Gray Thompson blasting that retro steez in 2014. Photo: @tackittphoto Provided by Snowboard Mag
The day before the day has come and here I sit at home in California before a wave of vintage stoke consumes Boreal Mountain Resort on Tahoe’s Donner Summit. It wont be long before K2’s team of rippers join snowboard lovers old and new in the legendary hand dug Donner half pipe to celebrate the roots of freestyle snowboarding which run deep here in Northern California. Inspired by the surf and skate lifestyle, snowboarding in Tahoe took on a personality of its own and this year rather tomorrow, March, 27 2015 we’ll see a glimpse of what started this whole passion we share called snowboarding. Stay tuned for blog updates, social media insights and shenanigans along the way as we pay our respects to the OG and help foster a history we all appreciate so much.
Lookout for your favorite K2 athletes: Jake Kuzyk, Mat Belzile, Tim Eddy, Leanne Pelosi, Johnny Brady, Mark Wilson, Chris Beresford, Alex Rodway, Danika Duffy and a full on K2 legend we’ll keep anonymous for now…
K2 Snowboarding is pumped to announce the addition of versatile rider Jody Wachniak to its Canadian Pro Team. With roots in Whistler, British Columbia, Jody’s flawless style and technique make him a versatile rider who crushes urban riding, as well as park and backcountry shredding.
“I couldn’t be more hyped to have Jody on the team,” said Taylor Ricci, K2 Canadian Team Manager. “The kid is one of the good guys and his positive personality is contagious. Welcome to the family Jody, it’s been a long time coming.”
Hailing from Oakbank, Manitoba, with fellow K2 athlete Jake Kuyzk, Jody and Jake grew up shredding their local hill – Springhill Winter Park – together through high school and ride together as much as they possibly can.
“Jody is one of my oldest friends and we grew up snowboarding together,” said Jake. “As years went on and our snowboarding progressed, we were led in different directions with different sponsors. I’m so hyped to see Jody on K2. We are finally on the same team now.”
Jody and Jake
Graduating early from high school thanks to the extra credits he earned from playing in jazz band, Jody moved straight to Whistler to take his riding to the next level. His versatile skills and charismatic personality make him the perfect addition to the talented K2 Canadian Team.
“I’m so hyped to be part of a company and team that promotes snowboarding as a good time and has been supporting snowboarding for over 25 years,” said Jody. “I’m looking forward to being a part of this family – thanks K2.”
Riding the Fastplant and Lien Bindings, Jody joins the Canadian team that includes: Blair McKinney, Matts Kulisek and Taylor Godber.
For more information on the K2 Snowboarding team, check: k2snowboarding.com/team
From Transworld Business:
At SIA in January, we had the chance to catch up with K2 Snowboarding on some of the brand’s big initiatives moving into 2016 and beyond. A highlight for the snowboarding brand for next season is its Carve Air and Cool Bean boards, two shapes that the brand hopes simplify the way its consumers think about snowboarding and brings them back to the basics, explains K2 Global Brand Director Hunter Waldron.
The boards are part of the brand’s “Seek and Enjoy” campaign, which is in its third year. For 2016, the brand has been playing with the volume of boards in their collection, much like what the surf industry is seeing at the moment, and the result has been several shapes that excel in powder but can also do well in mixed conditions. The boards are “all about riding for what riding is” and creating the soulful vibe that initially inspired many to get involved in the sport.
“It’s our way of saying no matter what you seek, no matter what you are into, K2 supports it,” explains Waldron. “There is no bad way to snowboard as long as you are being yourself and having a good time. The White Wave subtitle we’ve added to that message this year is our way of highlighting a style of riding that is gaining momentum and has potential to become the future of the sport in some way.”
The philosophy opens up a new category within the market that we’ve seen a couple major snowboarding brands leaning towards, and K2 hopes to be at the forefront of the movement with a dedicated effort at retail. We caught up with Waldron to hear more.
Why does K2 see this soulful, surf-inspired snowboard movement as relevant and how does it speak to the brand’s roots and history?
It’s relevant because it is what we are having the most fun doing lately. Our team, our in-house crew, friends, people we look up to – everyone seems to be on this idea of getting back to basics. I think it’s a logical next step for a lot of riders. The pace of trick progression is so intense and a lot of people are stepping off the wheel and looking to a more soulful source of inspiration – that being the beginning of the sport which was about turning and emulating surfing. Also, there is a larger trend towards authenticity and getting back to your roots happening in the world with people giving up fast fashion for heritage brands with long-lasting product. I think it’s the backlash of the pace and flash-then-gone mentality of the internet. People want to act with deeper meaning and this snow-surf vibe K2′s embracing provides that.
