Issue 24.1 comes at a time when snowboarding’s resilience has been established. Sure, things are different these days, after the gold rush and into the era of dedication. But the same love as ever remains at the heart of our lifestyle. If anything it’s grown; and the cast just keeps getting better. The best are still with us, whether in person, memoriam, or still-vivid stories, and new faces share the fascination that built us lives of sideways times. Our community is alive—more, it’s vibrant— and Snowboard Canada is back to tell its stories.
Editor’s Note // 24.1 is for those of you who animate the ethos best voiced by the late Craig Kelly: “snowboarding is living.” For the riders featured in this issue, the idea permeates every aspect of Canadian life, often in unlikely ways born of the same individuality they’ve cultivated with their riding. The stories in these pages tell of defiance channeled against ordinary, of refusal to let snowboarding slip away. They tell of the ways we’ve learned to adapt to the realities of time, responsibility, and an industry in low tide, how we preserve the feelings of freedom that tied us to snowboarding in the first place. Joe Lax (p.26) and Maria Thomsen (p.24) go further, actively modeling Craig’s mentality for their children. Dru Kennedy and Scott Hiscock (p.48) show us how ‘snowboarding is living’ decorates Atlantic hillsides. Leanne Pelosi (p.40) brings Craig’s words through new channels, making them more available to women than ever. Wasted Youth (p.54) reminds us that the point of all of it is fun.
For my part, in the six months since I was hired to edit this re-launch, I’ve had the amazing adventure of reaching out to our people. I’ve been welcomed at gatherings like the Baked Salmon, Holy Bowly, Camp of Champions, and Rat Race, and shared conversations with folks like Chad Chomlack, Jesse Fox, Colin Wiseman, Krush Kulesza, and Jamie Lynn (among too many others to name). The inspiration I’ve found along this road extends my on-mountain experiences of snowboarding, and it’s been the organizing direction for my work. So, thank you to everyone who’s kept me on track, who’s offered advice or shared perspective (including those of you who reached out over the Internet) —I can’t tell you how much your support and friendship means. Special thanks to the writers, artists, and photographers who contributed to 24.1, all of whom pushed themselves creatively, many working in unfamiliar mediums. This issue is a testament to their passion. And thanks to Jason Mousseau, Filomena Tamburri, Filip Jansky, Arlen Ekstein, Matt Williams, Michael Hewis, and Jay Mandarino, whose behind the scenes contributions saw this project through to print.
Whether this is your first season or you’re 30 deep, I hope you’ll see your love of snowboarding reflected in this issue, and that Snowboard Canada will once again reinforce that feeling—you know, that feeling for boarding. I hope the stories collected here remind you that no matter where in this country you live, and even in the madness of modern times, a sandwich of wood and plastic can cut away the bullshit. Creativity is freedom. Snowboarding is living.
– David MacKinnon, editor
Behind the cover // Scott Newsome is an example of what it means to fully embrace being on a board in the mountains. His dedication paved the way for snowboarders to become accredited mountain guides—he was the first snowboarder to pass the Canadian Ski Guide Level 2 certification, and after many long battles following his initial rejection by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (due to his preference for standing sideways), he was eventually allowed to challenge their lead guide exam on a splitboard. His campaign was aided by the persuading voice of Craig Kelly, who also gained entry to the program but sadly passed away just prior to his exam. Scott passed; in doing so he secured the recognition he and Craig fought for and legitimized backcountry snowboarding in the eyes of one of the most stringent mountain accreditation organizations in the world.
