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Letter to the Editor – Tom

I received this letter from Tom Farthing in December, and I just had to share it! His story illustrates how awesome snowskating is and how tight knit the community continues to be. Snowskating will change your life and make you friends! Please read and enjoy, and if you have a cool snowskate story, please email me! KendraWilsonNV@gmail.com

Hi Kendra,

My name is Tom and I’m a recent “board addict”, at 43 years “young”.

Eight years ago, I was in a near fatal mountain bike crash, and feared I may never walk again. Luckily the swelling went down and I wasn’t paralyzed, but as hard as I fought over the years since the accident, it has been a VERY painful experience with many failures(mostly career).

I can’t mountain bike anymore off road as it hurts too much. But last year at age 42 I discovered longboarding….and it radically changed my life. It is a sport I can do all day thanks to the trails being “smooth” and it got me to turn my Facebook on again (was off for 5 years hiding and depressed), got me into doing fundraising events for cancer, donating blood and MOST IMPORTANTLY, making friends again.

I snowboarded for around 15 years, but I haven’t been out since the crash. Well, this year I spotted a snowskate at the local skate shop and was like “HEEEEEEEY what’s this!!!”. I picked one up a couple weeks ago and am beyond excited that I can carry on the longboard feeling all winter!!!!!!

So, I’m rambling and bad for that, feeling VERY HAPPY and excited because last night I got my first turns in on the snowskate!!! The whole point of this message was to thank you for PROJECT SNOWSKATE!!!!!! Your site is the first one I found, and I’m super impressed/happy to have found it. I just read “Ode To Judah“; it made my eyes water.

You represent the sport very well, love the videos and the passion you have for it. The work you put in to “spread the stoke”. It is in longboarding too, and I creepy messaged the “Godfather” of longboarding last year and now we are good friends. To this old NOOB, you are the face of snowskating!!!

Haha I’m nervous and rambling, my apologies. Thank you again for Project Snowskate. I hope you keep updating it; YOU are exactly what this sport needs. You have a great attitude!!

The thing I missed the most, lost in the dark for a few years, was being outside and friends, feel free to FB friend me if you like!! I already got 4 longboarders (also snowboarders) buying a snowskate each this month, and beginning to “spread the stoke“. I was going to join the Snowskaters Network forums today (was waiting until first turns, haha) but I see it is down (FYI – I just logged into snowskaters.net and it worked for me-KW).

Thanks for your time Kendra, hope all is well

Tom Farthing
Red Deer, AB, Canada

Tom

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Legality of Alta Ski Area’s Discriminitory Practices Finally Challenged

Alta

Yesterday, four snowboarders filed a federal lawsuit against Alta Ski Area and the US Forest Service. Alta is one of 3 ski resorts left in the US that only allow skiers on their mountain. The plaintiffs are not asking for monetary restitution for years of discrimination, only for an injunction of the mountain’s discriminatory practices. Because Alta’s ski area is located almost entirely on National Forest Service Land, the US Forest Service was also named as a defendant.

ABC News reported that David Quinney, a part owner of Alta, made this comment in response to the lawsuit. “I’m a skier, always have been. There are skiers out there that appreciate going to a place that allows skiers only.” This comment is obviously narrow-minded, but I found it interesting that if you replaced the word “skier” in his statement with the words “white,” “able-bodied person,” “male,” “straight,” etc., there would be a community outcry against the organization. This kind of discrimination should not be allowed on Forest Service Land, which is why I believe that the plaintiffs will be successful in this lawsuit.

Snowskating is allowed at most ski resorts in the US, but there are many that still restrict snowskating which is also a discriminatory practice against a specific group of people. Resorts like Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Mammoth may find that their discriminatory practices against snowskaters will be challenged not only in social forums, but in the legal system as well.

I have discussed the illegality of ski resorts restricting snowskates from accessing their mountains before, and the implications of the results of this lawsuit will most definitely transfer to snowskating and the restriction of it from ski areas on Forest Service Land (such as Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows and MANY more). I’ll be watching the progression of this case, and I’d like to thank the four plaintiffs (Rick Alden, Drew Hicken, Bjorn Leines and Richard Vargas) for their efforts in promoting equal rights on the mountain and wish them luck!

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2013/2014 Gear Guide!

