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Hump Day Meets its Saviour Pj Gustafsson – The Hero Who Couldn’t Care Less

I missed the way it was. Local shops and big video premieres, the Forum team, $20 lift tickets and Scotty Wittlake’s neck tats. I missed Mark Frank Montoya’s rap videos and Robot Food blowing minds. I missed everything about KidsKnow, ducking ropes and bad kid shit. I missed it so much that eventually I began to believe snowboarding was dying. But I was wrong. Just another idiot who had lost his way. But from the darkness came light. And in a single photo I found the spark of rawness to prove I was full of shit and snowboarding is forever.

Photo cred: @toomuchworld

Gimp mask, coffin board, beer in hand. I’m taking a shit and starring at Andrew Brewer’s Instagram for some reason. Who is this dude making Brewer look short and fat? My interest is spiked. But I’m cautious. My fear that this is just another dork from Tahoe is real.

I dig deeper and find my new man crush is a GG Allin loving, old-as-fuck father of three from Sweden. A man who started skating in the 80s. A dude who in 2007 straight up quit DC because he thought it was whack. A modern-day middle finger to outside influence and all things corporate. A hero who carries the eternal flame of snowboarding’s rebellious core.

PJ jumping over a river. Asshot: Louise Eberhardt

Maybe you’ve heard of him, PJ Gustafsson. He used to wear big pants, bright colors and look like all the other Scandinavian kids coming out of the mid 2000s. Maybe you even liked his part in that Croatian snowboard flick “In Love.” But maybe not, because I was deep into snowboarding and I missed this dude completely. But then Death Label blew up, and the dude that’s been riding pro for them for almost a decade started popping up around the internet.


The DREAM IS REAL.

Back in the stone age PJ was just a small Swedish kid with normal European parents. That meant no snowboarding because it was dangerous. But, Europeans tend to give up easily so in 1994 PJ got his first snowboard. An orange Sims Noah Salasnek with the skateboard graphic on the base. One, two, skip a few and it’s the middle 2000s. Europeans are flocking to America to take over everything from big jumps to massive handrails and PJ is riding with Halldor for DC Europe. But, PJ says, “Fuck it.” And becomes a heavy metal badass we could all learn from. In his own words, “I had to wear DC from head to toe. I wasn’t really into wearing that baggy, neon colored stuff. Also, it was a lot of pressure and a part of snowboarding that I don’t like. So, I quit riding for DC. I just quit and I remember having anxiety at the time since they provided me all my clothes, shoes, outerwear, boards and boots and even money to pay my rent.”

Dylan and Holly help out their bad-dad in Sälen. Photo: Louise Eberhardt

Let’s pause to recap. A kid who was on the brink of having it all threw up his hands and walked away. He defied the system and disrupted the norm. And in doing so, embodied exactly what snowboarding is supposed to be about. Doing whatever you want, because you’re free to do it. So what came next? Well, PJ went looking for a sponsor, found Death Label on the internet and as he puts it, “I wrote an email to Taka (Death Label Boss/Owner) and told him I would love to ride for Death Label. Maybe two weeks after sending my first email I had a box with five fresh 2008-2009 boards delivered to my door.” And just like that he was the first non-Japanese rider on Death Label. The company that gave Nike the middle finger and would go on to become a true underground giant.


Start writing those emails kids. Pro contracts are waiting.

Guy writes an email, signs a contract and bam, he’s pro. But unlike every other pro on earth, PJ just does whatever he wants. Google him, you won’t find much. A few photos of having fun, lots of evidence that he travels and rides in places most only dream of, but most of it is just PJ being a weird ass punk rocker with a hot fiancé and a bunch of little kids. Living the dream like it’s actually supposed to be lived. Care free, comfortable enough and filled with things that make you happy. In the winter the guy calls Sweden’s biggest ski resort home, where his family lives in a little cabin with a rail park in the backyard. And that’s where everything starts to come together. PJ is the dream because PJ put his values in check. He doesn’t want a 300k check from Burton or to be on Dancing with the Stars. He wants to snowboard, where, when and how he wants.


Pro Snowboarding doesn’t come with insurance so move to Europe to get some free healthcare.

