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Foothills: The Unlinked Heritage of Snowboarding

Alex Yoder and Nick Russell follow the origins of snowboarding, not from California or Vermont, but back 300 years to Turkey’s Kackar Mountains.

Knowbuddy Wuz Here

Burton Announces New Durable Glampware

Editors Note: We must no longer be on Burton’s PR list, however fear not, Snowboard Industry News, Gmail’s most reliable Snowboard Industry News source was nice enough to forward us this. Hot news. StoneHuntTent

Burton Announces the Hottest New Camping Accessory

BURLINGTON, VT (July 6th, 2016) Today, Burton Durable Glampware is excited to announce the latest innovation in backcountry self-immolation technology: The Stone Hut Tent.

This Stone Hut Tent ushers in a new era of self-indulgent, collab leisure, with a strong emphasis on fire-hot glamping. The team at Big Agnes worked with some of Stowe Mountain Resort’s leading pyromaniacs to craft a highly combustible design that ensures only a smoldering glob of nylon will remain when you’re done chillin’ in the semi-wilderness. Now you can finally take to the backcountry and feel confident that it won’t be your problem after you leave. Simply utilize the LIB™ (Let-It-Blaze™) technology by leaning some dry wood against the exterior of the tent and watch those blue green flames burn the whole structure down.

Using Burton’s patented SorryDad™ technology, the Stone Hut Tent is guaranteed to go up in flames and leave your family shaking their heads with your choices in life. Once ignited by the LIB™ technology, the tent utilizes its highly flammable compound that has been woven into its exterior. It also features color coded lightweight aluminum poles, so no matter how hard you are tripping on the sheet of blotter paper that comes hidden in the aptly named Stash Pocket™, the Stone Hut Tent is always an easy set-up.

“Our boys were really tired of having to lug their tents back to the G-Wagon after a long weekend of raging, so we called Big Agnes and said, ‘hey we need a tent that sort of just disappears but is still kind of big deal,’” explains Burton’s Co-Founder Donna Carpenter. “Sure they could hike back up or call our butler to tell them to go get their tent, but why bother?” she added. Despite persistent Internet rumors, Carpenter also wants everyone to know that the Stone Hut Tent is not named “after the time our sons got fucked up on drugs and burned down a historic mountain cabin.”

The Stone Hut Tent has already received rave reviews from across the blogosphere, with The Good Life proclaiming it to be, “Honestly V dank and looks sick in our Greenpoint micro-loft.”

Portland, Oregon’s street style blog, Urban Weeds explained, “This is the perfect tent for crushing some PBR with your analog camera and a few of your favorite wide brimmed hats.”

Available today in the Famish Stripe and YEAH DRUGS! colorways. With a limited edition color, Wookstain, to be released this fall. The Stone Hut Tent will be available at all Burton StoresTwiddle concerts and various closeout websites!

So bring your boutique axe and your fitted work pants. Listen to the Allman Brothers “Mountain Jam”, trip out, and forget that you started that fire that is now burning down a National Forest.

About Big Agnes

Named for a peak in the nearby Mt. Zirkel Wilderness, Big Agnes®, Inc. is located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and produces award-winning sleeping bags, pads, tents and insulated apparel. Big Agnes is the exclusive distributor of Helinox trekking poles and camp furniture in North and South America. For more information, visit www.bigagnes.com

About Burton

In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn and has dedicated his life to snowboarding ever since. Burton has played a pivotal role in growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a world-class sport by creating groundbreaking products, supporting a team of top snowboarders and pushing resorts to allow snowboarding. Today, Burton designs and manufactures industry-leading products for snowboarding and the snowboard lifestyle, including snowboards, boots, bindings, outerwear and layering as well as year-round apparel, packs/bags and accessories. Privately held and owned by Jake and his wife, Burton President Donna Carpenter, Burton’s headquarters are in Burlington, Vermont with offices in Austria, Japan, Australia and California. For more information, visit www.burton.com and follow our line at facebook.com/burtonsnowboards, twitter.com/burtonsnowboard and @burtonsnowboard on Instagram.

Media Contact:
Abby Young, Burton Snowboards, [email protected]

Luke Winkelmann’s Young Gun Hump Day

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Kids these days are getting better and better every year, from contests to street parts, kids are slowly taking over snowboarding. Today, I caught up with North Carolina native, Luke Winkelmann to see how and why he does it.