This is taken directly from our roots. K2 started back in 1987 when board shapes were very surfy and turning style was measured on how well you could carve, essentially emulating a deep bottom turn. We have always been focused on turning performance and today’s surfy energy is a natural extension of that.
“They make you look at the mountain in a different way that makes riding feel fresh and new again. It’s all about offering a new riding experience.”—K2 Global Brand Director Hunter Waldron
K2 team rider Tim Eddy on the new Cool Bean board.
Explain the reasoning behind how K2 has played with the volume in these boards to make them ride well in both powder and mixed conditions?
The Volume theory has its roots in riding a wider, shorter board in soft snow. But, we quickly found out how fun they are on groomers. The extra width gives you more toe clearance for confidently laying it down without toe drag, and the short length makes them easy to redirect and push around. So, of course, they float well in powder, but I am more excited about how these new Volume-shift models turn an average day in the resort on non-fresh snow into some of my favorite days. They make you look at the mountain in a different way that makes riding feel fresh and new again. It’s all about offering a new riding experience.
Can you detail the technology that goes into the Carve Air in particular?
The Carve Air is a wider Happy Hour with a chopped tail. So, it is the first step out along the Volume shift spectrum. By squashing the board to make it wider and shorter you get carving clearance and a board you can redirect faster. The chopped tail gives you a small bit of clearance for handplants and also just looks fast and fun. Really there is more tech built into the Cool Bean. It takes that Volume shift even further, and as a result we had to do some interesting tuning to the shape to amplify the non-powder performance. For example, when you make a board that wide the torsional stiffness of the tail gets crazy big. So the swallow tail is actually a functional way to elevate that torsional stiffness. So it isn’t just for style. It’s a functional thing we tested and developed so that the Cool Bean truly is a board that excels on harder snow.
What sort of retailers are you targeting with the White Wave boards?
K2 offers it to everyone as we believe it is a future segment that all shops should support or will soon. But, we are seeing the more core retailers picking up on it as they are there with us on this mindset and have the customers that are engaged in snowboarding and see this emerging.
Have you seen the boards gaining traction at specialty retailers in more coastal regions than previously?
That is hard to tell yet, but we are excited about how universal the appeal of the White Wave models are. It’s not only about powder. The harder snow regions are stoked on the groomer and mixed conditions performance. As a kid from Michigan originally where the mountains are not as big, I love the fact that you get more fun per vertical feet on these boards. So, we are expecting to see them sell into all regions.
Leading action sports retailer, evo, is pleased to announce that Lucas Debari has joined the evoCollective, a multitalented group of individuals who represent evo’s brand and core values. Debari joins Austin Smith, Chris Benchetler, Kimmy Fasani, Eric Pollard, Tim McChesney, Brandon Cocard and other talented individuals as part of the evo Collective.
Lucas writes: “It is rad to link up with evo. From the community events here in the Northwest, to being the top retailer around, evo is a consistent and solid contributor to the snowboard community.”
Growing up in Glacier, Washingtion, at the foot of Mount Baker and only a few hours from evo’s Seattle headquarters, Lucas has been well-recognized in the Northwest snowboard scene for over a decade. In recent years, he has gained international recognition as one of today’s most progressive big mountain snowboarders, earning him a spot on the list of esteemed professional riders who have cut their teeth on the terrain that only Baker offers.
Lucas is spending this season working on a video part with Absinthe Films, taking a break from long, snowboard-mountaineering expeditions, and getting back to his freestyle roots.
Debari is sponsored by Dragon, The North Face and K2 Snowboarding. evo is proud to join that list and couldn’t be more excited to have Lucas as part of the Collective.
Follow @lucasdebari and @evo
Read the full announcement and interview on evo.com.
It’s no secret now, Tim Eddy is absolutely one of a kind and he provides some pretty epic words of wisdom in this Shreddy episode. Make it a point to do something different this year whatever that means to you, let Tim inspire.
The “Freshman” release last year from DeJa Vu was anything but novice. Winning Movie of the year from both Transworld and Snowboarder magazine polls, this crew of French Canadian heavies consisting of Nic Sauve, Frank April, Ben Bilocq, LNP, Will Lavigne, Alex Cantin and Louif Pradis took no time basking in the glory of such an award.
Back to work they went plotting the next attack and one that’ll surely drop jaws… again. Embarking on a two year project historically left to big budget productions such as Brain Farm, the DeJa Vu dudes are set on one upping their previous success and now with the addition of our boy Jake Kuzyk, that next level of precision and technical detail will fully be noticed. Keep an eye out for this one and follow along on instagram @dejavumovie or on the official website.
