December 2006

Steamboat Powdercats Photog Paralyzed

by The Editors on December 31, 2006

Dave Genchi, the photographer for Steamboat Powdercats reportedly “hit a rock, lost his balance, tumbled” seriously injured his neck while snowboarding on December 21, 2006. He was life-lighted to St. Mary’s hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado:

Surgery was successful to stabilize the fractured vertebrae, but Genchi currently has limited movement only in his upper extremities. . . Steamboat Powdercats has established a fund to assist Genchi and his family through his long road to recovery. Details regarding the fund and methods to contribute have been posted online.

Click here for more info.
[Link: First Tracks]


Abberton’s Blonde Beer Ambition

by The Editors on December 30, 2006

BlondesPro surfer Koby Abberton and Paris Hilton will be judging a competition at Australia’s Bondi Beach Hilton Hotel to choose the face of Bondi Blonde a new low-carb beer. Apparently, it was Koby’s job to narrow down the field of 50 blondes to a more manageable number before Paris joined the action. Good thing Koby knows his Aussie blondes.
[Link: Daily Telegraph]


First Black South African Surfing Champ

by The Editors on December 29, 2006

Vidlthumb.16A89389C9578C8C38Aaaa1Ed241E4DeIn a country where race still means nearly everything, Kwezi Qika, 18, has glided down the color line to become South Africa’s first black surfing champion. He did it on a longboard. Six years ago Kwezi showed up at Gary Kleynhans Surf School ready to learn to surf, even though at the time he did not even know how to swim.

I didn’t actually tell him that I didn’t know how to swim so I went in not knowing how to swim and I got this leash on my leg and I was like oh no I’m only going knee-high I don’t want to drown, but it was a good experience and I got up with my first wave and he told me I was really good,” Qika said.

Click here for the CNN Video.


Mt. Baker: The NYT Version

by The Editors on December 29, 2006

29Ski Span

As the most talked about resort in snowboard history it’s difficult to imagine that some people have never heard of “Mount Baker,” but Jesse Huffman did a great job of selling that idea to the New York Times travel section. We don’t know if the MBHC press office cleared this story, however Jesse was kind enough to quote at least three locals (Johnny Laing, Justin Heath, and Gwyn Howat) and a couple of his snowboard media friends.
[Link: New York Times]


Summit’s Snowboarding Zealot

by The Editors on December 28, 2006

Pro snowboarder Julie Zell once described Jackson Hole, Wyoming as “The Island of Lost Toys,” you know, from the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer TV classic. Her point was that resort towns attract people who just aren’t right. A perfect example of this is Summit County, Colorado’s Bud Hill, a 63-year-old former pastor who, after getting “kicked out” of his church in Missouri and divorced, moved to the mountains to snowboard full time and preach from the lift. Can he get an amen . . . or at least a little lithium?
[Link: Summit Daily News]


VF Corp Goes Up Eagle Creek

by The Editors on December 27, 2006

Eagle CreekVF Corp, the parent company of Vans, Reef, Wrangler, and The North Face, has announced that they are in talks to purchase Eagle Creek.

Eagle Creek‘s strong product pipeline, combined with VF Outdoor‘s proven ability to execute international brand growth strategies, should enable the Eagle Creek brand to sustain high-single-digit sales growth over the next several years,” Dave Gatto, president of VF Outdoor, said in a statement. “We‘re excited at the prospect of adding the industry‘s authentic outdoor travel brand to our existing portfolio of outstanding brands.”

As Snow Deep Throat said in the Sacklunch Forums: “Did they get Clive for an extra $2 on the deal?”
[Link: The Apparel Analyst via Sacklunch Forums]


Skate Works Retail Not Working

by The Editors on December 27, 2006

The Strubbing family, owners of the Santa Cruz based skateboard retailer Skate Works plans on shutting four of it’s five retail stores and putting more focus on their website, according to a story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

The face of retail is changing in America,” said patriarch Bill Strubing, 55, explaining that trends make it harder for a mom-and-pop operation to survive and thrive. “It’s a combination of factors, not just any one thing.

The stores closing will include Redwood City, Mountain View, San Jose, and Felton.
[Link: Santa Cruz Sentinel]

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Academy Snowboards Flunks Out of Execute

by The Editors on December 27, 2006

AcademyExecute Sports, Inc. the parent company of Academy Snowboards had decided they will be reorganizing and focusing solely on water sports rolling foward, saying good-bye to the snowboard industry. Geno Apicella, Execute’s founder and newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, says:

We intend to pursue discussions with interested third parties in selling the Academy Snowboard Co. brand and trademarks and will be committed 100% in 2007 to building our water sports business and to creating a profitable water sports company.

Hopefully, Academy will fall into good hands.
[Link: Primenewswire]


Passing Car Gives Idaho Snowboarder A Hand

by The Editors on December 27, 2006

Seth Murdock, 31, of Hansen, Idaho was snowboarding on Galena Summit when he got caught in an avalanche that deposited him on the side of Idaho state highway 75. He was buried except for one hand. Luckily, the driver of a passing car saw his hand, stopped, and dug him out.

It was really sobering how small of an avalanche can completely subdue you in no time at all,” he said. “This completely changed the way I look at things in the backcountry.

[Link: Idaho Mountain Express and Guide]


McDonald’s Big Fat Michigan Lift Ticket Deal

by The Editors on December 26, 2006

If you live in Michigan and you load up on fast food at McDonald’s you’ll get a discount on lift tickets at 21 resorts across Michigan. While the fast food company claims this is a way to give people “an opportunity to try healthy winter activities. . . such as snowboarding.” The truth is, it’s a great way for McDonald’s to load snowboarders up on fatty crap before they hit the hill. Time to fatten up, Michigan.
[Link: Niles Daily Star]