How old are you?
15

(Born in 2000, wtf) When and how did you get into snowboarding?

I was 5 and my dad rode. I used to ski but he wanted me to pick up snowboarding because it was way sicker and I did it and caught on really fast. That following Christmas got my first snowboard and I’ve been doing it ever since.

North Carolina… What is the snowboarding scene like there?

Really small scene with really small resorts, you can see the whole resort from the bottom. There are like four of us who all rip together and try to make it as fun as possible. Basically all rails . Not much happens, people are trying to progress it and that’s sick and it will always be my home place and I love it to death.

You live out in Colorado now right? How did all that happen?

Yeah, this is my second winter out here. I got into Rev Tours a year before I came out here and I heard about Kirk’s Camp and all my homies did it and the coaches are sick and I wanted to be with kids who wanted to film and compete, so I moved out here to do that.

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What do you do in the summer?

I leave Colorado at the end of April and chill in North Carolina till June then I go out to hood and stay in the Burton Demo Center riding High Cascade till the end of July.

What’s the Demo Center like then? Must be nice, huh?

It’s wild, it’s a sick experience, I’m always having fun and the people who live there during the summer are all people I’ve looked up to and it all becomes a family and I’m always the little brother getting nagged on and I love it. For sure the best time of the year.

What was it like being a Knowbuddy?

It was really fun for the year I was on it, and that crew is like the crew/team I like to be involved with because they all film and shred. Having that connection with all those dudes is really sick.

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What about school?

I just started high school this year so I enrolled in a year round online school. I can usually stay pretty on top of it when I’m trying. It’s way tight to do online school because I can travel and ride as much as possible while still getting an education.

What do you want to do with snowboarding?

These next few years I’m gonna keep competing and see how that goes.I really want to film with a crew and be a part of a movie with sick dudes and be able to go ride backcountry and street and make snowboarding so much fun.

So you compete, how did you get into that and why?

I guess I got more serious into it that first year I started doing Rev Tours. It’s a cool experience and my parents wanted me to do it and I’ve been doing it forever, small comps in NC back then to Rev Tours and other international comps now. Competing is a good thing to get your name out there and meet new people. Plus, seeing all the legends out there starting out competing and now they’re filming pow parts and being in all these movies is so so sick. Competing is a starting point to make snowboarding something you can do for a long time.

Do you like the pressure of competing?

I’m indifferent about it, the pressure sucks but the feelings you get when you land a run you’ve been working on is sick. It’s something that pushes me.

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Would snowboarding be more fun if you didn’t have to compete?

I think competing kinda balances it out. I enjoy competing you just can’t do too much of it. So if you like compete and film during the season it’s so much fun.

Is there a better way than judges?

Yeah, I think the way peace park does it is sick, how it’s rider based and they can feed off the positive energy and vote for who rode the best and that’s definatley a sick way compared to the same old judging contests.

Why do you think people hate on “comp kids”?

I think people hate on comp kids because they tend to have a jock reputation and I think that people tend to think contest kids don’t know what snowboarding is about and that is the case for some of the kids and that group kind of I feel like gives everyone else that may compete some hate.

Are your parents hard on you?

No not at all, my parents support me an insane amount. I never thought they would let me pursue it as much as I do. They really want to see me go somewhere and want me to go out and have fun and i really appreciate them so much for that.

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Favorite thing about riding?

Getting to the mountain and seeing all my friends super juiced is my favorite thing. That just gets me so hyped for the day and start ripping with everybody just is the best. Like combining ideas on tricks and filming and the way riding with friends pushes you, just so sick.

Do you think snowboarding is dying?

I don’t think snowboarding is dying at all. For a little bit I saw that it could’ve been dying , but I think this generation can make it so sick. I know how it should go and my friends know how it should go, and none of us want to see it go down.

How should it go?

I think shit like the bone zone, open to public, and DIY features built by riders for riders is so sick. Snowboarding should be fun and creative riding with all your homies having the best time is really when you get down to it is the best and what it’s about. Contests also should go in the more creative way as in less chucking and more sick lines with sick grabs and style.

Is snowboarding a sport to you?

No, it’s not a sport at all. To me it’s a passion and something I really like to do. It shouldn’t be considered a sport I feel like that because it doesn’t fit that category and that’s a good thing.

