Memorial Day Powder & Mush

Mother nature hit the reset button

Just last week I was telling a friend that this years season came to an end sooner than any year that I can remember.  Well, it’s not over ’til mother nature says it is and she just decided to deliver nearly a foot and a half of pow to the nearby mountains here in Northern Utah.  When the low clouds cleared out on a lazy and rainy sunday afternoon my eyes lit up at the sight of some surprisingly thick white stuff in the upper foothills.  I checked the snotel data and it was reading cold temps and 12 inches of snow and counting!

I pulled out my gear and got on the phone to some friends.. I’m all about these bonus pow days and I would feel guilty if I didn’t seize the opportunity.  At first light the next morning I was on the road, the contrast of the green trees and hillsides covered in fresh white snow made for an awesome drive.  I left a bit earlier than the rest of the crew cause I know that May powder has a really short shelf life, and it turns to muck in a hurry.

CHECK THE QUICKIE VIDEO RE-CAP!

Rolling with a quiver for some late season R&D testing
First run of the day was the real deal.  Light and dry powder
Our powder turned into coastal style muck in less than an hour but still made for some great turns

There was practically no base under the new snow so navigation on the sleds was a bit tricky.  Luckily I had tried to go riding a couple of weeks ago so I knew where the remaining ribbons of snow were at.  I buzzed up to the top and managed to hike a couple of quick laps in the upper fields before anyone else arrived.  I could feel the snow getting thicker every run.  Any direct sun this time of year puts a quick damper on the powder slashing.  So when my friends arrived we sought out the most north-facing tree runs in the area and proceeded to throw around the powder and muck.

hucking some muck around on one of the Phish series boards
The B-line into the “G-spot” is a classic early season shot.. tight entry and high speed thru the apron. We were dealing with early season style coverage so this run was at the top of my hit list.
Grassroots Powsurfers dominate in the powder and the mush.   
DeJaVu – My powsurfing season started and ended in this exact spot.

As the day progressed snow quality plummeted.  Sunny spots became sticky and unrideable and the melting snow in the tree tops began raining down on the snow below.  That’s May powder for you… it doesn’t last long so you gotta be on time.   As a powsurfer, I couldn’t be happier.  Instead of ending on a sour note (last week we were stranded by rocks and dry ground) we got a late season bonus dump and the powsurf season ended in style.  It’s going to be a busy summer dialing in next years boards and accessories so I have a feeling that next winter will be here before we know it.

Grassroots Powsurfing – World Wide

9 boxes shipping out to 7 different countries.
After deciding a few years ago to test the waters for the public’s acceptance of this thing we call “powdersurfing” we couldn’t be happier with the results so far.  We made a big push this season to spread the word in whatever ways we could. Having limited time and few resources or connections, we decided the best thing to do was to let the riding and the concept speak for itself.   We did this thru the creation of a few short films (The Powsurf Chronicles) and repurposed some of our existing video content.  The power of social media was our biggest ally.  People saw something that sparked their interest and it opened their eyes to something familiar but new.  The parallels within powdersurfing and other forms of self expression such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing are an obvious connecting force for like minded people.  Videos were shared and word spread rapidly all over the world.
                  Emiliano was one of the first of a number of Italians to see the light.  -Italian Alps.
                                                    Ready for action in Hokkaido Japan
There seems to be a mixed bag of reasons for the acceptance of powsurfing.  Some people seem to view powsurfing as a refreshing departure from the overly plastic and manufactured state of “snowboarding” today and a return to the essence of riding pow.  Some see the potential and freedom inherent to a sport where the rider and board are independent of each other.  Perhaps it becomes more legit in their eyes because they are actually balancing (riding) on a board rather than having it strapped on, acting as an extension of their body. Others may have noticed that the ski industry that looked down on snowboarding for decades now owns 80% of it, and they want to get away from that. Some people are just surfers and skateboarders at heart and they know a good thing when they see it. There is a clear connection to the true soul of snowboarding and of riding boards in general.  Others may be intrigued by the fact that we choose to offer limited runs of an environmentally friendly handmade product rather than mass producing huge runs of disposable boards made from toxic chemicals in sweatshops overseas. Whatever the reason, we are stoked that people are digging what we are doing here.
We think that the biggest factor in powdersurfing’s acceptance is the fact that it is pure.  Driven by a personal quest for fun and a passion for self expression.  You don’t need a ski lift or a $1,500 kit of snowboard, boots, bindings, and matching clown suit.  You just need a board, warm clothes and some inner drive. Once you have tasted the sweet nectar that is powsurfing, you will be back for more, by whatever means necessary.
Bryan Iguchi – Tasting the nectar .
WORLD WIDE
Reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and this positivity has no borders.  Our boards are now spread all over Europe.  Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Greece, and the UK.  The Japanese embrace the concept of powsurfing and are perhaps the most enthusiastic and accepting of all.  Canadians of course are into it, some stick with a pad and a rope on a snowboard deck (noboarding) while others are taking the next step and ditching the rope and snowboard for a board that is shaped and designed for a true bindingless experience.
Big Thanks to Go Insane specialty shop in Hokkaido Japan for keeping its shelves stocked with powsurfers this winter season.
                                    Hokkaido Japan – These guys brought the whole quiver!


