How To Wax A Snowboard

Waxing a snowboard is an easy way to maximize glide and increase performance. And, you can save money by doing it yourself.

In this video, Jonah Stella, Boston University Snowboard Team rider, shows you how to wax a snowboard.

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Chill Teaches Boston Kids How to Snowboard

Boston University snowboard team member Alex Ketner teaches kids from Boston how to snowboard. Here he's seen at a recruiting event in September, 2011. (Photo courtesy of Rascha Jelks)

For six weeks every year, members from the Boston University snowboard team take a van to Wachusett Mountain to teach inner-city kids how to snowboard.

“I worked with this one kid who was really good at speeding down the hill, but he couldn’t really stop or turn at all,” said Alex Ketner, BUST member. “I helped him with s curves and learning how to carve.”

Ketner said he was able to ride with the skinny, 11-year-old from Boston because of Chill. Chill is a non-profit youth development program that uses snowboarding to help teach life skills, said Dean Calcagni, the national coordinator for the Boston area.

Chill partners with social service agencies from urban communities, like Boston, to bus kids up to Wachusett for six weeks in January and February. Calagni said about 15 groups from Boston participate.

“We want to give kids the opportunity to try something they really wouldn’t otherwise be able to try,” Calcagni said.

The kids are provided gear – snowboards, boots, jackets, everything other than socks, Calcagni said.

On the mountain, (or the bunny hill,) each child is partnered with a volunteer for one-on-one instruction. Calcagni said the on-snow relationship is what’s important.

“We became boys; we became cool,” Ketner said. “Just snowboarding with someone, you get closer.”

Calcagni said the goal is that all the kids can learn to link turns, stop and ride chair lifts. Each week has a theme that connects to being on the hill. For example, last year, the first week’s theme was patience, he said.

“It’s more powerful than just a learn-to-ride program,” Calcagni said.

After two hours on the bunny hill, Ketner brought his instructee on the chair lifts to ride with him on the mountain, he said.

“He followed me off a small jump and face planted,” Ketner said. “But, if you’re going to try, might as well go big.”

“He got better, he just wasn’t pro status,” Ketner said.

Chill will run from January 10 through February 15 at Wachusett Mountain this winter. For more information visit the Chill Foundation’s website.

30th Annual Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo

Ski and snowboard bums from all around New England came out to the annual Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo this weekend.

East Coast Alpine and Eastern Boarder rolled out a huge sale with all the gear — boots, boards, bindings, skis, polls, helmets, mittens, socks. Mountains offered vacation packages, lift-tickets, and season pass information. Many other ski and snowboard-friendly companies came out to share their products as well.

Zach Guerra, Josh Vallier

Check out some more photos of the event!

Snowboarders and Skiers Mingle

Boston University snowboard members returned to the Greatest Bar in Boston on Friday. This time, to hang out with SnowRiders, a Boston company that organizes ski and snowboard parties in New England, and for the premiere of Level 1’s film “After Dark.”

Check out these pictures from the night.

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Pre-season Stoke-age!

Friday was the Boston premiere of Never Summer’s second full-length feature film “Shred ‘Em All” and Ian Post’s “Stitched Up Clipped Up” at Greatest Bar Boston. The place quickly filled with hoodie-clad snowboarders drinking Narragansett tall boys. The films played on giant TV screens behind the bar, to showcase the killer skills of the team riders.

At one point of “Stitched Up Clipped Up,” I saw a little drool in the corner of fellow BUST member Heather Schuler’s mouth as she watched, aghast, as the pro’s grind rail after rail in an urban scene.

(Stitched Up Clipped Up: Official Teaser from ianpostvt.com on Vimeo.)

“It reminds me of highschool,” Schuler said. “With the rail in the backyard, we would go up and down, up and down.”

“I love how Ian Post’s film is so east coast. It’s got that urban east coast footage, that raw video,” said Andrew Balbo, of Steez Magazine.

