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Skiing and Snowboarding — Worlds Apartheid

30s Thursdays

By Preston G. Strout

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Because I run a summer snowboard camp that chooses to remain 100% Snowboarding in this age of action sports homogony, a few people out there have accused me of being a snow bigot.  In light of these heinous allegations, I’d like to set the record straight.

Just because you prefer a leisurely carve down the mountain, without being whipped past by a ski racer shot out of a spandex cannon doesn’t make you a ski-race-ist.  And even if you think freeskiing’s a bit queer*, that doesn’t make you a sno-mophobe.
*(defined – adj. queer:  odd or unconventional, as in behavior)

Sure, I realize that without skiing, snowboarding probably would not even exist.  Skiing literally blazed the trails for snowboarding’s eventual birth and I give respect where respect is due. I also realize that it literally DOES NOT MATTER what you do… If it doesn’t harm other people — and you enjoy doing it: then by all means, do what makes you happy.

Now… before I go from being accused a snow-bigot to a ski-lover, allow me to strike a middle ground by poking fun at the goofiest sub culture of skiing: Free-skiing.

Here are 10 reasons I find freeskiing wacky:

1.) The fact that freeskiiers copy nearly every single thing that we (snowboarders) do. Ahem… 2 years later.
2.) Is it really necessary for the equipment to fly off when they fall?  I’ve fallen thousands of times on my snowboard and never once have I wished that my snowboard flew off.
3.) Doing tricks while holding poles… Ya know, if I wanted to see someone spinning around holding onto poles: I’d go to a strip club.
4.) Skiers on rails look like rollerbladers with size 47 feet.
5.) Tanner Hall. Is that guy serious?
6.) Those grabs.  It’d seriously look less awkward if they were all grabbing each other.
7.) Hitting jumps switch… it just looks ass backwards.
8.) Those giant sweatshirts.  It’s like they have midget envy.
9.) Let’s face it, no matter which way you’re spinning — it looks a bit “unnatural.”
10.) Those skis may be faster down the mountain… but my god it takes them forever to walk down the lodge stairs in those boots.

My 30-year-old advice:

It’s my general feeling that we stand to learn the most, from those who stand differently than we do.  As such, perhaps the sport of snowboarding could learn a bit from our pole-wielding brethren. It’s easy (and cowardly) to make fun of something that you don’t understand.  With this in mind, today I plan to ski how the other half lives.  Plus, a wise man once told me that you should “never talk crap about someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.  Because then you’re a mile a way, and you have their shoes.”

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And so, behold: the new me.  As you read this, I’m most likely swooshing down Mt. Hood’s Palmer Glacier, sweat flying, gates abashing and poles a-planting.

I plan to learn from our sister sport, with an open mind and a pointy helmet.

I plan to report back fully next week on my experience into this alpine world. Hopefully better equipped to share my elderly advice.

My Hood – Christian Hobush

Christian Hobush has been spending his summer working as a member of High Cascades infamous K-Unit. When he isn’t prepping for the next camper meal he can be found laying waste to the HCSC rail line.

Cameos: Brandon Hobush, Jordan Small, Jacob St. Jean, Jaeger Bailey
Film: Mia Lambson, Colton Morgan, Jon Stark, Jeremy Thornburg, Eli Olson, Greg Weaver
Edit: Mia Lambson

WINNER! Anon x High Cascade Snowboard Camp Goggles

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In honor of the approaching summer, we’re gonna hook up one lucky reader with a pair of these Anon x High Cascade goggles. Apparently these are super limited edition too so you better go for it on this one. We’re not sure what the hell you’re supposed to do with goggles in the summer time but we figured we would give out a pair anyway. Maybe you’re smart enough to  be going to Hood this summer. Or maybe you’re super lazy and not going boarding at all.

 

CONGRATS TO ANDREW LEWINS FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA! He sent us the below drawing to describe what he plans to use his Anon x High Cascade goggles for this summer besides snowboarding. Looks pretty damn good to us. Good looks homey. Enjoy your goggles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day In The Life- Sage Kotsenburg

Reeeeeal tough life, Sage. Snowboarding in the summer, free hot dogs, prizes, and ice cream parties. Whatever.

High Cascade At Mountain Creek

Mountain Creek is a lot like Mt. Hood. For example, they both have Mount in the name. Actually, that’s about where the similarities end. Anyway, High Cascade branched out for a couple week, and here’s what went down in dirty Jersey.

 

 

Win: Six Week’s Worth of Boards from High Cascade

SIGN UP FOR CAMP THIS WEEK AND BE ENTERED TO WIN SALOMON’S “THE MAN’S BOARD”

Are you planning on coming to camp? Want to win a free snowboard? Well here is your chance to make your dreams come true! High Cascade Snowboard Camp is giving away one free snowboard, a HCSC sweatshirt and a HCSC sticker pack to one lucky winner each week for the next six weeks.

How? All you have to do is register for camp in the next six weeks and you will be entered into the hat of names. Want to increase your chances of winning? Sign up for camp the first week of the contest, and you will be entered into the contest each week until the contest is a wrap. And to top it off, if you register before January 1st, you also get the option of $100 off your session OR a HCSC byProducts™ package, which includes a HCSC/Burton Shred Scout Pack, HCSC Sweatshirt, Coal Team Beanie, Airblaster Sunglasses, 10 SHRD Bucks and the VG  Classics (Retrospect, Shoot the Moon, and Trick Tips).

High Cascade will pick one winner and announce their names on their blog and their Facebook each Monday following the board give away.

Dates and boards are as follows:
Salomon Man’s Board — November 16th — November 25th
Capita Ultrafear — November 26th — December 2nd
K2 Happy Hour  – December 3rd — December 9th
Forum Destroyer – December 10th — December 16th
Burton Parkitect — December 17th — December 23rd
Lib Tech Burtner Box Scratcher — December 24th — December 31st

click here to register for your session.

