-binding connectivity. Feel and control your setup like never before without sacrificing an ounce of cushioning thanks to ultra-dampening B3 Gel inserts.
Every boot we build rides differently. From the buttery-soft, progressive flex of the Hail™, to the lightning-fast response of the Driver X™, we fine tune the ride of every single boot to provide the widest range of performance in snowboarding. We determine a boot’s support rating based primarily on the flex characteristics of the shell, outsole, and liner materials. Additional features like articulating cuffs, strategically placed shell paneling, 3D® molded tongues, and backstay constructions allow us to adjust the overall support. Based only as a comparison between the boots within our line, a rating of one is more relaxed while ten is more responsive.
IAMSNOWBOARDING: A collaborative art project in honor of our brother, Jeff Anderson Written By: hoon
What is snowboarding to you? Do you remember the good 'ol days when everyone hated us? Did you wear sorels and hike for your first turns because the ski resorts wouldn't sell you a ticket, and the two-plankers would spit on you anyway?
Whether you do or no, it doesn't matter. Snowboarding is here, and it's here to stay. This is in a large part due to pioneers who paved the way. Pioneers like Craig Kelly, Brushie, Palmer, Guch, the Ride and Joyride boys and countless others.
Before Shaun White was a household name with Red Bull and Target bulls eyes, there was Jeff Anderson. Jeffy was the super grom. The next "it" rider, yet who refused to be a corporate stooge. Yes, he had the corporate sponsors, Burton, Analog, Grenade, Oakley, and Volcom. But he had style, marched to the beat of his own drummer, and was one of the catalysts of the (now) legendary Seven and Uninc teams. Sadly, he was cut short before his prime.
In honor of what would be Jeff Anderson's 30th birthday, I AM SNOWBOARDING, pairs photographers who have shot pictures of Jeffy with an innovative group of artists to create collaborative pieces. You may recognize the names from the world of skateboarding and snowboarding. The funds raised from the pieces will go to the JLA Memorial Fund.
Prints will be available shortly from ASYMBOL. The first gallery showing will be in Mammoth on Sat, November 14th to kick off winter in style.
Danny Zapalac – Bryan Iguchi Cheyenne Ellis – Matty Thompson Chris Brunkhart – Matt Donahue Jane Baer – Mark Gonzales Tim Zimmerman – Mike Parillo Jared Eberhardt – Michael Jager Jane Baer – Jamie Lynn Billy Anderson – RYNo Shem Roose – Scott Lenhardt Patrice Miller – Dustin del Giudice Jeff Curtes – Nick Russian Todd Hazeltine – 2jaws Ryan Boyes – Ben Brough Dean “Blotto” Gray – Shane Charlebois Jane Baer – Devon Weniger Stan Evans – Robert “Sticky” Shaw Jamie Mosberg – Jojo Whitmarsh Trevor Graves – Adam Haynes Chris Owen – Tyler Lepore MMSA/Steven Brown – Stormriders crew Billy Anderson – Jamie Heinrich
Winter must be coming as I just received a notification from Shredunion.com. What's Shred Union you may ask? It's for riders by riders. It's got none of the typical BS or happy-go-lucky sunshine that you may find in other online communities or messageboreds (yet) and has a crack team of shredployees who have created a fun little website in their spare time from their day jobs.
Shred Union's focus is less on Todd Richard's new haircut or Louie Vito's latest dance moves and more on functional info such as reviews on shops, resorts, gear and stores. Check out their nifty photo gallery section and "heart" my photos!
So in recap: Shred Union. Snowboarding. Website updated.
The Mountain and The Wave: Choices, Choices, Choices Written By: hoon
It's that magical time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the air is getting crisper, Brown Santa is coming... Hey, did I just see a snowflake?
That's right. Winter is on the way. I always get super excited as it's time to wax the snowboards and pull out the outerwear. Nowadays, we live on the coast. The mountains are a bit farther away (not that far), and the ocean is right around the corner. I struggle with my decisions. Surfing technology has advanced so far that I can easily drive 15 minutes to the beach and surf to my heart's content. There's super thick suits that are pretty flexible (but still feel like 10lbs of lead weights), gloves and booties. Rip Curl and Quiksilver have upped the ante with heated (yes heated) suits and vests that are meant to keep you out there for longer in thinner rubber. Nothing beats a bit of time in the green room (even if you have to crouch on your knees), no matter the ice cream headaches. With the new tech, it's a very compelling proposition! But you still like some sorta evil condom that has sprung to life.
On the other hand, my first love is snowboarding. It kept me going for all those years in the middle of nowhere NY and CT. It also gave me soul, an identity, friends, and a true reason to start traveling the world. I get to dress up like a complete fool in neon and crazy colors that are louder than Public Enemy and that have more energy than an Iranian nuclear energy project. I get to frolic, bounce and act like a little kid again, bouncing around the mountain, raining chaos wherever I go. So every time I grab the foam instead of the p-tex, I feel a bit of remorse and guilt. It's like cheating on your favorite girl with that new Swimsuit model who just happens to live next door.
At the end of the day, it's all moot. I can continue my dual personality to my heart's content, playing these mind games as I shred the rad. As my homosexual, Boston-born, English teacher in high school used to say, "it's a hahhhd life, chheld." Until I sort it out, I'll be forever held by the dual siren songs of the Mountain and the Wave.