The History of Snowboard Zines

Original publication date: Sometime in 2000

Note: This story was written a long, long time ago for Crossrocket, hence, Yo Beat is included (we’re not that conceited) and it’s kind of out-of-date. But it was about time to do something with it, so enjoy. — Brooke

Note #2: This was before everyone had the internet and blogs. Most of these were actually printed out.

They’re usually at your local snowboard shop, sitting right between a catalog and a pile of tattered posters underneath the boot display. They’re snowboard zines, independent snowboard media, which you might never know about if you didn’t happen to be friends with their staff photographer. However low-grade they may be, they’ve been around since the beginning, and they have always had their own following.

Zines are a great forum for those who don’t really care about what the five main professional snowboarders are doing, but instead want to portray snowboarding as they see it. For this reason, among others, said individuals will spend hours at Kinko’s running off pages of photos and text, or make homemade stickers in hopes that enough promotion will bring in enough advertising dollars to put out another issue.

The chain of zines started in 1984 and is still alive and well today. With the advent and ease of the internet, many of the new mags are in digital form, but always host the same set of values as their predecessors. As long at there are people with something to say, entertainment will be found within their pages, that is, if you ever get to see them.



The Beginning…: In 1984 the first issue of newsprint issue of ISM starting circulating within the meager snowboard community.

Official M.O.:
“To make sure that we were the authority on the sport and lifestyle, our goal was to promote the sport/lifestyle as we saw it.”

Why it started:
As a way to unify the small band of snowboarders in the country and give a voice to a group of people that needed to get organized.

Where it’s at:
Based out of San Francisco, the magazine covered the sprawling snowboard scene around the globe, although reached a mostly domestic audience.

How you would have seen it:
Like Rolling Stone, the highest quality this magazine ever reached was glossy newsprint, and while the shine from it’s glossy coating wasn’t attracting attention, the magazine itself was. Shops would request the zine, and subscriptions were offered. You could also pick up a copy of ISM at your local newsstand.

Why you probably never did: Although the magazine was the only snowboard magazine for several years, snowboarding was still largely underground at the time. Chances are you were still skiing during its reign.

Founder: Tom Hsieh

Who else knew what was up: The contributor list for ISM was as long as it was impressive. Founders of Snowboard Companies like Jake Burton Carpenter and Sims as well as the days top riders like Tom Burt, Jim Zellers, Bonnie Zellers, Andy Coughlan, Chris Carro, and Mark Heindgartner.

…and the End:
ISM’s sovereignty came to an end during the 91/92 season because after 8 years, Tom was ready to move on. This was also the time when there was a major fallout in the industry, with a lot of the smaller companies going out of business, but there was beginning to be a lot more competition, and this was creating too much pressure to stay cutting edge.

What Tom had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

When we chose the first ISM snowboarder of the year, in 1989. It was a decision between two types of riders: the number one contest winner: Craig Kelly or the number one individual who personified snowboarding: Tom Burt or Jim and Bonnie Zellers. We chose the latter because they were the leaders breaking away from the contest scene. This is when we got away from contests and got into the free riding experience. They symbolized the industry.

What was the low point of the magazine?

Every other day, it was a struggle to start a business in an industry that had very little credibility. It was like living your dream, but still trying to figure out how to pay the bills. There were no real low points, the experience was phenomenal, I met great people and we made a publication that helped grow an industry.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

Possible sell out to a competitor earlier. I had the opportunity and didn’t do it because I wanted to keep the mag independent. It would have been a good move in hindsight, but I wasn’t ready to work for someone.

What makes a magazine good?

You have to have a distinct voice. It has to be different form everything else. It has to be real and you have to stick to your guns. Every issue has to have something that shakes something up. If it makes them mad or makes them happy, its entertainment. A good publication will make people react and you’ll gain their loyalty over time.

Where are they now: After contributing to a list of different magazines over the years, Tom started his own PR Firm. He has been involved in a lot of politics and publishing, and in November’s election, ran for a Supervisor position in San Francisco. He said his first item of business upon election would be to build a skateboard park.


Eastern Edge

The Beginning…: Sometime around 1990.

Founder: Neil Korn

Where it’s at: Burlington, VT, however it is now created in Stratton and Killington, VT.

How you would have seen it:
You could pick up a copy at your local shop or even mountain. There were always copies of the magazine kicking around the base lodge of areas like Killington and Okemo.

