The Silent Killer. K2 Snowboard Team Rider Mark Wilson is a soft spoken ripper hailing from northern Minnesota after spending his young years in tropical Hawaii. Mark’s calm demeanor shows through in everything he does; whether he’s cooking you a meal, cruising around Portland, Oregon on his bike, or strapping into his snowboard. Mark’s the kind of friend you can count on to be by your side on those 5am wake up calls or those late night street missions. His work ethic is incredible and he pushes the envelope harder than most while remaining calm, collected, and friendly as can be.
Timberline at Mount Hood is often seen as the holy grail of summer snowboarding (and for good reason), but what happens between the wet winter and the influx of summer camps is a mystery. The Keep The Change gang answers all of these questions and more in three minutes, and it’s safe to say that hot laps on Stormin’ Norman have never looked so good.
If you know snowboarding, you know your season never really has to end. Many of us here at K2 Snowboarding have done back-to-back-to back winters, and the experience is a game changer. Whether you want to lap world class parks, work on your goggle tan cruising glaciers in the northern hemisphere, or break out the powder snorkel down south, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite summer boarding locations to help you narrow your search for an endless winter.
Mammoth Mountain, USA – Daily into August
Mammoth Mountain has had a killer season this year. If you saw any clips from Super Park, you know what we’re talking about. The features in Mammoth’s parks are well maintained and meticulously shaped, and are sure to be dialed in into early summer.
Perisher, Australia – June 9 – October 10
Perisher is the premier park destination in Australia with seven terrain parks and Australia’s biggest halfpipe. The park crew have been busy in the workshop building new features to add to the rail fleet, which is already the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Timberline, USA – Daily through mid-September
Timberline has been a freestyle leader from the start thanks to multiple terrain parks with enough jibs, jumps and pipes to keep even the hardest of the hardcore happy. Much of Timberline’s terrain is dedicated to freestyle and race camps, but their public park is maintained and should be prime all summer long.
Cardrona, New Zealand – June 10 – Oct 15
Cardrona offers the Southern Hemisphere’s most extensive terrain park facilities. From monster pro style features to beginner jumps and boxes, Cardrona’s park is easily one of the best in the southern hemisphere.
Treble Cone, New Zealand – June 10 – Octcoer 8
Treble Cone is the the largest ski area and has the most vertical drop on the South Island. With 45% advanced terrain, there’s plenty of steeps and drops to get the legs pumping and the face shots coming. Not to mention, the view from Treble Cone is all-time.
Mt Hutt, New Zealand – June 9 – October 8
Mt Hutt provides prime conditions for knee deep pow turns with a altitude of close to 7000 ft and an ideal southeast aspect. Located just 30 minutes from the laid back town of Methven, Mt. Hutt is a big bowl shaped mountain with steep sidewalls and caters to advanced riders.
Ski Portillo, Chile – June 17 – September 30
“The average annual snowfall at Portillo ski resort is about 25 feet. Portillo’s snow storms are typically short and intense, followed by bluebird days when the spectacular vistas can be fully appreciated. As a result, the quality of the powder is often dry and the riding is unbelievably fantastic.”
Nevados de Chillan – July 1 – September 24
Nevados de Chillan boasts the most annual average snowfall in South America, and the biggest vertical drop in Chile. Volcanic eruptions and rivers of lava have left a playground of mounds, bowls, natural half pipes, steep pitches, and drop-offs spread across the resort to get those creative riding juices pumping.
Squaw Valley, USA – Daily through July 4
2016/17 at Squaw has been one for the record books. The conditions are going to be prime for summer boarding through the 4th of July, maybe even longer. If you have never wakeboarded, snowboarded, bbq’d, and watched fireworks all on the same day, now is your chance. Head to Reno after the on-hill Apres for a night you might not remember…
Zermatt, Switzerland – Daily through mid-November
Zermatt is known all over the world for its mountain parties and summer boarding, and its 50+ bars offer plenty of choice and variety. If you’ve never shredded in Europe, Zermatt is a fantastic introduction to the European mountain scene.
Hintertux, Austria – Year Round
Down the road from Hintertux, Mayrhofen offers up one of the best apres summer boarding experiences in Europe. The atmosphere in the umbrella bars and apres ski pubs are sensational. The town also has a huge summer draw so there is never a shortage of events to attend.
Queenstown, New Zealand – June 10 – October 8
Located on the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown is the jumping off point for two ski areas, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Fantastic scenery, a lively bar scene, and a host of thrilling outdoor activities combine to make one week or an entire season in Queenstown one you’ll never forget.
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Mark Wilson: Boreal Mountain, CA – Boreal is a really fun mountain all season, and definitely my favorite resort in the spring time. You can always count on sunny weather, and they have one of the best maintained terrain parks you will ever ride. It is a small resort, so with a high speed quad on the park you are getting a ton of laps in a day!
