First Trip to Okemo this Sunday

“I can’t wait for Sunday,” said Corbin Kuntze, a junior on the Boston University Snowboard team. “We’re finally going snowboarding!”

Sunday’s trip is to Okemo Mountain in Vermont. Check out Okemo’s official snow report and snowmaking blog!

Taken from the top of Okemo Mountain in 2010.

BUST members will wake-up bright and early, (around 5 a.m.), jump on a bus, and head to Okemo for a day of snowboarding.

Here’s some alumni tips from former BUST President Alexa Fernandez to help ensure a shred-tastic day at Okemo.

      Tip #1: Set multiple alarms. The bus leaves each spot at 5:15, 5:30, and 5:45 a.m., respectively.

      Tip #2: Pack gear the night before. It may be hard to remember to bring gloves, hats, socks, hand warmers,     sweatshirts, scarves, boots, boards, tools, and snacks at 5 a.m.

      Tip #3: Sleep on the bus. The ride provides an extra three hours of snooze time.

      Tip #4: There’s a Waffle hut, so bring cash if you find it hard to resist that warm, sugary aroma.

      Tip #5: Have fun snowboarding with BUST friends!

Fernandez also said her favorite song to listen to while snowboarding is ‘Punching in a Dream” by naked and Famous.

What are you listening to? Here’s what BUST members Scott Wilkinson, Louisa Mardirossian, Mike MacFarlane and Jonah Stella get stoked.

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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Favorite Snowboard Tales — BUST Style

The snow has officially arrived! Nothing can get us more pumped than looking out the window and seeing a blanket of white on the ground. Four kind souls, Jonah Stella, Louisa Mardirossian, Scott Wilkinson and Mike MacFarlane, offered to share their gnarliest tales from the slopes in honor of the pre-season flurries.

BUST Treasurer Jonah Stella goes off the beaten track.

BUST senior Louisa Mardirossian says some of the most memorable moments on the mountain come when you least expect them to.

BUST junior Scott Wilkinson has been snowboarding for 14 years. He tells the story of how his snowboarding adventures began.

BUST Vice President Mike MacFarlane says he’s the “King of the Hill.”

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