This approach to life reminded me of my childhood hero, Scotty Wittlake. The dude who was better than everyone, gave away all his money and quit because he was sick of the pressure to perform. And that’s where it hit me, PJ is the future. Proof that no amount of money, industry bullshit or outside influence can spoil snowboarding’s core. Proof to every little weirdo who picks up a snowboard that life is what you make it. Proof to every old, fat, washed-up asshole like me that you don’t have to be an old, fat, washed-up asshole. Proof that dads can be rad. Proof, that we are the captains of our voyage through life. But I’ll shut up and let PJ lay out his philosophy for you, “One should always do whatever the fuck one wants and not give a shit about what other people think or expect of you. It’s your life and there are no rules on how you should live it. If you want something really bad just go and get it.” A statement that he followed up with, “I just want to have freedom to be me and do whatever I want, whenever I want. No boss, no office hours and no suit. I’d rather be my own boss and work with something that I have loved for basically my whole life while making very little money, than work for someone else with something that has no meaning.

And there you have it. The path to happiness. To living the dream. Life advice and proof in the pudding from a real father, pro rider and life liver. A dude who decided to be his own boss. Tattooed born 2 lose around his neck. Found a hot babe to settle down with and gets to ride a snowboard for a living. So, if you’re young, listen to the man he did it his way and it worked out. To the jaded and the old. Listen to the man. He broke free and created his own path and the sky didn’t fall. And to everyone who thinks snowboarding is supposed to be one way or another. That Nike sucks or the Olympics are bullshit. That Shaun White is or isn’t the best snowboarder ever. Just shut the fuck up, chase your dreams and apparently, get an Instagram. Or as PJ puts it,

“I hate Instagram to be honest! I think it sucks so bad. But, today it seems impossible to do what we do without an Instagram account.”

You can keep up with the man, and my new hero @pjgustafsson – and while you’re there, follow us (@yobeat) for your chance to win some of the gear he rides.*

Support the companies that support people like Pj Gustafsson. Here’s all the people that do that: Death Label Snowboards, Switchback Bindings, Vans, The UG, Modest Eyewear Co., BeerSavage, NOCCO, Arcade belts and Smoketower.com. Also, Halldor hooks him up with Atrip outerwear and other cool stuff.

PJ Gustafsson will return.

**Too much of a luddite to own a smart phone and still want to win?? Write us an email (submissions at yobeat dot com) with why you deserve to win PJ’s limited pro model Death Label snowboard. Include your mailing address and put GG Allin in the subject line and Nick and PJ will choose their favorite. 

VANS PROUDLY PRESENTS LANDLINE. Vans’ First Global Snowboarding Film

If anyone can make a tight ass snowboard video, it’s Vans. We have high hopes for this one!

Vans is proud to announce the brand’s first-ever full-length snowboard film, LANDLINE. Shot primarily on Kodak 16mm film, LANDLINE. conveys a raw, behind the lens perspective of the Vans snowboard team as they travel the globe showcasing their creative talents and eclectic personalities. Featuring full parts from some of the most popular names in modern day snowboarding, from seasoned pros, rising stars, and bona fide pioneers of the sport, LANDLINE. embodies the true spirit and culture of snowboarding today.

LANDLINE. director Tanner Pendleton unravels more than two years of filming with the Vans Snow team in iconic snow locations such as Bulgaria, Russia and Canada. Attributing his success to the greats that inspired him, Pendleton remarks:

“Snowboarding films have always provided me with endless amounts of inspiration. I want this film to reach out to kids out there the same way these films reached me when I was young. This collaborative vision is a true expression of some of the most real and dedicated people in snowboarding.”

Vans presents
LANDLINE.

COMING JANUARY 2018

Starring Vans Snow Team Riders:

Jake Kuzyk
Sam Taxwood
Cole Navin
Arthur Longo
Pat Moore
Darrell Mathes
Blake Paul
Hana Beaman
Brian Iguchi
and more!