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Shoutouts?

Shoutout to Dave Massie for bein a boss and always having my back supporting me and always letting me stay with him in hood, dude is a boss
Shoutout to Zach Nigro. Shoutout Frankie Chapin for being so sick and supporting me to snowboard you guys are G’s
Shoutout to all my boys Red Gerard/Chandler Hunt/ Lyon Farrell/ Reid Smith/ Benny Milam/ Brock Crouch/Jack Reid/Reilly Tardiff/Waker/ Kirks Camp/ Kyle Beckman/ All the Knowbuddys my brothers/ Connor Manning/ George Mcdowall/ Cooper Whittier/ My parents don’t know what I’d do without them/ Evan Lefebvre/Preston Strout/ Mike Flinn/ Adam Homi/ Ben Elliot/ Bo Warren/ Maddie Mastro the chick boss of snowboarding/ Anyone I didn’t shoutout to, shoutout to you because you’re all great <3
And a special Shoutout to my sister Kylie! That chick is a boss and supports me and believes in me more than anyone! Love her

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Burton Reduces Global Workforce by 4%

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It’s layoff season at the big B and this year’s cuts have hit especially hard with nearly 40 of Burton’s 900-person global workforce handed their pink slips on March 16, 2016. This comes following major blows such as the bankruptcy announcement from Sports Authority, in which Burton is owed some $3.9 million, and rumors of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to discontinue the sale of Burton hardgoods entirely.

Burton is framing the cutbacks as an attempt streamline processes and restructure the business. The cuts include multiple key sales roles, such as sales directors, the women’s brand manager and some product developers. The layoffs were across the board and no department was spared. In addition, the Los Angeles store will reportedly close and the NYC store is moving to a smaller location.

Burton President John Lacy addressed the staff in an email. 

 As you all know, this season was one of the toughest for our industry, due to unfavorable weather, global economic instability, and a challenged retail landscape. And while Burton continues to have a strong brand position, unfortunately our business is not immune to these realities. So in response, we’ve had to make very tough decisions, the hardest one being our action today to reduce the size of our global workforce by almost 4%.

What that really means is that we had to let some good people go. Friends and colleagues were affected in every area of our business, and in multiple regions, and it isn’t easy to say goodbye. We’ve now talked directly with everyone affected by these changes, and our HR team is working with each of them to provide full service support during this transition. These decisions are not easy nor are they taken lightly. Please know we will be doing everything we can to help ensure these individuals have the tools and backing they need to take on this next chapter.

Now, what does this mean for the rest of us as we move forward?

Let me be clear:  I am confident we have the right focus, the right plans, the right product and brand platforms, and the right team to turn our business condition around. It doesn’t stop with just addressing our workforce. You have the commitment from the entire Senior Team that we will work on all aspects of our business to streamline efforts and maximize opportunities, with the objective to re-stabilize success today and in the future.

This is not news anyone wants to hear and we hope that things turn around in the coming season.

Fire at Iconic Vermont Hut Linked to Burton Family

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We posted a report of this on Facebook when it broke a couple days ago, but since we’re getting inundated with email links about it we’ve added it here on the site as well.

Back in December the iconic “Stone Hut,” a warming hut atop Vermont’s highest peak, was destroyed by a Christmas Eve fire. At first officials told locals it had been unoccupied. Some locals even eluding to a cover up.

“So the Stone Hut burned down in December and everyone was so bummed.  When it was originally reported here on the news it was reported that it was ‘Empty, and nobody had it reserved for the night,’ which seemed totally odd because there’s a waiting list like 500 people deep for the Hut every night through the Winter” said a reader in the Stowe area.

This week, more info came to light from various Stowe area news outlets, including this story in the Stowe Reporter, and it seems Vermont’s first family of snowboarding was involved. According to reports, fundraising, insurance, and state money will be used to repair the hut.

According to police, George Carpenter waited two days after the fire to call an arson tip line and take responsibility, telling investigators he waited until after the holiday because he didn’t think anyone would be working on Christmas.

Snyder said no one from the Carpenter family has reached out to him, either.

“I’ve heard nothing from the family. Not one peep in any way, unofficially or through official channels,” Snyder said.

No word on if the Kardashians were there.
Go check out the Stow Reporter story on the fire here. More can be found on WCAX’s site here.

