A Hump Day History Lesson with Dale Rehberg


How it was done, as demonstrated by Roan and Dale. Photo courtesy Roan Rogers.

Snowboarding as it is known now was once called “new school riding,” and not just freestyle. All the rails and jumps that are so graciously setup by resorts weren’t always there. We used to have to go out and find rails to hit. If we wanted to hit a kicker, we would have to build it. The year was 1991 and the place was Breckenridge, CO. Dale Rehberg was one of the first punk kids in big pants and a flat brim to do it. In other words respect your elders kids, cause if it wasn’t for us you might be in a speed suit, running gates!

Russ: How’s life down in the So Cal?

Dale:  Life in So Cal IS life in So Cal…what you make of it.  Try to avoid the rat race and stay true to the roots.

Russ:  Perfect. A lot of people don’t know that you and I go back like sweat socks. I think the first time we met we were 15 or something. So I would say we know each other pretty well. You agree?

Dale:  HA!  If people only knew….YES Russ, we go way way back, that’s for sure…the good the bad and the gnarly!

Russ:  Yes, the good the bad and the… lol. Now speaking of So Cal. We were probably the first pros to transplant to So Cal. I have a lot of fine memories of that first summer. Which one sticks out in your mind?

Dale:  Yeah. I would agree that we were some of the first snow heads to roll into So Cal and post up.  Some of my best memories in So Cal happened at Pacific Drive…our little hang out.  The crew in that place at that time was classic, everyday was something new for sure.  I also remember a lot of parties for some reason..HA.

The PD Days. Photos: Yago

Russ:  Yeah PD is one of those places that’s like the oasis in the middle of the oasis, if you know what I’m talking about. Kinda like the VIP oasis. I do remember knee paddling skateboards home one night too, I think? Or maybe that was a dream.

Dale:  No dream Russ. Hitting up the local watering hole was an everyday occasion, and getting home was always a chore. I think Milo picked us up that night actually?  That guy is great and still a good friend!

Russ: So since the OG Ride days, what do you feel has changed most in the industry?

Dale:  Since the days at Ride… I think a lot has changed!  I mean, I’m not sure of too many pros who have unlimited travel budgets, no requirements other than to show up and party. We did ride of course, but we didn’t have to huck off 100ft jumps and spin like ballerinas either. Anything we did, we could successfully do with a hangover. HA.

Russ:  Amen to that.

Dale:  The other thing that I think has changed is that most of what we were doing at that time was all new. The places we were riding, the equipment we were on etc. etc. now-a-days most shit has been done…Sure people find new zones to explore and push the limits, but in general nobody is doing stump lines for the first time, that’s for sure.

Russ:  So in other word same pony, different rider?

Dale:  Not really..but kind of.  Everything was fresh in the sense that it was all new…not just to all of us but to the industry.  Fresh as in totally different — different style, different fashion, different in general..not sure how much stuff is too different today?

Russ: I like your answer Homie! I want to talk with you a bit about pro models. I have a feeling that since so many of the pros that had models weren’t really designing there stuff just “signing off” on it, the companies didn’t see the total value of it, but I would like to hear your opinion.

Dale:  Ok, pro models. My opinion is simple…snowboarding has gotten to a point that it is a mainstream sport, something that anyone can do.  So the value of the rider is not so prestigious really (except for the few who have the ability to still sell products) so the consumer demand for pro models is not as big as it was in the past.  I think riders nowadays are more about the company they ride for than the person themselves. Good point too Russ.. I know that we DID design our boards from shape to graphic to construction etc.

The O.G. ride team (minus Russ, plus the Pouges) with pro models! Photo: Mike Leblanc

Russ:  For me it was all about expression back in the day. From the fashion to the tricks to the way it was thrown down. I feel that the shape and graphic of each of our boards also played a major role in that.

Dale:  For sure it did.  Agree!

Russ:  It seems today it’s hard out there for a pimp

Its Hard Out Here For Pimp-Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow)

Dale:  haha yeah…We had pagers suckas. That was classic. No cell phones..pagers! thought we were rolling…

Russ:  What I mean is that a lot of the companies are more worried about a degree then real life experience.

Dale:  Oh for sure..it’s part of the industry growing up.  I hope it (the industry) doesn’t lose touch with where things came from and how it got to where it is today…that’s for sure! I see certain brands losing some of this for sure..while others embrace it.

Russ:  I think you’re right.. It’s funny the ones embracing it seem to have a true following of people while the other companies cant really figure out why??? Fuckin rocket science huh……….Let us converse on a dear friend of both of ours, Roan Mutha Fukin Rogers. I remember Ed did the whole thing on core. To me core and hardcore are two different things. Core is just being true to what you came into the game to do and Hardcore is being Roan Rogers. If you don’t wanna do it you ain’t gonna do it!