Why you probably never did: Eastern Edge has always remained on the East Coast, so if you don’t live there, you’ve probably never seen it.

Who was down for the cause:
Gary Land, Mike Ponte, John Cavan and a host of others. The contributor list also grew exponentially when the magazine was taken over by Tricia Byrnes. (As a side note, Tricia ended up in charge after Doug Byrnes, who had purchased the magazine, passed away.) Currently, Eastern Edge is created by Tim Zimmerman and John Cavan.

Where are they now:
Neil gave up control of the magazine and took a job coaching at Killington Mountain School. More recently, he is rumored to be living in Jackson Hole, although no one is really sure.

What Tim had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

There have been so many issues that it would be impossible to pick “the best” one. Personally, I really dug the “Who Gives a Shit?” article about the Olympics a few seasons ago.

What was the low point of the magazine?

When the magazine’s focus shifted from snowboarding to yo-boarding.

What makes a magazine good?

If kids can look at the issue and relate it to their own riding experience in some way then it’s good. Some kids couldn’t give a shit if they ever get sponsored but for the ones who want a deeper involvement it’s also important to communicate the possibility of “the dream”.



The Beginning…:

Founder: Dave England

Official M.O.: “Being ridiculous.”

Why it started: There was a magazine called Crucial Leisure and it was the biggest magazine out there. Dave saw this and decided he wanted to make the smallest magazine out there. It was 1 ½ inches wide and 2 ½ tall, a micro zine.

Where it’s at: It was started and maintained at Breckenridge, but covered all of “Smut” County, CO.

How you would have seen it: Its photocopied pages went out in boxes of Wave Rave gear.

Why you probably never did: Do you own anything made by Wave Rave?

Who was down for the cause: TJ Liese, Adam Brown, Matt Hale, Christine Bennett, Gary Aleshire

…and the End: Five issues later in 1992 (Dave is again claming laziness).

What Dave had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

The portability and when this Japanese guy ordered a bunch of T-shirts from me.

What was the low point of the magazine?

There were no points, just the overall the laziness.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?


What makes a magazine good?

Keeping things from being boring and showing things that haven’t been shown before. I personally like humor.

Where are they now: You may see Dave doing his one-legged man impression on MTV’s jackass. He is also doing a lot of computer animation with his company Dry Hump Studios.



The Beginning…:
One photo copied issue appeared in 1992, but it wasn’t until 1993 that Heckler got going in it’s present form.

Founders: John Baccigaluppi, Matt Kennedy, and Sonny Mayugba, Matt was later replaced by Chris Carnell.

Official M.O.:
“At Heckler, we live the lifestyle that we document in our magazine. Heckler covers the big name pros–the ones who are pushing the limits and boundaries of skateboarding, snowboarding and music. As a compliment to that, Heckler is known for discovering talent and giving props to the nation’s underground rippers, the dark horses of today and the big names of tomorrow.”

Why it started: To get free lift tickets at Lake Tahoe.

Where it’s at: Based out of Sacramento, California, the magazine now has a national focus on not only snowboarding, but skateboarding and music as well.

How you would have seen it:
The early issues of Heckler were sold at tower Books for $2.00, but these days it’s available on newsstands and by subscription. It’s also full color glossy, as opposed to its photocopied roots, and available in over 30 countries.

Why you probably never did:
Chances are you’ve had the desire to get free skate ramp plans at one time or another and checked out, so basically, you probably have seen it.

Who was down for the cause:
Heckler has enjoyed a wide array of contributors, including but not limited to, Jeff Landi and Tory Piro.

Little known fact: At one point Heckler was a member of the Times Mirror Magazine family, the same conglomerate that owns Transworld Snowboarding. However, in 1997 John and Sunny bought the magazine back.

Where are they now: Two of the three original founders are still plugging away at producing Heckler, John is the Managing Editor/Art Director and Sunny is the Executive Editor.



The Beginning…:

Founders: Ken Block and Damon Way

Official M.O.: “A lot of stories about drinking.” Also, “having fun, by any means necessary. To shit on the face of boring corporate exploitation. To try and focus on snowboarders that are great snowboarders and hopefully not boring contest jocks.”

Why it started: There wasn’t nearly enough print media about alcoholic snowboarders.

Where it’s at:
Blunt was first out of Oceanside, then when Big
Brother took it over in 1995 it moved to El Segundo until 1998 when Larry Flynt bought both Big Brother and Blunt and they moved to Beverly Hills. Soon after Blunt was moved to Portland, Oregon.

