For years, riders have been trickling out of the Midwest, finally escaping the frozen, windswept tundra we call home to ride the spectacular terrain of the West. The Leines brothers, Bjorn and Erik, are perfect examples of Minnesota riders who have taken their riding to the next level. Then you have Chad Otterstrom, Mason Aguirre, Dan Brisse and Joe Sexton who have each added a dynamic style to the world of snowboarding. Now the young guns are starting to take over. Snowboarder Magazine published an article in their Aug. 2011 issue entitled “Feeling Minnesota,” a showcase of local riders and their distinct mentality from a life of riding in the Midwest. We are a different breed; riders who have to battle some of the most brutal conditions to get in a day of sub-par riding. There is no vertical, no powder, only the unforgiving rails of the streets and the iced over approaches of our small local resorts.
But it is these things that define us. Despite all of this, we still go out and ride, constantly looking for the next spot. Maybe we don’t live in a place where you get a powder day three times a week, but to us, this is a bountiful land with enormous potential. If you look at the major videos that were released last year, namely ROME’s “The Shred Remains” and Burton’s “Standing Sideways,” you can recognize that many of the spots they hit are the same. Mack Dawg Productions keeps a storage space full of equipment because they know that when we get snow, Minneapolis is the place to be for incredible street riding.
A couple of years ago I met one of the coolest guys in the Minneapolis snow scene. He was one of the guys on the floor at The House Boardshop named Brett Spurr. He’s exploded into the industry with the release of his full edit, You Know My Function, a fantastic view into the lives of Minnesota riders. At only 19 years old, you HAVE to watch out for this guy because he’s ready to take on the scene. This is going to be a big year for Midwest snowboarding, already there have been several edits popping up from Trollhaugen Ski Area featuring Sexton and Burton young gun Ethan Deiss.
So as we come into season, be on the lookout for our local boys because of all the riders out there, they are definitely going to be working the hardest.