Levi Luggen – Saas-Fee is my favorite spring resort because of its elevation and the glacier you can find light pow until late in the season. At the same time there is a nice little snowpark and of course tons of slushy sidehits lower in the resort. Raddest thing about it: you can combine all these three things in one single lap.
Leanne Pelosi – Whistler is my favorite resort since I first went to summer camp when I was 18. Something about it made me want to stay past my one year “break” in between finishing school. This is a picture of the creekside parking lot after shredding for the day just to show an example of when it dumps, it puuuuuukes!!! Even late in the spring this isn’t a rare occurrence.
Antti Jussila – Ruka Ski Resort has been one of my favorite spring resorts since I started riding. Always tons of possibilities what to ride. Everyone gathers there for end of season to shred the best park in Finland.
Tim Eddy – My favorite spring resort is the Sierra Nevada backcountry. With the long days, good weather, and stable snow pack you can splitboard amongst the mountains full of private peaks and glorious corn powder!
Yo Amagai – My favorite spring resort is Niseko, and also it is wonderful during the Spring season in the Hokkaido area. In Hokkaido, the snow accumulation is plentiful and there are many mountains which have gentle slopes so you can enjoy a variety of lines. Such slopes become awesome terrain in Spring, many of which are very severe, with people getting stuck in the coldest period of winter.
Jody Wachniak – Whistler Blackcomb is by far my favorite place to be boardin’ come spring. The vibes on and off the mountain are unreal and there’s so much different terrain to board in one lap. From side hits, to groomers, to surfy banks, to the park, Whistler Blackcomb has it all. Love this surfy paradise.
Janne Lipsanen – My favorite ski resort is Ruka, Finland. I live in Helsinki and every year when the weather gets too warm and resorts close we’ll head up to north Finland. The park is always really fun and they keep it in the good shape. I just love the vibe in there. Really long daylight, many friends, slushy snow and always good parties.
Taylor Godber – Whistler Blackcomb slushy hit laps with friends can’t be beat!
Alex Rodway – My favorite place to ride in the spring, which is Brighton Resort. Brighton has some of the best nooks and trannys out of bounds or during spring laps in the resort. This place might seem small at times but it’s a never ending scavenger hunt with new terrain around every corner.
With spring upon us, we wanted to get onto the proverbial right foot for spring splitboard season! We figured who better to chat with than splitboarding power couple Tim & Hannah Eddy. Their ongoing environmental awareness project Do Radical is one of the coolest things in not only snowboarding but the WORLD right now. Their current endeavor “Split the Difference” is a splitboarding photography book with all proceeds going to Protect Our Winters!
With that in mind here is the chat we had with the duo.
-Why do you splitboard?
It sums up our values in the world. You get to enjoy the moment. The pace is slower (no powder panic! 😱). It allows you to appreciate the natural world, it’s environmentally friendly, and provides countless moments of radical!
-What are your top 5 locations?
West Shore Lake Tahoe, Mt. Rose, Donner Summit, Eastern Sierras, and anywhere with soft snow!
-What are your top 10 splitboarding tips/things not to forget?
Be bold, start cold. By that we mean leave the trail head wearing minimal layers, because once you’re moving you’re going to get hot! Always pack a little more food and water than you think. Throw a couple ski straps in your pack in case of skin malfunction, that way you can strap ’em down. Skin management, keep ’em warm and dry. Know before you go, check avalanche reports and dig snow pits. Splitboarding is better with friends. Always pack backcountry tools and know how to use them. Favorite snack…PB&J! Bring a tool. Enjoy the journey, it’s not all about the ride down.
-Could you both tell us your split setup and why you like it?
Tim: 165 Joy Driver Split, long effective edge for traction on the climb up and rips through all kinds of snow conditions on the way down!
Hannah: 152 Northern Lite, stiff enough to handle the mountain but still has a surfy and fun feel.
The Radical Roamer!
Now’s your chance to come up on your own Splitboard! Enter below to win a 158 Joy Driver Split Package if you’re a dude or a 152 Northern Lite package if you’re a lady. Powabunga friends! Full contest rules here
Words and photos by Colton Jacobs: Howdy friends, it was a good time at this years LBS 31. It started off looking sketchy with a massive storm that destroyed the forest heading up to the mountain and closing the road for multiple days (read about the lucky guy that was snowed in here). We had a variety of weather throughout the weekend bringing snow Friday, clouds Saturday and bluebird on Sunday.
The atmosphere at the LBS is unmatched, everyone in the industry is there like a giant high school reunion where the food is delicious, and the stoke is high. Maxx had the Traeger BBQ RV down in the lower lot so at the end of the day we had some premium smoked meats!
In between races we rode the Shuksan arm and hemisphere’s to warm up the legs and enjoy the abundance of untracked lines still available if you were willing to hike.