If you’re not falling down, you probably aren’t learning.  These guys know the drill. –Japan 
USA
It seems that we have shipped more boards out of the US than we have shipped within the US.  Within the US, the East has come up surprisingly tough … Conneticut, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, and North Carolina to name a few.  The wester states have been surprisingly weak considering the ample powsurfing conditions that exist.  Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Montana… pretty much every state west of Colorado has bought at least a board or two.  We would have expected a lot more in these areas, but it has been a relatively dreary winter season across much of the US.
It could be the combination of a lot of factors.. a poor US economy, the “Americans are lazy” stereotype, the “Americans like cheap plastic crap” theory, maybe it looks to hard, or maybe people are just content without the extra challenge or unbeatable feeling that comes from powsurfing.  We think that they just need a little more exposure to powsurfing and a chance to give it a try.  Everyone that has set foot on our boards in the right conditions has been instantly sold on it.  People just need a little taste… So as we grow, we will make it a point to make sure that people get that opportunity.
Colorado shred Bob Aubrey lost his powsurf virginity on a trip to Japan.  He caught right on and he’s never been the same since.
Edred repping Colorado
It seems like people don’r realize how easy it can be to find great powsurf terrain and stashes.  It is so scalable either way, small and easily accessible terrain can be really fun and a breeding ground for creativity.  You can get more “skate-like” in the smaller stuff and take advantage of any bump or log.  Big terrain is just epic, just like with snowboarding, this is the dream terrain… high speed – high consequence big wave powsurfing.  We aim to educate and open the world’s eyes to what powdersurfing is all about.  If we get them to experience even for a few seconds the feeling we get from riding these boards then our job is done, and powdersurfing can live or die within them.
Skylar G had no trouble getting his first turns in on some slushy wet sierra spring pow
Chris G from Splitboard.com getting his feet wet for the first time in the Sierras.
It pays to have a sled to get you up to where the pow is at in the late spring. The Cheetah Factory Racing racks are rigged up here to make it work.
Grassroots Powdersurfing is stoked to be working with ex pro snowboarder Dave B at Cheetah Factory Racing this summer to create a rack designed to carry powsurfers and snowboards.
Jason H. getting in touch with his inner sledneck for the first time.
Take note of the shit eatin grin on Jason’s face….. thats what we are talking about!

SIBERIA!

As I was typing this Russia was added to the list.  Ivan is the proud owner of the first Grassroots powsurfer in Siberia.  (Thanks for your help Sergey)

Sergey and Ivan taking the dogs for a walk to some remaining patches of snow in Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk krai, Siberia
Ivan couldn’t wait for next years powder to arrive, he went right out and found something slidable.
The Guch is one of many snowboard legends that have caught the bug.
 We are stoked to get boards in the hands of snowboard, skate, and surf legends.  Their credibility is huge and this will really help people see the light. A little taste is all it takes and if people have even a fraction of the amount of fun we have riding these decks then this could really blow up.
Here’s to the future.