Smiles, laughs, high fives and powder caked faces highlighted our powsurf session this past season at the Jackson Hole Powwow. With 50+ inches of fresh pow during the event, it was hard to go wrong.
The first day of the season is always the best day of the season! This year we waited a bit longer than usual and started out with conditions a bit shallower than usual too. But we have no complaints.. “low tide” is better than no tide.. and I don’t mind blasting thru the weeds. It feels so great to get out and breathe the cool mountain air, and of course to surf the beautiful whites that mother nature provides.
With only about 11 inches of snow separating the dirt from our boards it was a light-footed session, quick and mellow turns on the lower angle terrain. We listened as skis and snowboards scraped the ground, but the float of our Grassroots Powsurfers kept us floating on top.
It’s always amazing the amount of fun we can have in such simple terrain as we wait for the big waves to fill in. Stoked as ever to welcome a new season of powsurfing! Enjoy our quick and dirty Opening Session edit!
A story on bindingless riding just dropped in Canada’s finest snowboard magazine and we were kindly included in the run down of various board options. We are hyped that Snowboard Canada would be willing to work with us and spend a few days in the backcountry gathering images and memories. We had a blast up there and can’t wait to get back up there for more.
The article gave a run-down of a few board options that exist out there and stated a few characteristics of each brand. As with any media, things often get confused or missed in communication. We were labelled as the “skate – style” company which we suppose was fair because we make sure that our boards are the least restrictive and are designed to allow the rider to fully take advantage of not having the board attached. They also ollie better and are more agile and controllable than anything out there and that goes a long way. What was not mentioned is how they handled any and all conditions we threw at them. When all the other boards were either unrideable in the conditions or forcing the rider to grab that dreadful rope for control, our boards were still ruling those conditions. Fully hands free and truly binding free. And that certainly deserved mention. They also produce a unique ride and feel that is much different from your typical snowboard.. much more surf-like (more so than Skate-like) and very agile.. something we are very proud of and something that has taken years of R&D to accomplish. We were a little bummed to be labeled as just the “skater dudes” here, as that is just a small part of what we are about.. but stoked to be included and honored to go powsurfing with Canadian legends that I spent my childhood idolizing. Watch the video below that was made from the first 4 days of our trip.. and see what our boards are all about!
I hate to be picky.. but the quote used in the article was very misleading.. It was taken from two quotes, and mixed together out of context, missing the entire point I was trying to get across. I spoke about how I originally started by just taking the bindings off of snowboards to see if it was possible to ride without bindings. What they left out were my words about how snowboards don’t make good bindingless boards! and they don’t perform well unless it is knee deep blower pow! (this is why so many noboarders use the rope) This is the whole reason why we started shaping my own and also the reason that our boards look and ride nothing like traditional snowboards. We wanted something that had precision control in varying conditions and allowed the freedom to ollie, spin and flip the board, and have really good control in a variety of conditions. Snowboard shape and construction did not allow for this and that is why Grassroots powsurfers are built and designed the way they are.
We pride ourselves in offering a variety of shapes to accomodate riders of any size and style. They are so incredibly “surfy” and fun.. much different than a snowboard feel. We have spent years perfecting them so it’s a bummer when we get labelled so narrowly as simply “the skate style” guys in the article. All you have to do is watch any of our films and see the boards in action and it’s clear that skate-style riding is only a fraction of what our boards excel at. But on that same note.. skateboarding is the most technically difficult sport on the planet and has progressed leaps and bounds beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.. We hope to do the same for powsurfing.
Snowboard Canada deserves a HUGE thanks for the article and efforts. Jeff Patterson and Rob Stevens were instrumental in bringing all these riders together and making these 4 days some of the best days of the season. Cheers amigos!! See you again soon.
Our trip to Canada was a blast.. one of the funnest trips of my life. The film in this article is just 4 days of riding and there is so much more to see! We will release more footage as time permits from the rest of the trip.
It seems we had to wait longer than ever before to get a taste of powder this year but as always it’s well worth the wait. It was mid November when finally a couple of feet blanketed our special zone that we have re-visited for the past 25 years. I learned to snowboard here nearly 25 years, I learned to powsurf here 14 years ago and it just never gets old. So many nooks and crannies that hold special memories and continue to dish out great memories on every visit. Welcome winter!!
Even 5 inches on dirt is enough to surf when you get the type of floatation that a Grassroots Powsurfer provides. Weed Wackin’!
RC and I made multiple laps this day, making shallow slalom skateboard-like turns so we didn’t scrape bottom. So fun watching weeds explode before our eyes and challenging to control speed without taking any speed scrub turns.
Riding 5″ on dirt was a bit of a tease but fun nonetheless. 2 weeks later we got a real dump with 2 new feet to fill things in so we could really slash the pow. Still a bit thin for coverage but it’s amazing how much fun you can squeeze out of just a little bit of snow. That’s part of the magic of powsurfing.