Snowboarding in 2015: A Year In Review

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2015 is almost in our rearview mirror and what a year it has been. Canadians elected a snowboarder to run their country. Europe has a major refugee crisis and you can’t breathe the air in China. Terrorism and mass shootings abound. The weather is fucked. No, really fucked. But enough about the real world. What about snowboarding?  Given the seasonal nature of the sport, the end of one calendar year and the start of another happens to fall in the middle of the season. This can make our human desire to recap events a challenge – does anyone even remember last season at this point? But technical difficulties aside, we at Yobeat have scratched our rusty brains and done some google searches to bring you this recap of the MOST RELEVANT and lit things to happen to snowboarding in the past 12 months – and most are a little more uplifting than the real world.

Global Ams Take Over

2015 may go down in history as the year pro snowboarding became a thing of the past, replaced with the much more cost-effective global am program. Sure, there are still a few people raking it in, but these days the real goal is global am status – free travel, free boards and maybe even a spot in a REAL movie. Dare to dream kids, dare to dream.

Quad Corks Are Real

Billy Morgan started the trend, and despite being accused of “killing snowboarding” in various memes, it was a matter of days before Max Parrot joined the party. More recently, Markus Kleveland inserted himself into the quad club, and now that the podium is full, no one else ever has to go upside down four times in one extreme aerial again, right?

Girl Gangs on Attack

Dudes snowboarding will always just be dudes snowboarding. But girls snowboarding? Now that’s something. When the Too Hard crew was featured on Vice in a multi-part series, some groaned, many celebrated, and everyone got a little bit excited. Whether you believe in girl power or not, Full Moon films successfully crowdsourced the shit out of their project, Jetpack and Outta the Kitchen got together to make movie magic, and even Lucas Huffman is working on a feature film about the wild world of women’s snowboarding.

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Burton Blow Out

Where to start with this one. Snowboarding’s industry leader, Burton had quite the year. Jake got sick and those left in charge went a bit buck wild. The cut the Knowbuddy program, collaborated with 30 brands that have NOTHING to do with snowboarding, and despite a colorful letter and passionate response from the public, it seems nothing will derail the strange track the big B is on. Whatever.

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Capita’s Mothership is Alive

Meanwhile, in Austria, the brands that still give a fuck about snowboarding have joined forces to open a state-of-the-art, zero emission snowboard factory with it’s own testing facility and the most advanced snowboard construction abilities in the world. So, snowboarding ain’t dead yet, and doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon.

Bonezone Goes Official

The mean old po-po destroyed the Bonezone a couple years ago, much to the chagrin of those deemed worthy of riding it. But never fear! Ted Borland is a man of the people, and managed to convince Brighton to make it official this year so not only is the Bonezone back but now you – marks and busters can ride it too!

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Homophobia is real.

2015 was a big year for the LGBT community with the US taking the huge step to legalize gay marriage nationwide. In the snowboard community, we generally avoid mention of such topics as not to piss anyone off, but between Jed making out with dudes on Instagram for attention (or whatever) and Terje’s incredibly poor joke in response to skier Gus Kenworthy coming out, board world was not immune to the hype.

Diversity rules!

We’re not just talking about the few Canadians of color (Dillon Ojo, Kody Williams) but this year may go down as the most diverse in snowboarding yet. Enter Mamba, Brolin Mawejje – a snowboarder born in Uganda and his flick – Far From Home, and lest we not forget the Soy Sauce Nation – who are also NOT WHITE, just to name a few of the exciting cultural influences in board world.

Old Dudes.

Don’t call it a come back! Or do, because it kinda is. But sometime in the recent past, snowboard brands said hey, people don’t necessarily quit snowboarding at 30 and maybe those old people (with jobs even) might want some heroes, too. It didn’t pan out so well for TRJJ, but guys like Bryan Iguchi, Jamie Lynn and Chris Roach are back baby!

Team Movies. 

Perhaps not unique to 2015 and rather a reoccuring trend we will report on until the end of eternity, the team movie is alive and well. Brands like them because they own all the assets, and since they’re the ones paying, that’s all that really matters, isn’t it.

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Climate Change got really real.

