Arctic Lights – Svalbard Expedition

This is the second installment of the Arctic Lights documentary project. Click here to find out more information & pre-order the full film.


Antti Autti always wants to extend his season. For a long time, he has also had dream to go on a sea voyage to the west coast of Svalbard. Finally, in spring 2017, both of these goals came to fruition.
Together with fellow pro rider Roope Tonteri, Antti Autti and crew set the course to travel far up north while making brief stops to ride perfect spring snow in terrain where no one has left tracks before.

Antti Autti. Svalbard 2017. PHOTO: Rami Hanafi

For Antti, the trip is not only about snowboarding. He heard from locals about the constant change of nature in the Arctic and now he had a chance to see it with his own eyes. Forcing Antti to think about his actions as a professional snowboarder, can a trip like this give a man new perspectives on a lifestyle which he has done for over half of his life? Find out above.

Featuring riding by Antti Autti and Roope Tonteri.
Sponsored by Neste.
Filmed by Kota Collective and led by Arctic Guides.

For more information about the webisode you can visit Antti’s website here.

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Setting Up: A Profile of Tommy Gesme

Tommy Gesme is mellow as they come. His modest Midwest mentality comes through when he speaks, understated and unpretentious. That he comes from Minnesota makes sense given the legacy of rail talent the state has produced, but Tommy’s style is original and not easily pinned to one specific region. Perhaps his time in Tahoe played a role in shaping his unique approach. But there’s a bit of Bear Mountain in there, and at the same time, his execution is proper enough to stand alongside the Quebecois Louif Paradis. What you’ll find below are insights into the eclectic and indefinable Gesme, from his induction to the adidas AM team to the oversize overalls he wears. It’s tough to put a finger on what it is, but Tommy has it.

Tommy, a long way from Hyland. Half-cab 50-50 in Otaru, Japan. PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

Hometown

Deep Haven, Minnesota. It’s a suburb just west of the Twin Cities.

Home hill

Hyland. It was cool growing up there. It was so close to my house. I’d see Jonas [Michilot], and Joe [Sexton], and John Hodge, and all these local dudes who were a bit older than me, just ripping. I had a lot of good inspirations growing up there. Jonas was a huge inspiration. They just opened up for the season, and it was a blast. I’ve got a snowboard on the wall there with all these guys I looked up to. Froni has a board on the wall, and Danimals, and Jonas, Joe, Zac Marben, Those are the dudes I grew up idolizing. So that’s pretty amazing.

Getting started

I moved to Tahoe to go to school with my good friend Brady Lem. I ended up dropping out to do that Dragon “We Are Frameless” tour. That was like a four or five week tour, and I talked to my teachers and I couldn’t miss that much school. That’s when I just pulled the plug. I knew I wanted to be a part of that tour, and we ended up doing it for three years, which was amazing. So basically I moved back home from Tahoe to Minnesota and moved in with my parents to save some money. Free rent.

Derek and Tommy. PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

Getting on adidas

It was at Mt. Hood, Oregon. I had just got done with the Knowbuddy program, and I was at Hood staying at the Demo Center, and I was talking to Evan [LeFebvre] through text. Derek Lever definitely was the plug for that. He’d been riding flow for them for the past year, so he had like more than a foot in the door. And he basically put the connection in. So we’re hangin’ at Hood, and Evan was like “Yo, you should come do this adidas event with the campers.” So I did that and just talked to Evan, and we got dinner that night, and that was kind of the start of it all.

Filming for Beacon

I got an email from Louif [Paradis] probably about a year ago around this time. I think it was early December. He just said like, “I’m doing this project, and I’m wondering if you want to be a part of it. We’re going to Russia.” And I was on a trip with Mark Wilson, and he got the same email, which was amazing ’cause I’m very good friends with Mark. We were both like, “Holy shit, we’re about to go to Russia with Louif.” I mean, he’s the best to do it. I’d spent some time with Lou before, but I’d never been on a full-on film trip with him. He is one of my biggest inspirations. Just seeing how hard he works for everything—he’s definitely an idol. But I didn’t know what to expect from the movie. I obviously knew Lou was sitting on heavy footage, but we didn’t get leaks, and I only went on one trip. It was amazing to see it come out and realize how insane of a film they had made. I’m grateful and honored to be a part of Beacon. That movie is incredible. Hayden did an amazing job.

Air-to-fakie in Otaru. PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

Japan this past season

We went twice. I think we went in January and in March. It ended in a scary way, but before that it was good. We were dealing with a lot of kickouts, but that’s part of the game as well. It’s always fun going to Japan. Ordinary things are so different, like going to the 7-Eleven—it’s vibrant with crazy food and anime. It’s just cool. We always stick out like a sore thumb. There was so much snow. One night we went to the resort and rode night pow. I’m from Minnesota; I don’t get into powder that much, so that was an amazing experience for me. That was the best snow I’ve ever ridden, and it was at night, and were just duckin’ ropes and going under the chair and whatnot. We eventually got yelled at, but we kind of just played the ignorant American card. That night was amazing.

The adidas AM team

We’re all boys and we all jive. We were all friends before this.