Ian Hart Wins HCSC Spin Cycle #2

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Ben Bilocq

For the second year in a row, a man named Ian climbed into the golden washing machine as the champion of the High Cascade Spin Cycle Classicâ„¢. Last year, that Ian was Ian Thorley. This year, that Ian was Ian Hart. Hart’s win qualifies as a classic Cinderella-Story-Situation: an 18-year-old camper Sessions 2 and 3, Ian Hart talked his way into a dig to ride spot, got himself a long term room at The Huckleberry Inn, demoed a Salomon Drift and the rest… as they say, is history. Unfortunately for the other Ian, he broke his hand the morning of the event and had to watch from the sidelines.

The premise of the event Ian Hart won is simple: the rider(s) that can cycle through all four directions of spinning (frontside, backside, switch-frontside and switch-backside) from 180º to 900º with the least mistakes and the best style win. If you miss your grab, revert or fall you get a “strike”. Three strikes and you’re out. Whoever has the least amount of strikes at the end of the cycle wins. Ian went the whole distance only receiving one strike: coming up 90 degrees short on a backside 900, which he still rode out of – he never actually fell all day. Fellow HCSC digger Parker Duke gave Ian Hart a run for his money but got knocked out mid 900’s making Ian’s switch back nine a well deserved victory lap.

The highlights were many, and the video will be out soon anyways, so here’s a quick recap for those “readers” out there:
– Randy Van Nurden took the “Bode Merrill Award” shockingly getting knocked out after 180’s (we’re still trying to figure out how the heck Bode got eliminated so early last summer). Oddly enough, 180’s actually gave people the most trouble.
– Chris Grenier kept everyone suspended between chuckling and doubled
over laughing on the megaphone. “To the mooooon!”
– People who tweaked their grabs were loved by all.
– Scott Stevens had a little trouble during the 540 component with his newly broken wrist, but bounced back as a poacher to rattle through the 7’s and 9’s with relative ease.
– Brandon Reis, a favorite to win, got knocked out going into the 900 round but not before putting down the best frontside 720 of the day.
– Torrey Lyon’s bagged 2 strikes in the 180 round but then held on all the way through Frontside 720’s – showing a great mental game.
– Young Max Warbington, from Bend, Oregon had a style and consistency that stood out from the pack with his first strike coming on Switch Front 7. Max Warbington is Authorized Totally Friggin Awesome.
– 14-year-old camper Jack Harold broke all known records for youngest Spin Cycle Classic competitor in history.
– Sylvia Mittermuller flew all the way over from Germany to be the only girl represented in das Spin Cycle Classicâ„¢ (this may not be true). Her riding was a finely tuned display of German shred engineering.
– Harrison Gordon may or may not have been there, but if for some reason he was, he was killing it.
– Alex Horgan’s clockwork precision and style kept the pace of each round.
– Ryan Paul is 100 percent definitely from another planet. Riding a hacked up Burton Ration (shaped like a perfect rectangle) he proceeded to take the jump apart like only he can do (including late poach double wild cats).
– Ben Bilocq’s speed, size and style left onlookers jaw dropped. Plus, he’s got one of the best switch back 360 tailgrabs this side of Transylvania.
– Jake Knigge charged it all the way to BS 900’s before finally getting the axe.
– Brandon Luzier is classically good. With a silent, textbook style to all his tricks. That guy is way better than anyone could ever appreciate.
– Chris Beresford’s stylish fly-bys on the neighboring hip wearing shorts were a treat to watch.
– And lastly: rookie digger Johnny Brady is a serious, serious shredder, with a BS 720 Sad Air that could make a man pass out. With his general mastery of snowboarding, this kid better find his way into a legit film crew this upcoming winter.

All in all it took 10900 total degrees of total rotation for Ian Hart to take the 2010 Spin Cycle Classicâ„¢. The $27 dollar prize purse was divided out in the following rotation appropriate amounts:

1st — Ian Hart – $9.00
2nd — Parker Duke – $7.20
3rd — Johnny Brady – $5.40
4th — Brandon Luzier – $3.60
5th — Jake Kniggee – $1.80

* all photos Aaron Blatt

Humping the Shutter with Aaron Blatt

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“I learned handplants today.”-Aaron Blatt.           photo. Owen Ringwall

While playing the role of East Coast school boy, Aaron Blatt combined his love of design and photography to earn a degree, have fun and kick-start a career that has now labeled him one of the brightest young stars in snowboard photography. After graduating, this native Ice Coaster left his Burlington campus life behind for greener pastures out west. Holding Photo Editor/Primary Photographer credentials of East Coast Snowboarding Magazine Aaron impressed the boys and girls at High Cascade Snowboard Camp, landing a position as their marketing/advertising sharp shooter. Since then, the ball has just kept rolling. Aaron now access to today’s top riders, travels the world and maintains the energy and quirkiness that make him not only a joy to work with, but a great guy to have around. Aaron Blatt is headed for photography greatness, so for those that don’t know him, here’s the 101.

How did you get into photography?

I dunno, I would always go out and shoot the activities my friends and I would do–mostly snowboarding and stuff. And when I was way younger I’d get the little point and shoot film cameras from the the pharmacy and shoot my friends snowboarding or skateboarding, and I dunno, I got into it. It was just cool to me to compose a cool frame, even with a camera like that, to know it could be worth the effort and get a good picture.

What was your big break? When did you decide this is what you wanted to do?

I guess when I went to school in Vermont I got pretty psyched ‘cuz I found out that there was this scene where people were going out when it was -15 degrees outside to hit handrails and stuff. It’s fun because you come back with something. Like this golden moment of, “We got it.” After that this small east coast magazine started having my stuff run, and I started sending stuff to the editors at the time and that evolved into becoming the photo editor and that made even more moves for me.

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Chris Beresford holding a steady sepia-toned press.      photo. Aaron Blatt

Why did you go to college?

I went to learn more about design. Like painting and drawing and all that stuff.

How did a photo-kid from Boston get so much published in New Zealand?

I was on study abroad there. It was sick. It was pretty fun to take classes, they offered music production and stuff. It was fun to create a bunch of shit and what not, but obviously the riding down there was super sick. It was just fun being down there in this unexplored place with friends, well unexplored to us. The best part was when five of us went in on this car, this shitty car, this awful car, kept breaking, but that was all apart of it. Did a lot of snowboarding, learned a lot of stuff, took some pictures, it was rad.

blatt_edjake_newzealandNew Zealand, land of elves, talking trees, wizards and snowboarding.  photo. Aaron Blatt

What kind of travel opportunities have your camera skills provided you?

