The MidWest is a Jungle

These Boys from Minnesota are absolutely killing it. Coming from a place where we get up a hill with tow ropes too, this riding is seriously on another level. Flips out of rails? Are you serious?

I have always wanted to visit Hyland Hills as it’s only about 8 hours from me in Winnipeg, but now it’s a must. If not only to witness the progression that these guys seem to be pushing along like a train.

Say Your Prayers

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It’s that time of year again, banked slalom time. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I firmly believe that banked slaloms are the coolest events in snowboarding. They are inclusive of all of snowboarding and are about as true to a snowboarding event as you can get.

Freestyle cam from skateboarding, slalom came from skiing, and we as snowboarders have banked slalom. An interesting mix between the two that requires a snowboarder to be not only fast, but stylish as well. The courses challenge your ability to flow and react to the widely varying snow conditions and terrain underfoot.

When I did my first banked slalom, someone told me to just not fall. I though that was easy enough, a given even. But sure enough the first right-hand bank had me second guessing whether I’d be making it down on my feet or my ass. It’s a fine line between all out speed and surgical control.

It’s not the most difficult thing, but a missed transition pump here or there can cost you many seconds by the end of your run. It’s a adrenaline-filled one and a half minute exertion, mentally and physically.

The most prestigious event in all of banked slalom is the Mt Baker invitational. With a list of past winners like Terje Haakonsen, Brian Iguchi, and Travis Rice, it is the ultimate proving ground of legendary snowboarders. It’s steeped in history and to this day is the one event I would pay a considerable amount of money to participate in.

I give you, The Baker Banked Slalom.

Ragdolling

Eat shit and ride.

That’s all I know. That’s all they’ll tell me. Who or what is Ragdoll Snowboarding?

As far as I can tell, Ragdoll is the most pure snowboard media outlet on the web today. Btu only enough, no one knows a lot about them. By the looks of it a group of midwest pros have banded together over the lack of exposure sites like Transworld Snowboarding and Snowboarder Mag have been giving them.

In a sense, whoever is in charge of rag doll is the antithesis to the Mark McMorris’ and Scott Serfs’ of the world. I don’t mean to pick on anyone, but those guys hold a certain place in snowboarding that Ragdoll is most certainly not.

But I’m really not sure who or what Ragdoll Snowboarding is, and it amazes me that with only the content they release–from others and themselves–they have been able to create such a strong image and stance on their place in snowboarding.

I don’t know who exactly this is going out to but good luck Ragdoll, I hope you keep showing snowboarding through your lenses.

Pure Gold

The YawGoons Are special kind of snowboarding fun. One that I can very much relate to. They come from a hill called Yawgoo Valley in Minnesota. The small hill doesn’t have much but these guys have somehow made a mellow-sloped piece of open and groomed snow seem like the funnest place on earth.

With firsts like the chainlink rail, trench tricks and some of the coolest reverse backside carves ever caught on film, the Yawgoons are straight killing it.

Pure gold.

Source: YAWGOONS 17

Drinks With Maycher

2 years ago I used to have a different blog. It was shit. Let’s not kid ourselves. It was bad. I was just leaning to write my thoughts into a cohesive sentence. The whole concept of it was a last ditch effort to have a little fun in a schooling program that i Knew was about to slowly suck my life away.

Drinks With Maycher was a dumb name. I don’t even introduce myself to others as Maycher, it’s clunky and everyone always hears Mitch.

Either way, the idea was to go out every Thursday and have a drink a a different place, usually a lounge or pub, somewhere with a bartender but not a DJ so loud that you can’t hear yourself think. I would generally go alone, with my iPhone as a notepad, and ask a bartender to make me a drink that;s not on the menu. I wanted to hear about a drink their dad used to make, or something they invented one night after close with a limited supply to chose from. And I got it for the most part.

After a while it got tedious, and I got lazy. The drinks started being straight off the menu, and I would often forego asking the bartender or server anything personal and missing out on a lot of the content the idea was based upon. The writing was really never any good, but short of a recipe list, the idea was a flop.

It turns out it’s because I’m not Vice News, and it wasn’t on video. A short while ago I got the chance to show the conversation on video with lighting and sound and montages, the things people want to see about a drink and bar environment.

So I put on my best Anthony Bourdain and I went to Union Sound Hall in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. I had a ton of fun making this, and it re-ignited the fire of this idea that might turn into something one day.

Thanks for watching.

 

 

The MotherShip

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This season Capita Mfg. or Capita Suprecorp as they like to call themselves built what I would boldly call them biggest steak in ground that the snowballing industry is here to stay. This monolith of the self-sustainability of snowboarding that I’m talking about is The MotherShip. Capita’s permanent new home in the mountains of Austria.

This factory, headquarters and R&D facility is an environmentally friendly, purpose-built snowboard factory with it’s own lift accessed run less than 200 yards away. Most of the machinery from this factory came from the now bankrupt Elan snowboard factory.

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The élan factory was the worlds most state-of-the-art snowboard factory churning out some of the first in wood manipulating and construction-based technologies. With brands like Artec, Battaleon, Capita, Dinosaurs Will Die, and more, it held a large percentage of the worlds snowboard manufacturing power and capacity. In 2013, Elan went bankrupt and shut its doors to the snowboarding industry.

With Winter rapidly approaching, many brands had to scramble to find new manufactures that could produce the lines of products that had taken years to develop alongside Elan, and had the capacity to do it. Many brands had smaller availabilities during the next season, and scrambling for a solution.

During this time, Blue Montgomery, owner and CEO of Capita Mfg. was out trying to scrape together enough money to buy a sizeable chunk of the machinery that lay waiting in the unused Elan factory.

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Him and the others that made this dream come to reality have shown the true passion that snowboarding gives a person. I heard stories about people remortgaging there houses just to buy in to what Blue was doing. That’s dedication. It’s great to see that people do care enough about snowboarding to do whatever it takes to keep it alive and well.

This new factory means big things for Capita, a company that has grown with a flair for the artsy and weird and always stayed true to loving snowboarding. They are now able to call themselves among the top five companies in snowboarding and in my opinion one that has the most fun doing it.

 

Home Grown

Over the last year I made a documentary. It’s about snowboarding, in the prairies. I know it doesn’t sound like much, and believe me, I didn’t think it was going to turn out as much either.

But somehow it did. Somehow what started as a story about Winnipeg’s Gypsy Mob turned into a truthful insight on what it means to snowboard in a place where, in an open field the end of your vision is actually the curvature of the earth sloping away from you ever so slightly.

During the making of this I got the chance to interview and ride with some of the people that I grew up idolizing in a way. The influence that riders like Jake Kuzyk and Jody Wachniak have on our scene is noticeable. John Swystun brought our small community together with every premiere he brought through town. People like Jesse Walker are still making snowboarding happen right here at home, putting in time helping others have as much fun as they can. It made for a good story.

As much as this was very much not the movie I set out to make at the begging of this year, I think if things never fell apart in just the way that they did….Then I never would have had the opportunity ti bring together and influence the local scene as in the same way that some of the guys in the film did to me and my friends.

To everyone that came out to the premiere I want to personally say thanks you. It was a huge success and a sellout. I’m incredibly happy to have scene something that I made bring the snowboard community together to celebrate what we do and all the hard work that goes into snowboarding in our city.

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The film is not available online yet but if you follow @blocheadcreative in Instagram you’ll find out when it is.