Tuesday, November 17, 2009

~*...do what makes you the happiest...*~

randnorm pikcha

randnorm mind grenade
"to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." - willie shakespizzo

randnorm video

normdate 24.11.9

sun peaks resort in kamloops, british columbia, is holding a contest that has my name written all over it. they are looking for the first sun peaks snow bum.

One winner will spend three months on the slopes of Sun Peaks with a free place to sleep, food to keep them energized, flights to get them here, plus outerwear, gear and a season’s pass for carving up the powder.

so what exactly does being the sun peaks snow bum mean? click here to find out.

for those of you who have been following my adventures online through my site, my blog, and facebook, you know i'm already a snow bum...now sun peaks is willing to foot the bill.

here is my video entry to be the sun peaks snow bum
. big thanks to philbot for lending me all of his cameras, to khing jamez for helping me film at c.o.p., captain q, ida, stacey, ketchup, rae rae and megan for being extras in my video, and most importantly dani bayliss for editing the video.

please go here and leave a comment

this contest was made for me.

after making it into the top 20 finalists *yay* i was required to submit a written assignment.

Please tell us about your most memorable travel experience in a minimum of 400 words, and a maximum of 500.

here is what i submitted, with pikchaz (of course)


Each year, at the end of March, my friends and I embark on a weeklong storm-chasing mission across the interior of British Columbia in search of powder. This road trip from Calgary to Vancouver involves riding six mountains in seven days. We call it EpiTrip.

On the shred menu for EpiTrip 2009 was Fernie, Kimberley, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Whitewater, and Red Mountain.

Spending the 2006 snow season in Nelson gave me the opportunity to explore and familiarize myself with the vast backcountry at Whitewater.

It had been three years since I was out in the Whitewater backcountry, and I was excited to share the pristine Out of Bounds Kootenay powder with my friends.

With our boards on our backs, snowshoes on our feet, and our transceivers set to transmit, we began our hike towards Ymir ridge to shred the champagne powder that falls in 5 Mile Basin.

When we reached the top of the ridge, we were a bit further away from where I had originally planned for us to drop in.

With knee high powder and trees tempting us, we decided to eat one of our packed meals and drop in right there.

Floating through insane amounts of untouched snow while screaming for joy at the top of our lungs made us forget that it took us an hour to hike there.

When we reached the bottom of the basin, the smiles on our faces dwarfed the painted visage of the Joker. It was perhaps the best snow I had ever ridden in my life.

After an hour forging a new path through the snow and being surrounded by 60ft tall trees, I became concerned about our location. It should not have taken us that long to get back to the bottom of 5 Mile Basin. With daylight fading, we decided to hike up the side of the mountain so we could get a better idea of where we were. When we were high enough to see the peaks, it was then that I realized why they call it 5 Mile Basin.

Untouched knee high powder and a steep incline is amazing when you are riding down it, but it’s the opposite experience when you are hiking up it in snowshoes.

It took us 9 hours to hike out of the backcountry. We emerged at 2am. Our friends had filed missing persons reports with the police and thanks to my Facebook status update, B.C. Search and Rescue knew where to start their search for us. A helicopter was scheduled for 6am to get us out of there. We had enough food and clothing to spend the night, but there was no way I was going to sleep under a tree when I knew I could walk home.

That was the most challenging task I had ever conquered, both physically and mentally. Combined with riding the best snow of my life, especially by moonlight, it was the most memorable travel experience of my life…and I lived to tell the tale.

i have a 20min phone interview with sun peaks tomorrow at 1pm and then it is left for the judges to decide if i should be the snow bum.

thanks to all of you for your support. i'll keep you posted via my blog and facebook.

regardless of who they choose to be the snow bum, i will continue to embrace snowboarding every single day through work...

...shred every single weekend until may 2-4 weekend (yay ontario slang!)

helmet cam vid of me haulin' ass down wiwaxy at lake louise on saturday.



i will also wake up beside a woman i love (we moved in together, but that's another story), surround myself with the most amazing of people, give thanks for every blessing that comes my way, and do what makes me the happiest.

looks like i win no matter what.

fuck yeah!


