North America is the birthplace of snowboarding, and for many is still its spiritual home. While the Euro efforts made a few ripples, it was the influx of Yank-and-Canuck-heavy film crews out of California and British Columbia that first made waves over here. By the time the Forum 8 started knocking their stuff out, everyone wanted to head way out west.
Nowadays the search for the never-been-done has scattered pro snowboarders to the four corners, but still nothing beats the North American scene – on both sides of the 49th parallel – for consistency and innovation. BC alone offers more opportunities for powder than most whole countries, while Utah’s Salt Lake City boasts nigh-unbeatable access to park, pow and handrails. That’s not to mention Wyoming, Washington, the streets of Minnesota and Quebec, the summer slush of Oregon, and the countless hidden gems tucked away in-between. A land of opportunity indeed.
Then there’s Alaska – but that’s a different story altogether…
“Police troubles are a constant problem during street missions – it seems you’re always trespassing on someone’s property. You need to be good with a sled to access America’s backcountry spots, which can be miles away, but when you don’t have to hike the days can be super productive. The snowparks have endless lines, though all the ugly banners for energy drinks and the Army make things hard to shoot.”
“This was taken last winter when shooting with the Manboys crew. Rusty Ockenden, Matt Belzile, Chris Rasman, filmer Nate Laverty and myself went exploring in Pemberton backcountry. After sessioning a popular spot, the boys decided to split and find something different to ride. I’m personally a fan of these micro sessions as it gives the rider an opportunity to look at terrain in their own, special way and truly express themselves. Rusty spotted this natural hit and I couldn’t have been happier, as a storm was rolling in and the light was just epic. We kept it simple: two tricks, two stomps and two great shots. Definitely one of my favorites from the season – thanks Russ for sending it.”
“I spent a week with Eero [Niemela] in Pemberton, filming for the Get Out Of Town project with Ryan Tiene and Benji Ritchie. On the first day we built this jump but got weathered in, so didn’t get a chance to session it. While waiting for the clouds I decided to scope some angles, and after covering all the ‘standard’ ones I found this dead tree. With the extra time I got a chance to have a really close look and found the hole in it. I always had a photo like this in my mind; I’d just never lined it up before. We decided to save the jump and come back the next day. I was stoked that all the boys landed tricks, and that I was able to nail another one for the books.”
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