Bud Fawcett

People revere the pioneering influence of legends like Craig Kelly, Terry Kidwell, Noah Salasnek and Shaun Palmer, yet their legacy wouldn’t have been as far reaching or as lasting had it not been for the efforts of Bud Fawcett. It was Bud’s images on the pages of ISM, SNOWBOARDER and Transworld that made otherwise isolated progression something the masses could aspire to. The riders, places, and tricks Bud framed up became tangible and in turn, guys like Kidwell, Kelly and Palmer emerged as idols. From the white room to the darkroom to the walls of teenage bedrooms, Bud Fawcett developed an archetypal shooting style that kept the subjects' takeoff and landing in the same frame. This approach may seem obvious today, but in the eighties, an era rife with “guy in the sky” celluloid eyesores, Bud’s choice to provide context was revolutionary. On a photo shoot in February of 1992, a rider collided with Bud causing nerve damage in his arm, accelerating his transition away from shooting full-time and into becoming an industry luminary with Palmer Snowboards.

This Long Exposure takes a 35mm look at our sport’s pedigree as seen through the lens of Bud Fawcett with extended captions to provide additional insight. This past winter, SNOWBOARDER Magazine worked with Smokin' Snowboards to send Bud out on his first jib feature assignment ever which you can check out in our November print issue. - Pat Bridges

Above photos: (left) Jim Zellers and Damian Sanders at Soda Springs. (right) Damian Sanders with his Subaru at Slide Mountain, NV.

Bud Fawcett

Bud Fawcett by Tom Hsieh, 1987, Boreal

Bud Fawcett

Tom and TK at Mt. Baker. No highbacks.

Bud Fawcett

A young ripper from South Shore, Vito Loconte was always fun for photos as he had some great style for the early days.

Intro to first five years

Shooting with the early Tahoe posse and seeing my photos on the pages of mags was the driving force for me to make countless road trips from Santa Barbara to Tahoe in early 1985. I enjoyed more than five years of couch surfing and shooting the antics of early legends, which was as much fun as the action. Much of the credit for my early success was also due to the lesser famous b-team and sometimes no-team riders that visited North Shore. They were my teachers as well as my pupils and I have so much respect for all of them.

Jamie Johnston

Jamie Johnston at Carson Pass. My first snowboard action photo.

Jamie Johnson, Chuck Barfoot, and Bryan Judge.

Jamie Johnston, Chuck Barfoot, Bryan Judge at Carson Pass, after my first day on a snowboard (our tracks on right).

January 1985 - April 1985

Ultimate Road Trip

Terry Kidwell

TK at Mt. Baker (2nd Place). My first published snowboard photo in North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

Donner Ski Ranch and Sierra Cup.

I spent lots of time going to the snow from a rental darkroom in Santa Barbara where I quickly developed the 400 speed Tri-X under careful scrutiny of proprietor Walt Welker. Actually, in many cases I agitated the film tanks too much in my excitement to see the results. (Over agitation causes the edges of the film to over-develop, making the edges of the prints lighter.) My next trip back to Tahoe was for the Sierra Cup (downhill and halfpipe) on Feb 9-10 in 1985. I arrived early and BK put me up at his parents' guest house. In a typical February dump, I can remember finding my car the next morning when I shoveled down to the sunroof…a good five footer. It was Friday morning before the Sierra Cup and I met up with Tom Sims, Terry Kidwell, and Shaun Palmer at Donner Ski Ranch. I-80 had closed because of “too much snow,” so we pretty much had first, second, and third tracks. My personal achievement that day was making my first top-to-bottom powder run without stopping or falling. My photo achievement was taking two photos that are among my most recognized. I shot about two rolls of Plus-X black and white (lucky me) that day.

The next day we returned to the summit for the first and only Sierra Cup (Feb 9-10) at Soda Springs at Donner Summit.

Bud Fawcett

(L to R) (1) Shaun Palmer, 1985 at Soda Springs. (2) BK had blown his knee out and now was an official judge of the upcoming Pro Am. (3) Tom and TK at Mt. Baker. No Highbacks. (4) Joel Gomez (Sessions) navigates the bottom gates.

Tom Burt

Tom Burt at the Slide Mountain halfpipe (now a part of Mt. Rose Ski area).

Dan Donnelly

Dan Donnelly tail grab at the '85 Pro Am.

Keith Kimmel

Keith Kimmel, backside air at Soda snowditch as Keith Daly looks on.

Snowboarding Pro Am.

My last road trip to Tahoe was to shoot the World Snowboarding Pro AM (Downhill, Slalom, Halfpipe) at Soda Springs on Mar 29, 30, 31st. It was the third year of the event before it moved to Breckenridge in 1986. Sidelined by his knee injury, BK was a fine host as the legends of snowboarding trickled in and out of his parents' guest house for the weekend. Heingartner, Coghlan, Gomez, Loconte, Palmer, Kimmel, just to mention a few. I had spent the week deciding that I really wanted to move to the snow but had not discovered how I was going to pull that off. Tahoe had its share of ski photographers that were just starting to discover snowboarding and I was still pretty green at this shooting thing. In March 1985, Absolutely Radical (renamed Int’l Snowboard Magazine in the second issue) was published by a young Tom Hsieh Jr. of San Francisco and magically appeared at the final events of the season. Keith “Slasher” Kimmel appeared on the cover.