Monday, March 16, 2009

~*...demo day at norquay...*~

randnorm pikcha

randnorm mind grenade
"man is what he believes." - anton chekhov

randnorm video

normdate 16.3.9

ask anyone who works in a snow/skate shop and you'll hear the same thing: we aren't working at a shop because we get paid well, we're here for the perks. its a blessing for me to be able to embrace my passion for people, snowboarding and technology every single day at work...and the perks are killer!

once a year, product reps have a combined demo day at the mountain for all the local shops. a free day of snowboarding with an all you can eat buffet of next year's snowboards and bindings? fuck yeah!!!

this year's demo day was at mt.norquay, the closest resort to banff. its significantly smaller than sunshine or louise, but still fun...especially when its free ;)

burton, capita, union, ride and forum were all there with next year's product offering waiting for us to rip.

it had been snowing all night, so there was a nice layer of fresh covering the resort. we ended up doing laps in the park which was right there looking out over the demo tents. because most people were giving the jumps and rails a good session, they failed to notice the untouched snow on the edges of the fenced off park. fresh lines have been hard to come by this season, so i'll take whatever i can get.

the goal of demo day is to get people who are actually selling the boards to the customers on the boards they are trying to sling. there is no better way to describe the features of a board than riding it for yourself. of course, the reviews we write need to hype the product and encourage people to buy it, but seeing as this is my personal blog i'm going to be brutally honest. there is no brand loyalty from me, so i'll tell you if i didn't like it.

let's start with the biggest manufacturer of them all, burton.

first on the plate was the burton custom v-rocker 159 with burton cartel est bindings.

just when you thought the most progressive snowboard in the history of snowboarding couldn't get any better, burton adds v-rocker technology and makes it slightly softer than the production custom you know and love. the result is buttery smooth performance with ninja like control, pop and flexibility.

for the unrelenting performance seeker looking to take their all mountain game to the next level, the custom v-rocker will get you there faster. if you can't do it on a custom v-rocker, give up. <--- can you tell i'm trying to sling boards, eh? *ha*

fyi, here is the tech behind the v-rocker. its burton's answer to lib-tech's banana technology.

there's a reason why the cartel is the binding most professional snowboarders turn to when they want to annihilate everything in sight. the ample amounts of gel in the heel strap makes for a super comfy ride while the newly padded ultra toe cap keeps your foot locked in place. add panache to your all-mountain assault with these bindings on your ICS board.

next on the plate was the burton method 155 with burton exile bindings.

burton's most expensive snowboard was the vapor which retails for $1249 for just the board alone! well, perhaps burton didn't like the fact that the lib-tech cygnus x-1 boasts more tech than the vapor and costs $100 more. the answer was the burton method which will retail for $1700!!! that's just the board!

the method is what happens when the largest manufacturer in the industry
removes all limitations of expense and takes every resource they have
available to create a snowboard. this board is lighter than your boots.
hell, it's lighter than your bindings! annihilating everything with
lightweight precision and powerful response, the method is a smoke
weight dream machine so technically refined that when you get stuck in
the flats, a dozen honeyed virgins come out from the trees to push you.
unleash a method on any terrain and you'll be screaming burtonhu akbar
in no time! <--- wow, i'm such a racist fuck!

i normally don't ride boards this small (155cm) but i had to try it out. first off, the board is so ridiculously thin i thought for sure i'd bust it in half with the first butter i did on it. i was pleasantly surprised. this stick is fukkin' solid, and holy shit does it haul ass! less weight = faster!!! i took the method out for a couple bombing runs and i couldn't get over how fast and precise it was. its up there as one of the best snowboards i have ever ridden. i wouldn't say its worth the $1700 price tag, but if you've got that kind of money to spend on the best then this is the board for you. beginners need not apply.