2 AM + 1 TM. Tommy in Japan with Alex Sherman and Derek Lever. PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

The mishap

Wizard [Alex Sherman] got injured on our second trip to Japan. That was crazy. Just full-blown worst nightmare type of deal. It was a pretty high-consequence spot. Like if it goes it goes wrong, it’s going to go really wrong. Then worst-case scenario happened, and Wizard broke his leg. Obviously none of us speak Japanese, but we flagged a guy down who luckily spoke English. And we’re like, “Ambulance, right now!” Just in panic mode. And thank God for Joe Carlino, ’cause he handled it very well. I was all over the place. I was like ten feet away when it happened. Almost fainted. When we got him to the hospital, we were like, “Alright, he’s going to be okay.” So then we booked tickets for the next day and flew home with him to Salt Lake, and we got there and were like, “We made it; we did it.”

“This was actually a very stressful day. This rail was two blocks away from the Airbnb we were staying at. Joe saw it driving in. We set it up and went the next day, but it was a bit of a bust. It was in a neighborhood, just the most mellow spot, and then all of a sudden pedestrians were looking at us, and nine cops roll in, and it was a pain in the ass. I didn’t get what I wanted, but it kind of worked out.” PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

Stance: Regular, 22.5″, 6, -6

Boots: adidas Tactical ADV, size 9

It’s a normal lace boot, a little on the stiffer side, more than soft, which I like. It’s got the Energy Boost sole, and it’s super comfortable. I like the colorway and the simplicity of it. I like more structure—with a nice medium or stiff boot, I feel like your presses are all fat, and you have a lot more control.

Tommy’s setup: adidas Glisan bibs and Tactical ADV boots + Salomon Sleepwalker and District. PHOTO: Adam Moran

Board: Salomon Sleepwalker 155

It’s my style of board. Classic shape with regular camber. Not too stiff, not too soft. It’s just what you would picture a snowboard being.

Bindings: Salomon District, size M

They’ve got the loose heelcup. It’s kind of funny. I’m in Duluth right now, hanging with all the Impaler kids, who I grew up with, and every single one of them ride the Salomon District. Some of them are so beat up; they’re like five years old, and they still run ’em. It’s the binding of choice. With a little bit stiffer boot you can do a loose binding and it’s the perfect combo.

“I like this kit. That’s what I’ve been riding at Troll and Hyland this year. I like the vest. Obviously, the hoodie’s classic. That’s a timeless look. The vest adds a little flare to the get-up, and it’s pretty functional. It keeps me warm but doesn’t constrict me.” PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

Sweatshirt: Blackbird Solid Hoodie, size XL

It’s a classic. Riding rails with a jacket, I feel constricted, and I like being super loose. I’ve always been a hoodie guy.

Hat: adidas Cane Beanie

It’s normal and warm.

Gloves: Nolan Athletic Mitt, size M

I met Brandon, who runs Nolan, when I moved out to Tahoe, and he’s a rad dude. He’s a good friend and started that brand. Nolan’s actually his middle name. That’s where it comes from. It’s the homie company that I back.

“I was super hyped on this. We’d see these tunnels everywhere ’cause Japan gets so much snow. Dream spots. Films cool, photographs cool. It’s amazing. A rail in a tunnel that’s buried in snow! So we were seeing a lot, but they were kind of endless, or they’d go down and then elbow. Or they’d end it in another tunnel. They just didn’t work. Then we were cruising through a neighborhood; I was in the back seat, and I just looked up and saw the end of this and knew right away it would work. I didn’t know how big it was or anything, but it turned out to be the perfect rail. It was long and pretty spooky. I fell off a couple times, and it was so loud, being in the tunnel. It was raining outside at the time. We had our whole squad there, and Joe was filming at the bottom with the trunk of the van open, just in the car, trying to stay dry. Then Jon Ray was in the tunnel filming fisheye, so he was out of the rain. But every time I was strapping in, I was just getting downpoured on. It was a cool experience. This was the highlight of that trip for me. ” PHOTO: Adam Moran

Sunglasses: Dragon Marquis

Good look. They’re polarized, and I do a lot of fishing the summer. They’re bomb for that. And then I wear the NFX2 goggles. I don’t wear goggles too much in the street, but at the resort I like runnin’ ’em.

Pants: adidas Glisan bib and rider pant, size XL

I like the loose, kinda baggy fit. I like the bibs cause I can get ’em in a bigger size, but because they’re bibs you don’t have to wear a belt. And they’re basic. Just black or tan. It’s a pretty simple pant that looks good.

Jacket: adidas Glisan jacket, size L

This one goes with the bibs. It’s dope. It’s got a nice workwear-style texture. But it’s waterproof. It’s a good matte black, not shiny. I like that.

Tommy and Keegan Valaika in Otaru. Keegan in the adidas Civilian Jacket. PHOTO: Julien Perly Petry

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here!

The Manboys 2017 – Episode 5, “Doctor Spaceman”

For Doctor Spaceman, the fifth and final episode from The Manboys for the season, we thought we would share a personal message from the boys themselves. Read, watch, and repeat!