ConstructionThe Gear Guide is currently under construction with changes coming for the new season!  The 2012/2013 Gear Guide is still available to view, but please know that the product and prices may have changed for the new season.  Please keep an eye on ProjectSnowskate.com because the new guide is coming soon, and it’s not to miss!

I’ve just made updates to the Snowskate Friendly Resorts Page, so please visit to see changes.  Thank you so so much to all our readers who notified us of changes in Resort’s policies!

Also, if you have a specific question or topic of interest, please use the search bar at the top of the page.  We have accumulated quite a bit of content, and I’m sure we’ve got answers for you!

Just an example, can't search here!

Just an example, can’t search here!

Stay Tuned!

 

If you are a snowskate company owner, please email me information on your line up. I need prices for completes and pieces, important dimensions, concise description of how the board is meant to ride, and where to buy (website, shop, call in, etc.).

This page makes sales for YOU, so get back to me ASAP.
KendraWilsonNV@gmail.com

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Low Tide Blues… Snowskate Therapy

Here in Tahoe we’ve been hurting for snow. I’ve seen some wonderfully fresh and powdery pictures from other parts of the country, but in Tahoe, we just couldn’t wait any longer and recently celebrated a fresh 4 inches with our brand new powder gear and now are in the garage playing with P-tex.  And, it’s not really looking like we’ve got any more fresh coming real soon.

Weather

Now, I’m all for powder riding and all that.  But, don’t let this low tide early season get you down.

Firstly, we are so lucky to live near resorts like Heavenly and Northstar which have world class snowmaking set-ups. But, even still, they can only open so many runs off their snowmaking, and forget about the trees.

Just today I overheard a skier saying, “I’m so bored of all these runs.” …Ok, so when you are sick of all the runs, go check out the park and add a couple gems to your bag of tricks. Northstar’s park is going off and I mean it. It’s not gonna get better with fresh snow, it is hitting RIGHT NOW.

Bored of the park you say? But, don’t forget, we’ve still got the views! How can you be having a bad day railing turns on groomers looking at this?

Heavenly View
Well, if you are, I really do have the solution for you. Let me let you guess…

Get a snowskate, you grump. Stop being snowBORED and get a skate. Seriously, even during this snow drought, it’s impossible to have a bad time on a snowskate. Everything is just more fun! Just hitting banks and kickers on cruiser runs all day is a blast! Plus, if snowskating is new to you, you’ll be distracted from the poor conditions by learning something new. And, there is plenty of snow to learn. Even if you are an expert, you are gonna have a good time snowskating, it’s just plain true.

Obviously Snowskates are more fun...
So get one, and stop being grumpy.

You’re welcome.

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US Summer Snowskate Open 2013 Recap

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Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

The 3rd Annual US Summer Open of Snowskating went off on July 4, 2013 at Timberline Mt. Hood.  It was questionable if the event was even going to happen after Starfish Magazine posted in June that the event was canceled due to scheduling conflicts with Premier Snowskates and the Windells Camp.  Tim Windell was able to reach out to Danny Sheehan of Ralston Snowskates to make the contest happen.  After two years of Premier Snowskates putting on an extremely fun summer contest, Danny had big shoes to fill to live up to expectations.

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Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

The Ralston Team along with other South Shore and Hood locals, rallied on July 3rd to design and build a snowskate specific course for the event which included 2 rails, 2 boxes, a huge doghouse feature, a dance floor, and 2 jumps.  There wasn’t a rope tow this year, so the course had to be hiked, but it was compact enough that it wasn’t something to complain about.

On contest day, it was interesting to see who showed up.  After the misunderstanding about the event being cancelled, many people made other plans and some staple snowskaters were not there.  The core Lake Tahoe skaters showed in impressive numbers, a couple car fulls of Washington skaters showed up, after some car trouble, the bad asses out of Minnesota rolled in, add a couple Hood locals, and we had ourselves a contest.  Tickets were a discounted $45 on contest day, and registration was $12.

It began around noon, and in an unofficial but seemingly and surprisingly organized manner, the jam moved from feature line to feature line.  The contest started on the jump line.  Some notable boosters were Alan Gerlach, Adrian Rasmussen, Pat Bonser, Mark Spicolli, Pat Daily, Matt Hightower, and Randi Rae.  As expected, the landings didn’t last long and when it was completely done, the jam moved over to the 2 box line.

