Category Archives: Reviews

Today is Earth Day! So Remember Eco Friendly = Snow Friendly

Arbor Collective

 

For the last few years the snowboard industry has been making major strides in being Eco-conscious. You see we want to keep our winters so we need to take the steps to save them. Many companies are using sustainable products in their manufacturing processes. You can find top sheets printed on soy based material, bamboo cores, recycled plastics and everything in between.

 

Arbor Collective has been make a huge contribution to being a truly Eco-friendly manufacturer of snowboards, skateboards, and apparel. Their entire skate and snow line is made with sustainability in mind. They are a front runner in their use of  bamboo. Because it is such a fast growing plant (up to 4 feet a day) it is quickly renewable. The bamboo and other woods that are used for Arbor’s snowboard and skateboard decks all come from sustainable groves. This same Bamboo is even used to make fabrics for their clothing line. Arbor is defiantly doing their part to save the Earth.

 

Eternal is making a conscious effort  to carry more and more of these green products. But companies “cleaning up their acts” is still only part of the equation. We as consumers now need to go out and use these green products and be an active part of the solution. Protect Our Winters is a non-profit dedicated to Eco education in the snow sports community. They are helping the manufacturers, resorts and consumers all work together to make decisions to save our snow. Let’s all pitch in so we have great powder for generations to come!

A bit of history on Mervin Manufacturing – Lib Tech and Gnu

Some Mervin history and board building blah blah some dude wrote about Mervin for a Scandinavian Book:

They wanted it loose ‘Mervin style” and asked how a snowboard is made and for a bit of how Mervin got started.

How to make a good snowboard by Mervin Manufacturing.

There are many definitions of a good snowboard…every human is shaped differently, has different riding styles, muscle make-up/fitness, ideas on what should be done on a snowboard and how it should be done. We started the simplest way possible, we built boards for ourselves to ride. Mike is tall so he built long ones and am a little shorter so I built some that fit me. We built them ourselves so we wanted to use the safest non toxic resins and materials possible. We didn’t have any money, so we wanted to be as efficient with material usage as possible… no waste. We both grew up in the Northwest corner of the USA in the 70s during the first wave of environmentalism (solar, wind, electric power was big and the gas crisis hit, love canal and 3 mile island all made an impact on us). Skiing and mountaineering parents were also a factor, we wanted to use sustainable low environmental impact materials in the boards right from the beginning.

So back to making a good snowboard…you have to gather up all the materials…if you are doing it DIY this can be a bit difficult because a lot of the materials are not really for sale in small quantities or to consumers. Mike is really good at sourcing materials. He has a photographic memory and has the patience to spend weeks on the internet and phone comparing pricing, strength properties and safety data on endless different woods, fiberglasses, resins etc. If you can trick a supplier into thinking you are a big company you can often get samples for free…sometimes enough to last for years! Once we have nailed down the materials we think we want to use, ordering up some sample materials is a go…Mike tests all the resins, glass, and wood in house…sometimes what you read on the internet isn’t really what is going on. First hand testing is a must…you need to work on your recipe…how much of what glass you need with what thickness of woodcore and resin you want to have the right strength and flex properties…trial and error is usually the go here. You need to establish a starting point….build a board with the same recipe and change one variable at a time until you get the flex etc. right. Now you are ready to go…test it. Build, ride, refine, build, ride, refine, build, ride, refine…

Recipe:
• One highly skilled acton hero craftsman.
• One Banana “rocker between your feet”
• Two cambers located at each end of your board.
• One Beans Top sheet made from Bio-polymers and sublimated so you don’t need toxic clear coats that make
other boards shiny but cause cancer.
• Steel edges, tucked in and custom tempered at the tip and tail for flex
• UHMW Plastic tip and tail bumpers for light swing weight and excellent impact resistance. (Car bumpers are
plastic…steel is heavy…don’t ride a board with steel around the tips…you have a choice)
• Sintered base material sublimated so you can recycle the scraps (no epoxy inks)
• One vertically laminated wood core built with fast growing farmed eco timbers
• Rubber foil to keep the steel edges damp quiet and bonded.
• UHMW sidewalls…tough rugged fast and a Mervin first
• Stainless steel inserts…never pull out or rust.
• Basalt Fiber: tougher than kevlar, stronger than carbon and environmentally friendly. Made from volcanoes!
Lib Tech Skate Banana Wax made by One Ball Jay
• Handbuild Near Canada in the USA at Mervin MFG. The world’s most environmental snowboard company.

How Mervin was started.

Mike Olson built his first snowboard in 1977 in junior highschool shop class…he waxed it with as special wax he was gifted by a friend…turned out to be Klyster warm weather crosscountry ski wax and tried to slide…it didn’t work. So he thought snowboards didn’t work.