“The final episode! It’s sad to see this time come but alas this is life. We saved the best for last in this Manboys episode. Fun lines, big jumps and an unexpected trip to snowboard on the moon. Thanks for taking the time to come watch these weekly videos and we hope you liked them as much as we liked making them.
Love,
Matt Belzile, Rusty Ockenden, Chris Rasman, Jody Wachniak, Eric Jackson

Filmed by Ben The Boss Webb and edited by Rusty Ockenden. Keep up with The Manboys on Youtube here!

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here!

Resort Guide 2017-2018 – TransWorld SNOWboarding

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Crafted: Mike West and 686 Still Don’t Care What Anyone Else is Doing

Words| Taylor Boyd   Photos| Erik Hoffman and John Schwirtlich

As I jockey for position to exit in Los Angeles traffic, I realize I don’t much about the guy I’m headed to interview. I know plenty of the brand he’s built but little of the mind behind it. “I mean, Mike’s interesting, dude. He’s climbed Mount Kiliminjaro. He’s done all these interesting things, but he’s never positioned himself the same way some founders have positioned themselves,” 686 Vice President of Marketing, Brent Sandor, tells me. “No one knows he’s hiked Mount Kiliminjaro except for fifteen or twenty people. He doesn’t tell anyone. One time he went to Russia in the dead of winter with the clothes on his back, wearing a pair of Vans Slip-Ons. He had a blog on Hypebeast. It was tight.”

Mike West. PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

It never goes as planned. Such is Mike West’s story. Twenty five years in with a brand going strong is by all measures a success, but West explains, “It was never like, ‘I’m going to start this and this is what I’m going to do.'” We’re chatting in his office, in a building that sticks out like a modern thumb in Los Angeles’ industrial Compton neighborhood, the walls lined with archival 686 products, many of which are collaborations with other brands—Union, New Balance, Dickie’s, Dragon, Levi’s, and a recent one with Pabst Blue Ribbon. West loves collaborations.

Compton is an atypical location for an outerwear brand to be headquartered. But Los Angeles is home for West. He grew up here in the ’80s, South Bay to be specific, skating with the local crew. World Industries founder Steve Rocco was around at the time and put West on the team. It’s a theme in West’s story. He’s been surrounded by people playing critical roles, though perhaps he and they were oblivious at the time. They were doing what they wanted, whether it was skateboarding, snowboarding, or creating art, and have gone on to become revered individuals within these respective cultures. West is one of these types as well.

West showing product at SIA. PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

It was here in Los Angeles, during a particular session in Hermosa Beach in the mid ’80s, that snowboarding appeared on West’s radar. “Wow, what? You can skate on snow?” West recalls his initial thoughts on this budding offshoot of skateboarding, three decades ago. “The first thing I saw about snowboarding was actually in Thrasher Mag in high school. It was Damian Sanders and Steve Cab in Tahoe,” he explains. So West made the drive up to a place called Snow Forest, near Big Bear. “It’s not even there anymore,” says West. “Snow Forest was probably ’85, and ’86 I went to Snow Summit. The second day I went to Snow Summit I was struggling. This guy in a bright jumpsuit was like, ‘Just lean forward and twist your body.’ It was freaking Tom Sims. I didn’t know. He had this mustache and this bright hat.”

This was in high school. A few years later, Mike got a job at Big Bear and became one of the first snowboard instructors in the US. “There was only a handful, like seriously a handful. I was there in ’89 or ’90, something like that, and Mike Parillo showed up in probably ’92, maybe around there. From then until ’96-’97 was when that whole thing was coming up. That’s where I met all those guys. Parillo, Bobby Meeks, Ryan Immegart was there, Todd Proffit was there—all these guys were doing this stuff. Guch [Bryan Iguchi] was there, and [Jeff] Brushie was there. I was just working there, not knowing what was going on.”

Measure twice, cut once?
PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

In the 686 lab. PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

During this time, West did a couple years at a community college then enrolled at USC in the entrepreneurial program, which, as much as he’ll say he didn’t learn from his business curriculum, he explains provided a foundation for his ability to found and run a brand. “I wasn’t really a smart kid; I just worked my ass off,” he says. The people, the connections, and the inspirations he took all played a role in taking West to present, the CEO of a 25-year-old and thriving brand. “At school, we’d have guest speakers. One guy came in named Steve Klassen, and he was like ‘I graduated from here too, and I started this shop called Wave Rave.’ I was like, ‘Wow Steve, I have this clothing company I started.’ He said to send him a catalog, and he’d buy some stuff. I was like, ‘what’s a catalog?'”

At this point, 686 was a t-shirt and a beanie. And it was called Jib 686. Why the prefix? “A friend of mine used to work at this cool store called ET Surf. He said ‘jib’, and I was like, ‘Oh cool, jib. I’ll just call it Jib 686.'”