Alan Gerlach

Alan Gerlach

The first box was slightly down to a STEEP landing, and the second box was slightly up to a flat landing and steepish ride out.  Notables on the boxes were Gerlach, Spicolli,  and Hightower who all solidly sessioned the boxes AND boosted over them clean with  connections to the jump line for full-pull runs.  Stevie Evanson and Shag were working Shuvits off both boxes. And, the girls were getting at the boxes too.

Tandem Air

Tandem Air

Then once the landings were worked, the contest moved to the rail to doghouse line.  This is where the contest was won.  Gerlach pulled front boardslides on the rail, across the coping of the doghouse, and a miller flip over the dog house.  Spicolli also pulled grinds and a clean no footed boneless.  Hightower and Bonser pulled clean grinds across the doghouse, too.

When Danny Sheehan got bored of judging, he jumped on a skate and KILLED it on the doghouse, rails, and jumps.  Gerlach and Rasmussen got creative doing tandem airs on the jump line.  And, that was the contest winding down.  All the participants rode back to the Windell’s Camp for the Awards Ceremony.

Lodging was available for $20 at Windells Camp like the previous years and the entire Camp was open to participants and families, including the skate park, slacklines, dirt jumps, ping pong, tetherball, and all sorts of other stuff to make you feel like a kid.  They even opened the kitchen for a barbeque after the contest.  Money collected from lodging was all donated back as prize money for the contest by Windells.

After a skate jam and barbeque, the results of the contest were given and it shook out like this:

Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

Overall, the Ralston US Summer Open, turned out to be a great success and enough props cannot be given to Ralston and Windell’s for making this event happen on short notice.  Very high expectations for next year considering that way more planning and prep is possible!

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Kirkwood Legendary Banked Slalom 2013 Recap (Snowskate Division- duh)

Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

Photo by Jeff Nokkeo

The Legendary Banked Slalom at Kirkwood took place on April 14, 2013.  This was my first time attending the event but for years I’ve heard that it’s awesome and that Kirkwood takes care of snowskaters, laying down sick trophies, cash, and other prizes.  My expectations were high going in, and I wasn’t let down.

The course was legit. It carved up and down the sides of Snowsnake Gully off Chair 11.  Each participant got 2 runs and the lowest combined time won.  In other words-no throw away run, you had to stick them both.  We were allowed time in the morning to practice, but the gully was a solid ice, death trap.  Many people chose not to take a practice run at all.

The first run for the snowskaters started at about 11:00 AM, and the gully was still rock hard.  Naturally, ladies went first.  Then, the guys had a go at it.  The times for the first run were displayed on a board at the bottom so you knew where you stood after that one.  Billy Bradford had the best time after the first run with Pat Bonser 3 seconds behind, and Matt Hightower 7 seconds behind Pat.

Kirkwood local and snowskate legend, Pat Bonser, has had this event on lock for the past 4 years.  Since there has been a Snowskate Division in the Kirkwood Banked Slalom, he has won it.  And, the entire field was gunning him down.  When Billy beat him in the first run, everyone erupted with chatter, “Pat’s reign is over.” “He’s walking with a limp!  He’s injured.”  “He’s on a new Predog Snowskate; he’s not comfortable on it!!”  “He forgot his wax at home!”  “Pat’s gotta step aside, FINALLY!”

The second and last run started at 3:00 PM, by this time the ice had turned to slush and the line was well worn in.  Ladies again went first each of them improved their times over the first run.  Snowskates can slay on the soft slush.  The guys saw this and knew that this was the run to smoke.  Each guy dropped until it got to the last two: Pat and Billy.  Pat dropped first knowing that he had to make up 3 seconds on top of whatever Billy was able to put up for his second run.  He had a solid drop in, and from the first gate, you could see that he wasn’t holding back.  He was FLYING!  Then, halfway through the course, disaster struck!  He crashed!  He recovered quickly though and didn’t miss his gate.  He sped to the bottom but knew that he had lost it.  Then Billy, knowing he had a 3 second cushion on top of the crash that Pat just had, dropped in. He laid down a solid run.  And, without seeing the times, EVERYONE knew that Billy had it in the bag.

