Edge Wise is a snow blog edited by Lindsay Fraka.
Try this on for size: "We're going on a snowboard safari." No, this is not a play on words--we're talking about an actual, legitimate snowboard trip to Africa, or the Kingdom of Lesotho, a tiny landlocked country in the middle of South Africa, to be more accurate.
During the Northern Hemisphere's summer, the majority of pro snowboarders jet set to New Zealand or South America, road trip to Oregon to ride the glacier of Mt. Hood, or just putting shredding aside and live it up on beaches. But Snowboarder magazine recently decided to take pro riders Scott Stevens, Stevie Bell, and Nick Visconti along with Snowboarder's own Ryan "Huggy" Hughes and John Cavan on an unparalleled summer adventure, one with some snow, some serious wild animals, the highest bar in Africa, and a handful of rowdy nights, according to Huggy's dispatch for the magazine. Take a look at their antics by clicking the photo above, and stay tuned for the full feature in Snowboarder.
Meet rider Chuck Evans Jr.--a man of many names, talents, and tricks up his sleeve who had another extraordinary season taking over the parks and peaks of Mammoth Mountain, California. "C-Huck," "Black Falcon," or "Chuck E." was frequently spotted blasting and spinning off the lips of the massive jumps in Main Park, charging and lapping all day, or chilling on Main Lodge's Sundeck and making sure everyone around him was having as great a time as he was.
Photo courtesy Chuck Evans/Sports Chalet
Although Chuck hails from Los Angeles, he's called Mammoth home since he finished school at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. If he's not riding, you can find him traveling, skating, rock climbing, backpacking, or doing anything else that screams "the outdoors." He also gets in his video time, such as his recently released video edit from the 2011-12 season filmed and edited by Todd Robertson, and it created quite a stir within the snowboard community. Both Snowboarder magazine and Transworld Snowboarding featured it on their websites, garnering an impressive amount of views and exposure. As usual, it features him tearing up Main Park, mobbing down through deep powder and attacking all kinds of burly jibs.
We reached out to C-Huck recently to get some more inside info on what this guy is all about and what he has in store for the upcoming winter. Here's what he had to share:
Where did you spend most of your days riding when you first started?
I learned how to ride at Mountain High and Bear Mountain, local resorts just outside of the greater Los Angeles area.
Photo courtesy Jeremy CondamineHow'd you score your first sponsor and who are your sponsors now?
While working at NineStar (back when the shop was still alive) I scored my first sponsor. I was in college competing in the SCCSC and USASA Slopestyle Events. Brad Teschner from Nitro Snowboards was the local rep and believed in me. He sent me a few boards and bindings to get me started. My current sponsors are Ride Snowboards, Smith Optics, Celtek Gloves, Stickdocs and Monster Energy. Thank you all!
Snowboarder magazine recently blew up your edit from this past season. How do you feel about that?
Thank you Snowboarder mag! I certainly feel the edit was a great introduction to major exposure. I have lots of room for growth as a rider and plan to use this edit as a momentum boost for larger projects and developing my skill as a snowboarder.
Tell us about this past season and how you're gearing up for the upcoming one.
Last season posed bit of challenge with limited snow. However, I made the most of it, rode lots of park, and got into the backcountry with Gabe Taylor and a large group of local shredders as well as with Kevin Westenbarger (a photographer) and Nate Shute (a camera man) to capture this trip.
This summer I have focused heavily on daily and nightly adventures. I had lots of opportunity to paddleboard on much of the lakes, hike Half Dome under the August blue moon as well as compete in the June Lake Triathlon, the Mammoth Mud Run, and Mammoth Fall Century (a 100-mile bike ride). I also trained at Snowcreek Athletic Club to get stronger for the upcoming season.
What is one of your 'go-to' tricks or your favorite trick to land?
I'm big on style and execution so my "go to" trick is definitely a Cab 5; it's relatively simple, but it always feels good!
Photo courtesy Chuck Evans
What's your favorite mountain to ride and why.
My favorite mountain is Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth offers a long season, lots of sunny days, and has some of the best parks in the country for progression. Not to mention, it offers easy access to backcountry terrain in the surrounding area.
Would you prefer a hot bluebird day where you're lapping the park or a day when it's dumping snow and it's all about powder slashes?
I'm definitely a fair-weather rider and enjoy bluebird park days with the crew followed by a nice cold one on the Mammoth Sundeck! However, I'll always love powder slashes and bottomless champagne powder.
What riders inspire your shredding?