How you would have seen it: It was glossy, like a porno, and you may have picked one up on any newsstand, or if your mom let you, you might even have had a subscription.

Why you probably never did: According to Evan Rose, Blunt was a place that you were doing things that were super creative, but only you, the other editors and 300 industry people ever saw it.

Who was down for the cause: Evan Rose, Marc McKee, Whitey, Dave England.

…And the end:
Blunt never actually failed, Larry Flynt paid top dollar for it, but then shit-canned it in 1999 because they were in a panic to cash in on the snowboard craze. Too bad they panicked so quickly, or they would have made good cash instead of losing their shorts.

What Marc Mckee, Evan Rose and Whitey had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

The article, “How to get rid of a Dead Body.” Also, the “Share a Puke” story was equally good.

Evan: Writing “Holy Shit” on the cover.
Whitey: When we got pulled from every airport in the U.S. because we wrote “Holy Shit” in big letters across the front of the cover of the mag. For me, it was a photo of Ingemar Backman’s huge method, which I was lucky enough to have in focus.

What was the low point of the magazine?

Marc: Probably when we lost our entire Japanese distribution for showing pubic hair.

Whitey: When we got sold to LFP. It’s hard to believe, but the bigwigs of this nation’s largest smut peddler are super strict and conservative. It was corny except for all the porn mags around the offices. My forearms have never been sorer.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?
Marc: Of course.

Whitey: I would include a free 20-dollar bill in every issue.

What makes a magazine good?

Marc: Humor that involves swearing or lewd behavior.

Whitey: Smut, no just kidding. It has to be young cute smut. I tell you the kids love that crap. Every time we had a picture of any girl we got angry letters from parents and letters of praise and jubilation from all the kids. A mag HAS to have good writing, not boring dribble like you see in most snowboard mags. Of course you have to have the right riders, they are the people the kids want to see.

Where are they now: The original editor Marc Mckee is drawing skateboard graphics for World Industries. Evan Rose is the producer for, Whitey makes funny snowboard movies, finally, Ken Block and Damon Way started a little shoe company called DC.



The Beginning…: 1993

Founder: Rich Gallagan

Official M.O.: “All about freeriding and having fun, personal progression, trying to push yourself, focusing on guys other than the 8 guys you see in Snowboarder every month.”

Why it started: It all started as the snowboarding sister magazine to Wave Action surf magazine, dreamed up by Rich because his current job as bag salesman showed him the possibilities of such a magazine.

Where it’s at:
Based out of San Clemente, CA, originally Plow was all about the Western United states, but has since grown to cover the entire nation as well as some European, Japanese and Canadian coverage.

How you would have seen it:
Since the beginning, Plow has been full color, glossy. You could have picked up a free copy in your local shop.

Why you probably never did:
While Plow charged along for it’s first three years, some mismanagement from way up put a bit of a damper on its distribution, however if you keep your eyes open, there’s a good chance you will run into a copy in the near future.

Who was down for the cause: Aaron Sedway, Justin Hoystneck, Kurtis Kroy, and Jeff Potto.

What Rich had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

I started the magazine, but sold ads, so when we did over $100,000 in revenue in 1995, right before the crash of Japan, that was definitely the highlight for me.

What was the low point of the magazine?

When the overall publishers tried to start a volleyball magazine and took money out of out budget. Also, when they put it on newsstands and tried to compete with Transworld Snowboarding. Plow was 100 pages, Transworld was 380. All the advertisers said not to, and they did it anyway. All that this resulted in was 63,000 copies being destroyed in 1997.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

Yeah I would do it on my own and never get involved with the kooks at Wave Action. Other than that, I think its super cool that it’s free and glossy, so I’d keep that the same.

What makes a magazine good?


Where are they now:
Plow is still alive and kicking, and Rich serves as the managing editor and Ad Sales Manager for the magazine.



The Beginning…: 1994

Founders: Tyler Adair, Todd Richards’s Money, Michael Burnett and Than Brooks.

Official M.O.: “A lot like the big bang theory.”

Why it started: It started because of founders who were into snowboarding, and because they were able to convince Richards to fund it.

Where it’s at: Boulder, CO.

How you would have seen it: Its four-color glossy pages were delivered by pigeon to shops. Also, another benefit of having Todd Richards as a founder was that copies went out to shops with shipments of Morrow.

