Please consider surfing the snow on your next visit to the mountains. I have been riding surf-inspired snowboards for several years with great results. Being able to tap into my many years of wave riding as a means to get down the mountain has transformed my riding style and enthusiasm. This is not about technical performance, it is everything about the sensations and feelings that come with this experience.
Setting up snowboard surf style
My first board was a Nitro Cannon 173 Swallowtail Shape. I set it on the floor in my living room and played some Surf Videos. It was a great way to figure out my binding positions, angles, and width. I ended up with a much narrower stance with feet angled forward (alpine). This set-up will be different for all surfers, since we ride waves without fastening our feet. What I noticed immediately was that my turns on the mountain now matched those of my surfboard. It was cool to step off of my longboard and onto the snow and feel right at home. Riding my twin tip board felt completely different.
Filming Steel City Surfers
While filming Steel City Surfers, I got to meet others that embrace this riding style. At Mt. Bachelor I got to demo some boards from Elevated Surf Craft. We were all attending the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Classic Event and had traveled from Italy, Hawaii, West Virginia, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, California as well as Japan. Day 1 was white-out in 5′ Feet of Powder Snow.
Trying out the Elevated Surfcraft Snowboard
As an East Coast Rider, I had little experience in such really deep snow. I asked Aaron Lebowitz for his biggest Elevated Surf Craft Board. He put me on a 5’9″ Pintail Model that was a custom shape designed to ride like a single fin rounded pintail surfboard. The only advice was to ride it like a surfboard. When those guys dropped in I knew that I had to keep up or get lost in the vast terrain. So I sent it straight down into a long bottom turn. The board held the line and loaded up on the turn just like my single fin and it exploded down the line. It was a magic moment that I will never forget.
Finding waves in the snow
Since releasing my film in 2020, I have been seeking out Wave like features in the snow. I have designated many runs as Left and Rights. So much fun and the riding style for frontside so much different than backside. An occasional wind lip, side hit or feature can be perfect for rail grabs, cut backs, off the lips and re-entries. Lay-backs go hand an hand with a surf-style hand plant as well.
Please give us a follow on Instagram to stay in touch with the journey. I am always down for a session.