Well I saw you in Snowbasin when I was with HCSC for a shoot with the One Life Crew girls. We knew they’d be there for Dew Tour so we went and snapped Marketing shots with the Marshmallow and stuff, that was fun. But for all time, definitely Argentina. Argentina is insane. I’ve been there a few times now. It’s the biggest culture shock, like you get down there to the first airport then you take a taxi to the next airport and everyone’s speaking Spanish and it’s just wild, and then you fly to the mountain and everything is just the same again, like I’m just shooting and riding. But the terrain is just insane and the access is incredible. What you can get to from the chair is insane.

I hear they party hardy down there in Latin America. Craziest night you’ve had in Argentina?

There’s this one club that we go down to down there, I think it’s called Pecha, it’s spelled like P-E-C-H-A, it’s logo are like these little cherries, I dunno why I remember that. Well it’s like this three-story place and well they screw you if you’re American. They make you pay more to get in, so if you know any of the locals that’s the way to go. When you get in part of your fee for getting in is a free drink, so I go to get my drink, grab it, and the bartender girl handled us truffles. I figured sweet, nice little perk or whatever. Well I didn’t drink much of my drink that night, but I remember we danced like crazy all night, ‘til like six in the morning. I dunno, they do it big down there. But don’t eat the truffles, that shit is nuts. (Editors Note: The club is spelled Pacha for those interested.)

Argentinean women, what do you think?

Sketchy! I know a couple kids who have brought Argentinean ladies back to the States, but they get there and they just want to marry you, it’s sketchy! I wanna say that you can find true love in Argentina but I dunno, it’s highly unlikely, there are some weird things going on.

blatt_cuacomanu_argentinaA sunny Argentinean sky in the background, get jealous.     photo. Aaron Blatt

So you started shooting with throw-away cameras. How important do you think equipment is?

Well there are the people that say like, “Oh shit I need a better camera.” and stuff, but fuck that. Anyone that’s anyone that’s shooting now could totally go out and get a sick shot from a disposal camera. You need so much more than equipment to make a cool photo. Like I really hate it when people ask, “Are you born with ‘the eye’ or can you learn?” Like of course you can learn, people that say you can’t, well that’s so hokey, just grab a camera and start shooting.

Influences?

Well I’ve always looked towards design work, like illustrators. People will just take the craziest angle towards shit, like when you’re just sitting there in front of a piece of paper or computer screen you can just go wild with it. You don’t have to worry about crawling under some snow or bringing water housing. There is this one online mag out of Portugal, it’s sick, I wanna give it to everyone, it’s IdeaFixa.com, check it, the stuff is insane.

What about snowboard photogs?

Well I mean I look at their work and of course their work is crazy, but I’ve been noticing how personable some guys are, like Blotto. Blotto is always all smiles and you can just tell he’s fun to work with. Like that’s what I think is a pretty central piece to being a good photographer. Cole Barash is the same way, and I definitely look up to both of their work. Those are for sure big influences for me.

Big goals, future ambitions, in your photography?

I definitely always want to shoot snowboarding, but I’m pretty psyched to branch out as well. Like I’m really into setting up or creating a scene for a lifestyle. It can be a really awkward situation, like I have this gear and these lights and we’re going to make you look cool, that’s weird, but it doesn’t have to be like that. It’s about having conversations, creating that scene and making it work. I really like the idea of creating that. It’s just different from snowboarding, like we get calls saying, “We want a vertical frame.” or, “We want some color.” but I’m really excited to start getting some real direction. When you really get into it and you know what they want and you really nail it, that’s the best feeling. That’s my goal right now.

Peter LineDear Old Pros Just Collecting Checks, Peter Line is making you look pathetic. photo. Aaron Blatt

What published work are you most proud of?

For me it’s all about the shots when I was moving up, like my first cover with East Coast was sick, I probably wouldn’t shoot the photo the same way, but it was sick, all around Burlington was this cover I shot, so sick. After that it was cool to get my first photo run down in New Zealand, and then when I got back some stuff started running in Japan and that was really sick. Like my first one was this sequence from Louie Vito from here (HCSC, Summer ‘09). I remember it was back to back with some photo by Jeff Curtis, and it had all of this Japanese text all over it, that was crazy. Seeing all the HCSC Ads in Transworld too, they’ve been cool to see.

Do any of your photos stick out as a personal favorite?

I took a picture of my friend Brendan. We went out to this weird factory in Burlington. There was this pipe thing, so I got in there and then I was shooting up and he was shooting down at me, like trying to get a shot of my in this pipe ‘cuz I probably looked like an idiot down there. So I looked up to take a picture of him and right as I went to shoot him this airplane flew right over, and it was just cool because there had to have been so much sky, and that airplane happened to fly over that spot. It was cool, because I could never have made that happen.

blatt_mikeyMike LeBlanc is a weirdo, genius, businessman and legend. What are you?    photo. Aaron Blatt

Favorite gear to shoot with?

I definitely have a couple favorite setups. I have this Mamiya that I shoot with, it’s like a 645, just a cool medium format camera. But really, when I shoot with that it ends up being stuff like friends at the lake. When I shoot snowboard stuff it’s most likely going to be digital. For all that I really like my Canon 5D, it’s the old one now, because the new one shoots video.

I see you with a 50mm prime lens often, are you secretly a Leica wanna-be?

Ha, yeah I’m always cruising with that. Like right now I don’t have my pack with me, I just have some camera body and that lens. I’m actually out shooting right now, and this lens just gives me that challenge of, “This is what I’ve got, and I’m going to make it work with this.” I like that.

blatt_grangerAre the sparks or is the facial expression the priceless moment here?   p. Aaron Blatt

Would you pick a more basic setup, or have all the bells and whistles?