This shot was taken on a run called “Tiger Penis,” on Scott’s first trip back to Valdez since the late 90s. Valdez is a snowboarding Mecca, and shooting its iconic peaks for Eddie Bauer this winter I realized why Scott spent the 90s focused on jumping out of helicopters. Scott is now the lead guide and owner of Eagle Pass Heli in Revelstoke, BC, where you will find him eating powder all winter long. Thanks to Caley, Kirsten, the crew at Eddie Bauer, and Alaska Snowboard Guides for making the photo happen! – Jeff Patterson, @pattersonimages
Core Values // words Joe Lax
“As the shred demographic from the “peak era” of snowboarding ages, those that have kept snowboarding as the centerpiece of their lives have had to make strategic choices to ensure that their next winter will always be their best. The “snowboard lifestyle,” as defined by those who live at ski resorts, gets old. The realities of wage slavery and high living costs can have a souring effect as time adds up. Sacrifices are made as means to snowboard as much as possible, but life has a way of catching up– and still all I want to do is get board wild. So, together with the friends who’ve stuck around, our better halves, and now our kids, I’ve found ways to leave the “life after boarding” chatter in the rearview.”
Vans X Finland // photos Cole Martin captions Jake Kuzyk, Dillon Ojo
“Last January a contingent of the Vans team went to Helsinki, to take advantage of its first big winter in a few. Dillon Ojo, Jake Kuzyk, Mike Ravelson, and Dan Liedahl set out to bring their collective whirlwind of precision and creativity to the Daughter of the Baltic, and photographer Cole Martin was there to capture the trip. These shots match their setting in impression– they give the sense that quality presides and details won’t be compromised.”
Beta: Newfoundland // words Scott Hiscock photos Dru Kennedy
“Newfoundland and Labrador’s youth have always travelled West in search of prosperity and opportunity. For some, this has meant hunting black gold, for others it’s venturing to concrete jungles to climb corporate ladders. Some simply need to get off the island. Snowboarders tend to venture West in the pursuit of the sensation that comes from descending a “real” mountain in waist deep snow– the dream of never-ending lines and waist-deep alpine bowls hits us as hard as anyone. Many of our provincial expats find sanctuary in new homes and put down roots, but for most, the call of the motherland is deafening.”
Wasted Youth and the Legend of Pound Town // words Nick Khattar
“Buried deep in the BC’s Rocky Mountains, Pound Town is a place that challenges your anatomy by day and gnaws at your soul by night. It is a place that continually demands you give it more; where if you bring your snowboard, you better show up with all else that constitutes your presence on this earth. It is a place that will strip you down, chewing at the fat of your character and the guts that hang on your spine. You’ll leave only with your life– if you’re lucky enough to leave at all. It’s big alpine bowls, spines, steep chutes, seracs, glaciers, ice-falls and crevasses; all 3000 km closer than that wait-for-weather chunk of America out by the Yukon.”
The Creative Mind of Leanne Pelosi // words Annie Fast photos Ben Girardi
“Leanne connected current icons of the sport including Helen Schettini, Robin Van Gyn, Annie Boulanger, Marie-France Roy, Hana Beaman, Jamie Anderson, and herself with the legendary pioneers who have inspired them. This includes the likes of Tara Dakides, Barrett Christy, Tina Basich, and Victoria Jealouse, legendary riders who collectively laid the foundation for women’s snowboarding.”
Photo Editor // Jason Mousseau
Contributing Photographers // Sean Barrett, Kieran Brownie, Evan Chandler-Soanes, Toby Cowley, Dykeboy, Todd Easterbrook, Ben Girardi, Liam Glass, Colter Heard, Jordan Ingmire, Dru Kennedy, Jeff Keenan, Nick Khattar, Danny LeBlanc, Cole Martin, Lewis Muirhead, Jeff Patterson, Felix Rioux, Sev Samulski, Robert Sims, Bradley Slack, Andrew Strain, Valerie St. Arnaud, Cam Unger, Delaney Zayac, Tim Zimmerman.
Contributing Writers // Sean Barrett, Kieran Brownie, Evan Chandler-Soanes, Toby Cowley, Dykeboy, Todd Easterbrook, Ben Girardi, Liam Glass, Colter Heard, Jordan Ingmire, Dru Kennedy, Jeff Keenan, Nick Khattar, Danny LeBlanc, Cole Martin, Lewis Muirhead, Jeff Patterson, Felix Rioux, Sev Samulski, Robert Sims, Bradley Slack, Andrew Strain, Valerie St. Arnaud, Cam Unger, Delaney Zayac, Tim Zimmerman.