You may remember hearing whispers about it in the 90s, but this whole “climate change” nonsense bitch slapped us all in the face during 2015. No snow in the West, a ton of snow in the East, and a general uncertainty over the planet’s future were the theme for the season. Then summer came, and well, shit. It was the shortest on record at Whistler and Mt. Hood.

….But, we said this was going to be uplifting – so it’s dumping out West now! Get off the Internet and get some.

Burton Presents: Danny Davis

2 minutes of bitching riding, 10 minutes of bullshit. But whatever, Danny Davis is still the best.

Brady Lem Full Part

Footage of Brady on his way to steal your girl.

Filmed by: Sean Lucey, Paul Heran, Derek Combs, Dan Tyler, Jeff Heit

Site Check: Burton 15/16

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Burton Snowboards. Lifts haven’t even started turning and we’ve already given them a seasons-full of our attention. But let’s give them just a little bit more.

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The “Durable Goods” thing has caught some flack for being a sign Burton has lost it, but I don’t really agree. Is the name pretentious bullshit, and exactly what you’d expect from a brand that is carried at The Pottery Barn? Yes. But swallow your bile for a minute it isn’t that different from a lot of companies (snowboarding and otherwise) hopping on the post-ironic wave of semi-sincerity. They want you to think of this not as just fashion, but fashion that makes it look like you don’t care about fashion. The same way denim jackets and Birkenstocks are suddenly trendy. It may be a stupid trend we’ll all be over in a few years, but so is almost everything else in snowboarding. It doesn’t make sense to pick on just Burton for that.

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And whatever you think about a partnership with Disney (Frozen for girls, old-school Marvel Comics for boys), you have to respect Burton’s kid’s program. Making stuff that little ankle biters will get excited about, and therefore making them excited about snowboarding, is God’s work. Getting someone else to start snowboarding is a big ask, but making it so little groms don’t have to ride shit from WalMart makes it a whole lot more likely they’ll enjoy themselves and keep with it as they grow up.

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But that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and roses. First off- Burton has to be the laziest company in snowboarding when it comes to naming. If someone says they are picking up a “Burton Custom,” they could be talking about any one of eight different snowboards. And a binding! On one hand it is one of the more venerable names in snowboarding, on the other hand if it’s worth making as a different board shouldn’t it be worth giving it a different name? I’ll give them a pass on the Smalls and Split, but if they really are all that similar, what is the point of paying an extra stack for the Custom Mystery? Not to get too philosophical here, but is the Custom Flying V really the same board if the benditure is different?

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Ahhh The Kit. Recently described by Donna Carpenter herself as “drug paraphernalia,” someone’s dad is always getting mad when they find out about this. But it’s kind of a symptom of the problem a lot of people have with Burton. It’s cool and all that they aren’t trying to take the “traditional family values” path and watering down their image just to get Disney to work with them, but is this really doing anything for snowboarding? On one hand we don’t need help convincing everyone we’re all a bunch of lazy stoners, and on the other hand I’m not sure the lazy stoners are looking to spend $25 (+S&H) on an Altoids tin.

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The line between Analog and Burton is getting even more blurred. They appear in the primary listings on Burton’s website, and AnalogClothing.com just forwards you to a sub-page on Burton.com. Which begs the question- why did they keep Analog around? There is very little setting them apart from Burton stylistically anymore, and if it’s all on one website you can’t even pretend it extends your reach anywhere.

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Now this is exactly the kind of collaboration that I hate. After just getting on board with the clickity-clack of Boa last year, Burton has decided to ditch the braided steel lines that the entire rest of the industry uses, and go with the collaboration no one was waiting for – New England Ropes. I haven’t had these on my feet personally, but I just don’t see what the desired effect is here? I don’t imagine performance will be significantly affected, and if there are any weight savings they’re likely so small it doesn’t really matter. So why do this? New England Rope is a fine and respected company, but their connection to snowboarding, or even footwear, is not exactly apparent.

Burton is a big deal, the contributions Jake made are a major part of why snowboarding is where it is today. The company positions itself as a leader and for better or for worse they are the face of snowboarding to a lot of people on the outside looking in. But part of being a leader is being in front of everyone else, maybe not literally, but at least in ideas. And it doesn’t seem like Burton has ideas anymore; the collaborations are little more than brand-synergy exercises, the technology is more often than not about market share rather than product improvement, and the team has nearly as many “image” riders as it does people who are actually still progressing the sport. And the site reflects this slouch to mediocrity, here is nothing new, nothing interesting, nothing to make me really stand up and take notice. An average site gets an average score so Burton goes on the board with 50 points, our current lowest score.