I definitely like fancy shit, but recently I’ve been really into getting ghetto with it, well not ghetto, but makeshift. Like I had this opportunity to work in a studio in Vermont for a while and I would notice the photographers there would use whatever was around for the shoot. Like some intern broke a mirror and a week later I see them using sticks and broken glass to light stuff. Like who is out there breaking the bank on a reflector if these guys can do that? Like today I really wanted to shoot some high angel stuff, so I zip-tied a tripod to this piece of pvc pipe, and when I held it up it was probably 20 feet off the ground. I could probably go to a camera store and find something that would do the same thing for a hefty sum, but I built this makeshift thing and it was sick, it totally worked. Also, at that point I think it’s cool to have digital, because I wasn’t just burning through film, I could experiment and try stuff.

Do you ever get angry or frustrated while waiting in the cold for some dude to get his trick?

Na, never it’s always exciting because you know at some point this kid is going to get a make. Or if he doesn’t you know the next time you go out it’s going to be that much sweeter when he gets it. There’s always a build up, and it’s good, but I mean, you’re always going to be cold. That’s just part of it.

blatt_kylegrant1Deep in the Montana wilderness Kyle Grant let nature know who’s boss.  photo. Aaron Blatt

Have you ever used your lens to get girls naked?

Indirectly yes…

Were the girls always pretty?

No.

Were you happier that they weren’t terribly attractive?

Yeah because it’s funny.

blatt_kevinShow that angel faced champ some love in the comments section.    photo. Aaron Blatt

Craziest situation your camera has gotten you into?

Argentinean airport! I really like airplanes and things that fly, like spaceships, spaceships are sick. But yeah I was at the airport, this was the first time I was down there, and I’m shooting this photo (I still like it so it was worth it), so I’m shooting the runway, and all of a sudden this security guard, no mall cop neither, like a dude packing a machine gun (this thing could rough someone up) well this dude runs up and he’s bummed that I’m shooting photos of the runway and he’s yelling at me in Spanish with this huge gun and he’s so pissed and all I know how to say in Spanish is grilled cheese. I just sat there while he yelled at me until my friends caught on and came over to explain that I was just shooting photos, and not a spy. So I sat there deleting photos in front of him to make him happy but there was that one frame I really liked, so I did some nerd trick or something and faked him out and ended up keeping it.

blatt_tripodAaron and his make-shift super tripod hard at work filming Jurassic Park 6.   p. Owen Ringwall

Would you rather shoot for Playboy, Transworld or a big NYC Glossy Mag?

Well my Mom would hate me if I worked for Playboy, so that’s a no. Transworld, well those people are sick so that’s cool, and NYC Glossy Mags, well my friend has that locked up so I’ll leave it to him, so I guess Transworld, although I’d rather work for NASA, NASA is sick.

What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?

Just keep experimenting. Like every time you go out there is definitely something you can make happen. I don’t care if it’s so so shitty and gray out, heck I’m from the East, but there’s always a way to get a cool frame. And, then the next time you go out you have that extra know-how to get the next shot.


HCSC Prints: So Hot Right Now

The crew at NXTZ is so excited about it’s new limited edition HCSC micro mesh tube, they shouted the entire press release. Between this, the Celtek gloves, and the other special edition HCSC stuff we don’t even know about yet, looks like camp store is the place to shop this summer!

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NXTZ IS HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE YET ANOTHER CUSTOM PROJECT. NXTZ JOINS FORCES AGAIN WITH, HIGH CASCADE SNOWBOARD CAMP TO BRING YOU YET ANOTHER CLASSIC LIMITED EDITION MIRCO MESH TUBE.

THE NEW PRODUCT ARRIVED LAST WEEK AND CAMP DIRECTOR PRESTON STROUT SAYS, “THE NEW NXTZ LOOK AMAZING”.

NXTZ PARTNERED WITH HCSC LAST YEAR FEATURING THE BLACK AND WHITE JUMBLES MARSHMELLOW NXTZ. THIS PIECE WAS A MUCH DESIRED AND SOUGHT AFTER COLLECTABLE PIECE FOR ALL THE NXTZ LOVERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THIS YEAR NXTZ AND HCSC WILL BE OFFING 3 STYLES TO FIT YOUR STEEZ.

GET THEM QUICK BEFORE THEY ARE ALL GONE. AVAILABLE ONLY AT HCSC CAMP STORE AND ONLINE AT WWW.HIGHCASCADE.COM.

FOR MORE INFO ON NXTZ CUSTOM PROGRAM, CONTACT NXTZ AT (949) 361-5260, OR EMAIL [email protected]

Ben Bogart’s Hump Day

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Rollin’ Dirty…

Ben Bogart is one of the few snowboarders that has figured himself out. He hasn’t followed any trends regarding his pant size, or eyewear choice, and has always snowboarded out of pure enjoyment. While so many snowboarders spend their time in the gym, going to bed early, and worrying about this and that, Ben has held true to a more historic approach to snowboarding. One that involves late nights, early mornings, and a whole lot of fun whenever he is awake. Skill wise, Ben had no objections to trick suggestions when taking photos for this interview, and his past and future Think Thank parts should back him up as well. Overall, this hump day gives you a look inside one funny, outgoing, and positive character.

Yobeat: How Tall are you?

Ben: Tall enough.

Yobeat: Tallest girl you’ve ever gotten with?

Ben: Wow, I think I got taken advantage of four years ago in Government Camp by a really super tall chick with dreads. I don’t remember her name.

Yobeat: How do you feel about that?

Ben: Well, getting raped is never fun. But as long as your wiener’s wet, that’s all that matters right?

Yobeat: How did beast woman end up raping you?

Ben: Well it was years ago, but it was on my birthday, my 21st birthday. I’m sitting at the bar at Charlie’s out here in Government Camp wasted and out of no where I find myself in the corner. I had just gotten done taking a piss and this broad walks up that I had never even talked to and comes up to me and starts just rape kissing me. I was wasted, so I rolled with it. She dragged me into the womens bathroom and took advantage of my dick, which you know any other normal person would be psyched on that shit. But it was the fact that I had no idea who the fuck this chick was. But yeah, pretty much got raped at Charlie’s on my 21st birthday.

Yobeat: By a huge bitch with dreads.