Kael and Leanne made finals but the rest did not. It was a stiff competition as always and the regulars were on top of their game. Josh Dirksen, Curtis Ciszek, Temple Cummins, and Terje were all super fast but it was Nils Mindnich who won pro mens.
Regardless of the the competitive aspect the course was so fun and smooth, it was impossible to ride it and not enjoy yourself. Snowboarding is fun weather you win or lose. I think thats the whole vibe of the LBS in general, good times enjoying the art of snowboarding in a form thats very relatable to just about anyone who can snowboard, no triple corks needed…. however if you did figure out a way to invert down the course and still make a fast time you’d be a legend.
To wrap things up, don’t miss our edit TURN from last year’s LBS! Featuring not just the slalom but some fantastic Mt. Baker all mountain ripping.
Video by Liam Gallagher | 🏂 Tim Eddy Leanne Pelosi Lucas Debari Ryuji Takai Kyle Miller Kael Martin Matt Belzile Johnny Brady | Music: “Ticker” by Silent Partner / “Catch A Way” by Evert Almond / “Gulag Minnesbilden” by Ars Sonor Malga Kubiak
Until next time friends!
Words & Video by Nick Meilleur | Photos by Colton Jacobs /// What an opening month of shredding December was. Mother Nature arrived in the PNW with a resounding blizzard and did not let up for quite some time. Kael Martin, Greg Phillips, Jay Kelly and John Shaw set out to enjoy the goods on opening day at The Summit at Snoqualmie and Alpental. It was pretty hard to find any part of the mountain that wasn’t a ripping good time!
Hotlapping some of our favorite zones, everyone was real stoked at how light the snow was thanks to lower than average temps we are seeing this winter. Perfect for getting our shred legs back up and running!
The northwest is known for its interesting vegetation, and accumulation of features: pillows, stunt ditches, tree jibs, the list goes on. While the early snowfall did provide excellent coverage, it was fun seeing trees, shrubs and sticks that are usually completely covered up showing their heads (amidst deep pow).
When we weren’t hitting the side stashes, the slopes were a medley of slashes, bashes, carves and airs.
At the end of the day, we just wanted to keep ridin’ powder. Lucky for us, the snow came back and free refills became the new policy.
We’re stoked on what’s to come, hope your season is also off to a great start!
The Transworld Snowboarding 2017 gear guide is live and we got top marks across the board! Check out our award-winning gear below and follow individual links to read the full review. We’re stoked to help every snowboarder out there enjoy the sport to the fullest!
K2 Eighty Seven: ““Congratulations, K2, you’ve crafted my dream board,” declared one tester, who followed it up by saying, “The directional shape really dials in what you want it to do, and the tail is loaded with energy. The torsional flex enables great edge-to-edge transitions, and the shape really charges through bumps and berms.” Full review here!
TESTED AND APPROVED—BOOTS
K2 Ender: “The K2 Ender lives up to its name as testers’ favorite freestyle boot for 2017. It’s a lightweight, low-volume, mid-flex killer with about everything one could want in an all-around playful boot.” Full review here!
K2 Sapera: “A redesign in the K2 line, the Sapera’s Intuition liner quickly molded to testers’ feet, and its contoured footbed, in combination with an efficient inner lacing harness that stayed snug with one pull, kept heels in place.” Full Review here!
TESTED AND APPROVED—BINDINGS
K2 Lien AT: “Testers saw room for improvement in last year’s Lien AT, and K2 stepped it up for the 2017 edition. They were pleasantly surprised by how stiff and supportive the highback was—and according to K2, it’s 25 percent lighter than last year’s model.” Full review here!
K2 Hue: “The women’s Hue is an easygoing ride. All of the straps offer hassle-free, tool-less adjustments, and the binding is low on weight. It should appeal to exploratory riders who like to throw down in the park but also lay out soul carves across the rest of the mountain.” Full review here!
TESTED AND APPROVED—HELMETS
K2 Diversion: “As part of K2’s helmet line overhaul, the Diversion was updated with a hybrid hard-shell and in-mold construction. The new-look Diversion was the testers’ favorite K2 helmet to date, due to its low-profile shell, low weight, and honeycomb-patterned venting.” Full review here!
Last season Lucas Debari, Tim Eddy, and Matt Belzile headed to Japan. The results, an amazing adventure throughout Japan including multiple powder days, interesting foods, and good vibes. Shoutout to K2 Japan for hooking it up and providing us with a great experience. Arigato. #Japandwagon
The boys are back again for another season of chasing snow and finding weird places to snowboard on said snow. Planes, trains, bails and flails, Monster cans, and broken-down vans. They’re all a part of the adventure in a very unplanned way so stay tuned to have some fun watching the new edits from the best friends in snowboarding.
The resorts may be closed, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop thinking about snowboarding. We put together a few wallpaper packs so you can keep the stoke alive all summer. Download now for free!
All photography by Colton Jacobs.
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