Ride Signs JJ Thomas and Erik Leines

Ride Snowboards signs JJ Thomas and Erik Leines; Announces 2001/02 Pro Team

VASHON, WASHINGTON (August 13, 2001) – Ride Snowboards would like to welcome the newest additions to their 2001/02 Pro Team. Joining Joel Mahaffey, Ali Goulet, Arild Brun Kjeldaas, and David Aubry are JJ Thomas and Erik Leines.

JJ Thomas comes to Ride from Golden, Colorado, where Breckenridge has been his stomping ground for the past eight years. At the age of 20, his achievements last year alone include placing 1st in slopestyle at the U.S.Grand Prix in Okemo, Vermont, 3rd in the halfpipe at the Vans Triple Crown in Breckenridge, and 3rd in the halfpipe at the U.S. Grand Prix in Breckenridge.

This year you will find JJ featured in Blacklight, a debut film released by Blacklight in association with Standard Films, trying out for the 2002 Olympic team, and filming for next year’s batch of videos as much as possible. “I look forward to shredding this season with my friends and new sponsors,” says JJ, “Getting on Ride is like a new beginning, and our team is sick! So, I’m happy.” JJ also rides for Oakley, Red Bull, and Celtek.

Erik Leines, originally from Big Lake, Minnesota, now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, where one of his favorite things to do is to take out his Polaris RMK 800 with friends like his brother Bjorn, anyone from the Volcom team, or JJ Thomas. Erik competes quite a bit, his best finish being 2nd in the halfpipe at a small pro event in Utah. Last year he also placed 5th in big air and 6th in the halfpipe at the U.S. Grand Prix in Breckenridge, 7th in big air at the Vans Triple Crown in Breckenridge, and was voted Top 5 in a slopestyle jam session at the Slopestyle Y2K in Japan. Erik can be seen in this year’s “friends” section of Mack Dawg’s True Life.

“When I made my ‘final decision’ to get on Ride, I based it on many things. First, I tested the product and thought it was definitely at the top of the market. Second, I looked at the team and with guys like Joel Mahaffey, Ali Goulet, and JJ Thomas, you can’t go wrong. Then, from a sales and image perspective, Ride is doing really well with its product and company structure. Having Matt Sickels as the team manager is great, too, for bringing both his and the team’s ideas into the office. So with all that in mind, it turned out to be an easy ‘final decision.’ I couldn’t be more stoked with the one I made!” Erik explains. His other sponsors include Volcom, Oakley, Nixon, Vans, Gravis, and Active.

“These are exciting times for Ride,” states Team Manager Matt Sickels, “There’s a whole new atmosphere within the company, a new direction, and now a new team dynamic to lead the way. I’ve assembled a team that works as well together as they do with others, and they all bring different styles, opinions, and ideas to the table. Most of all, I’m stoked to just work with such good people. Something has meshed here at the Ride camp and we’re all anxious to bring it to the slopes.”