Ben: She wasn’t fat at all but she was at least like a foot taller than me. She had to bend down and pick me up to pick to kiss me on the lips and shit but uh, yeah dude she just fuckin’ bent over and made out with me and dragged me into the bathroom and that was that. Not my proudest moment in my fucking life. But why hold back?

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Pressing noses with ladies and rails.

Yobeat: I’ve seen you on the dance floor and you’re pretty confident.  Are you an Italian Stallion?

Ben: I dunno man, I just like girls and I figure if you can make a girl smile you can… I dunno, I like girls though. But if I can make them smile then that’s the ticket. So just be fun and be happy and cruise around and maybe they’ll just grab your shoulders and take you into the bathroom. Sometimes it’s not your fault. Dancing is the shit, I love dancing. Music is the rhythm of life man, you get out there on the dance floor and don’t give a fuck, girls see you feelin’ it and maybe they don’t give a fuck too. But, Burtner has called me the Italian Stallion before.

Yobeat: Why does everyone think you are Mexican?

Ben: Uh cuz I’ve got the brownest skin any Italian has ever had. I’m from Sicily so I don’t know if that matters. They’ve got browner skin than the north.

Yobeat: Have you ever worked any manual labor?

Ben: Oh you mean Emanuel labor? Fuck yeah, I was out in Colorado with my homie Ned and his dad owns a construction company so I was out there working on roofs and building houses. So yeah working out there in the hot summer days building houses I’ve definitely done that. Definitely spent time with my share of Mexicans, and they’ve definitely tried to drop some Latino language on me and I don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about so I just look back and smile and they look at me like I’m fucking retarded. They look back at me like I’m fucking retarded because I should know what they’re talking about. But uh, oh well all I say is, “No hablo espanol.â€? Then they look at me like a fucking idiot because I should know that shit but whatever. I tell them I’m Italian but of course that’s pretty close to the same lingo so they still think I’m an idiot. Maybe I should learn though because if I’m going to have fools trying to talk to me in Latino languages my whole life it would be nice to know what’s going on. Also it would be nice to get on a Latino woman, I’ve never had one of those. So maybe learning some Latin languages would help in that department.

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BANG!

Yobeat: Are you trying to pull a continent crush?

Ben: What’s that?

Yobeat: One girl from each race.

Ben: Ooo, I’ve definitely dabbled in other races before but it’s not necessary… well now that you mention it why the fuck not.

Yobeat: So you’re Sicilian, do you got Mob connections?

Ben: Uh no, but I was adopted into the family of Bogarts. My dad always told me I was related to Humphrey Bogart, he was my grandfather’s second cousin, so that’s a pretty cool little fun fact. So he’s not a mobster but he’s an actor. As far as my heritage goes I really don’t have much knowledge about any of it. My dad skipped out on my mom when he found out my natural mom was pregnant at 17 years-old. That was all off in Italy before I was born and so my mom had me in Alaska because she always wanted to go to the states and see what Alaska was like. So my current parents, flew her out there, they had been speaking previously, and uh, that’s that. So as far as Italian Mob connections I could have them, who knows.

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Look at the extension on the left side.

Yobeat: Where are you from?

Ben: Anchorage, Alaska.

Yobeat: Alaskans get a yearly check from the government, do you?

Ben: I used to, until I moved out and they cut giving me a “Gâ€? a year. It was pretty nice for a while, just splurged and bought a bunch of shit for my car, bought a bunch of shit like DVDs and candy, but it all had to stop.

Yobeat: So when and why did you leave Alaska?

Ben: Well, I was already filming for Burtner’s movie which was JB Deuce at the time and uh, I was like 17 going on 18 and basically Burtner told me that if I wanted to make any sort of career out of snowboarding it would be smart to move out and go to someplace that is a bit more “on the map” as they say in the snowboard world. I decided to move out to Tahoe which was a pretty good move because a lot of my friends were out there already. So I moved out there and spent like four years in Tahoe just to see where snowboarding would take me. Just see what this snowboard career was worth or whatever, so I moved out and tried to make something happen I guess.

Yobeat: Where do you get your gangster swagger from?

Ben: I dunno man? I guess if you check photos I’ve had from being a little kid I always had like a little chain or something on. I always liked rap music, it gave me inspiration and I always liked those gangster beats. Lil John always had me hyped on my snowboard so I was loving that shit. Then my other friends be cultured like Travis Kennedy, I pretty much grew up with that kid. We would go to Boarderline camp together and he was just like an inspiration to me. We were both feeding off each other at the time so we hung out a little bit back then. So I guess I get my inspiration from that.

Yobeat: You were both on Forum, when Forum dropped one of you did the other follow because of your friendship?

Ben: Well not really. I guess they just don’t like that G-code shit. I dunno, I was putting in work but couldn’t pay the bills so I had to move on. I got a better deal with Monument. My old team manager from Option has always had my back, and he had it this time, and got me on Monument and and got me a good deal. Cobra Dogs is hooking me up, Cobra Corey, giving me those dogs. Keep myself full. Keeping me full of wieners.

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Pure shock from Cobra Dog employee Matty Mo.

Yobeat: Top five rappers?

Ben: Woah, damn that shit varies. Right now I’m feeling this homie Dump, he’s this super low key guy. I dunno you can find him on Myspace. He’s from Atlanta, Georgia. I’m feeling Slim Thug, he’s fire. Uh, let’s see, probably Lil John, he’s always been a favorite of mine because he doesn’t give a fuck and has always made whatever he wants. He always kept me hyped as a young fool, so as long as he’s keeping me hyped that’s all that matters. That’s a good top three.

Yobeat: Biggie or Tupac?

Ben: Ooo, it varies month to month man. I’ll go on tips where I’m loving, lovin’, the Tupac. I won’t claim that Biggie is better but I’ll throw in his CD and love it. I got mad love for both of them. It’s hard to tell, but, at this moment I’d say I’m feeling Biggie.

Yobeat: How do you like filming with Think Thank?

Ben: It’s fucking amazing, it’s the best film crew, no drama, all homies, it’s basically like comedy the entire winter. Just making jokes, quoting movies, almost dying in car accidents. I dunno Burtner is the man with all the new shit and inspiration, he keeps everyone on their toes. I mean I’m sure filming with other people is fun too, it would be nice to try that shit out too, but for now it seems to be working out for sure. I guess it’s good chemistry, good people to ride with.

