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The Snowboard Szine Vol. 1, Issue 8



In This Issue


1. Spring at the Local Hill

2. Report from High Rollerz Competition on Sat. at Blue Hills, MA

3. Snowboard Diary from Lauren - Ollies, Gloves with Wrist Guards

4. THE BLOCK in Lake Tahoe - First Snowboarder Owned Hotel

5. Tara Dakides Sets a Bad Example

6. US Open March 13-21 @Stratton, VT


1. Spring at the Local Hill

Yesterday I rode Spring conditions at my local hill. Yes, Spring is coming, and this snowboard season is drawing to an end. Sob. On the bright side, it's nice to ride in above-freezing temps for a change. It's been so rare this season. And another bright spot is that people think if there's no snow in their yard, the season's over. Which makes for uncrowded conditions! And Spring is a great time to try out the halfpipe. It's slower and softer. In fact, all tricks are less scary when you land on soft spring snow.

To me, small ski/snowboard hills have certain advantages over big mountains. You can park mere steps from the base. Prices are lower. There are usually less flats to skate over. You don't have to adjust to high altitude. People are friendly. And if you have a little hill near you, you might be able to bounce out for a few hours and ride on an afternoon or evening when you find a little extra time.

I worked half a day yesterday, then took off and drove less than an hour north to Thunder Ridge in Patterson, NY. The 3p.m. 'til 9 p.m. lift ticket is only $20. This little hill is a quick easy trip, and has a surprising diversity of trails for a hill with 600 feet of vertical. For the first hour on snow I never went down the same trail twice. Thunder Ridge even has a halfpipe and 4 low rails this season. The halfpipe was no competitions for Stratton's, but it's a good beginner pipe and gives the feel you're looking for. Belleayre and Vail both had lots more flats than Thunder Ridge, which is almost all downhill! Yesterday was very uncrowded, with ZERO lift lines and I heard that even Sunday was light. I find that snowboarding is fun anywhere, and it was certainly fun here yesterday under a bright blue sky. Thunder Ridge faces northwest, and late on a sunny day the slopes are bathed in orange, and you watch the sunset as you ride down. Ride there at night and you'll see the moon too. Last year we rode the day before they closed for the season, and the hill had natural water features - streams that we had to jump or ford. We have a great time there!

I enjoy riding at tiny Nashoba Valley in Massachusetts too. Read about Nashoba Valley here.


2. Report from High Rollerz Competition on Sat. at Blue Hills, MA

Speaking of small hills, I went to the High Rollerz Competition on Sat. at Blue Hills, in Canton, Massachusetts, just 15 minutes from Boston. Blue Hills is where my husband learned to ski a long time ago, so it was a trip down his memory lane, which made it special. It was a foggy day in the 40's with rain predicted, and I think the weather kept people away. But it was a really fun event to watch. About 100 people were there. 17 competitors, each of whom has been in the contest since the first event. There are about 60 competitors in the contest overall and some chose to miss this event as allowed. Good stuff: 2 jumps, 2 rails. 3 judges, one each for difficulty of trick, style, and landing. It was even more fun because it was a small friendly crowd and you could see everything easily. The Finals are at Waterville Valley, NH on March 6. Props to Andrew Mutty and Fringe Marketing for this well-organized ongoing event.

There was also a well attended rail jam Sat. at Nashoba Valley in MA. too. Read about Nashoba Valley here.


3. Snowboard Diary from Lauren - Ollies, Gloves with Wrist Guards

The Snowboard Szine newsletter that you are reading just hit a milestone of 200 subscribers, since we started taking subscriptions in Sept. Help us spread the word, and tell your friends if you are enjoying this.

This is the year that I must learn to ollie.

I've spent a little time in the last 3 sessions on it, and it's definitely coming along.

Just had to get the timing of rolling from front to back and feeling the spring of the board just right. Now that the snow is softer, I'll get it, maybe even while I'm moving downhill!

What are you working on, and how is your season going? Drop us a line!