Why you probably never did:
Seeing as 30,000 copies of one of the two issues are still sitting in a house in Colorado, it probably never made it to your local shop.

Who was down for the cause:
A rather colorful photographer named Bill Thomas, who once shot a halfpipe contest with a cigarette in one hand, and beer in the other, wearing a black leather jacket.

…And the end: Two issues later in 1994, although the magazine was doing quite well, they threw in the towel because Transworld threatened to break their arms.

What Tyler had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

Unloading the magazine from the semi when they were done printing. Putting 30,000 copies into a one-bedroom house. They’re still there. We had so many issues that we started making forts and sliding around in the hallway on them. That was fun until I got a paper cut.

What was the low point of the magazine?

It’s more like what wasn’t the low point? I guess we knew it was the lowest point when I was sitting with a computer guy at 4 a.m. drinking orange sherbet milk. That’s when I knew we hit bottom, and that really happened.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

I wouldn’t do it over again.

What makes a magazine good?

The readers, is that a good answer?

Little known fact:
According to Tyler, “We were all really bad [at making a magazine], I was selling ads and I can’t sell crack to a crack whore.”

Where are they now:
After bouncing around between publications for a few years, Tyler is the Art Director for Big Brother, Michael Burnett is working for Thrasher and after Morrow decide to corner the rental market, Todd Richards is riding for Rossignol Snowboards.



The Beginning…:
August 1994

The true identity of Flakezine’s founders has never been revealed, although most industry insiders have some insight if you dig deep enough.

Why it started:
To make fun of the snowboard industry, anonymously.

Official M.O.:
“The world’s only honest critique of advertising, marketing, and greed gone silly in the world of snowboarding. Each month (or whenever we feel like it) we’ll bring all the backstabbing, name-calling, and all-out-lack-of-talent that pervades the beast commonly known as “the industry.”

Where it’s at: Southern California, deep in the heart of the industry.

How you would have seen it:
Anything that makes fun of the snowboard industry is guaranteed to generate some sort of a buzz. You can check it out now where it’s always been, at

Why you probably never did: You probably don’t care about the inner workings of the snowboard industry.

…and the End:
Although they redesigned the site just recently, the last real issue came out in November, 1995. However, it’s never really over, as the site still receives a ridiculous amount of hits a month.

What they had to say: Only that they wanted no part of this story.

Where are they now: Although some speculate they are powerful editors of unnamed snowboard publications, no one is really sure.


East Infection

The Beginning…:
Fall 1994.

Mark Sullivan, named by Pat Bridges.

Official M.O.: “Don’t try to make snowboarding on the east coast look good, make it look fun.”

Where it’s at: Based out of Burlington, VT, but covering the Liverpool Underground Scene. Either that, or it was about the east coast.

How you would have seen it:
In all its four color, glossy glory, it was distributed to the newsstands by PPC, PDC and Fineprint Distribution, all of which except Fineprint , according to Bridges, were mob front. Fineprint went out of business once the employees held a takeover. This means you may have picked it up on the newsstands, or one of the Editor’s Stowe cronies may have shoved one in your hand at a contest. You could also arrange to have it delivered directly to your door.

Why you probably never did: If your mom saw it first, it probably never made it to you.

Who was down for the cause: Shem Roose, Andy Supergenious, Chris Dabica, Roger Cameron, Glen Seelenbrandt, Mike Ponte, Evan Rose, George Covalla, Mike Gardzina.

Little known fact: E.I. used to delight in tormenting Eastern Edge. Mostly notably they stole a cover photo of their competitor.

…and the End:
Being your own boss is great until you have to tell yourself you are getting laid off because of budget cuts. It makes it kind of tough to respect and live with yourself knowing that you are a deadbeat, this happened in the Fall of 1996.

What Pat had to say:

What, in your opinion, was the highlight of the magazine?

The time we held up a “show us your tits” sign in Western, New York and actually got a road show. This happened sometime in 1996.

What was the low point of the magazine?

When the tire flew off of the van with nine people in it at 60 miles per hour on a freeway or when Paul Alden told Chaka that it was people like him and magazines like ours that are ruining snowboarding.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

I would make it newsprint. That could almost be considered a “hardcore” selling point with our demographic.

What makes a magazine good?

European values, lowbrow humor, good scans and a “clarity of communication” ethos.

Where are they now: Both Mark and Pat sit behind desks at the So Cal offices of Snowboarder. Mark is the editor and Pat is the Senior Editor and they still view Snowboarder as “E.I. with a budget.”