“We really didn’t know what we were doing. We were making everything up as we went.” It looks they know now. PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

And the number? “It’s interesting; for the longest time, and still to this day, people don’t really know what it means. I didn’t tell a lot of people. I was 20 when I started the company, so 6 plus 8 plus 6 is 20. June of ’86 was also important for my grandmother. We didn’t say anything about that though. So people used to come up with these ideas of what it meant. I read all sorts of things, but the funniest and most consistent was that it was when I lost my virginity. I remember in the lift line in Tahoe, probably in the late ’90s, I hear people talking about like, ‘Oh that’s when the guy lost his virginity.’ I was like, ‘What the fuck?’ I also heard someone say I killed someone on that date. It was weird. People have also said I’m some kind of satanic worshipper.” This is likely due to the number being one digit off from the occult associated 666. “We used to get a lot of hate mail back in the day,” Mike says. “But we came from skateboarding; we definitely weren’t accepted. Snowboarding in the ’90s—people didn’t like us. So I didn’t give a shit.”

By the time 686 had dropped the jib prefix, snowboarding was hitting its upswing. “Throughout the ’90s, shit was freaking blowing up. Then it dropped. There were too many brands. I couldn’t even get into the SIA tradeshow, because it was too crowded. We had a hotel room outside. It was that crazy that we had to go on the show floor and go, ‘Hey, come to my hotel room.’ When I see that something is going too good, I know things are going to go the opposite way.”

PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

It wasn’t until the ’99 – 2000 season that West says 686 turned a profit. And up to that point the brand’s full-time employee count was at three or four. One of those people is the current president of the company, Doug Sumi, a longtime friend of West from their days at USC. West hired Sumi out of necessity. “He was always more worried about making product, getting product delivered, and building the brand than a lot of other aspects of the business, and that’s a big part of how I started working for him,” Sumi says. “He was like, ‘I need to file my taxes; what are we gonna do?’ We just started going through one envelope at a time trying to figure out what everything was.”

Sumi recounts West’s frugality, “Because we really had no money, he was always very conscious of trying to save money—what I always called stretching a rubberband. He had this thing where he wanted to have zero waste. He always thought we could use everything. We would cut out garments at cut houses. They’d cut out the pattern, and there’d be leftover pieces, kind of like the remaining part of a sticker sheet, and he would say, ‘Dude, bring all that back to the warehouse, all these cut Velcro pieces, all these little scraps. We bought it; we own it.’ And we’d bring trash bags back and pile them up.”

PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

This is around the time that 686 was in the same building as Plain Sane. “We really didn’t know what we were doing. We were making everything up as we went. We took a lot of stuff from Plain Sane—knowledge, supplies, concepts, vendors, and everything else we could,” Sumi recalls. Where West’s frugality comes from I can only speculate. Maybe it’s something he picked up on from his upbringing; perhaps he learned it in business school. But his concept of prudent allocation is something that without a doubt has pushed 686 to where it is today. While many brands put every spare dollar into marketing athletes, 686 has always diversified its spending. At first, it’s easy to conclude that a snowboard brand should spend the bulk of its marketing dollars on the team, in the interest of supporting snowboarders. But the longevity 686 has achieved through this fiscal responsibility is undoubtedly part of the reason they’re still around and now able to pay a stacked team of ambassadors that includes Forest Bailey, Sammy Luebke, Tor Lundstrom, Matt Belzile, Phil Jacques, Riley Nickerson, Mary Rand, and Parker White— the first skier to be added to the program. White’s addition to the team was something that happened organically through Forest Bailey. The two grew up together on the East Coast, and when 686 felt it made sense to include a two-planker, Bailey put Sandor and 686 team manager Pat McCarthy in touch with White. To be an outerwear brand and not market to skiers is not to tap half of your potential market. Again, it’s an example of 686 stepping outside what may be considered “cool” at the time. In ten years, however, how many brands in this space will be marketing outerwear to solely and respectively to skiers or snowboarders? Less than there are now, that’s for sure. Mike West has never been especially concerned with what’s cool. And somehow that will always be inherently cool.

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This isn’t to say 686 never emphasized its team. Leafing through back catalogs, there are staples like Shaun McKay, Charlie Morace, and Pat McCarthy, who’s now 686’s team manager and has played a critical role in building the brand. McCarthy remains based in Washington, and his cabin near Mount Baker, 1200 miles from the office in LA, provides the home base for 686 during the extensive R&D sessions that go down at the sloppiest location in the US. He explains 686 from his perspective: “Many of the people who work at 686 have been at the company for 20 years plus. Every season they always make time to get out on the hill together and put boots on snow. When I go to the office it feels like a family reunion walking the halls and saying hello to everyone.”

But before McCarthy’s generation, there other noteworthy names that graced roster. Kevin Zacher, Dean ‘Blotto’ Gray, and Ethan ‘E-Stone’ Fortier are each among snowboarding’s most marked photographers and all rode for 686 at some point. Is there any other team in snowboarding that’s turned out that many successful lensman? Probably not. Is there any significance in that fact? Hard to say. Maybe West is drawn to those with creative vision or uncommon drive more than athletic talent alone. “Blotto and E-Stone, those guys are hustlers,” he says. “Kevin, Blotto, E-Stone, they taught me a lot. Zacher and Blotto helped build this creative aspect that pushed me ahead, for sure. They influenced me.” Then he remembers another influence who once rode for 686. “Travis Parker. He was just a creative, quiet kid, who really made an impact.”

