Alex Yoder and Nick Russell follow the origins of snowboarding, not from California or Vermont, but back 300 years to Turkey’s Kackar Mountains.
Alex Yoder is a classic guy. He is a young, humble mountain man, ready to take on any adventure, at any time. He is on his way to becoming the Indiana Jones of snowboarding. I’ve known Yoder for about 4 years now and he has remained an awesome dude since the day we met. That tells me he is here to stay, to carry the message of true boardin’ and easy stylin’. Hey Classic Yoder, ‘Don’t go ‘a changin’! -Gray Thompson
Are you the type of person that has a plan and direction for your life or do you just go along and see what happens? Where do you see yourself a year from now?
Haha! Really diving right into it! Ya, I definitely have direction in my life. I don’t have a master plan so to speak, and for the most part I am just going along with it. It’s fun to be open and just see what happens. I guess it’s a mixture of the two. I like to think I’ll be on the path I am on for a while, and there are goals involved, but the path itself is unwritten. In a year from now… It’s hard to say. I’ll probably be snowboarding somewhere in North America. . It’s definitely a way of life a lot of us choose to live. You know it. When most of what we do is based on travel and weather you just have to be open right? I don’t really see any other way.
Where are you right now and where are you GO!ing tomorrow?
Right now I am at Blake Paul’s family home in Jackson Wyoming. It’s a quaint estate with lots of food and Teton views. Tomorrow we’re Go!ing back into the plentiful wyoming backcountry to get some shots for the movie.
It sounds like you have set things up for yourself and you are doing exactly what you want to be doing, which seems very hard to do in snowboarding these days
Well, I can’t say that I’ve set things up. I can say I am very happy with how things are going! But ya, I guess to me it’s just about not having doubt. I have always been in the mindset that possibility is endless and all you really have to do is try… Cheesy, I know, but whatever, there’s a good message in the cheese. In snowboarding, and all board sports really, that’s the vibe. We stand on boards and point them where we want to go… That’s freedom.
So you and three of your friends are standing on boards and pointing them in a cool direction this year, can you break down your project?
Yes! Basically Lucas wanted to change things up a bit and spearhead a different kind of project this season. The project is called Go! A Snowboard Road Trip and the long and short of it is we bought a 1993 Subaru Loyale, stripped it down so that just the body was left, and basically built it into a rally car. It has a 300 horse power turbo STI engine, new everything, and a custom paint job. We are traveling around in the Subaru all season chasing the snow, boarding with friends, and in the end making a movie your everyday boarder can relate to!
Sounds dangerous, do you think you guys will end up tokyo-drifting through mountain towns rather than going snowboarding?
Why not both?
Who all is involved in GO!?
We have Lucas Debari in the drivers seat, boy genius Kael Martin fresh out of college sitting shotgun, the self proclaimed prince of the backcountry Blake Paul sitting bitch in the back, to his left is cinema mastermind Sam Tuor, and myself obviously.
Sounds tight, literally! Hows the leg room? Do you want to kick Blake out of the car yet?
Hah! Ya, it’s tight. But most of the time we are so spent from boarding that it doesn’t really matter. You just cram in there and deal with it. Blake’s the man, we might need to edit out some of his luggage, but he’s here to stay.
The GO! Road trip has currently brought you to Jackson Hole, which is also your home, what’s so special about the place that makes you stay home when you are supposed to be on a road trip?
Ya, it’s good to be at home for a minute! Jackson is an amazing place, and neither Lucas or Kael had ever been here before this trip. We brought them out to show them around our stomping grounds and give them the opportunity to experience the splendors of our home terrain. It’s pretty funny though because it has been around negative 15 every morning the whole time we’ve been here, which is a hard pill to swallow coming from the north west, but it’s supposed to warm up to a balmy positive 15 this week so all is well!
Sounds way too cold for someone who grew up in California! How did your re-location from California to Jackson come about? Following in the footsteps of the Guch?
I’ve gotten used to it over the years, but ya I remember the first time feeling your nostrils freeze as you breath in, you know what I’m talking about. I was 11 years old waiting for the school bus the first year I lived in Jackson. But ya, I was was born in San Francisco and my parents, who had both lived in the sunshine state for their entire lives, decided they wanted a change of scenery and felt like Jackson would be a good place to raise my brother, sister, and me. That is no doubt the most pivitol point in my life, I have no idea where I’d be if we hadn’t moved out here.