The Beginning…: Spring 1994.

Founders: Andy Wright and Jared Eberhardt

Official M.O.: “Snowboarding as a “medium” of expression. That’s pretty much where the name came from, that and the fact that it’s was our favorite t-shirt size.”

Why it started: Due to a lot of creative energy and no outlet. That, and both founders worked at Kinko’s when the mag started so the resources were there.

Where it’s at: The zine was based in Salt Lake City, and while the focus was mostly around the talent pool coming of age at Brighton, Utah, the magazine had national focus. Included was coverage from major events, interviews with international pros and enough humor that just about anybody could get something out of an issue.

How you would have seen it: The first issue was created digitally off one of Kinko’s copiers, and each issue was a little better than the last. All the money made was put back into production to produce the best looking product possible. Although subscriptions were sold, this mostly just went to beer money. It was distributed to shops free of charge. Advertising paid for everything.

Why you probably never did: Unless you’ve been to Bjorn Leines house lately (one of the few remaining owners of a copy) you probably won’t see it lying around your local shop.

Who was down for the cause: Rob Mathis was by far the biggest contributor.

When he started getting into photography side of the industry, Medium was his showcase. Other photographers contributing regularly after a few issues: Justin Hostynek, John Kelly, Dano Pendygrasse and Whitey were always good for submissions.

…and the End: The magazine was supported solely on advertising dollars and it was in the right place at the right time. It was during the gravy days and there was no shortage of snowboarding companies with marketing budgets burning wholes in their pocket. When the industry finally found it’s cap around 1997, companies were lucky to still be in business, let alone run ads in an obscure, sarcastic ‘zine out of Utah and the labor was starting to outweigh the love. The last issue came out December of 1996, while Andy and Jared were still on top.

What Andy had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

Two things: First was the ring of fire. Jared, a former mechanical engineering student, designed a 12 ft. diameter metal ring and had it welded in sections so it could be transported up the hill. We covered it in gas soaked rags, set it ablaze and some unknown local kid named J.P. Walker jumped through it for the cover. The second was our “Death Issue”. Concept issues are tough, but this one was chalked full of humorous bits as well as some thought-provoking articles. Most notably was the poll: “Who is the snowboarder most likely to die”. No one actually believes that this was a real poll, they thought we made it up, including Jim Rippey, who was the unanimous winner.

What was the low point of the magazine?

The low point was running the business. Neither of us aspired to be accountants, shippers, ad reps or proofreaders, but this was all part of running a magazine. Eventually it got to the point where so much time was consumed on this end of the business that we were too spent to be creative. That’s when it quit being fun and became a job (and one that barely paid at that).

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

Sold the name to the Japanese.

What makes a magazine good?

People who have passion for their subject matter and the resources, initiative and talent to bring it to life. That, or putting Dave Carnie on the payroll.

Where are they now: After working for Blunt until it’s demise, Andy learned to take photos to avoid a 9 to 5 desk job. However he recently took the position of Creative Director for M3, and shoots photos during the winter while working on design during the summer.



The Beginning…: 1994

Founder: Eric Campbell

Official M.O.: ”Pok magazine (pronounced with a long “o”) sought to portray the soul and passion in the participants of snowboarding and skateboarding.”

Where it’s at: The Midwest, Acme, MI to be exact. Around issue 6 the realization that the coasts were getting enough coverage made Pok’s creators sure that they should be the source for Midwest snowboarding, a scene which was far from being exploited.

How you would have seen it: After the magazine began being printed rather than Xerox-ed it was picked up by Desert Moon Distribution and sent to Borders Stores all over the country.

Why you probably never did: There’s a reason that no one else was covering the Midwest snowboard scene, ‘nuff said.

Who was down for the cause: Andy Mueller of Ohio Girl design (now art director at Girl/Chocolate/Ruby/Lakai,etc.), Aaron Draplin of Draplindustries Design Co. (now Art director at Snowboarder Magazine) and Steve Bridges (now of Copper Press) did a phenomenal job covering indie rock reviews and shows.

…and the End: Ultimately Pok broke up rather bitterly in 1998. After four years of hard work, everyone was too involved in their own lives and were all about to graduate from Michigan State University.

What Eric had to say:

“I started the ‘zine with inspiration from “Little People,” a rough cut-n-paster, which chronicled the central Oregon scene, and there was no one in Northern Michigan doing a snowboard/skate/indie rock ‘zine. As it progressed, it became a total passion-a labor of love. I learned graphic design, photography, ad sales, public relations and how to balance school, work and a full-time ‘zine operation.