Yobeat: Almost dying in car accidents?

Ben: This year I almost fucking died. We were driving down the road and we hit this intersection, right. It was a highway but I guess it had lights, we were rolling through this stoplight and this car tries to cut across the entire intersection to go into a turning lane. Cuts us off, and forces us into a red. Low and behold there is a semi-truck there and we are going 65 mph into the back of a semi, we turn left, into oncoming traffic. We had no idea if there were any cars in that intersection while cars are going both ways past us, we had enough room to squeeze through, miss oncoming traffic, and get back into our lane. It all happened in like six seconds? Eight seconds? Mind you we are driving in Johnny Miller’s car, he has a Chrysler Pacifica which is just packed full of everything, like seats full, two filmers all their camera gear all our snowboard gear, (Nick) Visconti, Tim Eddy, myself, (Jesse) Burtner, Gus Engle, and maybe Larson. We’re all sitting in the car pale faced, and Burtner is all, “Who’s lucky to be alive?â€? and we all raised our hands. He was filming the whole time.

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Just checking out the view.

Yobeat: Any other brushes with death?

Ben: No, no other brushes with death this year but I’ve had a few homies pass away. Definitely pour some drinks out for those fools.

Yobeat: Worst fall you’ve ever had?

Ben: Three years ago I fell in a fucking contest and blew my knee out. It stopped my season for like ten months because it happened in February and I had surgery in March. I had the whole summer to recover and I was in Tahoe, the next winter sucked, that was pretty shitty. So it wasn’t the worst crash I’ve taken, but it was the worst of my career because it stopped it for like ten months.

Yobeat: You lived in SLC this winter, you feel like snowboarders are picked on by the police there?

Ben: Fuck yeah, profiling and shit. Those guys see someone with long hair, a big ass t-shirt, anyone for that matter, anyone with buttery style. Someone like Cale (Zima) or Jonah (Owen), ya know either way you look like as long as you have a snowboard in your hand, or a skateboard, they are always gunna keep an eye on you. Those guys definitely pick you out in SLC. When they run up on you and you’re fucking jibbing they show no mercy. So don’t get caught in Salt Lake doing nothing bad, ‘cuz they’ll take you to the clanker. Might catch a case or something, who knows.

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Seriously, look at that extension.

Yobeat: You’ve worked at High Cascade for a couple of years, what is the craziest shit you’ve seen happen?

Ben: Craziest shit that I’ve seen? I’ve seen some gnarly shit at the bars, people get wasted and piss drunk, and slap people at the bars. I’ve seen that shit happen, first hand, not my hand but this place has no law. The fights that go on around here go off, lots of beers and no law so the craziest shit I’ve seen is a bar fight that happened a few nights ago. One of the old companies that I used to ride for that dropped me for whatever reason I dunno, decided to come up and ask me if I was cool. It ended up a fight between me and that person. I told him to talk to me when he was sober, that it was retarded for him to talk to me when he was hammered. He didn’t like that shit at all so he open handed me and proceeded to get tackled and choked out by the entire local community of Government Camp. He got thrown out of the bar. But whatever you know, I don’t hold judgment, fuckin’ keep your head high and withhold judgment man. I don’t got hate for no one.

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Gangster lean…

Yobeat: Words to live by?

Ben: Always be yourself. Once you start changing for other people you start losing your identity. Also, don’t judge a book by its cover. Lots of my good friends are good friends because of who they are, not because of what they look like. Remember who you are, it’ll take you a long way.

Yobeat: Sponsors?

Ben: Monument snowboards, Cobra Dogs, Pow gloves, HCSC, Think Thank, Essa, Nine Grand, Dang shades, Spacecraft.

Hot Dogs and Hump Day with Cory Grove

grove nuts

If you’ve been to a Northwest snowboard event, or you’ve been lucky enough to go to snowboard camp at Mt. Hood, then chances are you’ve indulged in a Cobra Dog. Who would have thought snowboarding and hot dogs would go so well together? Cory Grove, that’s who! A former photographer, team manager, Cory can now be found inside the Cobra Dogs trailer, serving up delicious tubular meat to hungry snowboarders. So you have to wonder, how does he make it happen? YoBeat set out to find out.

YoBeat: So when we met, you were a photographer. How did you go from that, to hot dog sales? Were you really that bad at shooting photos?

Cory Grove: Yeahhhh. Right. Well, I don’t want to toot my own horn right off the bat here but my first ever photo published was a Transworld Snowboarding cover. TOOT TOOT, beeeyatch. One of TWO COVERS I might add. I hate you. No but seriously, I just got super burnt pretty fast on the politics of the industry. It was at that point where it was just becoming a very serious business and it was totally ruining everything I loved about it, and my only option to save myself from getting burnt out was getting out of it. With hotdogs I have no competition or standard to follow. It’s amazing!

YB: Why even bother to hang around the snowboard industry?

CG: Well, as kooky as it can get, snowboarding has given me an amazing life, amazing adventures, tons of free booze, and really great friends.

YB: Where did you come up with the name Cobra Dogs?

CG: Well, shit, I always kinda flounder on that question. I really don’t know, I think me and Jesse Grandkoski (who I started it with) just made of list of things we think are cool. Snakes made the short list and then it went to different kinds of snakes. Cobra won in the final match. I honestly think it was the first time I smoked pot since high school. We may or may not have been stoned.

YB: What’s in Cobra Sauce? How was it invented?

CG: Well that main ingredient is ketchup. Mixed with a very precise ratio of mayo, rooster sauce and a couple others I can’t talk about.  Again, may or may not have been stoned.

YB: Do you really hate ketchup?

CG: Oh hells yes. The devil. When I make the cobra sauce or am filling the ketchup bottles I throw up in my mouth. I hate tomatoes in general. Always have, always will. In Chicago if you ask for ketchup they will punch you in the face. I might start doing that. The worst is when I see someone put it on eggs. Oh god. Let’s just move on here. Sore subject.

YB: Ok, are you getting rich off hot dogs?