The Manboys: Photobalm from TheManBoys on Vimeo.
From the Manboys:
Several main characters are, spoiler alert, killed off in this episode. It’s a lot like the Game of Thrones but without any nudity or dragons or careful planning. Maybe that’s a problem. There should be more nudity? Next time. Between now and then, please feel free to watch us, fully clothed, trying really hard to snowboard correctly off of jumps that are either handmade or just the result of plate-tectonics doing their thing. Also, this one has a bit of an intro at the beginning that really focuses on group photography and bad acting, so if that doesn’t interest you, then go ahead and close your eyes for the first forty seconds or so. Either way, it’s that time of year, so Happy Christmas one and all!
Starring: Mark Sollors, Rusty Ockenden, Chris Rasman, Matt Belzile, Robjn Taylor, Jody Wachniak
Written by Jack Antal – Transworld Snowboarding
Snowboarding needs culture, community, passion, and creativity. It is so important that professionals give back to the sport by creating events that make people feel like they are part of something bigger than just snowboarding. Leanne gave back to women’s snowboarding in a big way, by throwing one of the best women’s events I have ever been to. The Early Bird Social sold out in just two days and had over 100 women participate in morning yoga, a group ride, avalanche awareness refresher, and an après fundraiser party.
The morning started with some much needed yoga at Lululemon’s Forlise. The instructor, Sarah Harvison, had everyone warmed up quickly with a series of chaturangas and downward dogs, ending with some much-needed shavasana (7am comes early!). After yoga, they surprised us with complimentary yoga mats, custom Early Bird Social Coleman flasks, and a yummy breakfast of Jules Fuel. After breakfast, there was an opportunity to demo K2 2015 boards and BCA backcountry gear. After everyone from yoga was geared up, more women continued to arrive for the event, quickly filling the room with countless familiar faces of women’s snowboarding.
Leanne split the large group of women into smaller groups for the morning ride. Leading the groups was: Leanne Pelosi, Annie Boulanger, Marie France Roy, Robin Van Gyn, Taylor Godber and Helen Schettini. Everyone then, headed to the lift and uploaded on the brand new Whistler gondolas. When we reached the top, the girls were eager to take some runs. Red chair laps, hit runs, and secret banked slaloms were attacked as everyone was riding at such a good level and excited to be around such a large group of inspiring women.
At noon, we all hopped on the Peak-To-Peak towards the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb, to indulge in some much-needed lunch. After lunch, we met the Whistler Blackcomb Patrol to break off into our Avalanche Awareness groups. Our guide started out with the basics, learning about snowpack, dangerous slopes, and terrain traps. After we had a better understanding, our guide taught us about the equipment and what to do if ever someone was to be caught in an avalanche. We spent the afternoon practicing our skills and in the final beacon search the first person to save the buried beacon won sweet prizes from the sponsors. We finished the day with some runs through the terrain park and headed home to get ready for the nights fiestas.
The Early Bird Social Après gathering was held at Lululemon’s ForLise. The party featured photo booths and complimentary gluten free Beer from Corsa Beer, tasty Margaritas, Coronas, and super yummy tacos compliments of Lululemon. The room was filled with a collection of photos, outerwear, and art for the silent auction from: Ashley Barker, Phil Tifo, Justin L’Heureux, Erin Hogue, Taylor Godber, Roxy, Vans, Scandinave Spa and Airblaster, with all proceeds going to Protect Our Winters. The night featured so many great people and good times; it was awesome to see the community come together to support the early season stoke. Thanks so much to ABC Photo, Airblaster, The Circle, Coleman, Dakine, Hit Case, K2, Lululemon, Roxy, Scandinave Spa, Stance Socks, Vans, Vega, and Leanne Pelosi for putting on such an awesome event!
It’s the Christmas season, what better way to celebrate than to sit back, relax and watch snowboard videos to stoke for winter shredding. Enjoy episodes 1-3 from the Manboys out there in Whistler, dudes are having a blast.
Manboys: King of the Elephants Presented by Monster from TheManBoys on Vimeo.
The Manboys: Cooke City & Fatty Yogurts from TheManBoys on Vimeo.
The Manboys: Farewell Horses from TheManBoys on Vimeo.
…Dewey Ogg from Colorado. Congratulations man and thank you everyone for all the submissions. After two weeks of asking for your favorite road trip images, Tim Eddy has indeed chosen his favorite. As promised we will be flying Tim Eddy out to meet Dewey in his home town for a weekend at his home mountain during the 2015 season. Stoked!