April 1985 - Aug 1986

When I returned to Santa Barbara from the Soda Springs Pro Am, I was hired over the telephone by Jim Kellar as full-time photographer at the Tahoe World in Tahoe City. I had used my college portfolio from 1973 to get the job and I had also lied during the interview when they asked me if I skied. Jim told me that Squaw Valley could arrange ski lessons. Boy, was I stoked. I moved from Chuck Barfoot’s house that we had shared for about three years to Tahoe City in late April 1985 and ended up sharing a west shore Tahoe park house with Keith Kimmel and Brad Labarre. My photojournalism career had started. I spent the winter of 1985-86 shooting everything from helicopter crashes to ski racing at Squaw Valley. In the spring of 1986, I met up with Damian Sanders, Scott Clum, Terry Kidwell, Keith Kimmel, and Mike Chantry at the famous Donner Pass Quarterpipe which was across the street from Sugar Bowl Ski Area and close to Norm Saylor’s Donner Ski Ranch! When I finally burned out on chasing ambulances and walking through burning buildings, I returned to Chuck’s house in Santa Barbara for a year before heading off to be ISM’s Photo Editor in summer '87. After four months at ISM, I realized there weren’t enough photos to edit, so I headed back to the snow to shoot some myself.

Scott Clum

Scott Clum at the Donner Quarterpipe.

Terry Kidwell

Terry Kidwell at the Donner Quarterpipe. First pro model and first freestyle board with kick tail

Mike Ranquet

ISM’s second snowboard test at Mt. Bachelor. Mike Ranquet double exposure in the trees.

Shawn Goulart

The 1988 California Snowboard Series attracted many stars to Boreal Ski Area. Shawn Goulart, RIP, rides the early Boreal halfpipe with the best style of the time.

Monty Roach

Monty Roach at the Boreal halfpipe.

Nov 1987 - Oct 1988

In November 1987, Breckenridge built snowboarding’s first permanent halfpipe. TK and Kimmel left for Colorado. Shortly thereafter, I inherited TK’s old room at Mike Chantry’s near Tahoe City, which remained my homebase for several seasons. I took on a job at the local photo lab where I worked nights processing tourist photos and spent some days shooting the first halfpipes at Boreal and Donner Ski Ranch, mainly with the Grass Valley crew, Chris and Monty Roach, Tina Basich, Tucker Fransen, and more. The loosely organized Barfoot team had a house at Donner Lake and Squaw Valley opened its doors to snowboarding for the last week of the '88 winter season.

Tim Windell and Andy Coghlan

Early Sims/Burton rivalry: Tim Windell and Andy Coghlan pose for the camera at Blackcomb.

Tina Basich

Tina Basich at a Boreal contest.

Jim Zellars

Jim Zellers at Homewood.

Craig Kelly

Craig Kelly, iconic style after the June Mountain OP Pro.

June Mountain OP Pro

June Mountain OP Pro winners: Kelly, Lamar, Kidwell, Keith Wallace.

George Pappas

George Pappas accepts his prize money in cash at a Jackson Hole halfpipe event (RMSS) with a young Rob Kingwell and a smiling Dave Dowd to his left.

November 1988 - March 1989

Back in Colorado, Purgatory Ski Area was hosting the first qualifiers for the 1989 Breck Worlds. To be closer to the opportunities (competitions) in Colorado, I set up base at Steve Link’s house in Summit County near Breckenridge and traveled the Rockies, from Jackson Hole to Crested Butte. Prior to the Purgatory trials in December '88, Burton had their team camp at nearby Telluride. My busy season ended at Crested Butte, CO at the final Rocky Mountain Snowboard Series.

Mark Heingartner

Mark Heingartner, hard turn at Purgatory.

Andy Hetzel

Andy “Pretzel” Hetzel at RMSS halfpipe at Crested Butte. Love the halfpipe rules.

Terry Kidwell

TK at the Purgatory halfpipe.

Tim Windell

Tim Windell freeriding at Purgatory.

Damian Sanders

Damian Sanders, backflip in the Mt. Rose backcountry.

Tim Windell and Shaun Palmer

Tim Windell and Shaun Palmer at the Mt. Bachelor Sims Camp.

April 1989 - Dec 1989

I returned to Tahoe City in the spring of 1989. At the same time, Rob Morrow founded Morrow Snowboards in Salem, Oregon. Squaw Valley had a remarkable start to its 1989 season when it opened its lifts early on Halloween weekend in '89 and the Burton team showed up in full force with an early season five-footer. Burton had a team house in Truckee for Winter '89-'90. 1989 was another great year for summer camps: Windells Snowboard Camp at Timberline, Mount Hood by Tim Windell; High Cascade Snowboard Camp at Mount Hood by John Calkins and John Ingersoll; and Camp of Champions at Whistler Blackcomb by Ken Achenbach.

And so begins the Golden Age of snowboarding! In 1990, 476 ski areas in the USA allowed sideways riding.

Damian Sanders

Damian Sanders at the first Squaw halfpipe.

Rob Morrow

Rob Morrow founded Morrows Snowboards in 1989 and he is pictured here before the competition at OP Pro June Mountain.