at first glance, the extra gel padding on the heel strap of the burton exile binding looks odd. once you ride 'em, you'll ask yourself why you've been riding anything less. the heel strap holds your foot in place like nothing else i've ridden,
and are goddam comfy. the exiles are an excellent addition to the burton offering of all mountain freestyle bindings.

the next rig to sink my teeth into was the ride machete 161wide with ride contraband bindings.

as soon as lib-tech introduced banana technology two seasons ago, every mfg jumped on the reverse camber train. it makes your snowboard feel more like a skateboard with less hangups. you can nose and tail press for daze with reverse camber.

the mellow rocker on the ride machete provides the perfect balance between
energy and stability. heli-accessed pillow lines, shit-your-pants
alaskan gnar, stadium kickers, or 30ft street rails - you can dissect
all elements with surgical precision, warp speed and second nature
agility with a machete attached to your feet.

the ride contraband bindings are as easy to get into as a pair of flows but without the ghey. no more wasting time getting in an out of your bindings while you lap the park or session that street rail, one ratchet is all you have to deal with. the addition of the super sticky ride grip on the v-strap makes sure your toes stay put. quick, light, deadly as fuck.

what i really think: i've been riding this year's contrabands on my ride society 157 this season.


ride was successful at minimizing the time it takes to get in and out of your bindings by removing the toe strap and replacing it with the v-strap. unfortunately, i found that my big feet don't work very well with the v-strap. after multiple times tweaking out the binding for my boot, i still found that the v doesn't sit in the middle of my foot like its supposed to. when i tighten the binding, it ends up pulling my foot outwards to the edge of the binding *boo* surprisingly, the v-strap did give me more response in my toe than i thought, but in the end i prefer a toe cap. if you're a park rat and street rail addikt that wants to spend less time buckling in and more time shredding, then this soft flexing binding might work for you. but if you are an all mountain freestyle kind of snowboarder, i'd suggest a stiffer binding with a toe cap.

back up to the buffet again for another helping of gear, i gave the capita stairmaster 158 and union cadet bindings a rip.

if you're into tasting the all-terrain sampler platter on a daily basis, the capita stairmaster will help you dish out some serious damage. you might wonder where the trucks and wheels go, cause this stick is pretty much a skateboard for the snow. slay everything from peak to park without breaking your bank. fuck yeah!

now onto union. it seems like every jib kid is on the union train, and its just picking up steam with each year. if you like union bindings then you'll love the affordable cadet. these bindings are everything you expect and demand from Union, wrapped up in a deliciously bomb proof magnesium aluminum package.

what i really think: i hate union bindings and the toe cap sucks donkey balls. i remember my first demo day two years ago at norquay when i rode union bindings and i hated how the toe cap slipped on my boot. two years later, their toe cap still sucks shit. maybe i was riding the affordable price point binding cause their higher end bindings had a toe cap similar to the burton ultra toe cap. but not the binding i was riding. there's also a reason why we warranty more union bindings than any other...either the peeps who ride them ride harder than most or the bindings suck. i'm leaning towards the second. i will never ride union bindings by choice.

with room still left in my stomach, i went up for my final plate of gearness and gave the burton easy living 158 with burton triad bindings a rip.

the easy living replaces the un.inc line maintaining the signature blunt nose shape you know and love. wow this board is fun to ride! poppy, powerful, and responsive, the burton easy living will make you jump for joy like you just found the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. if you see the mountain as one huge skate park full of infinite possibilities, the easy living is the stick you need to unleash incredibly smooth and ultra fast lines up, off and over everything in sight.

the triad delivers. the cartel heel strap makes the bindings luxuriously comfy while the CO2 highback gives you maad response. it's the perfect balance of comfort and control combined with the proven performance of EST. devour everything in your path with these all-around freestyle machines.

the best part of demo day is that i get to shred with peeps i work with, and holy shit these guys shred hard. its great to have a wolfpack of guys to shred with who are better than you are and push you to ride harder.

its a great opportunity to hang with the people you work with and shred. have i mentioned how much i love my job?

gettin' down with the skiimo bromance

the burton repz lb, aaron and bridgette

apres drinks in the lodge

pray for snow!