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Rated Radical: The 2019 Jackson Hole Shaper Summit

As this years Shaper Summit is just around the corner, we can’t help but take a trip down memory lane. Last years Summit was one for the books; deep snow, snowboards of all shapes and sizes, and snowboard bums taking over the world-class, elite-class resorts. Bellow is the original article that was posted as Transworld Snowboardings last article, which features World Boards founder Jay Moore and our team rider Tommy Snyder, enjoy.

 

Words: Tyler Macleod
Photos: Owen Ringwall

Despite a well-documented existence to the point of overexposure, its still difficult to pin down the true ambiance that surrounds Jackson, Wyoming. Its a geographical oddity that somehow synthesizes cowboy culture and LA-fueled overindulgence within the same vein–a place where generations-old ranches still reach for the horizon while celebrities simultaneously seek refuge within their multi-million-dollar retreats.

In Teton Village, the direct hub of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, its not uncommon for the local moose to engage in awkward confrontations with the fur-clad, high-earning members of our society. Theres a constant clash between the wild and the domesticated. Between the bygone and the present. But somewhere in the midst of all of this–between that true Wyoming grit and the fabricated world beyond–lies the palpable heartbeat of our own snowboard community. Much like Jackson, weve been torn between the push toward mega-resorts and industry trends, while still clinging to our DIY roots and simple affinity for the turn.

Those who know, know–Jackson is a beast like no other.. Click to view image.
Those who know, know–Jackson is a beast like no other.

Luckily that gritty, rough-around-the-edges work ethic proves very much alive in Wyoming and beyond. Each year at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the entities that comprise one end of our communitys spectrum meet up for one truly authentic snowboarding experience: the JH Shaper Summit. Now in its seventh year of existence, the JH Shaper Summit–spearheaded by longtime local and snowboarding purist Rob Kingwill–brought together brands both big and small for three days of board testing, shared visions, ShredTalks, and a celebration of snowboardings past, present, and future.

Hundreds of progressive board designs line the racks in the Shaper Summit tent for testers to choose from.. Click to view image.
Hundreds of progressive board designs line the racks in the Shaper Summit tent for testers to choose from.

In a large tent just steps away from the iconic tram, well-known brands like Nitro, Never Summer, and Arbor brushed shoulders with niche shapers like Franco Snowshapes, Elevated SurfCraft, and Grassroots Powdersurfing. Among them were other companies on the rise–the likes of Weston Backcountry, Cardiff Snowcraft, and Telos Snowboards. It was a broad spectrum of shapers, some with wide appeal and others with cult followings, pushing snowboarding forward while conserving the purity of its past. For them, the art of the turn and the search for untracked lines are still paramount. They always will be.

Neary 150 testers from all corners of the snowboard community rifled through nearly 500 different boards–some powder specific, others quiver killers, and a few sheer novels–while Mother Nature blessed the Teton Mountain Range with over six feet of snow over the course of just five days. It was the recipe for a truly organic snowboard testing experience, where the turns were deep, the terrain was bountiful, and the vibes were at an all-time high. For three days, testers experienced the thrill of strapping into new and dynamic shapes, while the companies who constructed them benefited from the extensive feedback provided. All of the results will be compiled as part of the events Rated Radical Test, which will be available in the very near future on RatedRadical.com

. If you’re looking to upgrade your quiver with some truly progressive powder designs, you now know where to look.

Powder board testing conditions don’t get much better than this.. Click to view image.
Powder board testing conditions don’t get much better than this.

But the overwhelming highlight of this years Shaper Summit was the chance for everyone in attendance to experience one of the most historic months of February in all of Jacksons history–a month where 23 of the 28 days saw reported snowfall, where each of the three days of the Shaper Summit started and ended with bottomless turns, and where every powder board was thoroughly tested in its most ideal environment. Like many times in the past, Jackson delivered the goods. Theres an energy here that can never be replicated, at least not until the Tetons next historic snowfall.

The point being, snowboarding is alive and well. Both in Jackson, Wyoming and beyond. While there will always be that push and pull between past and future, between authenticity and artificial, the core of our community–and certainly the town of Jackson–will always remain true to itself. We’d like to thank people like Kingwill and events like his JH Shaper Summit for making damn sure of that.