CG: Shit no. It’s expensive to run with rent, utilities, overhead, and we use really good quality dogs from a local company so I pay a lot more than I would at Costco or something. But I would rather have good food that I can stand behind then some shitty Oscar Meyer weens. I don’t need much to be happy. I am not motivated by money. I live a very basic lifestyle. I don’t buy dumb shit, nice cars, I have never owned a TV or any crazy game console, and I have never had a credit card. 95% of stuff in my apartment I either made myself or bought at a thrift store. I also eat at home and get most of my food from farmers markets. I have friends with assloads of money and it seems like it’s more stress than it’s worth. Mo money, mo problems. As long as I have coffee, family, and Wittlake’s porch I am good to go. My only vice is bikes. I spend too much money on them.

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A man, and his Field Notes. Photo Geery.

YB: What is it like being poor and hanging out with a bunch of people who’ve totally cashed in on snowboarding?

CG: Again, I see people with money and they seem way more stressed. My poor friends are never jealous of our rich friends but our rich friends are super jealous of each other. It’s a motivator to stay poor. Not all are like that though and it can have its advantages. I do like seeing some people cash in. Peter Line for instance. I love traveling with him and seeing the looks on peoples faces when 2 dudes that have not showered in some time and looking totally haggard step out of an Escalade. Priceless. I also have 2 friends that I grew up with that went on to Jackass fame and make more money than a pro snowboarder. That’s amazing to me. Getting paid to just do really dumb shit. I love it.

YB: So, elephant in the room. How do you think the industry will react to finding out you are fathering a lesbian love child?

CG: The people that know me will understand. And if I ever start caring what the industry thinks I am hanging up my apron.

YB: How did you end up being chosen to father your friend’s child? If I were a lesbian, I would definitely want someone taller, with a better job that hot dog sales. Just saying…

CG: I know right? That’s what I would think as well, but I am not asking questions. It’s a dream come true for me. I like kids but I like them for about 2 hours and then I want to clock out so this is perfect for me. I mean, I will probably spoil the shit out of it, but I can just go home later and surf the Internet or play Jenga with some bros.

YB: Was it weird having sex with a lesbian?

CG: Whoa dude. This is at least a couple years away but it has been seriously talked about for a while. I even ran it by my mom and she was stoked. So yeah, I am not a father of a lesbian love child yet. I am just the designated boner donor for the future.

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Would you let this man father your child? photo: Geery

YB: Well on a similar note, do you think it will be anything like hugging Andy Forgash?

CG: Nothing will ever compare to that. NOTHING. I can’t even explain it, but I told someone the other day that was like watching a dolphin being born. A perfect combination of gross, and beautiful.

YB: Are you concerned about the Swine Flu pandemic and how it will affect Cobra Dogs business?

CG: Pig Pox? Yes and no. People are tripping balls about it and getting wayyy too worked up. But if they have even a speck of brain they would know that you can’t get it from eating pork. Besides, our main dog (the All Beef Boa) is all beef. I also just read a story that in Canada a farmer gave swine flu to a pig. NO JOKE. How is that for irony?

YB: So you can’t get Hamthrax from eating pork?

CG: HOLY SHIT! Can I use that? Ryan (the marketing dude at Volcom) said I should have a “swine flue” combo meal. Maybe Hamthrax can be a new sauce?

YB: I think i stole Hamthrax from the Vegans, but yeah, all yours. If pig pox doesn’t put you out of business, any plans to expand?

CG: Yep. I am actually looking at spots now here in Portland and talks could get serious about one at a rad little ski hill in Washington. I told myself I would not do any kind of expansion for 5 years from starting the biz to see if I still liked it and just so I had everything dialed in and wasn’t jumping the gun. This is my 5th year and I am 100% in love with the brand and am totally married to it. I am probably more exited about the brand now than ever. I really do love everything about it and taking on a challenge is rad and scary at the same time. I think we started with $700 and to see it grow and take on new things will be amazing. It’s full steam starting now.

YB: Don’t you get sick of being at summer camp?

CG: I used to. I work 13-hour days for 2 months straight so it has a burn out factor for sure. But 2 years ago I had that moment of realizing how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing and now I look forward to it. It also helps to see kids that are so stoked on snowboarding. I love it and it keeps me going seeing the passion that they have for the sport and the pros. It’s why I started snowboarding and it’s why I still do. And you also have people like Preston Strout (part owner and camp director of High Cascade) who works 18 times harder than anyone else and is still happy as a clam. I’m also really serious about dodge ball so that keeps me going.

YB: What’s awesome about camp? Why should people spend their money to get their money to get their kids there in these tough economic times?

CG: Well, dodge ball. Also, this kinda goes back to living within your means that I was talking about. If you want something you can make it happen. You might just have to cut down on buying cool new shoes and nice things. The economy is bad but it’s also (like swine flu) hyped a little too hard. If their parents can’t afford to send them to camp they will mow lawns. Kids that have been to camp before will go back and probably do anything they can to go back. It is also very important to support small companies like Cobra Dogs and Volcano Cones that are there because they love what they do.  I can’t stress that enough. I go out of my way to get everything from local companies from our hotdogs to small things like business cards. I also grew up with a single mom that didn’t make much money. I worked a landscaping job and ate Little Caesars Pizza at the same time to buy snowboard gear. Little hard work won’t kill yah. Suck it up, brats!

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YB: What is your relationship with Aaron Draplin? Is he the coolest human being alive, and why?

CG: Draplin does all my design work and designed the new logo. He is in fact a total fucking badass and one of the best people I know. A freedom fighter. He makes me proud to be alive and to be lucky to live in this fine country and have what I have. He is fighting the good fight and we need more people like him. Let’s be honest, he also owns 4% of Cobra Dogs because I can’t afford to pay him.

YB: Since you’ve been involved in snowboarding for at least 35 years, what are you thoughts on the current state of the sport?

