Colorado Snowboard History Museum: The Westword exhibit
This week's cover story on the new Colorado Snowboard Archive collection at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum, and the history of the effort by snowboarders to get respect alongside skiing, sent us digging through our online archives dating back fifteen years as we covered the subject from top to bottom.
Read on for a tour through some of that coverage.
Denver-based snowboard manufacturer Never Summer Industries is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this season. The very first Never Summer board brothers Tim and Tracey Canaday made in back 1991 is now at the Colorado Ski Snowboard Museum in Vail, as is one of the first boards they made in 1983 under the name Swift Snowboards. We profiled the duo in January 2010, just as SnowSports Industries of America was first bringing its SIA Snow Show to Denver.
Breckenridge team rider Steve Fisher found himself on the wrong side of snowboard progression in the 2009/2010 season when he failed to keep up with the new double cork craze in snowboarding and fell short of his dream to compete in the Olympics. We profiled him in a December 2009 cover story, back when he still had a decent chance at it. Fisher has since mastered some double cork tricks, so watch for him going big next month at the USASA Grand Prix at Copper Mountain (December 7-10) and the Winter Dew Tour's Nike Open, on his home pipe at Breckenridge (December 15-18).
Last weekend, at a gala awards ceremony on November 4, Chris Klug became the third snowboarder ever to be inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. Klug competed in snowboarding's first appearance in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan in 1998, earning a sixth place finish even as he was combating a rare liver disease. We profiled him in The Bounce-Back Kid and The Kid Bounces Back, a two-part series in April 2001, after his successful liver transplant surgery.
Although this list is already getting a little dude-heavy, Westword's been giving some love to the local lady rippers, too, as in The Ride of Their Lives, Robin Chotzinoff's March 2004 profile of pro snowboarders Dana Melinn, Jessica Johnson, and Barrett Christy (shown hucking that cliff in the photo at right, shot by Chris Owen).
The first thing you'll see when you walk into the new snowboard history exhibit at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum is a board with the Colorado flag painted on its topsheet, donated to the museum by Chris Pappas. We profiled him in an April 2000 feature, Oldest Living Snowpunk Tells All.
Speaking of old snowpunks... Snowboard pioneer Myron Knapschafer was already 71 years old when we profiled him in a January 1996 feature, Chairman of the Board, turning the stereotype of snowboarders as young whippersnappers on its ear. One of the Hiper Snowboards he built in his garage near Sloan's Lake is now in the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum's "Roots of A Movement" exhibit.
Ten years after our 2001 Risk-Ski Business profile on Aaron Brill and Silverton Mountain -- the only snowboarder-owned ski area we know of -- Silverton has become a mecca for big-mountain snowboarding and skiing. It still just has the one chairlift, but last season the
ski snowboard area opened another 22,000 acres thanks to its Silverton Guides Heli Ski /Heli Board operation, which won a nod for Best New Ski Terrain in our 2011 Best of Denver awards.
And in a March 2005 feature, "Big Heir," Eric Dexheimer profiled pro snowboarder Jesse Csincsak's non-profit J-SAK Snowboarding, aimed at helping pro snowboarders whose salaries were "more Le Peep than LeBron."
To follow Westword's daily coverage of snowboarding and other high-adrenaline activities in Colorado, check out the Show + Tell blog Today in Stoke.