When I moved back to east coast Vermont, I found more in settling for less.
Always smiling, always ready to go- Ralph Kucharek, folks
I know that statement contradicts itself, but please hear me out. For some context, up until last year I’d spent the past five seasons riding out west. I found myself posting up in locations like Glacier, Washington; Bend, Oregon; and Lake Tahoe to get the full experience of riding mountains and couch surfing. Whether it was bottomless powder or under the warmest sun my landlocked skin had ever felt, the conditions I experienced were the best of my life. However, despite all of that- last season I chose to live in Vermont full-time as a college student. Living where I grew up and honed my skills as a rider made me realize snowboarding in Vermont was the most-bare bones form of snowboarding I had experienced in years.
Who says you don't ride powder in VT? Ralph sends up a spray behind him as he exits the trees
When I say I have found more in settling for less what I mean is that I started appreciating the little things. It’s contrasting conditions that we endure all season long that make the “good” days that much better. The cycle starts with hiking the first snowfall of the season, usually 6-12 inches over wet grass in October, because you can’t wait, and getting core shots the entire way down still counts as a good day. The first day at the mountain waiting in an hour lift line go up Killington’s rickety double-chair and ride down a white-ribbon of death with a thousand other people is a good day. Finding a trail of freshly blown, soft whalebacks that create a tranny finder’s paradise and ripping it to shit with your friends is a good day. Finally in January temperatures warm and the base melts back to nothing, but you’re out there riding in the rain in a garbage bag to stay dry, because it’s a good day. Hiking to the top of Mount Mansfield in waist deep powder to ride above the trees or trying to stay afloat in the same amount of snow on a hill that has 500 feet of vertical is a good day. Watching the snow melt away in the spring as the sun hits it and you finally get to wear a hoody comfortably and feel free is a good day.
The Static Jacket is a great partner to take with you when tackling east coast snow conditions
All situations in-between, whether they are good or bad, just build perspective. East coasters have been historically known to be the most dedicated and creative riders, because you are taught to work with what you have in front of you. We have no choice.
Living on the right coast is about having heart, settling for less, and making the most out of any situation. Add this mindset to your own life, add some friends into the equation and you’ll find wherever you may be that snowboarding will always be fun, which is why we all started in the first place, right? Mountains are not just challenges, conditions can be too; so go challenge yourself next time things are less than ideal.
Dropping cliffs, whether they're covered in ice or snow- that's how a true east coaster rides
Some days are better than others, but for Werni every day is just as good as the last.
We sent Phillip out to follow Werni Stock around with his Bonfire Outerwear for 24hrs while he got the best of the pre-season pow that Europe had to offer so far this season. Kitted up in the Aspect Jacket and Zone Pant, there was nothing that could slow him down.
Grab your morning coffee (or evening beverage of choice, depending on where and when you read this) and push play on this tantalizing summary of a perfect day of pre-season powder riding with Werni Stock.
This time last year no one would have believed the local Bonfire Crew if they said they'd already logged their first official day riding a chairlift for the season. But, the weather gods have been gracious and the temperatures have been falling, because the great people at Loveland Ski Resort opened their slopes to the hundreds of hungry snow-hunters this past Friday the 20th in Colorado.
The local Bonfire crew was ready and rearing to go- equipped with a hundred+ free cups of coffee to hand out to the first patrons of the mountain and a stoke so high there was no bringing them down.
After passing out copious cups of coffee, the local crew hit the hill and took the first refreshing runs down Loveland's slopes.
Check out the edit they put together of their time there, it'll have you packing your bags to hit the road to Colorado- or keeping a lazer-focus on the storm alert for the mountain closest to you. It's only a matter of time now before the season starts everywhere.
If you’re betting on camouflage going out of fashion, don’t hold your breath; even as pant size/style fashions fluctuate year on year, the ‘camo constant’ remains. If you’re down with the brown-and-green, the Bonfire Zone snowboard pants are a fine choice.
