Author Archives: Kyle Bihler

Burton Custom and Malavita Bindings

Burton Custom and Malavita

Take a gander at the new Burton Custom Snowboard and Burton Malavita Bindings. I took them out for a spin at Alpine Meadows, in Tahoe. It was a super fun set up that is great for everyday ripping.

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The board is from the Restricted line so it has the fun naked chick graphic. It was the Regular camber, so it was very responsive and great at high speeds. The Custom never ceases to amaze year after year, it is consistently one of my favorites.

I put a pair of Burton Malavita’s on this setup. I really liked the bindings lightweight and responsive. These were the EST model which really gives the board a smooth flex. They have a super comfortable asymmetrical heel strap, that gives you some more support on the inside of your ankle. Loved the bindings for sure.

You can take a look at all of our Burton Snowboards and Burton Bindings here at Eternal.

2014 Olympic Game hopefuls

Chas Guldemond

In 2014, The US Olympic team will represent the nation’s best boarders in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Games. The teams will be named in January after a long selection process. The men’s and women’s teams will compete in halfpipe, slopestyle, snowboard cross, parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom. All athletes must meet the International Ski Federation standards and the International Olympic Committee standards.

Keep your eyes on these guys (and girls):

  • Chas Guldemond. Guldemond has been riding for 16 years and has U.S. Open, Global Open Tour, and X-Games placements under his belt and is ready to keep moving up. At the beginning of the year, he took second at the Breckenridge Dew Tour and first at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain in January. Sponsors include Neff Headwear and of course Eternal.
  • Shaun White. Surprise, surprise. This guy is an Olympic team staple with two gold medals already under his belt.
  • Kelly Clark. Clark is a veteran rider who knows her way around the halfpipe. She brought home a gold from the 2002 Olympics and a bronze from the 2010 games.
  • JJ Thomas. He took the podium for a bronze medal at the 2002 Olympic Games then took some time off riding to get behind the camera. But he’s back now and ready to make up for lost time.
  • Benji Farrow. Farrow made a name for himself after having an impressive first year on the U.S. Snowboarding Pro Team. He has placed at the Burton U.S. Open and the European X-Games.
  • Arielle Gold. Gold is only a sophomore in high school and she is already placing in nearly every competition she enters. She is a part of the U.S. Snowboarding Pro Team.

Preparing for the Olympic Games is no easy task. The qualifying process consists of five grand prix events and the results will determine who makes up the U.S. team. The qualifying process is tough for these riders since there is such a great field of talent. Riders won’t find out if they are going to Sochi until two weeks ahead of the Winter Games, making for a tense time before the Olympics.

Huntington Beach riots: Was it caused by the skaters?

When riots broke out at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, the competition went sour. The eight-day contest draws enthusiasts of all kinds to join in the surf, skate, and BMX competitions as well as live music events. The event typically goes off without a hitch, but as crowds were dispersing on the final day of the event this year, rioting ensued.

U.S. Open representatives said they were extremely disappointed by the disturbance that occurred on Main Street after the event. According to police reports, rioters were throwing bottles at police, pushing over portable toilets, breaking windows of cars, and attempting to loot stores. One man used a downed stop sign to break the window of Easyrider Bike Shop. Once tear gas was dispersed, police were able to gain control of the crowd and make eight arrests. Suspects are being charged with assault, vandalism, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Event attendees said the crowds seemed larger and more rowdy than usual. Some locals even said that after years of holding peaceful events, the riots may have been caused by the more boisterous skaters. Some locals are pointing the finger at the general culture of rebellion that surfing, skating and BMX embrace. Police are unsure what sparked the riots. Some witnesses say it was a fight that escalated and others say young kids were just lashing out nonsensically. But is it fair to point the finger at the riding culture?

The U.S. open brings in an estimated $16 million and half a million surf fans travel to Huntington Beach every summer. Talks have focused on how to prepare for next year with mutual aid. There has not been any move to cancel the event.

Shaun White’s private training mountain: will he be using it again this year?

Shaun White Private Pipe

In previous years, pro-rider Shaun White had his own private mountain to practice on. Holding the X-Games record for gold medals and taking home two gold medals for the U.S. Olympic team, White is no stranger to working hard to be the best he can be.

Shaun White Private Pipe

In 2009, Red Bull built White his own private training mountain to practice on. The secret “Project X,” as they referred to it, was built on Silverton Mountain. After setting impressive records and showing his amazing skills, Red Bull knew that this was an investment worth making. White always has a new trick up his sleeve when he hits the slopes and he is always aiming to impress. With the hard work and determination White puts in to his competitions, it is no wonder he has a laundry list of athletic achievements in both skating and boarding.

At the facility in Silverton, White was able to polish a double-back rodeo, a front double-cork 10, a switchback 9 and a Cab double-cork 10. The ability to train on such an elaborate facility definitely gave White an advantage and he walked away with the gold medal in the 2010 winter Olympics and Winter X-Games.

But what does White have in store for 2014? Will he be teaming up with a sponsor to build another secret project to begin training for another gold in Sochi, Russia?

The Winter Games are coming quickly and the tricks that White typically pulls out require a lot of fine tuning and preparation. This skater/snowboarder knows how to do it right and we will be keeping our eyes on him in the months preceding the 2014 Winter Games. He’s always good for a surprise.

Influencers in the skate world who are shaping the industry

Skateboarding is a sport that always has fresh faces breaking into the scene. With so many young new faces, there is always room for innovation and the creativity is endless. The risk takers and thrill seekers are constantly setting new standards, and while it is still a male dominated sport, woman and girls are edging in with impressive feats – like the youngest skater to win an X Games medal at age 12, Alana Smith. ESPN announced its top 10 influencers in the skate world of at the start of 2013.

These guys made the list:

  • Jonathan Mehring. Mehring is the king of adventure skating. Making for remarkable photos, he has skated some of the most remote and geographically interesting terrains like the Amazon River and mountain roads of Kazakhstan.
  • Justin Figueroa. Topping Thrasher magazine for 2012, Figueroa, also known as Figgy, is a fearless fast skater.
  • Grant Taylor. Taylor is the son of former pro Thomas Taylor, so you know he has it in his blood. He took the Thrasher Magazine Skater of the Year award in 2011 and is leading his generation in skill.
  • Njyah Huston. A Street League Skate champion, as of May 2013 Huston has won more prize money in competitions than any other skater to date.
  • Dylan Rieder. Rieder is starting to become the poster boy for skating. His talent and style set him apart and has gotten a lot of attention through riding for Rob Dyrdek’s Alien Workshop.
  • Ty Evans. One of the most epic skate filmmakers, Evans has even worked with Spike Jonze. He also lays claim to the best selling skate video of all time: “Pretty Sweet” for Girl and Chocolate.
  • Steve Berra. Skater Berra teamed up with Eric Koston to created The Berrics, a site devoted to the latest trends and happenings in the skate world.
  • Patrick O’Dell. Skate photographer O’Dell featured his video documentaries on VICE and garnered a lot of attention. The documentary “Epicly Later’d” showcased the inside life of the teenage skate superstars. O’Dell gives insiders and outsider an equally authentic look into the skate world through his lens.
  • Austyn Gillette. One of the newer faces on the scene (he went pro in 2011), Gillette is recognized for his innovative tricks that always keep people guessing.
  • Guy Mariano. While Mariano isn’t on the board as much as he was in the 1990s, he left a big impact with his skate videos and impressive skate style.
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