It seems what West and 686 have derived from the team has always been about more than marketing to the consumer. Their direct influence on the brand and product itself are equivalently important to their involvement. E-Stone, who outside of his photographic endeavors has worked behind the scenes with brands of his own, makes clear the value that West puts on the team. “Mike always wanted to hear the team riders’ feed back about current product and ideas for new products. I remember Blotto and I would spend all sorts of time sketching out jackets and planning new pocket ideas that were more efficient for snowboarding, and Mike would listen to us. We would see our ideas implemented in future lines. It was a rad feeling to have a sponsor that actually cared to hear your ideas and took them seriously.”

Blotto echoes E-Stone and McCarthy’s sentiments when he explains his time riding for the brand. “Mike and his team took good care of us—on the road, when we’d visit the office, at events, you name it. They treated us like family,” he explains. When Blotto recalls who else was riding for 686 around that time—the mid to late ’90s—two names aside from E-Stone pop up: Josh Zickert, who went on to become a professional skateboarder and found skateboard brand Natural Koncepts, and Jesse White, who has managed the business side of his younger brother Shaun’s business empire for the better part of the past decade. It’s always been an eclectic and enterprising bunch at 686. “By the early 2000s, we were getting notoriety, but we were just from LA doing our thing. The collaborations became a big part of it too. Back then, the brighter focus was on your team. ‘Who do you have?’ We never really went heavy in that. We had great guys, but we weren’t the hype. I just didn’t have the money to spend. So I wanted to create things that were true to us. I started with artists that we knew of, and then with brands. It resonated because no one had collaborations back then. I think we were the first in our industry to do that. The first collaboration was with Shepard Fairey.” Fairey is yet another example of someone influential who West just happened to know.

Around the time 686 was starting, Fairey, the founder of OBEY, would’ve been sketching his now iconic “Andre the Giant has a posse” graphic. He would later go onto create his most iconic piece, the HOPE poster for Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008. Meanwhile, the snowboard industry was hitting its recession with the rest of the US economy. 686 weathered that storm.

PHOTO: Erik Hoffman

West then had the vision to extend these collaborations to other brands as well. “The first brand was Dragon,” West says. “We did a goggle with Dragon. We made the jacket match the goggle and put a goggle pocket in it. The pocket was shaped like the goggle. It went crazy.” At this point, nothing about this sounds original. A collab? Sure, everyone does those. A goggle pocket? Those are stock. But in 2005 it was a novel concept, and this collaboration perhaps sparked what has become ubiquitous today. “Hell yeah, we want to work with cool people and cool brands,” West says.

It’s not just collaborations that make 686 an innovative brand. Three-in-one, zip-in-zip out pieces also fall into their realm of originality, though West admits, “Columbia did that before us,” 686 is the brand that brought it to snowboarding. The toolbelt however? “Yeah, we claim that,” he says.

A toolbelt and zip-in-zip-out tech didn’t carry 686 to a quarter century. Certainly smart management of finances and strategic hiring decisions have played a major role, but I’m curious what West attributes his brand’s success to. “I was able to work in a little bit of an uprise. I was able to get loans from people and pay them back. It’s a lot more difficult now,” he explains before continuing, “More than anything else, like I said, different shit works.” And now West is the one speaking at USC. “Any time I go back to talk to the kids, I’m like, ‘Fuck yeah, man. Do it.’ I love going back to USC and speaking. I was in that same seat. I was that kid in the back, just falling asleep.”

E-Stone sums things up well, “Mike West is a G. He’s a very smart and genuine guy. It’s amazing that he was able to start 686 25 years ago, as a college student at age 20, and turn it into one of the largest outerwear brands in snowboarding. He did this all with his original partners, keeping it an independent rider-owned company. He grew the brand right and has kept it legit 25 years later. This is something to be proud of.” E-Stone is right.

West in Japan. Say hi if you see him.

“It was cool hearing that conversation with Mike,” says Sandor. “He’s like, ‘We just did us.'” And that’s what I’ve gleaned from talking with West. At every turn he’s done what seemed right, despite that it wasn’t necessarily written into the playbook. In fact, it usually wasn’t, and that is the mark of great brands. How many success stories are based on following the crowd? If the first trend in accomplishment is that it never happens as planned, this is the second. A quarter century in, 686 fits both archetypes. I can’t predict what’s next. But I’d guess Mike West will be at his desk in Compton, collaborations on the walls nearby, and I’m sure he’ll head up to McCarthy’s cabin when the snow gets deep.

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Red Gerard’s Extra Credit Ep. 2 — Snowmass Park Session

Red Gerard‘s latest Extra Credit episode features Brock Crouch, Chandler Hunt, Gabe Ferguson, Luke Winkelmann, Lyon Farrell, Judd Henkes, Cody Warble and more at a private park shoot at Snowmass out in Colorado. It is a pretty insane crew to call best friends, as all of them are on the rise and making waves throughout the sport. This is probably not the first time you have seen their names, and it will definitely not be the last. For more from Red, check out his previous episode from Extra Credit here!