A few years later he tried again and this time he waxed right and realized he could surf and skate the snow.

As other boards began to show up at local resorts Mike realized his designs worked better than the board other companies were building. He thought maybe he was onto something.

Mike built boards in a garage under the name “DP Gravity Harness no Guarantee” and then “Gnu”.

Mike asked me to help him in 1984 and we both dropped out of college to build Gnus in a horse barn.

We built Gnus until 1988 when our distributor decided not to pay us and started Nitro snowboards instead…they asked us if wanted to join them…we decided it wasn’t for us. Our distributor left us $300,000.00 in debt and so we started Mervin Manufacturing named after our surfer friend and built boards under the name Lib Tech, our underground skateboard brand.

Every board had a skeleton graphic on it….this was when skeletons were dead and the skateboard world was all happy with brands like New Deal. We worked with the bank and payed all our suppliers extra for every material until we payed them back. We have been building boards as Mervin Manufacturing ever since…These days we are still pretty much the same as we were back then: a hands on board building shop. We have been a part of Quiksilver for about 12-13 years now and they have been really good to us through tough times in the industry and when things have been good. We have an incredible factory where we build all our own tools and presses, our crew is talented and experienced and we have access to all kinds of materials to make toys with and our favorite thing is to build things and go out and ride them. Skateboards, Surfboards, Snowboards and NAS. I think we make the world’s best skateboards, NAS, Snowboards and Mike is working on Surfboards that are pretty strong, environmental and incredible now…the surfboards should be coming out soon.

We have had some fun innovations over the past decade and it has been fun to be able to improve board sports and make things better for everyone. Magne-Traction serrated edges work great on the Snowboards and NAS.

Leading the way with rocker technology has been incredible…Banana Tech and C2 Banana Tech were fun projects to create. The surfboards are going to be awesome!

We have been able to work with some incredibly creative and great riders over the years: Jamie Lynn, Jacob Wilhemson, Travis Rice, Markku and Hampus, Eric Jackson, Sammy Luebke, Jesse Burtner, Danny Kass, Barrett Christy, Matt and Temple Cummins, Math Crepel, Zack Leach, Kaitlyn Ferrington, Torah Bright, Erin Comstock Blair Habenicht…etc. All these riders have helped us develop technologies and test their validity at the highest level of freeride, dork jib fun or competition. Now days our process is very refined and we have a huge base of knowledge to draw from when we design boards for other people’s needs from pros to first time riders.

Ride a Banana!

5 Hottest Snowboarding Girls on Twitter

Hottest Snowboard Girls

By now, you’ve all seen the FHM magazine covers featuring Tara Dakides and Gretchen Bleiler. If not, Google it, it’s worth seeing. We’ve tracked down five of the hottest, and best snowboard girls on Twitter. Why? Cause it’s interesting to see what the “fab-five” are up to. These girls are much more than pretty faces, they’re better shredders than most guys, and tear it up.

From the snowboard brand starting Tara Dakides to the young, up and coming Norwegian Linn Haug, these five girls cover every aspect of snowboarding through female eyes.

Check out their Twits, and see what these girls are made of, and up to.

Chanelle S

Chanelle Sladics

Chanelle Sladics might be most easily identified as a professional snowboarder but this girl is loves to surf and skate as well. A Newport Beach, California, native, Chanelle found her roots in boardsports in the nearby ocean and the streets of So Cal. Chanelle started her snowboarding career with weekend trips to Bear and Mammoth, and excelled quickly in order to keep up with her competitors that had a home mountain advantage.

She entered the professional snowboard scene only a few years ago with some great contest results but she always set the XGames as her pinnacle. In 2007, Chanelle’s dreams were almost squashed while taking a hard bail in practice and suffering a painful back injury. Chanelle sucked up the pain for her final runs and made a dream come true for herself, taking the podium in slopestyle at the Winter XGames.

Chanelle’s personality is bubbly but serious personality – she likes to screw around but takes business very seriously. She’s an electronics junkee and is never seen without her IPod, her computer and her digital camera. These days you can find Chanelle anywhere from China to Colorado snowboarding or taking a quick trip to enjoy some surf with her friends on tour in Tahiti or Mexico.

Some of Chanelle’s sponsors include: Oakley Goggles, Capix Snowboard Helmets, Flux Bindings, Neff Clothing, and Nixon Watches. Follow @ChanelleSladics on Twitter.

Gretchen Bleiler

Gretchen Bleiler

I’m a Midwestern girl; I was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Dayton until I was ten years old. Then my whole life changed. My family moved to Aspen, Colorado where we had “Avalanche Danger” days that kept us from going to school, climbed 14,000-foot peaks as part of my education, and I learned to snowboard.