Riders like Kazuhiro Kokubo, Lonnie Kauk, and Shayne Pospisil inspire my riding. Big clean style is what I strive to achieve while riding; these guys certainly epitomize this.
How do you feel about the contest scene and how often do you compete?
The contest scene is currently a strong platform where we see the most progression within snowboarding. From double corks to now triple corks, we see contest riders progressing to new levels to stay competitive. I'm not the biggest competitor in this sense...this past season I competing in a few local competitions such as the Burton Bro-Down Showdown, Nike Chosen Big-air, and the Oakley Style Slopestyle event.
Something only your mom knows about you...
My mom, and a few others know that I'm a classically trained violinist and pianist. Sshhhh...
How did you pick/become interested in your molecular genetics major at UCLA?
I took an under division microbiology course on bio-terrorism. This opened my eyes toward infectious disease and how they affect humans. Having had an interest in science, I quickly gravitated toward microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics. I guess you could call me a nerd.
September has arrived and it's time for the brands to roll out the big guns, show off their teasers, and get ready for the movie premieres. We've selected three more edits from this week that got our snowboard juices flowing. Pirate Movie Productions, Bear Mountain, and People Films stood out among the pack.
"Unique 8" from Pirate Movie Production: The Euros are back in 2012 with another teaser that made us drool. While North America's winter was a bit lack luster, the shredders featured in "Unique 8" seemed to do pretty damn well overseas. This trailer is equipped with urban features that made us a bit nervous and powder sprays that made us a bit bitter. Gigi Ruf, Marco Feichtner, Arthur Longo, Nicolas Muller, Kalle Ohlson, Teo Konttinen, Chris Sorman, and Werni Stockare the eight riders that make up the cast. We think that's enough talent to go around.
"Feature Factory" from Bear Mountain: Here's another film from California's Bear Mountain showing off how much better their park is than yours. "Feature Factory" displays all of the creative and progressive jib setups that Bear and Snow Summit conjured up along with a cluster of jib masters stomping endless amounts of tricks on them. This trailer also makes it seem like Bear never had a cloud in the sky. The mountain is full of natural hits, features for all levels, and a wide variety of jibs--and "Feature Factory" highlights all of it. The movie features Scott Stevens, Jussi Oksanen, Joe Sexton, Durell Williams, Scott Vine, Mikkel Bang, Spencer Schubert, Chris Bradshaw, Lucas Magoon, Daniel Brown, Zak Hale, Dylan Alito, Mark McMorris, Ethan Deiss, Brandon Hobush, Lauri Heiskari, Tim Eddy, Erik Leon, Dave Downing, Jonah Owen, and Hans Mindnich.
"Pretty Wise" from People Films: Last year's "Good Look" premiere at the Oakley Headquarters was one for the books, and it's almost as if everyone expects People Films to disappoint at some time or another. Yet they just keep one-upping themselves. "Pretty Wise" takes a different approach than past films--where they switch up the usual list of riders--and uses a group of 11 up-and-coming riders as well as three veterans. We think change is good and this little alteration is sure to bring more diversity and excitement to the film. In true People form, "Pretty Wise" takes us into the backcountry for some huge big mountain riding, into the streets for the stylish and burly urban snowboarding, and keeps the core youthful vibe of snowboarding alive. We'd be lying if we said we weren't counting down the days until this one is released. Featuring Scot Brown, Shaun McKay, Johnny Lazz, Lonnie Kauk, Mark Carter, Robbie Walker, Jason Robinson, Shayne Pospisil, Marco Smolla, Rusty Ockenden, Will Lavigne, Jake Koia, Elias Elhardt, and Jason Dubois. Click the image below to watch the teaser.
Kimmy Fasani is one of the leading freestyle riders in women's snowboarding today. After moving to Mammoth Lakes, California, from Truckee in 2002, her snowboarding career exploded into something she had always dreamed of. Indeed, Fasani became the first female to land a double backflip in the backcountry as well as the park, which was highlighted in Standard Films' movie "TB20." On top of that, last year she was named Snowboarder magazine's Ms. Superpark Standout and was nominated for Rider of the Year, Standout Performance, and Reader's Choice by Transworld Snowboarding's Readers Poll.
In Mammoth Lakes Kimmy--who has recently been focusing on making major snowboard films, including Standard's 2012 movie "2112"--enjoys prime park riding, powder days, and the perks of a mountain town. She lives with her husband, professional skier Chris Benchetler, and they are co-owners of the local business Mimi's Cookie Bar.