First Layer Japan: A Short Film

“Each year, snowboarders are constantly searching for the best snow, and venturing to Japan seemed like the perfect choice. The plane was loaded with a unique squad of Vans European riders, mixing eclectic riding styles and approaches, heading on a journey through deep powder and endless urban riding opportunities. Riders Nils Arvidsson, Valérian Ducourtil, Markus Keller and DBK went on a crazy powder mission to the northern island of Hokkaido. Meanwhile, a crew consisting of Sami Luhtanen, Will Smith, Cees Wille and Benny Urban explored the main island and looked to discover what the exciting street spots had to offer. Street & powder is what it’s all about.”

Music credits:
Rock and Stone – “Ripping”
John Maus – “Keep Pushing On”
Shadows from the Underground – “Key”
Ride the blinds – “Whiskey In church”

2016 Vans Hi-Standard Snow Series World Tour

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Vans is kicking off 2016 with the return of the Vans Hi-Standard Series, an international contest series inviting snowboarders to showcase pure style in a thrilling jam format. Touring across the US, Canada, China, Korea and France, the Vans Hi-Standard Series will feature an original big air format where riders are judged by individual style only, with no rotations over 720 allowed.

Starting on January 16th at Mount St-Louis, Ontario Canada, riders will compete in a unique exhibition of style and creativity. The Hi-Standard Series will award over $60K in cash prizes and challenge riders to push their imaginations with innovative tricks. The “Van Doren Rail Best Trick” offers cash on the spot for the most inventive maneuvers. Vans will also reward and name an MVP, a Most Improved Rider and a Worst Bail for each stop of the tour. With nothing beyond a 720 allowed, only the most creative competitors will be considered for the billing.

Additionally, Vans will present a House of Vans workshop, inviting spectators and family members to customize their own pair of Vans alongside an artist from each city. Fans and competitors can also expect to see familiar faces from the global Vans Snow team throughout the tour. Now is your chance to stand out—style is everything!

Official dates for the 2016 US Vans Hi-Standard Series
(See flyer attached)

January 16 – Mount St. Louis, Ontario, Canada
January 23 – Le Relais, Quebec, Canada
January 30 – Phoenix Park, GW, Korea
January 30 – Mellow Parks, Beijing, China
February 6 – Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, United States
February 13 – Mountain Creek, New Jersey, United States
February 20 – Chamrousse, 38, France
February 20 – Norquay, Alberta, Canada
February 27 – Park City, Utah, United States
March 12 – Mt. Seymour, British Columbia, Canada
March 19 – Sierra-at-Tahoe, California, United States
June 20 – Mt. Hood, Oregon, United States
July 15 – Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Vans Unveils the Holiday Mountain Edition Collection and Introduces the Sk8-Hi Del Pato MTE

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For holiday 2015, Vans brings forth an updated assortment of Mountain Edition product to tackle the toughest weather in style, with an offering of Classics footwear and men’s outerwear that were designed for the elements. The upgraded footwear forms are constructed with Scotchgard®-treated uppers, warm linings and a heat retention layer between sockliner and outsole. In the forthcoming season, the Mountain Edition collection introduces the Sk8-Hi Del Pato MTE while presenting new color-ups of the Sk8-Hi MTE and an offering of apparel styles just in time for the cold weather months.

The duck boot-inspired Sk8-Hi Del Pato MTE features all of the weather-defying advantages of the Vans Mountain Edition technology including an innovative vulcanized lug outsole for maximum traction and a water-resistant build. This hybrid silhouette debuts in two colorways – black/black and ginger/navy – that are outfitted in pig suede materials and reinforced with a tech tuff-coated mudguard.

Following up the fall line-up, the Sk8-Hi MTE returns with an ensemble of high-tops that are inspired by outdoor footwear. Within the men’s footwear selection, two herringbone suede executions are available in brown and charcoal. The women’s denim suede pack consists of three additional Sk8-Hi MTE varieties offered in black, blue and coriander.

Product innovation moves beyond footwear and into the Men’s Apparel program with a series of treated Mountain Edition outerwear pieces. Coated with durable water repellant (DWR), these progressive jackets, shirt jackets and fleece silhouettes will keep you warm and dry through the winter. Select pieces from the apparel capsule are insulated with lightweight PrimaLoft® fibers for added warmth, breathability and water resistance.