Dale:  Roan (Rogers) and I grew up together since we started to walk…we pretty much did everything together.  Roan was always a small kid and didn’t come out of his shell until late teen years, then it was on.  We moved out to Breck and he just went fucking crazy with his riding.  His style to still top notch and in my opinion still better than anyone…point.  Roan is Hardcore for sure and there is a difference here.  He does things he likes and does them better than most (he will kick your ass X-country skiing as well!)  and he never sold out for the money and he never did anything he didn’t feel right about…ever. Roan to me is what a real person is. Doing things out of passion and not to make others happy or prosper from. Hardcore to a fault (in a good way of course.)

Russ:  To all of you yungstas out there listen to what was just said might be the most important piece of info you get all week.

Roan and Dale, learning to kickflip?

Dale:  I have a very small list of who I think is Hardcore for sure..most others are core.

Russ: What have you been doing since you hung up the pro boots?

Dale:  I’ve worn a few hats since hanging up the proverbial “hat” as you say.  But as of recent I am brand manager for NXTZ an accessories brand under the Flow Sports umbrella.  Making quality accessories for winter and diving into the Spring/Summer world as I type. Oh yeah..let’s not forget about the Russell special edition NXTZ coming in HOT this fall!!

Russ:  That’s right people. I did a few special edition NXTZ pieces. If wanna look as good as me well, you better cop that ish! **Shameless Self Promotion**

Last but not least I wanna talk about one of the many subtleties that set Ride apart from the others. Flat kicks. I used them because they floated well and it made me fell more like I was skating how bout you? Oh and they look way better.

Dale:  Flat kicks look WAY better and work just as good as the other stuff out there… way more skate looking for sure (that’s why I did it on my board. I remember sitting with you and going over this for hours and hours coming up with some of that stuff.

Russ:  We pioneered some tech that we didn’t even know about that is being used right now.

Dale:  For sure, and for good reason.  I think we did a lot of things on pure feeling vs. engineering. some worked and some didn’t, and that is how it should be.

The days they always refer to when they say “back in…” photo: Tom Grace.

Russ:  You are right. Some of it really worked to the point where it is coming back today! Before I sign off.. Whistler Ride camp?

Dale:  HAHA. Can’t remember much. I think we terrorized that place a bit. Too many stories to start about. We could do a whole summer article on that stuff!

Russ: Well Reh, this was a good time for me and I hope to hookup in the real world soon man! Give the wife a hug for me and high five to the kids!

Dale:  Sweet Russ..always a good time for sure.  I’ll be in touch and hopefully we can go shred soon together!  PEACE.

Road trip! Photo: Pat A



12 replies
  1. upstatemike.
    upstatemike. says:

    i remember walking into pacific drive back in like ’95 when i was 12 and being psyched as fuck. feeling you were somewhere real and around pros and shit. not alot of shops give you that feeling anymore these days.

    awesome interview. snowboarding used to have so much more meaning to the people that did it, and wasnt just a “winter activity”. but there’s many out there right now that get it…it’s just a matter of time before shit rights itself. already on the right track.

  2. Estes
    Estes says:

    Quimbola Man snow pants, the first snowboard apparel company. I loved those pants. Wish I still had them. Yeah Dale!

  3. 720boardshop
    720boardshop says:

    Most legit guys in Breck back in the day, loved seein those guys riding because there were always some firsts goin down. So innovative. Thanks for the history Yobeat!

  4. eric
    eric says:

    Dale, so who’s the best rider on your street growing up, u or Roan? Must have been somethin in the water. Dale’s one damn fine guy as well.

  5. bluemont
    bluemont says:

    A Flying Circus. Best Snowboard Movie Ever.

    Dale and Roan (and Nate and Jake) we’re my idols growing up. I remember seeing them at local halfpipe contests in Wisconsin and they were on some next level shit. Their riding, their style, their whole deal was just different and better and cooler than everyone else. My friends and I just watched in awe.

  6. Check Ya Facts
    Check Ya Facts says:

    Shits real. More stories need to be told. More respects payed. Props to Dale and Roan, Legends!

  7. Sky Minor
    Sky Minor says:

    Great post, I remember watching the Breck crew come up with seriously progressive tricks in the mid 90’s. I saw Kendall throw a Corkscrew 5/misty flip a full year before Peter Line got famous for “inventing” it. Snowboarding was so fresh back then, an unexplored frontier. What was up with so many [email protected] Breck being thugs back then? Like the bad kids all congregated at Peak 9

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