The future of snowboarding is in good hands, and those looking to expand their quiver with a progressive board shape will have many radical rides to pick from next season.. Click to view image.
The future of snowboarding is in good hands, and those looking to expand their quiver with a progressive board shape will have many radical rides to pick from next season.

Continue below for words from three of this year’s distinguished brands about boards that stood out to us as truly awesome designs.


 

Cardiff Snowcraft – The Crane

Recent Cardiff Snowcraft ambassador, Bjorn Leines, holds The Crane Split.. Click to view image.
Recent Cardiff Snowcraft ambassador, Bjorn Leines, holds The Crane Split.

“All of our boards come in splits as well as regulars, so this is the split version of the normal build. As you can see in our core, we have carbon fiber as well as a combination of strong, lightweight woods. It has a vertical core, transitions into dampening plates under the foot, and then it returns to a vertical core. What is unique about this board is what we call FLOATilla, the nose is a bit wider, and you combine that with the HALFcamberwhich is camber underfoot and early rise starting just outside the binding in the nose. This one is 65% HALFcamber, and also has as a regular sidecut underfoot that then transitions into a reverse sidecut camber outside of the bindings. That combination allows for a really cool float, and also gives you a perfect pivot point for riding in tighter areas. All in all, The Crane is designed to be more of a directional camber all-mountain board, but it does have a few super cool additional features, like these 1mm SPEEDbumpsreverse side cut bumps aligned with the bindings that add grip and a tighter sidecut radiusand 2.5mm of taper in the tail. This thing is your everyday driver and will come in four sizes next year: a 148 for women and kids, a 152, a 158, and a 162.” – Bjorn Leines

cardiffsnow.com


 

World Boards x Never Summer – Powder Slayer

World Boards founder and Powder Slayer designer, Jay Moore, holds the prized Powder Slayer.. Click to view image.
World Boards founder and Powder Slayer designer, Jay Moore, holds the prized Powder Slayer.

“The Powder Slayer is an extension of the Mountain Slayerthe first board I had a lot of success with that I designed with Never Summer, and a slightly directional all-mountain charger. The Powder Slayer has the same guts, but this board has one centimeter of taper in the tail. Its set back just a little bit, so it is mostly camber underfoot and then transitions just in the nose for early rise. This gives it a pretty standard, almost twin feeling when you ride on a firmer day, and makes it totally possible for someone who really loves to rip around the mountain to make this their daily driver. When powder is there, the elongated nose makes all of the difference in the world when it comes to float. However, the secret to both the Mountain Slayer and Powder Slayer for me, is that these boards were built by Never Summerwhose factory capabilities are incrediblebut they are lighter and more poppy because they are fully cambered and they have one strip of carbon in the nose that isnt found in the tail. This makes the tail just a tiny bit softer and more playful. Furthermore, this board was designed with a bi-axial lay up, which makes it foot steerable. If you are ripping through chunder you wont get bounced, but when you want to go a little slower and play in the trees you can bend your feet to foot steer and have a lot of fun with it. The Powder Slayer has a really fast, hard basebuilt with the hardest plastics that Crown Plastics makes. Typically, because of the bi-axial lay up, you would think this board might be a little softer, but because of its extra structure in key places it becomes a charger that can handle both powder and hard pack. Never Summers board builds are top of the line and last forever, so when they invited me to come design my own board, I made a few modifications, added camber, and ended up with this. I love it.” – Jay Moore

worldboards.com


 

Franco Snowshapes – The Ness

Custom snowboard builder and Franco Snowshapes founder, Mikey Franco, holds The Ness.. Click to view image.
Custom snowboard builder and Franco Snowshapes founder, Mikey Franco, holds The Ness.