Here are a few of her favorite spots and things in Mammoth:
Spot to ride on a powder day: Chair 22, Lincoln Mountain. This chair has fun steep terrain and usually stays wind-free. If you hop off the groomers and cruise through the trees there's always a fresh stash of powder!
Place to lap on a spring day: South Park or Main Park. When it's warm and slushy I head to the terrain parks. South Park has great features to learn new tricks on, and then I head to Main Park to perfect those tricks on bigger jumps. If you're not into riding park, then I suggest taking 'top to bottom' laps on the soft groomed trails. (This means take the gondola from the bottom of the mountain to the top for full mountain runs.)
Place to grab dinner: Toomey's Restaurant in the Village. This place is easy to access and has an amazing menu ranging from fresh fish dishes, delicious salads, or hearty meat entrees. Their desserts are also top notch!
Place for happy hour: White Bark at the Westin. This restaurant and bar has a great staff and atmosphere. There's a big assortment of tasty dishes and the bar is stocked with wines, beers, and liquors.
Best family-friendly hangout: Mimi's Cookie Bar. Mimi's Cookie Bar is an organic, all natural bakery and frozen yogurt shop. If you call ahead, Mimi will make cookie dough so kids can "create their own cookies" by using ingredients of their choice. Mimi makes a variety of sweets, including cookies, truffles, cupcakes, cakes, and she also offers gluten-free and vegan options daily!
Best Place to grab breakfast: Stellar Brew. This quirky coffee shop has ready-made burritos. It's perfect for a quick stop on the way to the hill.
Photos courtesy Mammoth Mountain Resorts
The world of talented snowboarders is vast, often unknown, and a bit blurry. Sure, the names of pro riders are blasted in our faces 24/7 thanks to the industry's endless video edits; however, there's an extensive list of snowboarders that throw down, kill it, and send it but who are still under the radar because they aren't officially there yet. This is precisely why we decided to introduce our "Meet and Greet" column--to bring those shredders out from the edge and into the light.
Mariah Dugan made a lot of noise in the contest circuit last season. Now officially riding for Arbor Snowboards, Dugan takes her hot laps through Mammoth Mountain's intimidating Main Park on the regular. Often described as "riding like a dude," (this is a good thing) she attacks anything and everything--from monster rails and lofty park jumps to steep and deep powder lines and natural hits.
The 20-year-old claimed two of the 2012 Skullcandy and Transworld SNOWboarding's TransAM rail jam tour stops--first at Northstar-at-Tahoe and then at the final stop at Bear Mountain--which led her to scoring first overall in the women's division. After placing first at the 2012 Volcom Peanut Butter and Rail Jam qualifiers at Mammoth, she landed in fourth place at the finals and walked away with a nice wad of cash. Along with multiple major contest wins, this chick appeared in various web series from Arbor, was featured in videos from Mammoth, and released a few of her own personal shred edits.
Unfortunately, while dominating the TransAM finals at Bear, Mariah seriously injured her right shoulder and ended up having to get surgery and won't be fully recovered until December. Since it's summertime, we caught up with this lady on-the-go and asked her a few questions about what got her to this point in her shredding career and where she's going from here.
Who were your first sponsors and how did that happen for you?
My first sponsor was a local board shop called Board Sport. Noah, the owner, would help out all the young shredders by giving us stickers and selling us product at cost, which was bad-ass when you were 15. Then I got hooked up with DC; one of the reps got super stoked on me when she saw me competing in a local parking lot rail jam. DC continued to hook me up for a few years.
How long have you been shredding?
I've been on a snowboard about 12 years, but I've been in the park scene about five years now.
Where did you grow up riding?
I grew up riding Dodge Ridge, and I'm sure you're wondering where the hell that is...haha.
When did you realize that you wanted to take your riding more seriously and aim at going pro?
I really knew I wanted to snowboard for the rest of my life when I was 15, but I started taking things a little more seriously when I moved to Mammoth at 17.
If you had to only ride at one mountain for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Considering I have never ridden anywhere out of Cali--it would be Mammoth.
What's your board set up these days?
Arbor Cadence 147, 20" stance 15 -15
Which riders do you think have the best style?
Halldor Helgason's got style for days, and Jess Kimura. She just slays it, bottom line.
Tell us about your game plan after your shoulder is all healed up.
First of all my plan is to have fun. I want to focus a lot more in the streets and in the backcountry while also trying to compete this season.
Best snowboard trip you've had so far:
Every trip is always a good one!
Arbor Snowboards, Outdoor Technology, Smith Optics, Earth & Ocean Boardshop, Steezie Beanies