28 years of snowboards

September 28, 2015

I started snowboarding during the winter of 1987/88 so this season of 2015/16 will mark my 28-year anniversary. Crazy!

A couple of years ago I sold one of my older snowboards (up until then, I had three) and that experience made me think about all of the boards I've owned over the years. There's been a lot of them. I started mentally compiling the list but it's really too long to just keep in my head, so I wrote this post. It probably won't interest anybody except me and other old school snowboarders, but that's okay. It's been fun for me to pull together.

What I've got below is a list of seasons, followed by the boards ridden that winter (sometimes multiple winters) and if I can locate it, a photo. Turns out, most of these photos are very hard to come by but as I find them, I'll update this post.

1987/88 - Black Snow Legend 135cm

I actually had the Master, but can't find an image. I'm pretty sure SE stood for Steel Edge.

Black Snow Legend SE 135cm

1988/89 - Sims Halfpipe 163cm

Great board, horrible bindings. Icy hard landings, typical in Southern Ontario resulted in regular surprise ejections as the straps compressed and the clips unbuckled themselves. Thank goodness for leashes.

Sims Halfpipe 163cm

1990/91 - Morrow Multipro 174cm

Last year I actually found one of these, albeit a shorter length for dirt-cheap on eBay and bought it to hang on our wall. Now I can relive the memories every day...

Morrow Multipro 165cm

1991/92 - Morrow Freepro 163cm

Take note of the novel stomp pad placement on this board. Do people actually put their rear foot behind the binding? Have I been missing something all these years?

Morrow Freepro 163cm

1992/93 - Avalanche Damian Dagger 174cm

Stiff, pointy and you had to drill in your own bindings. The Dagger was a scary board to ride.

Avalanche Damian Dagger 174cm

1993/94 - Burton Air 166cm

Burton Air 166cm

1994/95 - Morrow Revert 161cm

I took a photo of the original catalogue that I still have tucked away; mine was the board on the bottom. One of my coolest boards, ever. The spooned tips were ahead of their time, design-wise.

Morrow Revert 161cm

1995/96 - Burton Custom 59 159cm, Burton Twin 58 158cm

The local Burton dealer in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada where I was going to university brought in the brand new Custom model (the Custom is still in Burton's line-up today). It was a truly amazing board, one of my all-time favourites. The Custom felt so surfy, light and fast.

A photo from the 1995/96 catalogue: Burton Custom 59 159cm

Sadly, about half-way through the season the Custom 59 started to delaminate and so I applied for warranty.

Due to it being early 1996, Burton no longer had any of the hugely successful Custom boards in stock. They did have a Burton Twin 58 in stock though, which was a much wider, but more park-oriented board. This was still okay as a group of friends and I were heading to Fernie, BC to ride deep, deep powder (more powder than I'd ever experienced) and a wider board would be ideal.

A photo from the 1995/96 catalogue: Burton Twin 58 158cm

1996/97 - Burton Brushie 153cm, k2 Fat Bob 164cm, K2 Eldorado 164cm, K2 Zeppelin 156cm

I bought the Brushie model on the right in spring 1996 but didn't get to ride it until the next winter. This is back when even big guys (I'm 6'3") sometimes rode tiny boards, simply because that's what you did.

Burton Brushie 153cm

At this point, I landed a job at a ski/snowboard shop in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. They were a K2 dealer and the area sales rep was very interested in having me run K2 snowboard demo's at our various local resorts. As such, I sold the Brushie after only using a few times and got hooked up with K2.

I had three K2 snowboards, including the first-ever Fat Bob. Also, the first-ever Zeppelin. Thanks to Bo Sotelo for sending me these photos of the Zeppelin.

Top of K2 Zeppelin 156cm
Base of K2 Zeppelin 156cm

I also had the first-ever Eldorado. I thankfully didn't own those Clicker bindings: Great idea, bad execution. SPDs in the snow?

K2 Eldorado 169cm

After this, my final winter in Thunder Bay I moved out to Whistler, BC the following autumn. In spring 1997, I'd been offered a job by K2 (and The North Face) to stay and be a sales rep for K2 and The North Face, but I declined. I sometimes wonder what could have become of that opportunity.

1997/98 - Burton Floater 167cm, Option Free+ 169cm, Oxygen Dangerous 170cm

The autumn of 1997 I moved to Whistler, BC. I started out on the Floater and sold it because I wasn't finding it long and stiff enough for the powder I was regularly riding.

Burton Floater 167cm

I then bought the Option Free+ 169cm from Evolution Whistler and it was a killer ride. Super damp and rock solid board. This is yet another board for which I've had no luck finding a photo.

The Oxygen Dangerous 170cm - complete with a snarling Doberman on its topsheet - was my first alpine race board. I'd only ever borrowed alpine boards from friends or shops I'd worked at prior to its purchase. I competed in a local series of giant slalom events on the Oxygen, a board I'd picked up for cheap from a guy leaving Whistler.

1998/99 - Ride Timeless 177cm, Winterstick ST 164cm, Option Jay Nelson 159cm

I moved to Whitehorse, Yukon in late spring 1998. This is a photo of me with the gigantic 177 Timeless during that first winter in the Yukon. Once this board got on edge, it did not want to let go.

Ride Timeless 177cm

1999/00 - Option Supercharger 167cm, Option Jay Nelson 159cm

2000/01 to 2006/07 - Option Supercharger 167cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

If you look over the entire timeline, this is the board I owned the longest. It still sits proudly in the corner of our garage today.

Option Supercharger 174cm

2007/08 - Atomic Alibi Wide 165cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

2008/09 - Atomic Alibi Wide 164cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

I had a friend who was the national sales rep for Atomic Snowboards and he hooked me up with a couple of boards. Fun and flexible, those little Alibis.

Atomic Alibi Wide 164cm

2009/10 - Atomic Alibi Wide 164cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

2010/11 - F2 Speedster RS 183cm, Atomic Alibi Wide 164cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

I've ridden quite a few race and carving boards over the years, but didn't own one until this F2 Speedster came along. It's a beast to ride; you must be on your game at all times or it will completely dominate you. When the conditions are right though, and I'm feeling up to it, this board is ridiculously fun.

F2 Speedster RS 183cm

2011/12 - F2 Speedster RS 183cm, Atomic Alibi Wide 164cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

2012/13 - F2 Speedster RS 183cm, Option Supercharger 174cm

2013/14 to present - F2 Speedster RS 183cm, Lib Tech Skunk Ape 172cm