“The Ness was originally designed for a man named Ness Birmingham, and ultimately it was made to be a board that you can just wake up and grabsomething you can take out any day of the week. It performs at its best on a clear sunny day when you are just doing some aggressive carving, however, I have also really loved this board on days where you maybe get six or so inches of new snoweven up to maybe ten, however, that might be pushing it. Unlike a lot of my more specific board designs, The Ness can be ridden switch if you have to; but its really just a slightly set back neutral directional board. You can take this to Steamboat, you can take this to Jackson, you can really take this board anywhere you want to ride, and you will be ok. Typically, I design boards that are extremely customized for a very particular rider. The Ness is the most standardized stock board that I make, designed so that everyone can ride it and really enjoy their day. Every so often, there is a customer that I cannot communicate with enough as much as I typically would like, and when that happens, I tend to steer them toward a board similar to this. It may not be as pinpointed as some of the boards that I make, but this one will always get the job done.” – Mikey Franco

francosnowshapes.com

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US

We really do need some more snow. However, with the early season conditions that are out there its a good thing we can all watch some other people ride pow as we patiently wait for new snow to fal. United Shapes (US) latest project “Channel” is a great piece that will tickle your powder fancy; give it a watch and if you like what you see, come take a look at their boards in store.

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Surf the Earth

In today’s snowboard industry there are so many brands trying to do something just a little different than the next; which is a difficult thing to do, especially to do right. This is one of those newer brands that has done something different in a very powerful way. From the shaping and simplistic graphics to their films, everything they do is beautifully done. Check out Korua Shapes newest film below and if you’re intrigued we stock a majority of their line so come get your hands on them. PRAY FOR SNOW!

 

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Waiting for Winter

As summer fades into fall, fall will inevitably fade into winter. The changing of seasons brings the hype of a new season of exploring snow covered mountains with a plank of woods strapped to your feet. These days spent navigating through both new and familiar places to draw the perfect line in the snow is what we have all worked for during the hot summer months. That said, we aren’t quite to those cold snowy days yet; we will just have to live vicariously through snowboard trailers and films from previous years. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few new videos that will be blessing your eyes sooner than later. PRAY FOR SNOW!

 

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Antti Autti’s Closer

“From underneath the surface to on top of it. Simply, for the feeling of snowboarding.

In snowboarding and especially in freeriding, no matter where you strap in you’ll find yourself in unique places doing stuff you will never do the same again. Every moment, every turn, every hit – they’re all special.

You have to get Closer.”

Wise words from Finnish legend Antti Autti! Check out his latest short film, Closer.

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Summer is here!

Austyn sure makes this look easy.  Summer is in full swing and that means skateboards.  We are your one stop shop for all your skateboard needs, if we don’t have it in store, we will do our best to get it.

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What does it take to be a pro snowboarder?

If you are still coming out of your food-comma and looking for a good read/watch, or you’re just looking for a rad article and video to get you stoked, look no further!  This is a great read about Bozeman’s own Kyle Miller, along with a couple other people that stand on the line of being a pro snowboarder, but work a “real” job to support their hobbies and most importantly, their families.  Check out the link below!

 

Off and On: Fighting Fire and Studying Hydrology to Afford Snowboarding

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Nitro: 28 Winters

Going into this winter we had the realization that this was going to be the shops 25 winter, something not many shops in this industry have or will say.  In the last decade many of the core, brick-n-mortar, stores have been forced to close their doors.  This has happened for a handful of different reasons, but mainly the battle against the online market place.  Having to compete against these giant companies is hard for a small operation, a David vs Goliath type battle if you will.  Which if you have read the story or watched the movie, you know David won the fight; something us small shop owners, employees and communities are all hoping for and trying our hardest to do.

In this video posted above, you will see a different side to the same fight.  However Nitro has always tried to stick to their guns and stay true to this thing that we all love so much, snowboarding. Give the trailer a watch and follow the link below to the full video on RedBull Tv, you will not regret it. Lastly, thank you for all the love and support over the years! We are looking forward to this coming winter and PRAY FOR SNOW!

FULL FILM

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Turbo Dojo Premiere

On November 2nd we will be hosting Absinthe’s new video “Turbo Dojo” at the Emerson Theater.  Tickets are only $10 and are available in store or at the door.  Doors open at 7:30 and show will begin at 8:00.  We have some awesome stuff to raffle off from our sponsors, which include: Capita, Union, Coal Headwear, Jones, Burton and more.

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Teaser Season

It is that time of the year yet again.  The leaves have started to change, and video teasers have started to drop as quick as the temperatures outside.  This truly is a beautiful time of year, with the stoke of the upcoming starts setting in.  Here is a taste of what is soon to come! Our friends over at Absinthe have done it yet again! Enjoy, and as always, SHRED THE GNAR!