“Whether you’re raging against a blizzard or at risk of sweating buckets on a long hike, it’s got you covered”
Like the Bonfire Aspect 3L jacket, the Zone pants are found in Bonfire’s ‘Platinum’ Collection. It’s home to the brand’s strongest, highest-performing gear, which is built to give you the best chance against Mother Nature. As you might expect, then, all seams on these are fully taped.
The Zone pants are rated at 20,000ml waterproofing, and 15,000ml breathability. Whether you’re raging against a blizzard or at risk of sweating buckets on a long hike, it’s got you covered. They veer slightly to the baggier side of the centre ground, and you can adjust the width of the leg hems to suit your preference. Plus, being cargo pants, there’s enough pocket space for all the accessories you could want on the hill.
Further ventilation comes from the ‘Strata-Flow’ system. The vents have been designed to not only cool you down when riding on warmer days, but also allow for a smooth flow of fresh air when hiking.
They’re built for the long haul, too. The ‘Tufftech’ construction has a bit of stretch to it, and allows for plenty of movement, but it’s robust enough to withstand everyday wear and tear better than most pants on the market – especially when you consider the extra reinforcement at the hems.
Read the full review HERE on whitelines.com!
Originally posted on Whitelines-
Boasting the highest specs in Bonfire’s ‘Platinum’ outerwear collection, the Bonfire Aspect 3L snowboard jacket is aimed at the adventurous rider who sees opportunities far beyond the piste-markers.
“The Bonfire Aspect 3L jacket is aimed at the adventurous rider who sees opportunities far beyond the piste-markers.”
The 3L is in reference to the three layers of material used in the jacket. The ‘Tufftech’ fabric is highly durable yet lightweight, and the 30,000mm waterproofing will keep you dry in everything from a gnarly Alaskan blizzard to late-season rain showers. Breathability is rated at 20,000g, which allows sweat to escape almost as quickly as it appears.
If you’re still not convinced, look to the fully taped seams, powder skirt and multi-purpose cuffs. You have the choice of either tightening the cuff in the usual manner, or threading the rubber extender between your thumb and forefinger for a locked-up gaiter feel.
Read the full review HERE on whitelines.com!
With rugged gear built to stand up to your 285 day season, Bonfire was more than stoked (but not at all surprised) to be included in Whitelines' 100- a list of the 100 best products coming out for this coming winter. Watch the epic video they put together highlighting all of the new features we're excited to bring you this season, and more than a few pump-up riding shots from their highly qualified testers at LAAX.
After testing and reviewing over 500 new snowboarding products, we've narrowed it down to the cream of the crop. If you’re looking for fresh kit – be it snowboard, jacket, luggage or backcountry gear – this is where you’ll find the best of the best.
The latest from Different Direction productions - ODYSSEY premiers this month around the world. Bonfire Outerwear's own Mario Wagner worked with the whole crew of Different Direction to put together one of the best and most exciting movies for this year so far. Holding it down in the backcountry and on big mountain jumps, Mario sends with style through the powder- throwing up bigger clouds than the local skate rat kids huffing on their vape pens.
From Different Direction:
The original idea of the perfect snowboard shot might be a rider traveling through an empty blue sky over untracked powder hills and no shredbuddy crashing the picture. At least that’s how we got told. No doubt but maybe the opposite is more fun and what we like. The more tracks in a landing, the better a session has been. The more yelling you hear while chasing down a pow line, tree runs, a street line or whatever, the more hyped you get. The more people opening a fresh can of beer the louder the sound of freedom will be. The more friends watching you landing a trick after bailing it plenty of times the more celebrated it will be. Nothing is better than sharing that one thing we love doing the most with our friends. You can’t explain the stoke but you can share it.
Featuring Simon Pircher, Joris Doorn, Lukas Ellensohn, Mario Käppeli, Tom Klocker, Mario Wanger, Flo Corzelius, Max Zebe, Ethan Morgan, Christoph Schwarz, Steve Grumser, Michi Schatz, Raffi Kossmann, Tom Tramnitz, Paul Tiefenbacher, Max Glatzl, Steve Kueberl, and more.
Directed and edited by Sebi Madlener.