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Blackcomb Mountain – The Book of John J Season 2 – Episode 4

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Mervin Made – Testing Grounds

At Mervin Mfg. they can take an idea, turn out a prototype and test it all in one day. And they do. The mountains, surf and skate terrain in their backyard are directly reflected in the technologies they helped shape.

Check out more about Mervin’s testing grounds here!

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Jesse Paul – Arcadia Full Part – 48 Hour Exclusive

We don’t think there is a feature in the world that Minnesota-bred rider Jesse Paul could not hit. From Japan, Cleveland, Utah and the rest of the world over, Paul bashes gates and finds a way to get creative on every obstacle in front of him. Helped by coffee, ibuprofen, friends, and his chiropractor, his full part from TransWorld’s latest endeavor, Arcadia, is must-see snowboarding.

For a behind the scenes look at his season filming for the end product above, check out Jesse’s interview featuring stories about cops, hotels, and his first time riding in Japan here!

Buy the full movie on iTunes here or check it out on Vimeo here!

If you want to watch the part over and over again like we will once the 48-hour exclusive viewing is up, buy the full movie here, featuring Halldór Helgason, Alek Oestreng, BYND X MDLS, Victor Daviet, Jesse Paul, The Manboys, Jordan Small, Victor De Le Rue and Red Gerard.

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here! 

686 Presents Rabbit Hole – Full Movie

The 686 crew tracked winter throughout the Pacific Northwest hunting down pillows, lines, jumps and some spring slush boarding. In short, they put their tech gear and tech riding where it is supposed to be.

“We set out to make a quick edit. That grew into a really short film, which then grew into what you have now. I guess that’s what happens when you go down the Rabbit Hole though… You lose track of time and realities and just do what feels right.” – Patrick McCarthy, 686 Team Manager

Featuring the stacked team of Matt Belzile, Forest Bailey, Sammy Luebke, Phil Jacques, Mary Rand, Matt Wainhouse, Patrick McCarthy, Frankie Devlin and others. Filmed and edited by Ian Post.

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Gully Quest with GNU

GNU’s in waist deep powder on Unreal boards. From Saas Fee and beyond. Submerge your brain, don’t come up again until spring.

Featuring Nicolas Müller, Blake Paul, Forest Bailey, Temple Cummins, Max Warbington, Alex Lopez, Kaitlyn Farrington, Gus Warbington and Jacob Krugmire.

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here! 

Crosspollution | Fast and Loose with Volcom SNOW

CROSSPOLLUTION, is a high voltage shred flick starring team riders, Benny Milam, Reid Smith, CJ Collins, also featuring Scott Blum, Dylan Alito, Olivier Gittler, Torgeir Bergrem, Collin Provost, Louie Lopez, Mike Rav, Terje Haakonsen and friends. There is not much else to say. This edit is insane. 

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Halldor Helgason – Arcadia Full Part

We don’t want to spoil the ender, but Halldor Helgason‘s full part in Arcadia is just too good. Online for 48 hours only, enjoy this exclusive online stream of one of the best snowboarding parts in the last decade. Complete with street, backcountry, park, technical riding, and just balls-to-the-wall massive hits, Halldor’s ender embodies the man strapped in on screen. He is the personification of a metal song sliding sideways, and is still one of the most humble and friendly characters we have ever met.

Buy the full movie on iTunes here!

Halldor Helgason hiking for our enjoyment. Laax, Switzerland. PHOTO: Cyril Mueller

His motivation this year, besides just his absolute love for snowboarding, was the 10-shot rule. Every ten clips he got for his part, whether it was a hammer, crash, or both, he would allow himself to party and get blackout drunk. If you add all the shots up in his six minute part, it is easy to see that he threw a lot more back than just insane upside-down methods (we still aren’t sure what to call them). When you are done watching his full part, check out the interview with Halldor to see what all went in to making his latest video piece that will most definitely go down in the history books marking a rider that is not just pushing the whole culture of snowboarding when it is in great need to be pushed, but is doing it amongst a class of his own.

Halldor strolling through a tunnel nearby a spot in Sundsvall, Switzerland. PHOTO: Daniel Bernstal

If you want to watch the part over and over again like we will once the 48-hour exclusive viewing is up, buy the full movie here, featuring Halldór Helgason, Alek Oestreng, BYND X MDLS, Victor Daviet, Jesse Paul, The Manboys, Jordan Small, Victor De Le Rue and Red Gerard.

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Torstein Horgmo Announces Retirement from Competitive Snowboarding, Including 2018 Winter Olympics

Torstein Horgmo officially announced his departure from competitive snowboarding in his latest video blog. Answering questions posed during a Q & A on Facebook for his fans, Torstein addresses his pro career by saying, “I guess this is announcement time. I am officially not competing anymore. I am done with the medal chase, I am only focusing on filming.” He goes on to list his reasons for the change in directory, which revolve around getting back to the real reason he became obsessed with snowboarding in the first place—video parts. While we are bummed that we won’t get to watch him make contests more exciting with his riding, the news is not shocking.  Torstein is no stranger to the video part. Just watch last year’s Stronger  or any number of movies like Horgasm, A Love Story, Shredbots: The Movie, DC Mountain Lab 1.5., and we guarantee you will be just as stoked on this news as we are. Keep on the lookout for his next project, with no distractions or commitments from the competition circuit, it might just be his best part yet!