The highlight of the magazine was the Chicago issue. The entire issue completely grasped the heart and soul of this great Midwestern city. From the sulphur-smoke laden streets of the city’s 4th of July celebration to a 2 a.m. longboard cruise in front a giant Picasso statue while the drummer of Neutral Milk Hotel pounded out towering beats in the canyons of glass and concrete. It was a great issue–photography, layout (6’X6”), writing and presentation (all were stuffed in a shiny mylar anti-static bag with hand-stamped labels).

The low point was when the printer bill came every three months and scraping the money together to pay him. The last issue we produced we finally started to turn the corner and break even.”

Where are they now: Eric is now an art director at Filias Advertising in Portmouth, New Hampshire, doing freelance design and writing as well.



The Beginning…: 1995

Founders: Anders Hagman and Calle Eriksson

Where it’s at:
Sweden, baby.

How you would have seen it:
Fully digital, it’s linked to some of the most influential sites out there at

Why you probably never did:
If you’ve tried to look recently, you may find only a video teaser and no magazine, and this could make it hard to have seen the magazine if you weren’t down with snowboarding and the internet in 1995.

Who was down for the cause: Vincent Skoglund, Jeff Webb, Armin “Nils” Popp.

…and the End: Sometime after the US Open in 1997.

Where are they now: Both Calle and Anders are continuing on the media charge with their company Method Media.


Fresh and Tasty

The Beginning…:
January 5, 1995

Founders: Melissa Longfellow and Bethany Stevens

Official M.O.:
“A self-serving, self-entertaining magazine about women for women, because a woman who likes to snowboard likes the same things we did.”

Why it started: There was little to no recognition of women snowboarders, and Fresh and Tasty served as a magazine you could look through and know every photo was of a girl.

Where it’s at: Fresh and Tasty was put out at Bethany’s house in Cambridge, MA, the snowboard capital of the world.

How you would have seen it:
Always on recycled paper, something which no one noticed but Melissa took great pride in, FAT was on the newsstands of over 25 countries.

Why you probably never did: The numbers say your not a chick, and not too many guys would be caught dead reading a chick’s snowboard magazine (“Uh, there’s hot chicks in here,” yeah, right.)

Who was down for the cause: Allison Berkley, Lynn Kramer, Morgan Lafonte, Miki Keller.

…and the End: Although FAT opened up tons of opportunities for Melissa and Bethany, they were too busy working to pay off debts to act on them. After awhile, they got too broke and too tired and put out the last issue in 1998, 12 issues after they started.

What Melissa had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

Every time a new issue came out because we got feedback and people always saw the improvement. It inspired photographers to take more pictures of girls.

What was the low point of the magazine?

Never getting any sleep or making any money. It was the best job I’ve ever had but it was definitely tiring because there was never enough mass appeal for it to be a money making machine.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

Probably everything. I’d snowboard more.

What makes a magazine good?

Good editors.

Where are they now: After a brief stint at an Action Sports Dot Com, Melissa is now the website producer for Urban Decay cosmetics and is working towards her life long dream of becoming a pet psychic. Bethany is well on her way to becoming a lawyer, attending law school in Boston. She also hopes to someday get involved with politics.



The Beginning…: 1995

Founders: Mattais Sandstrom, Jens Jonason, Jacob Stajme.

Official M.O.:
”The page where anything can happen.”

Why it started:
To put all experiences from trips, contests and photo sessions on paper, celluloid and hi-8 and publish it as soon as possible.

Where it’s at:
The home of Ace of Base and Abba.

How you would have seen it: Online at

Why you probably never did: Maybe you did, several items on Beauty made it to CNET’s Best of the Web Section, completely determined by viewers.

Who was down for the cause: Pär Olsson’s photographs appeared quite regularly on the page.

…and the End: The site’s copyright ends in1998, although they were never a monthly publication, so you something new might pop up any day, although judging by the old school stance on the photos, it look rather doubtful..



The Beginning…: December 1995

E. Todd Keeney

Official M.O.: “Soul. Fun. Humor. Gnar.”

Why it started:
For the love of design, photography, music and snowboarding.

Where it’s at:
Bend, Ore, now broadcasting its Northwest coverage out of Portland.

