words and photos: T.Bird
What twin brothers Lance and Mike Hakker have created with their eyewear brand Ashbury is a labor of passion. They're not a big brand, and it seems as if they don't ever really want to be. You see, Mike and Lance are not only brothers but they're best friends. Homeys. For life. And Ashbury is a direct reflection of that, and in my humble opinion, that ideology applied to the company that they incepted years back is very good for snowboarding. The riders who are lucky enough to ride for the Hakkers are put on the program not only because they're incredibly talented snowboarders, but also because the Hakker brothers are down for them. If they weren't backing them on a personal level, they wouldn't be a good fit for the brand on a professional level, and that's my favorite thing about Ashbury. They're not going to sign a rider simply to push more product.
The team is fun and they put out a good vibe both on and off the hill, and so when the opportunity came about to host a demo, there was really no better mountain to host it at than Bear. It's warm, slushy, and the park staff is world-renowned. It doesn't hurt that the venue is located directly above the sun deck where sun-soaked So Cal shredders could sip a cold one after a full day of riding and watch some of the best riders in the world session one of the best rail setups in North America.
At two o'clock, the Ashbury team hiked up to the top of the course that consisted of a down bar double line, a metal quarterpipe sending the riders into a jib island with a multitude of options, a small but poppy jump, and two down bars to the far rider's right. There was also a laid back wallride with a corrugated tube spired right up the middle, however, Lucas Magoon was one of the only riders to session it. All afternoon, that Ashbury ideology that I spoke of earlier was evident in the event. While riders like Cole Linzmeyer, Justin Mulford, Durrell Williams, and Ben Bilocq took it to the jib island bonking, spinning, and redirecting so much that it was nearly impossible to both shoot and follow the action, others opted to take to the sky like Chris Bradshaw, Jordan Small, Jake Kyzyk, and more. Meanwhile, Johnny Miller set off a session on the rider's right down bars and pulled over a small crowd to ride with him.
For two hours, the crowd was treated to a true skate-inspired demo, something that not a lot of brands are doing these days. I remember when I was a kid growing up in New Hampshire with little to no access to the skateboarders I idolized, and when summer came around and school was out, I was constantly getting rides to various demos across New England, and it stoked me out beyond belief. The Ashbury guys are doing the same thing for those So Cal shredders that see all of their favorite riders in numerous videos throughout the winter, and I saw more than a handful of kids wearing the same expression that I used to years back while witnessing what I thought to be impossible. And that's what the Ashbury demo is all about. Stoking people out, and riding with your friends. Hell, that's what the entire brand was founded upon, and for that, Lance and Mike, I salute you, because you're making snowboarding all the better for it.