Seems like moving to Jackson made it possible for you to start traveling the world! Tell us a little bit about your (or I should say our) trip to Chile this past summer
It did for sure. At least traveling to snowboard. The trip to Chile this year was hilarious! It was my third time down there. The first was a solo mission to meet up with A-Rob three summers ago. He was just running it down there! He could speak spanish well enough, had multiple female interests, ticket connection, you name it. It was insane, but ya I had so much fun on that trip that I planned on going back the next year and that’s when Aaron passed away, so we went down to honor him and finish Manifest. Then this year, like I said, was hilarious. We had a big crew, none of us had spent too much time together, aside from Blake and I, and the snow was pretty marginal, so we were just making the best of it everyday. We went to the beach, picked up this random german girl that was stalking J-Rob. Zim (Tim Zimmerman) decided he was a rally car driver every time we got into our rental van. We jumped into active volcanos… It was insane! At this point it’s tradition. I think I’ll go down there for the rest of my life.
What is it about mountains and adventuring that attracts your snowboarding so much, versus the park and streets?
I can’t really relate to the streets at all. Jackson isn’t really an urban environment. I hit a hand rail downtown one time… front lipped it, through the donkey dick. Haha! Ya I don’t know. I used to think riding park was really cool when I was younger. I would do all of the USASA comps and I did ok. I went to Nationals once, but I never really saw a future in it. I think when I really started to become drawn into the mountains was the first time I went to Alaska when I was 18. I got a job washing dishes at the Alaska Rendezvous Heli Ski Lodge with my best bud Aidan and we just worked hard enough to afford a few heli runs every week. It was insane! I distinctly remember one time being the last one to drop onto this three thousand foot ramp somewhere in the Chugach, all alone on this mountain, totally silent with mountains as far as I could see in every direction… I had an epiphany. I knew I wanted to base my life around that feeling.
There really is something spiritual about being in the mountains. Do you think more people are having similar epiphanies with snowboarding? Do you see a change in the direction people are taking with snowboarding?
Ya, I definitely see a change happening in snowboarding. The mountains have a lot to offer and I think more people are starting to realize that freedom to roam. And it’s funny to say it’s changing though, because it’s been there the whole time. It’s an obvious progression in snowboarding. The mountains are the highest echelon, the main stage. Guch is a perfect example. He moved into the mountains to find fulfillment. His sponsors dropped him because that was irrelevant, but look who’s still making it as a professional snowboarder. It’s not as much of an obvious progression like the number of times you see a person flip in one air. It is more a progression of self, in your passion for riding in the mountains and that is visible. Certain people have very passionate riding styles and it’s totally contagious. Those are the greats in snowboarding.
Then one can only speculate, after reading this, that you are GO!ing down an awesome path just like the greats in snowboarding did. How’s that feel and who is helping lead you on this path?
I’m not claiming any greatness. I’m just Go!ing with what feels good to me. Guch and A-Rob are my biggest inspirations. The two of them have contributed to my life in ways I can’t explain. Snowboarding has given me those relationships and vise versa. It’s a cycle. Life is good! Thanks Gray! Go!ing to get some Z’s so I can get up early to board!
Patagonia, Jones Snowboards, Dragon, Dakine, Bluebird Wax, Remind Insoles, Jackson Treehouse, Drink Water, The Mangy Moose Saloon
Check out Alex and the rest of the GO! Boardin’ dudes at goboardin.com and follow them on instagram @go_boardin
Now you may have thought interning for YoBeat was the coolest possible way to earn college credit, but you’d probablyÂ be wrong. South America Snow Sessions has partnered with Sierra Nevada College to offer the opportunity to earn credits while attending camp in South America.
Campers 15 and older may now build up their college transcripts and earn transferable college credits from SNC for the following courses:
Spanish in the Field – SPAN 151 (3 units)
Photo in the Environment – PHTG 115 (3 units)
Introduction to Ski Business – SBRM 201 (3 units)
Principles of Outdoor Leadership – ODAL 201 (3 units)
Downhill Skiing – PHED 131 (1 unit)
Snowboarding – PHED 119 (1 unit)
Mountaineering – PHED 171 (1 unit)
Map and Compass – PHED 151 (1 unit)
Internship credits and financial aid may also be available! For more information please visit the Sierra Nevada College website or call 775.881.7402.
So basically, you can a) use this fact to convince your parents to send you to Patagonia to snowboard b) potentially get the government to help pay for it and c) avoid that annoying Map and Compass class at college. Works for us.
To register for SASS this summer, go here.