Everyone arrived at the awards ceremony ready to see Billy at the top of the podium.  But first, the snowskate ladies:  There has never before been a female snowskater entered in the Kirkwood Banked Slalom and this year, we put together a field of 4. Go girls! Results:Women

1st Kendra Wilson
2nd Tara Atkins
3rd Becky Gentile
4th Jill Zapata

When the girls stepped down, the men were called:  3rd Place went to Pat “Goblin” Quinn who put up a crazy impressive 2nd run. Then, 2nd Place was called, BILLY BRADFORD!! Crickets.  Then, murmurs, “What the hell?  Who got first then?”

Men1st Place….PAT BONSER!  ERUPTION!!!!! AAHHHHH!  Pat pulled the fastest 2nd run with a fall!  He was on pace with snowboarders’ times before his crash!  Holy crap.  Nutso!! Legend Status: Solidified.

And, the Snowskate Division solidified its place in the contest being the 2nd largest division of 25!  Proving that if you allow them, they will come!

And, that was it!  Yummy Passholder lunch provided by Kirkwood, super fun race, cool people, drama, suspense, rad prizes, awesomeness, MUST GO TO THE KIRKWOOD BANKED SLALOM!!!

Thanks Kirkwood!!

Results

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Snowskate Olympics 2013 Recap

Alan Gerlach by Gergis Maximus Photography

Alan Gerlach by Gergis Maximus Photography

The Olympic Snowskate Championships took place at Hurricane Ridge on March 30, 2013 and March 31, 2013. The event was organized by North by Northwest Surf Co. located in Port Angeles, WA. Owner, Frank Crippen, teamed with terrain park architect Matt Eggleston and Brendon Corroa to create a banked slalom course and a snowskate specific slopestyle course jam packed with features. The weather was beautiful – clear skies, great views, and warm temperatures. The event took place over two days with three separate contests.

Jake Tomlinson

Jake Tomlinson

Day One began with the Powder Downhill which on this particular day was more of a slush race.  This event is famous for big crashes, and this year lived up to it’s reputation.   Just a few turns in, there was a huge pile up.  Joachim ended up taking the win and a GNU powderskate cut out.  Check out the video footage from Erik Nelsen.

Then came the slopestyle competition.  The course included two jumps with hit options on all sides, a large hip jump, and Ollie on rail, and the outskirts of the course were littered with jibs and wall rides too numerous to name. The format was jam session for the first hour.  Then in each heat the field was narrowed until the last three.  Joachim and Alan raged on and on and took 2nd and 3rd respectively with big airs and lots of technical attempts.  Jake stole first with his effortless style.

Brendon Corrao by Gergis Maximus Photography

Brendon Corrao by Gergis Maximus Photography

The Banked Slalom competition was on day 2.  Each skater got 3 race runs, and their best time got put up against the other best times to determine the winner.  The course was fun, and it seemingly got faster as the day went on.  The race was close.  I could not believe the times that some of the guys were putting up.  Matt Edgers got 3rd,  Paul Elkins got 2nd and Brendon Corrao pulled first.

In the end, the trip was amazing.  Washington was so hospitable, the party was raging, and the snowskating was rad.  One comment: where were my home girls?  We need more girls competing pronto!

Results:

Powder Downhill:
1. Joachim BronzichGNU powderskate cut out

Men:

Slopestyle:
1. Jake Tomlinson – Sick trophy, $375, bag o’ swag
2. Joachim Bronzich – Sick trophy,  Lib Tech Powderskate, bag o’ swag
3. Alan Gerlach – Sick trophy, Lib Tech sub deck, Ungi Bungi Leash

Randi Rettke

Randi Rettke

Banked Slalom:
1. Brendon Corrao – Sick trophy, $175, Chiller sub deck
2. Paul Elkins – Sick trophy,  $100, Circuit top deck
3. Matt Edgers – Sick trophy, $100, Ralston Mini sub deck

Women:

Slopestyle:
1. Kendra Wilson - Lib Tech top deck and sub deck, Ungi Bungi Leash
2. Randi Rettke – Lib Tech sub deck

Banked Slalom:
1. Kendra Wilson – Pile o’ swag
2. Randi Rettke – Pile o’ swag

(If I got the prizes wrong, please comment the correct distribution.)

For more photos, visit Gergis Maximus’ or Burton Cooper Photography’s Facebook photo albums.

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