Another season comes to an end here at White Lines, but for the first time since the magazine began in 1995 our designer, Tudor Thomas, sadly won’t be returning next year. He’s calling it quits so he can concentrate on other work (the kind that actually pays the bills!).
As White Lines first editor, Tudor - a.k.a. Chod - not only started the mag but also instilled in British snowboarding a sense of mischievous humour. Take for example his early interviews: when Chod decided to run a feature on Shaun Palmer (pretty much the biggest name in snowboarding at that time) he invited the man himself over to England, then spent a good week getting him absolutely leathered. The shots to go with the piece were mostly of Shaun lolling about in various pubs around Oxford. Then there were the contest reviews. If Chod thought a certain snowboarding comp wasn’t exactly newsworthy, he was happy to lay pictures of crocodiles over the riding to jazz it up a bit. Later, when he moved into the pure design of the mag, the humour still shone through. Several readers picked up on the fact that geese started randomly appearing in various shots, and one issue ran with a ‘Find the Queen Mother’ competition - with a picture of our dear royal hidden somewhere amongst the crowds. It was so popular it ran several times, as did the search for ‘Cake Face’ (a lovely, jolly fat kid who suffered the unfortunate coincidence of being on the same rollercoaster as Chod and the rest of the early White Lines crew when they took off on the company expenses for a rollercoaster tour of the UK - instead of the proposed snowboard comp they were supposed to be covering).
There are so many memories that stand out: the time a livid mum wrote in to complain about the filth her son was reading in our mag (she won a subscription for her troubles!) the photoshopped mastheads (the Jackson Five one seemed to go down the best) and of course the spine comments: according to the text on the side White Lines was never really a snowboard mag, but it has been Dwarf Throwing Monthly, The Corpse Disposal Quarterly, and my own personal favourite, Lingerie For Horses. Lastly is the captioning. Chod was always a master at coming up with some genius quip to match the amazing photography we’ve run over the years. If anyone was ever shown touching the floor in a sequence, Chod would invariably write how they’d “just found a quid" on their way to landing a 720, and for years people in the pictures went “Weeeeeeeee!!" when they looked like they were having fun. In the editorial team we knew this last one as the safety caption, called upon at around 11pm just before the mag went to the printers. But it never ceased to work.
Recently Chod moved back to his native Wales, where he continued to design White Lines with ever better style. Unfortunately his other projects (like distributing WE clothing and popping a sprog) mean he’s decided to call it a day on issue 72.
May Chod’s legacy long live on, and we wish him all the best for the future.
love Ed and the Permanent Publishing team, past and present