We’ve been preparing for this season for 28 years now. It started in a house in a suburb, but slowly and steadily it’s grown to cover areas across the globe. From Chile, to Alaska, to Austria, Japan and beyond- Bonfire has been putting in the hours, gathering the beta about the gear, and infusing it all into the new pieces you’re about to put to the ultimate test.
From when the snow starts falling in 2017 to when the last patch has melted in 2018- It’s your season- it’s your mission, and it’s almost time to get out to do it again.
We’ll be with you every step of the way, whether it’s in the details of The Aspect- a brand new jacket made of 3-Layer TuffTech Flex-Mobility stretch fabric with 30k waterproofing, Strata Flow Venting system and a touchscreen Audio Pocket; or in the Spark Jacket, a Jacket inspired by our early years that’s taken its pick of some of our favorite modern advances in outerwear- like 20k waterproofing, a touchscreen audio pocket and Jacket-to-pant connection.
We know why you come back to snowboarding year after year, because we feel the same way. We are dedicated to waking up early for powder days, finding lines to ride that are off the beaten path, and getting as much out of each winter as we possibly can.
The winter is fleeting, the snow melts- but we’re ready when the winter hits and are primed for another season of chasing down that frozen gold as long as it’s laying on the ground.
So get out there, do your prep work in these last couple weeks before the snow starts falling- and let’s charge forward into what’s going to be our greatest winter yet.
Bonfire Outerwear started over 25 years ago, deeply entrenched in the deep snowboard culture of the Pacific Northwest.
We were arrested. Spit on by skiers riding the chairlift. We would hike for miles to get one run. Our parents didn’t understand. People didn’t understand. There were no contests. No magazines. No lift tickets. No highbacks. There was no such thing as fashion. Every year we burned our boards in a giant bonfire as a sacrifice for better snow. We said we’d ride forever. We said we’d make clothes that ride forever. We do.
Born from a desire to make the best gear to withstand the harshest conditions, we have upheld the legacy that rose from that bonfire so many years ago. Tried. Tested. True.
When did you feel the most dedicated to ride this season?
The end of January and beginning of February was when I felt most dedicated to snowboarding. Consistent storm cycles rolled through the Wasatch Mountain Range providing a plentiful amount of powder days. A very large amount of my time was spent riding at Brighton Resort. Frequently utilizing the newly fallen snow during the resets gave myself a newfound comfort in the terrain. I could ride top to bottom without stopping to checkout any cliffs, landings, chutes, etc. As long as the snow was fresh it was good to go. It was a blast.
What was your favorite memory from the winter?
There was a day I spent in February riding with my friend Jamison from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. at Brighton Resort. It was a mellow weekday with not many people up there. Visibility and temperatures were low, and snow was falling at a rapid rate. You could make your way back to a previous line you made only a couple runs before and it would be filled in. It was too good to leave so we continued to ride until the lifts were done.
What’s your plan for the spring and summer? Anymore snowboarding?
I'll be spending my time skating and snowboarding around the Pacific Northwest and California before heading to Mt. Hood to dig for the summer. Lots of time ahead on a snowboard and behind my camcorder.
If you had a magic wand, what is one thing you would do for or change in snowboarding?
It would be great to not see as many people on their phones while snowboarding. Or just in general. I can totally respect and appreciate social media's role in snowboarding. It keeps it relevant, appealing, and entertaining to the consumer, which in turn is hopefully getting them out snowboarding and hyped on whichever rider or gear they're interested in.
However, with so much emphasis going into the need of constant and immediate content a lot of the prominent characters in snowboarding that I grew up on are a bit neglected. I'd like to think that a town's snowboarding scene is more intimate, genuine, and diverse from other scenes when they are left to be inspired by what immediately surrounds them, like watching the older group of snowboarders lap the park or hanging out at your local snowboard shop, but this is just a tip of the iceberg perspective on my thoughts about the modern snowboarder. And, although I really admire how "the good old days were" it's great to see snowboarding progress and stay current. None of that would be possible if we just stuck to VHS movies.
So, if I had a magic wand I'd create dead zones on resorts where cameras wouldn't work and you were left with no choice, but to board with your friends.
Frontside 360 on the legendary "Forum" step down.