How you would have seen it: You could have picked up a free, newsprint copy at any of the following locations: shops, stores, colleges, beer halls and coffee holes.

Why you probably never did: If you think that the people in the Northwest are detached from the rest of the snowboard world, think about what that means for the magazines.

Who was down for the cause: Trevor Graves, Aaron Draplin, Andy Tullis

What Todd had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

Highlight? We are free. We all snowboard. Volcano Video Magazine out next Fall.

What was the low point of the magazine?

Advertisers who never paid their bills.

What makes a magazine good?

Content, not ads.

Where are they now: Still publishing Volcano, #29 is due out December 2000.


3rd Hit

The Beginning…: 1995

Founder: Erin Gavin

Official M.O.: “We are the Knarr Knarr”

Why it started: For the core sport and lifestyle.

Where it’s at: Bellingham, WA, and making it’s way down the coast to Huntington Beach, CA.

How you would have seen it: You can pick up a newsprint copy at many northwest establishments, including the Laundromat. It sits in the “free publication” rack, right underneath Autotrader.

Why you probably never did: 3rd Hit often remains more legend than anything else. Although you may know it’s there, you might not go out of your way to get one.

Who was down for the cause: Bernadette Castner, Pat Wright, Jimmy Clarke, Mike Estes.

Where are they now: Still publishing, always expanding their distribution, in addition, Erin is currently the Northwest rep for World Industries.



The Beginning…: 1996

Founder: Doug Fletcher

Official M.O.: “Colorado’s original snowboard ‘zine.”

Where it’s at: Colorado, covering the snowboard, skateboard and wakeboard scene of the area.

How you would have seen it: Online at

Why you probably never did: Most likely because you didn’t know about it, but now you do.

Who was down for the cause:
Dan Holton, Kurt Olesik, Dan Genditzki

Where are they now:
Still plugging away, recent additions to the site include a story about Red Bull’s Rocky Mountain event which didn’t actually include snowboarding and a Colorado Skatepark Tour.


Yo Beat

The Beginning…:
The middle of the night, sometime during 1997.

Founders: Brooke Geery and Rachel Cotton

Official M.O.: “A bro brah shred the gnar publication,” (whatever that means).

Why it started: Yo Beat’s roots grow into the fact that the internet existed and AOL gave free web space with every account.

Where it’s at: Based out of Vermont, although it’s focus shifts every time a contributor is added or someone moves. Over the years it has been created in Rutland, VT, Plymouth, NH, Huntington Beach, CA and presently, Bellingham, WA and Middlebury, VT.

How you would have seen it: Online at, or you may have had a sticker shoved in your face at the US Open.

Why you probably haven’t: With some 4,000,000 snowboarders in the world, its 4,000 hits a month point the odds in that direction.

Who was down for the cause:
Contributors over the years (both willing and non) have included East Coast superstars like Catherine Nieves, Pat Bridges, Eerik Ilves, Brian Derosia, Tim Zimmerman, Kevin Susienka, and Seth Butler. There are also a large number of contributors on the list who’ve never actually written anything.

What they had to say: “The only thing you need to know about Yo Beat is that it’s a joke.”

Where are they now:
Still creating quality content for the site (okay, changing the photos once a week). Brooke is attending school at Western Washington University and doing a poor job writing stories for certain extreme news sources, while Rachel attends school at Middlebury College in Vermont and has become a college radio nerd.


The Journal

The Beginning…: December 1999

Seth Butler and Michael Nevin

Official M.O.: “We are a free publication, more documentary oriented. We look out for up and coming individuals, people who are trying to change things for the better. We try to stay on the optimistic side of reality, which isn’t always easy in the day of corporate take-overs. We are more underground I guess you could say, more focused on the spirit of things. We are interested in the truth more than selling ads to mass conglomerate companies who could care less about real people and true fun. We are not necessarily out there to make any establishment happy but to tell the truth. We are out there to make a difference in the long run.”

Why it exists: It all started when Michael saw the article in Big Brother by Erik Olsen about starting a zine and showed it to Seth. It had always been a dream of theirs, and this article was enough to get the gears going.

Where it’s at: Although the magazine focuses on Vermont, it’s actually produced in Boston, MA.

How you would have seen it: Photocopied and stapled, it’s been floating around the east coast contest scene for a season now. If you come across Seth, he’ll be sure to pull a copy out of his ultra-hip shoulder bag for you.