CG: Eat it, Brooke. I’m not that old. Oh god. I have to find out how to answer this without writing a book. Wow, ok. Here we go… Snowboarding right now I think is in a very vulnerable phase of its growth. This is one good thing about a shitty economy is that smaller companies are prospering and the bigger ski companies are really getting a reality check. I think that has a lot to do with smaller companies that started with basically nothing already know that they have to be frugal and be more creative with marketing instead of just throwing dollars at big name riders and calling it good. Seriously. I can’t even get going on this subject because I would bore you to death. Let’s end it with….. support small companies and shops. They are VERY important to this sport.

YB: So hot dogs and snowboarding are important to you, but what do you do for fun?

CG: Pretty much just work on and ride bikes. It’s not uncommon for me to build a bike and sell it right away just so I can build another one. If I didn’t have Cobra Dogs I would probably work at or own a bike shop. A bike shop with a coffee shop inside of it. I race bikes as well. What else, hmmm, I still really like shooting pictures. Mostly of just random stuff like cats and bums.

YB: Riding bikes huh? Was that you I saw speed past the office in Spandex the other day? How can you feel good about wearing that stuff?

CG: Yeahhhhh. That’s a hard one. First of all it’s called MANdex. I really try to keep it stealth and have nobody see me but this town is small. It is usually just fat people that make fun of me and I have a comeback for that. But I race with Louie Fountain and he shows up to the race in cut-off Dickies and a T-Shirt and smokes everyone so it kinda nulls my spandex argument, so I just came up with this new one….. It’s kinda like snowboarding. You could wear jeans snowboarding (and some do) but you are way better off wearing really stupid looking full print patterns and bandanas that keep you warm, right? In bike racing you don’t look funny in spandex to another biker, but to the average joe you do. With snowboarding you don’t look like a complete tool with a bandanna and huge gortex jacket to another snowboarder but to the average joe you do. Suck it, Brooke. I hate that you even brought this up. NEXT QUESTION.

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Snowboarding, iPhoning and hot dogs. Serious business. photo: Geery

YB: Fine, let’s get serious, how do you think Obama has done on his first 100 days in office?

CG: This is another one that can get really long and boring because once I get started you will want to punch me in the face. I am so burnt out on politics on a national level right now and am trying to focus all of that on local issues in Portland. Let’s just say that I have never had more faith in this country than I do now. I was really happy for Obama to win but more stoked on America electing a young black man by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. It gives me faith. George Bush was such a fucking buzz kill and lots of people lost hope in America. If you would have told me 2 years ago that Barack Hussein Obama was going to be president I would have said you are on acid. I would have also said that about me wearing spandex. America is truly a great place.

YB: What’s one thing you would like to see him accomplish in his term (and how will it benefit snowboarding)?

CG: Health care. It blows my mind that we call ourselves a civilized nation and we don’t have that for at least our kids. People have talked the talk on it and I hope he is not just doing that. As for snowboarding……. I hope he makes it law that you can’t get sponsored unless you can do a decent method.

YB: What’s it like living in PDX, and why haven’t you left?

Well, I was born on the Oregon coast in a little fishing town Astoria. You know, GOONIES, Kindergarden Cop. NBD.  Raised in Portland. I love it. It’s a very liberal place as far as you can have the craziest business, idea, whatever and people don’t look at you funny or judge you nearly as hard as you would get judged somewhere else. The cost of living is cheap. Tons of farmers markets, bikes, nice people, and just in general a very sustainable place to live. I have traveled the world over and this place still blows my mind every day. However, It could do without the beard/mustache/moped/motorcycle/fixed gear craze. And I hate to say it but the girls here are don’t like you unless you have one of those mentioned or you are in a rock band.

YB: Do you think it’s weird that Portland is the new industry cool?

CG: Not really. It is kinda annoying when people move here from (just as an example) Colorado, or California and they talk about how much better it is there than Hood or Portland. I love that when you can just say, “no it’s not, you wouldn’t live here if it wasn’t better there.” BAM, argument won!  As far as companies being here, I’m totally cool with it. Most of the companies here are pretty rad. I have no problem with anyone bringing creativity and jobs here. It’s actually a really nice thing to have just for the sake of getting free stuff. If I want a new ninja suite I just go to Airblaster and Holden if I need a new jacket. I just lurk in the office till they get sick of me and give me what I want so I will leave. I have been perfecting this system for years. Sometimes I will just “randomly” happen to show up at Bonfire when it’s lunchtime and 9 times out of 10 I will get free lunch out of it.  And where else would you have an office (yobeat) above a vegan bakery and vegan grocery store doing an interview about hotdogs? YES! Hitler was a vegetarian you know. Just sayin.

Follow all of the Groveman’s exploits on cobradogs.blogspot.com and go buy a tshirt.

Daily Thoughts with Cory Grove

High Cascade Goes International

HIGH CASCADE SNOWBOARD CAMP SHREDS SNOWPARK NZ!

 

 

 

High Cascade’s going down under and getting inverted this September 27 — October 4 at SnowPark NZ. We’ll be importing HCSC’s famed all-inclusive camp with professional coaching and oodles of off snow activities that will tire out the most organically shade-grown riders. Separate youth and adult programs keep each group fun and age appropriate. Head Coach Dave Reynolds along with The Manimal and all the owners of High Cascade will be making the trek down south for the lamb’s wool, reverse toilet flushing, Authorized Awesome accents, and SnowPark’s perfected terrain. Even the seasons are switched up so be prepared for some epic spring park riding.

Just fly into Christchurch, NZ and we’ll take care of the rest:

  • AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION (to/from)
  • ONHILL ACCOMMODATIONS, FOOD, POOL, SPA
  • LIFT TICKETS TO SNOW PARK
  • PRIVATE ONHILL SKATE RAMP & NIGHT SNOWSKATE PARK
  • TRAMPOLINING
  • PROFESSIONAL COACHING & VIDEO ANALYSIS
  • UNLIMITED 2009 SNOWBOARD PRODUCT DEMOS
  • AWESOME OFF- HILL ACTIVITES
  • SEPARATE YOUTH AND ADULT PROGRAMS
  • 24 HOUR SUPERVISION
  • PRIZES, GIVEAWAYS AND SOOOO MUCH MORE!

So hop on a plane and take your snowboarding international with us this September. For more information and to sign up, hop on the web at highcascade.com or give us a jingle at 800.334.4272.