The Vans Mountain Edition collection launches globally in November 2015.

Vans Mountain Edition – Classics:

Available Now

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Winnipeg Mountain Edition Jacket (MTE) Black Iris/ Golden Brown – $139.50 MSRP

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Jonesport Mountain Edition Jacket (MTE) Black Iris/ Russet Brown Plaid – $99.50 MSRP

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Sk8-Hi Del Pato MTE In (MTE) Black/ Black – $90 MSRP

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Sk8-Hi MTE In (MTE) Brown/ Herringbone – $80 MSRP

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Sk8-Hi MTE In (MTE) Denim Suede/ Coriander – $80 MSRP

Shop the Vans Mountain Edition Collection at: http://www.vans.com/MountainEdition

Vans Presents the Fall 2015 Mountain Edition Footwear and Apparel Collection

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Vans, the original action sports footwear and apparel brand readies for the harsher seasons ahead with an updated collection of Mountain Edition footwear and apparel. Designed for the elements, the Vans Mountain Edition collection returns for fall with a selection of revamped Classics silhouettes, featuring Scotchgard®-coated uppers, warm linings and a heat retention layer between sockliner and outsole. In addition to the footwear program, Men’s Apparel presents an updated range of weather-treated outerwear just in time for the cold winter months.

Fixed atop an innovative vulcanized lug outsole for maximum traction, the Old Skool MTE and Sk8-Hi MTE resurface this season in builds that are inspired by outdoor footwear. The men’s offering introduces three colorway options – tonal black leather, honey leather and pewter wool – across both MTE silhouettes. The women’s pack consists of two additional Sk8-Hi MTE color-ups – black and khaki – that are outfitted in suede uppers and woven chevron collar detailing.

Product innovation moves beyond footwear and into the Men’s Apparel program with a series of treated Mountain Edition outerwear pieces. Coated with durable water repellant (DWR), these progressive jackets, shirt jackets and fleece silhouettes will keep you warm and dry through the winter. Select pieces from the apparel capsule are insulated with lightweight PrimaLoft® fibers for added warmth, breathability and water resistance.

Vans Mountain Edition – Classics:
Available Now

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Jonesport Mountain Edition Jacket (MTE) Black Iris/Russet Brown Plaid – $99.50 MSRP

Tanka II Jacket (MTE) Black/Waxed Canvas – $120.50 MSRP
Winnipeg Mountain Edition Jacket (MTE) Black Iris/Golden Brown – $139.50 MSRP
Sk8-Hi MTE In (MTE) Honey/Leather – $80 MSRP
Old Skool MTE In (MTE) Black/Leather – $75 MSRP
Sk8-Hi MTE In (MTE) Khaki Woven/Chevron – $80 MSRP

Shop the Vans Mountain Edition Collection at: www.vans.com/MountainEdition

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The 2016 Yo-Boot Test Video

With the shortest summer on record at Hood (thanks Obama!), we found ourselves short on time to ride in the pile of boots which showed up for “review.” Discouraged but not defeated we did what we probably would have done anyway and tested them in the office parking lot instead. Our highly scientific methods included actually putting them on to see how long they took to lace up, standing in a baby pool of water to see how long it took before they got wet (and if it took too long spraying them with a hose), and most importantly, skateboarding in them. Watch the video above for our thoughts or just keep reading for “actual information” from from the WWW.

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Vans V-66

Lace-up time: 2:53
Soak through time: 1:15

Official word (via Vans): If you’re like Jamie Lynn, you recognize a classic snowboard boot when you see it. The Vans V-66 is straight-shooter of a lace boot for every rider and every terrain. Iconic in style and with a traditional lace-up construction, the V-66 is packed with features carefully crafted into a ride-all boot with freestyle inclinations. It renders the old sticking point of lifting heels in snowboard boots null and void, while premium materials on selected colorways up the ante on a good looking boot that will serve riders who seek out not every possible but every snowboard boot technology that matters.