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here! 

“TurboDojo” Trailer—Absinthe’s New Movie Available on iTunes Today

Heavy soundtrack, a handful of the best snowboarders in the world, and some the best locations for snowboarding on screen? It can only mean that Absinthe made another movie. From the longest standing independent snowboard filmmakers comes TurboDojo, the newest project from the Absinthe crew featuring Mikkel Bang, Nicolas Müller, Hans Mindnich, Brandon Cocard, Austen Sweetin, Brendan Gerard, Ben Ferguson, Max Buri, Severin VanDerMeer, Kimmy Fasani and more. We are stoked to announce it is now available on iTunes!

Go rent or buy and watch TurboDojo here today!

U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team Uniforms Unveiled for PyeongChang Games 2018

Here’s what the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team will wear

With the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, less than 100 days away, the official uniform for the U.S. Snowboard Team has been released. Burton Snowboards, who has been in charge of designing and manufacturing the Olympic Snowboard Team uniforms for the past four Olympics, released their latest uniform which has a U.S. space-inspired vibe.

From the unveiling event of the USA uniforms for the 2018 Winter Olympic Snowboarding Team.

“This is the fourth Olympic uniform that Burton and myself have had the distinct pleasure of working on,” says Greg Dacyshyn, Head Designer of Burton’s Olympic uniform program.

“Like the previous three which had a retro inspired influence, the 2018 theme is also a heavy nod to Americana, because its main influence is the iconic suits of the United States’ leading space exploration program. I have always loved the astronauts’ suits, because not only do they have such a cool and amazing aesthetic, they also were designed to function under the most extreme conditions, so this gave us an incredible platform to push the innovation and technology of the garments as well. My hope is that these pieces help the athletes go where no rider has gone before.”

Take a quick stroll down memory lane with the past 2014 and 2010 uniforms below, and the full press release from Burton on their choice for the design of the 2018 Winter Olympics uniform.

Patchwork 2014 Olympic Burton Uniform.

Who can forget the blue jeans in 2010?

Check out the full release from Burton below.

BURLINGTON, VT (November 2, 2017) Burton Snowboards is proud to officially unveil the 2018 Olympic uniforms to be worn by the U.S. Snowboard Team. PyeongChang 2018 will mark the fourth consecutive Olympic Games where Burton has partnered with U.S. Ski & Snowboard to create one-of-a-kind uniforms for the halfpipe, slopestyle and first-ever big air snowboarding competitions.

“The sport of snowboarding is neither nationalistic nor team-oriented in nature; however, all of that changes for a minute every four years during the Olympic Games,” said Jake Burton, Founder and Chairman of Burton Snowboards. “If the global expectations are that U.S. snowboarders represent their country in a uniform, then Burton wants to design and manufacture it. By doing so, we assure U.S. riders that they will have outerwear they can trust to perform at the highest level with a look they have input into and ultimately respect. Simply put, they want snowboarding outerwear, not athletic wear, and who better than Burton to provide it.”

Inspired by the rich history of the American space program, the 2018 U.S. Snowboard Team uniform is both innovative in function and retro-futuristic in design. On the futuristic side, both the competition jacket and pant have a liquid metal look, thanks to an exclusive iridescent silver fabric coated in very fine, real aluminum. Burton custom developed the fabric solely for the 2018 uniform by infusing an extremely lightweight aluminum-coated fabric typically used for audio equipment with highly technical properties ideal for snowboarding in any weather condition. The end result is a super technical, lightweight and waterproof fabric that reflects and deflects light as well as sound. Next, to pay homage to the spirit of the American space program, the competition jacket also features hand-drawn patches depicting the American flag and ‘USA’ in space-age font. Even the inside of the jacket is highly detailed, with artwork sewn to the lining that includes Korean translations of helpful lighthearted phrases like ‘Do you speak English?’ and ‘Wish me luck!’.

In addition to the competition jacket and pant, two stand-out pieces in the uniform collection include a spacesuit-inspired down one-piece and village down jacket, both created with bright white non-woven Dyneema® fabric, which is the world’s strongest fiber. Extremely lightweight, breathable and waterproof, the fabric itself has a very space-age feel inspired by the iconic 1960s moonwalk suit with a texture that breaks in over time, giving it a weathered look. To wear with the competition jacket and pant, Burton also created a super soft fleece jacket and pant made with custom Polartec® High Loft™ fabric that was originally created for the U.S. military. The uniform also includes a lightweight down insulator in a ‘moonbeam’ colorway and drirelease wool base layers in ‘international orange’, a signature color used by the American space program for astronaut suits. Leather mitts, fleece gloves, tech tees and beanies complete the uniform.