Why you probably never did: Even the founders of this magazine don’t have copies of it, all of them have been given out, but if you ask around the east coast enough, you’re bound to come up with one soon enough.

Who was down for the cause: With every issue, the contributor list grows. Tim Zimmerman, Jeff Curtes, and ironically enough, Erik Olsen have all done their part to help the zine out.

What Seth had to say:

What, in your opinion, was the highlight of the magazine?

This upcoming one, entry 02… As I said we are growing so quickly, every journal entry has gotten better. Our content is getting more and more diversified making the true scope of this thing that much better. (Note: Issue 4 came out months ago. oops.)

What’s been the low point of the magazine?

Last December I didn’t sleep for three days straight, I finished the first journal (entry00) and then Mike and our friend Leonard who is writing music reviews went to Staples to photocopy at 1 in the morning, to make a long story short I was real sick of huffing copy toner by 7 AM on the third morning of no sleep. Then I drove to New York City for Ed Templeton’s opening, we handed out magazines, Ate Chinese food and downed a forty each, between the Malt Liquor and the MSG I thought I was sure to pass out. I then grabbed a deep cup of coffee and we took off on I-95 towards school again. I thought I was a goner by the time I reached Rhode Island and realized I had missed Connecticut altogether. Luckily Leonard stayed awake with me the whole time through or I never would have made that hairpin turn onto 93 near Boston. We had so much fun, I never thought I could have that much energy.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

Get a trust fund? No I shouldn’t say that because I work all the harder without it. Having film would be nice sometimes and maybe a snowboard that isn’t 2 years old and to be able to take a break from recycling binding parts every year… that’s all part of the game though.

What makes a magazine good?

Genuine content, something that doesn’t waste paper or words, something with an individual feel and as little advertising as possible. Less filler.

Where are they now: Seth is on the brink of a BFA in Photography and freelancing in his spare time in VT and around Boston, doing Design and Photo work.



The Beginning…:
2000 a.d.

Founder: G. Trevor Phillips

Official M.O.:
“Interesting stories, we’re not after the best riders, just after a more realistic approach to snowboarding.”

Where it’s at:
Based out of Bellingham, WA and covering the Northwest scene.

How you would have seen it: The first issue, which was hand printed on an offset lithography machine, is available at the newsstand in Bellingham and a couple shops in Portland carry it. It’s also available online for $5.00.

Why you probably never did:
Between it’s short lifespan and only being available in two towns chances are this one may not have made it to your coffee table.

Who was down for the cause: Only Trevor and his brother Kyle can take credit for this one.

What Trevor had to say:

What was the highlight of the magazine?

We’ve been really happy with the feedback we’ve been getting, everyone seems to appreciate it and they want more.

What was the low point of the magazine?

The bills. I still have bills.

If you were going to do it again, is there anything you would do differently?

The only thing I’d differently is to do more.

What makes a magazine good?

Good photos, good stories, good design.

Where are they now: Trevor is about to graduate from Western Washington University, and is collecting content for issue 2. The first issue was over a year in the making, so look for issue two sometime, well, sometime.

The ones we forgot:

Hardpipe Jackson Hole

Site Project Western New York

Slide Magazine

Electric Ink


Polka Dot

And probably many, many more.

6 replies
  1. todd loves black widows
    todd loves black widows says:

    dude, drift was awesome. if you can ever find an issue ( we did 3 ) its probably one of the most funny mags ever. lots of amazing articles like, big gebs shitty booze reviews.

  2. Zimmerman
    Zimmerman says:

    Man, that brings back some memories.

    Eastern Edge was a damned good time. And, it’s a damned shame what happened to the Journal. That zine was amazing until it became a Terry Richardson-esque hipster depository of shit.

  3. NeekoNeeko
    NeekoNeeko says:

    Amazing job! Really fun read! 3rd Hit ruled in the Northwest until EG moved down south.

    Heckler Correction:

    “Where are they now”
    Two of the three original founders are still plugging away at producing Heckler, John is the Managing Editor/Art Director and Sunny is the Executive Editor.”

    John runs Tape Op Magazine

    Sonny works in the digital media/newspaper industry.

  4. a
    a says:

    well tell the tape op dude to get me back on that shit then! dead!

    I have a bunch of ISM izm in the basement…from what I remember of my last nostalgic trips to that bin, I got more enjoyment from the newsprint Thrashers…but I’m an asshole…maybe I’ll go break those out again…

  5. Sammy Bryum
    Sammy Bryum says:

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