I switched gloves yesterday, back to my first season pair, because they were dry. I've been wearing gloves with hard wristguards built in this season. The Seirus "Da Bone" Glove.

You know what? After a couple of runs I went and put the damp gloves with the wristguards back on. I rarely fall hard on my hands anymore - this is my 4th year riding. But accidents do happen and I can't afford a broken wrist. I just felt much more secure with the guards. Of course I was wearing my Azzpads, helmet, and RollerBlade hard knee pads. I wouldn't think of riding without these! The shell on the Azzpads is so hard that you can knock on it and make a loud noise. That's why it works so well at protecting your backside from bruises, or worse.


Lost Not Found

This season I have lost my Burton gloves, and my Cabela's balaclava.

Inside my new Seirus gloves I have put white tape with my name and number written in permanent marker, which is fading.

Have you found a good way to identify your gear so you don't lose it? Share it with us.


AZZPADZ hard plastic tailbone and butt protector

Call toll free -866 299 -7239 -if you want to order.

(They're in Ontario, Canada, on Eastern Standard Time.)

The owners Neil and Jason are friendly snowboarder guys who want to make sure you order the right size.

Tell them you heard about AZZPADZ here from Lauren at Thanks!


4. THE BLOCK in Lake Tahoe

First Snowboarder Owned Hotel

by Lynn Seldon

Read the complete article about The Block here.

Located a block from the Heavenly Gondola and stumbling distance to the futuristic Altitude Nightclub, casinos, and more, The Block Hotel is literally a snowboarder's dream come true--both for its founder pro boarder Marc Frank Montoya and his guests. Montoya says, "I always used to say to myself, 'Man, if I ever owned a joint like this I would do this and that and this...' Well, now it's seriously goin' down."

Highlights: the rooms all have fridge, microwave, coffee maker, WiFi, Xbox or PS2 game systems w/DVD, cable TV, CD player, boot and glove dryers, in-room snowboard racks, Dean "Blotto" Gray artwork, themed rooms, room service, and much more; incredible rates (look 'em up and book your crib--six to a room, with no extra charge!); VIP entry into Altitude Nightclub (normally $10-20); free board waxing by Bluebird Wax on weekends; free use of varied CDs and DVDs; free PowerBars and Clif Bars; rooftop hot tub and two second story decks with exterior music; and a hangover kit. Prices are incredibly low for what you (and your board) get--just check out the site for current prices and deals.

If you go, tell them you read about The Block here at Thanks!

THE BLOCK is located at 4143 Cedar Avenue in South Lake Tahoe, directly adjacent to Harveys/Harrahs Casinos and as well as the incoming convention center scheduled for 2005. It is 1 block from the Heavenly Gondola in S. Lake Tahoe. Reservations can be made by calling 530.544.2936 or online at or Email is

Lynn Seldon has spent the past twenty years covering all aspects of travel writing and photography for publications including Playboy, Southern Living, Cruise Travel and Caribbean Travel and Life. He's been snowboarding since the late '90s.

Editors Note: THE BLOCK hotel has agreed to partner with the Snowboard Outreach Society by offering donations, equipment and funding of at least 1% of the hotels annual profits.


5. Tara Dakides Sets a Bad Example

SnowboardSecrets Editor publishes opinion in NY Daily News

Read the snowboard rant that the Editor of had published in the New York Daily News as a Letter to the Editor this month.

It starts like this:

To the Editor;

"It's all about progression." That's what they say about snowboarding. What a bunch of baloney. In truth, it's all about conservatism, macho, and fashion follow-the leader.

To read the rest click here.


6. US Open March 13-21 @Stratton, VT

The top freestyle snowboarders in the world compete at this premier event, one of the oldest contests in snowboarding.

More at

If you can't be there, see it on TV in April.

April 11 on NBC - 1:30 - 3 p.m. EST

It will be listed on


Thanks for reading The Snowboard Szine!



"Let's Ride!"






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