“This is the fourth Olympic uniform that Burton and myself have had the distinct pleasure of working on,” says Greg Dacyshyn, Head Designer of Burton’s Olympic uniform program. “Like the previous three which had a retro inspired influence, the 2018 theme is also a heavy nod to Americana, because its main influence is the iconic suits of the United States’ leading space exploration program. I have always loved the astronauts’ suits, because not only do they have such a cool and amazing aesthetic, they also were designed to function under the most extreme conditions, so this gave us an incredible platform to push the innovation and technology of the garments as well. My hope is that these pieces help the athletes go where no rider has gone before.”

“As one of the most recognized global brands in snowboarding, Burton brings tremendous value to our Olympic snowboard team with both its product quality and brand essence,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief Commercial Officer Dan Barnett. “We have very ambitious targets for all our athletes in South Korea. Success at the highest level of global competition comes from acute attention to detail and we know that Burton shares that philosophy. The shared vision Burton has with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and our world class roster of athletes is another of the vital building blocks being put in place to help our athletes achieve the medal targets set for PyeongChang.”

The U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team will be nominated based on a series of selection events this season including the three-stop Toyota U.S. Grand Prix with stops in Copper Mountain, Aspen/Snowmass and Mammoth Mountain.

Check out more about the Olympics here!

Depth Perception Trailer – Travis Rice’s New Snowboarding Film

Featuring Quiksilver’s Travis Rice, Bryan Fox, Austen Sweetin, & Roxy’s Robin Van Gyn deep in British Columbia,  Rice’s new film Depth Perception is one part insane snowboarding, and one part supernatural wonderland.

Set in the transfixing layers of BC’s temperate forest, the furthest inland rainforest in the world, Depth Perception returns to the roots of snowboarding and portrays the unique connection each rider shares with nature. This movie doesn’t suck, it sucks you in and invites you to enjoy some of the finest free riding this planet has to offer. It’ll make you laugh, make you learn and most of all, make you want to ride. Good thing winter is right around the corner.

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here! 

TransWorld SNOWboarding’s Arcadia Wins Film of the Year – 2017 iF3 Movie Awards

This past weekend on October 28th, 2017 in Montréal, Québec, the 2017 iF3 Movie Awards took place at Hangar 16 in Montreal’s Old Port during the 10th edition of the iF3 Festival. Twenty six awards were handed out in total, with an additional two surprise awards including Standout Male Snowboarder of the year. We are proud to announce that not only did Arcadia take the Film of the Year in the Pro category, but four of our riders took home hardware for their insane parts in the movie, including Halldor Helgason walking out with Standout Male Snowboarder of the year. Thanks to iF3 for the honor, and thank you to Halldor, Victor, Jesse, Alek, Red, Victor, Tor, Kevin, The Manboys, Jordan and the rest of the crew for all of their hard work making the film.

Arcadia, full film now available on iTunes and all major streaming platforms here.

Film of the Year / Arcadia / Transworld Snowboarding

Discovery of the Year
/ Alek Oestreng in Arcadia / Transworld Snowboarding

Best Male Street Segment / Jesse Paul in Arcadia / Transworld Snowboarding

Best Male Freeride Segment
​ ​ / Victor de Le Rue in Arcadia / Transworld Snowboarding

Standout Male Snowboarder ​ ​/ Halldor Helgason ​in Arcadia ​/ Transworld Snowboarding

Check out more from Arcadia here!

The Last Storm of The Season: Canada, Eh?

What’s that there? It’s the Dakine Team in Canada, Eh?

PHOTOS by Oli Gagnon
In search of the last storm of the season, last springVictor Daviet, Leanne Pelosi, Jason Robinson, and Annie Boulanger headed north on west coast of Canada into the heart of British Columbia. With the alpine socked in upon arrival, the crew, including photographer Oli Gagnon, spent a few days relaxing in Pemberton before starting up their sleds and continuing onward to Bralorne, BC, a former boom town about 60 miles north of Pemberton.


With a current population of 76, Bralorne is a time capsule from the Gold Rush era. Accessed by sleds in the winter and dirt roads in the summer, it is actually quicker on a sled because a straighter shot through the mountains becomes an option. No gas stations, no restaurants, no cell service, no problem. Snow was all that the crew was looking for and considering it was April in BC, as you can see… they found it.


Planning to originally fly and take some heli laps through powder, what the Dakine team got wasn’t as ideal. The system they were chasing came in wet and heavy, less than perfect for the backcountry, but perfect to put their outerwear to the test. After a few days of down days and scouting, dropping temps and fresh precipitation rewarded them. The clouds broke and the alpine terrain opened up to one of western Canada’s best kept secrets. We would tell you exactly where, but they didn’t even tell us. Looks like we will have to search for the snow just like the rest of you.


More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here!

The Manboys 2017 – Episode 2, When in Rome

Between games of Settlers of Catan and getting snowmobiles stuck in the snow, The Manboy‘s dropped some epic early season pillow laps in Whistler with the mantra, “When in Rome.” Near misses and huge stomps make for quite the episode. Watch until the end as the guys look to be in midseason form as they take a quick trip to hit the famous Mt. Baker Road Gap. Enjoy!

Featuring: Eric Jackson, Matt Belzile, Rusty Ockenden, Chris Rasman, and Jody Wachniak.

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here!