I have to say, Steez knows how to throw down for a video premiere. Narrangasett and Jim Beam kept the drinks coming all night. And, swag me out. I’m pretty sure everyone left with a free something– a copy of the film, stickers, coozie, or a t-shirt. One lucky winner left with a free Never Summer snowboard!

Check out these photos of the night taken by Steez.

Never Summer rider Steve Pleines made an appearance as well. He said he prefers riding park over powder as well. He grew up on the east coast riding at Loon and Waterville. Get stoked with some of his riding in “Shred ‘Em All.”

Shred ’em All snowboard movie teaser! from Never Summer on Vimeo.

Download “Stitched Up Clipped Up” on rideastcoast.com

Snowboards Made In Boston

Bean Snowboards hand-makes all their boards right here, in a Brighton garage. This year’s models feature a new line of graphics done by local artists Steve Holding (aka Metalwing) and Ryan Lombardy (Enamel Kingdom).

Their motto: “Buy local, shred local.”

Previous model of "the Commonwealth".

The Bean guys were kind enough to walk down to Irish Village in Brighton, where we shared a few drinks, and chatted about riding the east coast and making snowboards.

“East coast board culture is the best in the world,” said Patrick Leary, brand manager for Bean. “It’s steeped in tradition and has a large hand in snowboard history.”

Out east, a short season is known for its icy conditions and temps falling below 0° F. We breed half-pipe riders because the conditions are so brutal, the Bean crew said.

“It’s more about riding with my bros, not getting out 100 days every year,” said Joey, Bean’s new head of staff photographer.

And that’s what Bean is– a group of bros passionate about snowboarding: three mechanical engineers from Northeastern, a designer, a marketing pro, and a photographer. And now, Eugene Stancato from Dorchester reps Bean as a team rider.

They let me take a peak at this years designs– after I promised not to reveal any of the dirty details. This will be their fourth year selling boards, and sixth year making them. I can say this, the new designs won’t disappoint.

Joey holds up last year's design by a local artist.

Bean has come a long way from their modest beginnings.

“The first year, we just wanted to see if we could make a snowboard at all,” said Mike McGraw, one of the engineers. None of them had done this before.

Starting out in a basement woodshop, the three friends went online to skibuilders.com, cut a snowboard in half (it was the designer’s brother’s board), and started trying out their homemade boards.

“A lot of it is trial an error,” Mike said. They described the board like a sandwich. Layers of polyethylene, fiberglass and a wood core are glued together with epoxy. They use an I-beam press to bind it all together. All the materials are locally sourced.

Snowboard press in Bean's garage.

This year, Bean is working on a board with no plastics in it whatsoever, just that good ol’ bamboo.

Mike holding up snowboard with bamboo.

Bean has three lines of boards, each come in three different sizes: the Commonwealth, an all-mountain board; the Violator, which is a bit more poppy; and the District, the most-flexible and smallest of the three designed for smaller dudes and women.

They sell the boards online and at Wicked Sharp, a retail store in West Roxbury.

“Every board we put out there is like one of our children,” Patrick said. “If one of our boards malfunctions, we drive to your house with another board in the truck.”

“It’s almost like they’re our friends– an extra bonus,” Patrick said of those who ride Bean boards.

Great dedication goes into each board. The guys spend over 30 hours a week making the boards during the fall and winter– on top of their real jobs. That’s right, they each have “real jobs” as well.

“It just get’s ridiculous and the conversations just get weird and ridiculous at those hours,” said Warren Huffman, BUST alumni now working with Bean.

‘I call it a glorified hobby,” Patrick said. “Snowboarding is all of our lifestyles, and the goal is to make snowboards and get the community riding them as a full time job.”

On Sunday, they’re setting up a rail jam at the Allston Street Fair. For Bean, this means getting up at 8 a.m. to shovel ice shavings from an ice rink, the make-shift snow, so kids can hit a meager rail.

“These kids show up with all their gear, and to ruin their decks on concrete, just to get some riding in after the summer,” said Collin Murray, one of the original engineers.

As a final note, the Bean guys love high-fives.

Boards on wall in the Brighton garage.