Snowboarding is a relatively young sport, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fully stocked with legends: riders who helped define the current state of the sport and culture.
Freestyle snowboarding has progressed at such a fast rate, today’s top contest riders need to have at least a triple cork 1440 in their bag to make a big-air podium – it’s easy to forget that just 20 years ago a rider could be progressive without spinning past a 720, or pulling a single flip.
But the fact is, some might say today’s high technical level is exactly why the good old days were just that: it was a very different time, when snowboarding was all about style and nothing to do with gymnastics. A time when the stars of the sport had more in common with rock stars than professional athletes.
With this nostalgic aim in mind, last spring saw Mads Jonsson, a double world-record breaker and legend in his own right, host a classic gathering of truly iconic shredders from snowboarding’s ‘golden age’ – the mid to late 1990s – at his secluded surf and snow retreat on the west coast of Norway.
There was Terje Haakonsen, master of transitions and arguably the greatest legend of all. Peter Line, founder of the Forum 8, cork pioneer and one of the most stylish, progressive riders of all time. Johan Olofsson, the ultimate Alaska hellman, and Mike Ranquet, Mt Baker OG and original new-school bad boy.
Sprinkled into the mix: younger shreds with fresh knees and ears eager for storytelling. Some fun jibs, hits and a king-size hip for the brave. A plentiful supply of frosty beers each evening and frigid waves each morning. And, of course, enough stories to fill a thousand nights around the campfire.
All in all, a most legendary session.