Check the site for yourself – http://www.burton.com/

The standings so far-

Rank Brand Score
1. Lobster Snowboards 87
2. Bataleon 86
3. Endeavor 74
4. Rome SDS 72
5. Arbor Collective 71
6. Holden 62
7. Gnu Snowboards 57
8. Burton 50

 

Jacob Luczak’s New York Hump Day

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Photo: Devin Bernard

Jake is better than you at snowboarding, skateboarding, and getting women. Syracuse’s finest has a skate-style approach to snowboarding that everyone and their mom loves to watch. This kid can do anything on a board. I’ve heard some pretty good Groovy Lu stories from multiple people, and I think it’s safe to say Jake Luczak may be the most interesting man in the world. He may do some questionable shit off the hill, but watch him snowboard for 10 minutes and you’ll see this kid slays harder than your favorite pro. – Max Lyons


I had the opportunity to hang out with Jake this summer, and see for myself how rad he is. He skates like a pro and snowboards like one too. When I asked him for an interview he was skeptical at first, but slowly started to open up to the idea. We finally were able to sit down on the corner of Cherry and FDR and got to talking. Here’s what we came up with.

For those people who don’t already know, tell me a little overview of who you are.

I’m Jacob Luczak, 18 years old, and I’m from Syracuse, NY.

I heard you had a pretty awesome summer this year, care to explain?

Sure, I started my summer out in Eugene, Oregon. I helped set up a weed farm for a month. Then I went down to Mount Hood, stayed at the Burton Demo Center for a week- shoutout to the BDC. After that, I was a coach at Windells for two sessions.

When you were at Windells you got employee of the week, correct?

Yeah, it was pretty crazy. My first session I had this group of five nine-year-old kids. One of them had never snowboarded before and the other four could hit boxes, rails, and were good all around snowboarders. To get the first-timer into the lane, I would put him on my back and ride him down to the Windells park. I would also have to carry him down to the lift and shit. It was pretty nuts.

Why did Max (Lyons) think you getting employee of the week was so funny?

Haha, Max just knows me to mess around and not take things too seriously.

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Credit: Windells Session 3 Edit

So what happened after the two sessions at camp?

When I was done there, one of my friends from New York came out and we camped up at Mount Hood for a few days, camped at the coast for a few days, and stayed in Portland for a day. After that we headed back to New York, and now I live in Brooklyn.

Where in Brooklyn?

Bushwick.

What are you doing out here?

I work at the Burton Store in SoHo, hang out with my friends, skate, make art, whatever.

Speaking of Burton, you were a Knowbuddy. Can I hear your thoughts on everything that’s happening?

I pretty much just got hit up and told that Burton was cutting the funding for the Knowbuddy team and this last year was the end of it. Honestly, that’s all I know about it. My TM hasn’t even called me yet. I’m not the best person to ask for the inside information, haha. But it’s definitely a bummer. The Knowbuddy team brought out a different side of Burton. Everything has been said about it already, everyone knows what’s good with it. It brought a lot of people together too, every time you met somebody new on the team, they were instantly your friend. Shout out to the ‘squaaaad’.

Do you have any plans to ride for someone next season?

I have no clue about what’s gonna happen. I’m just gonna go out, film, and have fun with my friends. I’m planning on traveling more and meeting up with some crews.

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Photo: Bryan Cordero

So, your instagram (@groovy_lu) is… unique. What’s your perspective on social media?

Honestly, most of the time, I just get super bored or something and post weird stuff on the Internet. That’s pretty much it. I think people read way too much into it. I’ll just be hanging out and see something funny and post it. People’s Instagrams have turned into, ‘look at me, tag all my sponsors’ and that’s where all the hype is now. I tried getting into it a little bit, but it’s weird. Back when I was a kid, someone would put out a video part for the season and that was the shit.

That was something else about the Knowbuddys. It seemed like you weren’t pushed to tag your sponsors in a post or anything.

Yeah, the TM, Zach (Nigro) was really cool about that. He knew everyone had a different way of doing things so he didn’t push us all the same way. If we were hyped, he was hyped. It was a big family with no one pushing us to mention Burton in our Instagram posts or whatever.