From day one, snowboarding lead me down a totally different path and it’s that path that’s kept me laughing and continually intrigued. I love the satisfaction at the end of the day of over coming my fears, of spending all day outside working hard, and there’s nothing better than the feeling of landing a new trick for the first time.

I made my childhood dream of going to the Olympics come true through snowboarding, travel and learn about the world and my role in it through snowboarding, and because of snowboarding have lived experiences I never even dreamed of….and I’m a big dreamer! Now I’ve realized that I can use this success as a platform to voice the causes that are important to me and hopefully make a difference.

Along with Aspen/Snowmass, I created the first-ever all-girls halfpipe competition and photo shoot called the Snow Angels Invitational, am an active spokesperson in climate change and am involved with the Women’s Sports Foundation.

My other loves are surfing in warm tropical places, yoga, reading, mountain biking in Aspen, designing my signature apparel line with Oakley, and spending time with my family.

- Gretchen Bleiler

Some of Gretchen’s sponsors include: Oakley Goggles, K2 Snowboards, Nike Snowboarding and Giro Snowboard Helmets. Follow @GretchenBleiler on Twitter.

Linn Haug

Linn Haug

I grew up in Trondheim, which is one of the biggest cities in Norway. My family has been up at our cabin in the mountains every weekend since I was born, so I started skiing at a young age. My sister got a snowboard for Christmas when I was 4, and as the youngest member of the family I had to do whatever my big sister did. I ended up getting a snowboard right after that as well, and I’ve been shredding ever since.

I didn’t compete until I was 15 years old, because it never struck my mind. However, I ended up getting a wildcard for the Norwegian Championships in 2005, and figured, why not? I won Slopestyle and Halfpipe for juniors that year and thought competing was fun after all, so I continued.

In 2006 I got hooked up on the Junior National Team and Burton’s Norwegian Team. The same year I moved away from home to go to a snowboarding high school in Geilo, Norway. In 2007 I did my first international contest in the states.

After the 06/07 season I got hooked up on the Norwegian National Team and the Burton European Team. That meant the world to me, and it still does.

Doing competitions, shooting photos and traveling all year around is amazing. To meet new people and see new places never gets old. Even though I am doing a lot of competitions, I feel like the snowboarding I do in between is what gives me the most. That’s when I can progress and push my own riding further. I am so grateful that I am able to do what I love the most and travel the world with friends.

This is my first season after I graduated high school, and it’s also an Olympic season, so I hope I can progress a lot and learn new tricks.

- Linn Haug

Some of Linn’s sponsors include: Burton Snowboarding, Anon Snowboard Goggles, Aloha Hemp, Swag, Snowboard for Bundet, DNB Nor, and Freestyle. Follow @LinnHaug on Twitter.

Leanne Pelosi

Leanne Pelosi

Leanne Pelosi is perhaps one of the best female snowboarders riding today. She’s scooped up numerous podium finishes, including first in the rail jams at the Vans Cup, US Open, Queen of the Mountain, and Gravity Games, ended up second in rail and tied for third in slopestyle at the Nikita Chickita Snowdown, and took second place in slope at the US Open – all in ’05!

Her professional snowboarding career kicked off in 2004, when she took the Rookie of the Year award at the ’04 TransWorld Snowboarding Rider’s Poll after taking top honors in six rail events. Pelosi then moved on to nab Female Rider of the Year and Reader’s Choice at the ’05 event, and was also named Snowboarder Magazine’s 2006 Rider of the Year. Leanne rocks 270 combos on the rails like they were second nature, and throws down Cab and frontside 720s in the air like, well, a pro.

Some of Leanne’s sponsors include: Dakine Gloves, Monster Energy, Bonfire Snow, Dragon Optical, K2 Snowboards, and 32 Boots. Follow @leannepelosi on Twitter.

Tara Dakides

Tara Dakides

Tara Dakides grew up in Laguna Hills, CA, and was greatly involved with gymnastics and skateboarding. As a teenager, her athletic activities became more risky, from surfing to motocross, and eventually this led her to the mountains and snow. This varied sports experience created the perfect model for a world class athlete.

Tara has crossed the gender barrier that the action sports hold and has risen above most men in the realm of freestyle snowboarding. She is hands down one of the best female snowboarders in the world. She won the Gold in both the 2000 and 2001 X Games Big Air, and also took the gold in Slopestyle at the Sims World Championships with her technical spins, rails, and big airs.

Tara has helped create her own Billabong snow clothing line, Vans snowboard boots, and most recently co-founded Omatic Snowboards. Tara spends her time between her winter house in Mammoth Lakes and hitting the surf at her beach house in Southern California.

Some of Tara’s snowboarding gear sponsors include: Von Zipper Snowboard Goggles. Follow @TaraDakides on Twitter.

 

Know of another Twittering pro snowboard hottie not listed? Post up a comment and let us know their Twitter name, we’ll add them to the list!

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