14 years ago Brandon Saunders and I brought up an old Winterstick Round Tail plus to this very zone for some of our first big binding free runs. We were amazed that it was possible to link turns and so full of stoke and thoughts about the future and how we could make a board that would work even better. It was great to re-unite with Brandon and get him back on snow again. This time on powsurfers designed and shaped for this very thing.. Brandon was so hyped and amazed with riding boards that were designed for this very purpose. Welcome back Brandon!
Dodging stumps, fallen trees, logs and rocks in the tight woods..scary but so much fun! That smile says it all.
What would an early season at the “sacred grove” be without a little fun in the campground? We finished off hot pow laps with some pole jammin for desert.
The Snowsports industry tradeshow is always a hoot. All your favorite super heroes are there, the latest and greatest technology is revealed (usually a re-packaged form of old technology under a new name) and the hype machines are running full steam. All the big companies fight for attention using whatever gimmicks they can pull… free beer, half naked chicks, DJs, free swag of all sorts, juggling clowns, …. anything to grab your attention so they can convince you that their company is hot shit or their technology is superior to all the other companies that are making the same product. We didn’t have anything like that so we did things Grassroots Style. We showed our product and let it speak for itself. We are doing our own thing and we have been doing it for 7 years now. Powsurfing is the purest form of “snowboarding” in existence and is the most “free” form of any type of mountain riding. So what’s not to love about it? I don’t think any snowsports enthusiast could hate on something that so purely defines what it is we are all after when we head out into the mountains. In our eyes this is more powerful than any side-show gimmick that the mega corporations could ever dream up.
We were fortunate to have good friends who see the beauty in what we do and they believe in our product and what it stands for. These friends came up huge in helping us show our product at SIA. We were able to showcase boards all around the show. They were a perfect fit in the Mtn Approach booth, they are the perfect companion for that kit and they looked right at home in the booth that Cory made from old barn wood. They fit beautifully in Dave Basterrechea’s Cheetah Factory Racing booth- CFR makes the perfect rack to haul your powsurfer around on the back of your snow machine. Our boards found another home in the “Backcountry Experience” booth that housed many split boards and powder specific snowboards. Powsurfing is of course THE ultimate backcountry experience!
Grassroots was a big hit amongst the legends of snowboarding both young and old. Shawn Farmer, Terry Kidwell, Nicolas Muller, JJ Thomas, Bjorn Leines, Danny Davis, Johnny Paxton, Lucas Magoon, and the list goes on and on… The most creative minds in snowboarding were naturally drawn in and clearly hyped on what we have created. Our videos looped on a TV screen in the CFR booth and passers by were able to see the possibilities on these unique looking wooden toys.
Retailers were hyped, industry legends were hyped, pro snowboarders/skiers/snowmobilers were hyped…. so of course we were hyped that our first real SIA show was a success. After being involved with snowboarding for 25 years it’s easy to get burnt out on an industry that creates so many cliques and fads to try to keep their product fresh in the eyes of the buyer. It feels good to be doing what we love without having to put a spin on our product to sell it to people. The fun and freedom will always speak for itself.
HOMEWARD BOUND! When the show was over and packed up we were stoked to get the hell out of Denver. We had left Utah just as 3 feet + of pow had fallen, so we were eager to get back to where the goods were at. We let the rest of the industry go do their on-snow demos (more like on-man-made-ice demos) at Winterpark and we went home and surfed pow with “the Daves” from Cheetah Factory Racing. I was stoked to show Dave B some of our backyard goods since he showed us such a good time up in Canada last month. Both Daves took their first powsurf runs ever and were blown away. They were both naturals, slaying the steep tree chutes and popping ollies on the fun buttons. Tall Dave called it the funnest time he’d ever had and the best road trip of his life. Cheers to that!
While some of the world hunkered down to prepare for armageddon, the Grassroots crew headed into the hills to celebrate the solstice the best we know how, by enjoying life to the fullest. A fresh couple of feet had fallen over the past couple of days and the skies turned blue for us. The shortest day of the year brings seriously epic light on a bluebird day.. long shadows and cold smoke conditions made this one extra special.
Mike Lane, a good friend from back in the day was in town from Santa Cruz. Lane has been surfing non-stop out there for a few years now and he was back to test his skills on the snow. Lane slayed the steeps and threw in a few good ollies in the process.
Lane only had a couple of powsurfing days under his belt but he ripped it like a veteran. There was no second guessing or hesitation when we hit the steeper slopes, just fearless charging and big smiles at the bottom. While the snowpack was relatively shallow, there is no complaining about fresh cold smoke on a bluebird day. We seized the day and made the most of what we had to work with, slashing every slash in sight, and popping every fun button. We milked every last bit of sunlight and left stoked. So hyped on a new season of exploring possibilities and celebrating a new take on a familiar past time. Happy Solstice!