But, with all this emphasis on Instagram and hype over fifteen second clips, do you think the season edit is dead?

I don’t know, I don’t really read into this kind of stuff that much. But, last year I put out a part and it got a good amount of views. This year I put out this raw edit and it got less than half of last year’s part’s views. That made me think like damn, some kids are getting more love on Instagram than full parts these days. It’s just a whole new era, we’ll see what happens.

Some places online were calling your part from this season B-roll. Was it?

Well, kinda. I was injured from January until the first week of summer. I tore a ligament in my ankle and pretty much sat on the couch all winter. There were a couple times where I like wrapped my ankle up in duct tape and tried to film at a spot, but it ended up being the first clip I got at every spot because I would tweak my ankle and have to stop after that. A lot of the clips were B-roll from winter but I was happy to put some skating together with it.

Is there a big skating scene in Syracuse?

It isn’t a big scene, but it’s a tight scene. We have ‘The Spot’ which is like a DIY skatepark, right next to downtown. It gets pretty popping. We go there, skate film, hangout, or whatever. We usually go there to meet up with all the homies.

New York or Syracuse?

I mean, I love the city right now, I have so much fun here. There is not as much going on in Syracuse, but my group of friends I have there are some of the greatest people. They’ve had my back throughout the years, like when I moved out of my parents house and needed places to stay. They helped me out filming over the winters too. I definitely miss that. From now on though, I’ll probably spend my summers here in New York and travel in the winter.

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Photo: George Rose

How did you get into art?

Growing up, my dad would make art and it rubbed off on my sister and me. Later on I got in with a group of friends in Syracuse, Brandon Strouse and my friend, Dom. They made music together. Brandon would rap and Dom would produce it. For a little bit, they were actually killing it in Syracuse too. Brandon ended up opening up for Curren$y, Earl Sweatshirt, Styles P, and a couple other people. It was crazy. I was the young kid too. I was like 15 and these fools were like freshmen in college. They would take me to their parties and stuff. It was pretty wild being the little guy, haha. Anyways, I would always make these weird pictures, but wouldn’t really show anybody them. Brandon was super open minded and whenever he saw them, he would show some support. He was always the one pushing me to do whatever I want. He definitely helped me really start to make art and show it to people rather than just keeping it to myself.

And you’re also starting to get into fashion?

Yeah, a little. Some of my friends make clothes and I’ve been talking with them a bit. Like my friend Brandon (Reynolds) who does Nolan, he makes really nice pieces.

Have you ever thought of starting your own brand?

I don’t know. I’ve worked on designing some clothes for other people, and I have a couple friends that have started some cool companies, and who make really nice clothes. I’ve kinda just stuck to helping them and giving them ideas and stuff. It’s fun working with people but at this point in my life, I can’t really commit to anything, haha.

Here’s to the future. Shoutouts?

Bistro, Zach Nigro, all of the Knowbuddys, and my fam back home.

The NewShow: 8/27/15

THIS WEEK’S EPISODE

MR. GEO

The “Anonymous Letter”*

MOLE

Red Bull Writes About Records

Chris Roach Goes In

Epic Mix Time

* Ed: WE have no idea if the author of the letter is ex, current or not a Burton employee at all. In fact, we believe it may have been written by the big man himself.

Knowbuddy was at COC

RIP Knowbuddy. 

Edit: John Swystun

Burton Knowbuddy’s Now Officially Nobody

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photo: @Ride7springs

Knowbuddy is no more. Burton has officially axed the program, which should come as no surprise but if it does here’s a little history lesson about why…

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In 2005, Burton launched the Un…Inc program – a super exclusive, core-shop-only line built and managed by Gigi Ruf, with a team consisting of Jeff Anderson, JP Solberg, DCP and Romain DeMarchi. Un..Inc was sick. It legitimized Burton in the core market, had wild and controversial graphics, and supported riders who were at the top of their game. Then in 2009 (shortly after the economic crash which forced snowboarding into a similar recession as it is right now) the program was cut. Gigi explained to ESPN:

Un…Inc was very important to us. For years we had the independence and creative freedom to do our own thing but for some reason that was slowly lost as the company changed direction. Looking back I would have liked to see more communication as to all of our options and why everyone got cut. To us it didn’t make any sense (the reasoning). We just thought all of the options were explored. I don’t know if they just wanted a new invention of the hype or what.