MSRP: $229.95 | MORE INFO

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Vans Infuse

Lace-up time: 4:47
Soak through time: 2:58

Official Word (via Vans): The Vans Infuse is the epitome of the creed that defines the entire Vans snowboard boot line: ultimate customization. It embodies the idea of unlimited adaptability at its highest rate as the most sophisticated and versatile boot in the Vans snowboard boot line. Deploying every trick in the box, this feature-packed multi-talent is made for every kind of snowboarder in any terrain and condition imaginable, from big mountain to backcountry to park and beyond. Bomb a hill full-throttle with all the support needed, then adjust to a softer boot profile on the go and hassle-free. Having your cake and eating it, too has never been easier.

MSRP: $359.95 | MORE INFO

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Celsius Gus Engle Pro Model

Lace-up time: 2:25
Soak-thru time: :50

Official word (via Celsius): Fashion meets function in this boot of choice for the Celsius team. featuring a classic style, this boot was designed to resemble your favorite skate shoe. the perfect stiffness gives you a highly responsive yet incredibly comfortable boot. if you spend your days in the parks or out in the streets you can count on looking good in a pair of these.

MSRP $229.95 | MORE INFO

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Salomon Launch

Lace-up time: 3:26
Soak-thru time: :28

Official word (via snowboards.com): These boots are as sharp in looks as they are in features. With the ZoneLock Lacing System, you’ll have your feet locked in securely giving you no heel lift for performance and comfort so you can charge ahead all day. Another benefit with the Launch is its ease of entry and exit so you don’t have to waste time getting locked and loaded. The Silver Flex Liner combined with the Silver Flex Liner Foam gives you a heat-moldable interior that will shape to your foot for the ultimate in customized comfort. Its Flightweight Outsole is an EVA/rubber compound that is very light which reduces fatigue without sacrificing its cushiony feel. Finally, Heel Grip which is a material around the heel ensuring that your socks are gripped into the boots for ideal heel hold and comfort.

MSRP $249.99 | MORE INFO

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ThirtyTwo Scott Stevens TM2

Lace-up time: 2:15
Soak-thru time: 1:56

Official word (via Tactics): The TM-Two snowboard boots are preferred by the entire Thirtytwo team for their versatile flex that’s responsive enough for booters in the back woods and rails in the park when called upon. The heat moldable liner offers optimal fit customization, while System G2 gel absorbs vibrations and impacts from hard landings. These are also the favorite boots of Scott Stevens, and he doesn’t throw his name around on any old boots that don’t deserve it.

MSRP: $284.95 | MORE INFO

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ThirtyTwo Session

Lace-up time: 3:21
Soak-thru time: 2:12

Official word (Via Evo): When you slip your foot into the plush, 32 Session Snowboard Boots you know it’s time for a shred sesh with the boys. Get down the hill fast and easy with their comfortable, responsive turning power. The Boa® Tongue Tension System makes for a superior fit that you can adjust mid-run without even taking off your gloves. With the 32 Sessions Snowboard Boots, your toes and ankles will thank you – if they even notice they’ve been boarding all day.

MSRP: $259.95 | MORE INFO

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Salomon Dialog

Lace-up time: 1:13
Soak-thru time: :36

Official word: (Via Snowboards.com): A mainstay in the Salomon line the Dialogue Focus Boa is back to give the freestyle fanatic what they want. This boot provides you with the luxury of a Boa while still feeling like a full flexing boot. The Dialogue Focus features the Focus Boa lacing that will allow you to tighten the upper and lower zones to give you a natural flex and feel all evenly distributed so you get the fit that you desire. The Gold 3D Flex liner was designed specifically for these boots and give you the most dynamic and most comfortable liner in the Salomon line. You will get a custom fit that offers increased comfort and a maximum foothold with the heat moldable foam that was strategically place inside of these boots. The Mystic Level 2 footbed gives you relief through flexology by increasing the blood flow to help prevent fatigue. This footbed will also provide foot stabilization and arch support to improve the pressure distribution which adds to the comfort. If you are a freestyle fanatic you are sure to love the Salomon Dialogue Focus Boa boots.

MSRP: $299.99 | MORE INFO

Our official verdict: Head to your local shop and try all these damn things on. It’s the only way you’ll actually know if they fit your feet and you like them.

