Rare and Vintage Snowboard Show at evo
That Winterstick from 1982 is worth $2,500, according to Johan Malkoski, its owner.
It’s hard to believe, but the sport, ehem, culture of snowboarding has come so far that it can look back on its own vintage era. And Friday night, collectors—yes, collectors—of rare and vintage snowboards turned evo’s timesinfinitey gallery into a colorful museum of such treasured artifacts. For some, it was a nostalgic slide down memory hill. For others, a glimpse at the innovation that has brought snowboarding into its own. A panorama around the room began at the first Snurfers and Burton boards with bindings (utilizing very high-tech buckles), and swept up through the neon fads of the late 80s and early 90s, and around into the art-influenced graphics of Jamie Lynn and beyond.
See, a year ago, a few friends in the NW region realized their shared past-time of procuring old snowboards for the sake of not letting snowboarding’s history fade on the pages of old magazines. So they formed Retro Snow as a sort of club to curate this living museum. Dave Billinghurst, one of those fellows and a former K2 TM from “back in the day,” has 60 such boards in his personal collection. “We get them from garage sales, Ebay, dumpsters, pawnshops,” he said. “We’re trying to bring history to people who just want to see what a lot of these boards look like. They go online and they try to find pictures, and you just can’t find pictures of a lot of these boards.” Billinghurst created RetroSnow.com to serve as that online repository.
Last April, they got the party rolling with the Retro Fools day at Stevens Pass, and a larger-than-expected turnout of neon-clad, puffy-jacketed old-schoolers, and their new-school brethren. Apparently, folks in the NW really are packrats for old gear. The second annual event will take place again in April.
The showing at evo runs through November. So go check them out and appreciate our deep and oh, so radical roots.
As the board lengths grew, so to did the liberal graphics. Check out these early Lib Techs on the right.
(Left) That M’s is a Morrow Multipro from 1991. It’s owned by Marcel Dolak, but it was designed by Rob Morrow, a former Sims pro who started up his own company and made Morrow boards out of his own factory in Salem. “The Multipro featured super deep sidecut and effective edge, not more long noses. The board could carve. Morrow had pros like Todd Richards and Matt Goodwill in the 90s,” write Dolak. Course, K2 now owns the brand.
(Right) In 1988, this K2 Gyrator was released. Saravuti Tabtiang, who presented it, wrote: “In the late 80s, K2 was the All-American ski company and saw early on the opportunity to sell snowboards. K2 built the first Gyrator at the HO Waterski factory. It was the first board to feature a cap construction, but the vacuum press construction method created such a stiff flex so that the board was almost impossible to turn. It’s said that Lib Tech’s Mike Olsen helped K2 with the first production of snowboards. The Gyrator was ridden by Marcella Dobis, of Mt. Baker fame on the race cicuit where she took 3rd overall at the Austria World Cup in 1988. The Gyrator was re-released in 2006 and continues in its line today.”
(Left) Here you see several of the late Mr. Kelly’s pro models by Burton—1989-94—brought to you by Maxx von Marbod, who explains: “With a revolutionary, shape, construction, and stance options, these were a favorite board for many aspiring shreds at the time. Craig was one of the first heavily-marketed pros of the 80s and helped push snowboarding, and Burton, into the mainstream. Hailing from Mt. Veron, WA, he was a PNW local with deep roots in snowboarding culture. A consummate professional, world champion and founding member of the Mt. Baker Hard Cores, along with many banked Slalom wins.”
(Right) Lib Tech’s Jamie Lynn from 1994 featured his “Whales” graphic. “This is one of the most revered boards of its time,” writes Ryan Davis, who presented this board. “It was artwork like this that helped change snowboard graphics from ski-style vector based art to a more organic illustrative style. Lib released this graphic for the 10-year anniversary of Jamie’s Pro-models.”