But such is life. Gigi left soon after to ride for Volcom head-to-toe and more recently started Slash. Romain and DCP launched YES Snowboards, and both brands maintain the core ethos that make snowboarding special. But history tends to repeat itself and riders were notified this week that the Knowbuddy program would be coming to an end.

 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Knowbuddy is essentially Burton’s flow team – unpaid riders who get special boards, and perks such a free trips and the ironic prestige of  being “somebody” in snowboarding. Frankie Chapin explained to Neil Tennant, the Knowbuddy program was meant to “bring Burton closer to the core and support grassroots snowboarding in a way that Burton maybe wasn’t at the time.”’

The idea worked and thanks to efforts of a lot of dedicated reps and marketing types, and a talented team of dedicated snowboarders from around the world, the program is was killing it. You can’t watch a video without seeing a Knowbuddy, and urban legend says a rich camper offered one unnamed rider $10,000 for his Knowbuddy board at a staff sale. On top of that, the whole program is rumored to have a $30,000 budget – an entire team for less than it would cost to sponsor one professional snowboarder.

The unfortunate thing about Knowbuddy though, is nobody else (pun intended) can get the stuff. The general public can’t buy the boards. And while it got people in the core community stoked on Burton, there’s very little ROI. Unless you’re somebody, you can’t get a Knowbuddy, and somebody has got to pay for those marketing budgets.

As in any hard times, those at the top have the most to lost, and Burton has been bleeding money the past few seasons. The brand has been shedding employees at an especially alarming rate, for example, industry heavy weights such as Billy Anderson (who left Volcom to run Burton’s marketing) and staff photographer Adam Moran (hire him here!) have found themselves seeking new employment – and they’re by no means the only ones. It’s pretty clear Burton is once again on a corporate slash and burn mission and the Knowbuddy’s are just the latest casualty.

 

The Road to SIA 2015

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The Snowsports of America Industry Trade Show kicks off today and being the diligent snowboard reporters that we are, you know we wouldn’t miss it for anything! But this year, since there’s no snow on the west coast and I didn’t really have anything better to do, I decided to drive from Portland to Denver. By myself.

A solo road trip seemed like just the ticket to find inspiration and build anticipation for all the new and exciting products and technologies that are sure to be at the show (I’ve receive SEVERAL press releases for new helmet-cover designs I’m really looking forward to), plus, gas is so cheap, I couldn’t afford not to. And luckily, I had my iPhone 6 to keep me company, so who needs friends, right?

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Shoshone Falls, ID. Beautiful. 

It’s been awhile since I drove any sort of distance, and let me tell you, technology is amazing. Between apple maps and pandora, the 6-hour drive to Boise flew right by. Once I arrived in Idaho’s capitol city, I was welcomed by AJ, Tom and Brad and gleaned the following information about the city.

-Bogus Basin is 16 miles away and Corey Macdonald of HCSC fame builds the park. Hot damn!
-The spicy lamb burber at Bittercreek Ale House is dope.
-For breakfast, go to Goldy’s and get something covered in hollandaise.

Next up, Salt Lake City. “EVERYONE” lives in Salt Lake, but for some reason I chose to stay with Al Pal in his house full of freshly-freed Mormon college girls he met on Tinder. Beer pong on a Tuesday night? Why not? Man, I miss college. I drank a couple 3.2 beers, slept on a giant pillow and woke almost rested and ready for the final leg of my drive – 7.5 hours to Denver.

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This part of the drive sucked, so let’s just skip it.

In Denver I picked up my fellow Yobeaters, the Catfish and Jpark at DIA and now we’re here! While the show doesn’t techinically start until today, Burton just couldn’t wait to get the party started last night. Because I am old and was tired from driving, I sent Chas to the three-story venue, which will  serve as both Burton’s booth and party locale this trade show. Based on his Snapchat story, there were no girls, but a few really drunk people and an open bar. He did Yobeat proud and closed out the strip club on night one! Add us on Snapchat, dudes, and you’ll feel like you’re here.

Now we’re off to the convention center, so if there’s anything you really wish you could be here to see, let us know and we’ll make it happen. If you are here, be sure to stop by the CAPiTA booth to grab a copy of the Yobeat mag!