Tester: Enzo Plati
Edit: RJ Sweet

Introspect: Will Lavigne

Totally blowing it on Hump Day right now, but wait for it, it will be good. In the meantime, tide yourself over with the latest video from Vans following Will Lavgine to the far east.

Vans: Introspect – Wolfgang Nyvelt

Vans links up with Wolfgang Nyvelt to take a tour of his ASMO no board factory, and discusses his outlook into the future of what snowboarding can become.

No Vans Snowboard Boots for 14/15

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According to a post on TWBiz, Vans is out of the snowboard boot game for the season.

Vans informed retailers on Wednesday, June 18th, that the company would not be delivering its Fall 14 boot line because of an unexpected factory closure. We had the chance to catch up with Coalition President, Action Sports Americas and Vans, Kevin Bailey, who says the difficult decision came down to not wanting to risk putting inferior product on the market. Bailey assures that production issues have already been resolved moving forward, Vans will keep it’s “foot on the gas” in terms of marketing throughout this winter while delivering the Mountain Edition line, and that the company looks forward to delivering a full boot line for Fall ’15.

So if you were planning on getting a new pair, you’ll have to wait a year. We’re going to assume that 32, Celsius, Nike and Adidas are not that bummed. Read the whole interview with Kevin Bailey here.

Vans Ride the Snake 2014

French people.

We are proud to present the first “Ride The Snake 2014” video edit featuring our French Snow Team Marion Haerty, Valerian Ducourtil, Thomas Delfino, Enzo Nilo, JJ. Roux plus team manager Bruno Rivoire in Super Dévoluy (Hautes Alpes)!

Music: “Smash Up” by The Diplomats of Solid Sound

Vans Introspect: Pat Moore

This week’s Introspect follows Pat Moore on the road to Mammoth and Utah, reminding us that snowboarding isn’t just about contests and video parts. Find out how Pat stays productive while traveling, how he approaches filming and what lines he draws between being a professional snowboarder and just having fun.

Vans Hi-Standard Series at Brighton

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Vans kicks off the US edition of the global Vans Hi-Standard Series at Brighton Resort in Utah this Saturday, January 25. Expanding this year for a total of three stops in the US, Vans presents a unique snowboarding contest series featuring an original big air format where riders are judged by individual style and creativity with no rotations over 720 allowed.

From January 25th to March 29th, riders from Utah, California, and New England will be tasked with competing against others and themselves in a special exhibition of pure style and originality. The series will feature over $3K in prize money at each stop and the “Van Doren Rail Best Trick” honors, offering cash on the spot for the most inventive maneuvers. With nothing over a 720 allowed, only the most creative competitors will be considered for the top three billing. The pressure is on as riders from the Vans Snow team will be on-site at each stop, encouraging competitors to give it all they got!

The Vans Hi-Standard contest series pays homage to over 20 years of Vans heritage in snowboarding, bringing modern day competition back to the basics by rewarding riders for individual style, creativity and self-expression. With strict guidelines against rotations over 720, the Hi-Standard challenges today’s snowboarders to compete the Vans way, showcasing original style variations only true snowboarders can exhibit. Held internationally in Europe, Canada and the US, this unique series celebrates the spirit of snowboarding all over the world with one unifying message: style is everything.

Official dates for the 2014 US Vans Hi-Standard Series in collaboration with Transworld Snowboarding:

January 25- Brighton, UT — http://www.brightonresort.com/
February 23 — Mt. High, CA – http://www.mthigh.com/
Third Stop TBA

Event Schedule:
Registration
8:30 AM — 10:00 AM
Free practice for all categories
9 30 AM — 10:30 AM
Paid session — 15 and under
10:30 AM — 11:15 AM
Paid session – 16 and over
11:30 AM — 12:15 PM
Course Maintenance / LUNCH
12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Paid session — 15 and under
1:15 PM -  2:00 PM
Paid session – 16 and over
2:15 PM – 3:00 PM
Van Doren rail {best trick}
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
Award ceremony
4:15 PM

Vans Introspect: Darrell Mathes

Sit with Darrell as he explains his take on the state of snowboarding today. Listen to his contemplation of the future of his career and the growth of his side accessories project, Howl.

Vans Introspect: Hana Beaman