words: Russell Winfield
photos: Rip Zinger
Snowboarding, over the past twenty years has evolved from a punk rock lifestyle to a mainstream academy sport. Where parents used to deter their children from the shred, they now scream “do the triple cork!” Before I go any further, I must say that I do embrace this change, but I also think that it is paramount that we hold on to our roots and history. A few friends and I have decided to show the youngsters what snowboarding was like and why it become so popular. Welcome to The Rock and Roll Express.
Jamie [Lynn], Wes [Makepeace], Coop and I drove from Seattle to El Monte RV in Ferndale to pick up our RV. There is something to be said for being able to drive your living room around. First stop was Seattle to load the gear. Guitars, amps, snowboards, and clothes were all packed into the 31-foot house-on-wheels. One more stop was needed before we made our way down to Superpark 18, the Lynn Compound, where we added more guitars and amps. We pulled up to Mt. Hood Meadows parking lot at about 4:30 am, popped the sides, and got some good sleep. I woke up at about 9 to a bluebird day to start off Superpark. Into the lodge to get my credentials, where I got to see lots of friends I haven’t seen all year. Contrary to popular belief, Superpark isn’t a pressure cooker of 100-foot jumps all over. Instead, it is a celebration of the end of the season with a bunch of talented shreds. Don’t get me wrong , there’s plenty of huge jumps and death-defying rails to hit, but there are also mellow, perfectly-shaped features. To my surprise, when I returned to the RV, Matt “Pink Leo “ Donahue had pulled up. The family grows! I suited up and got on the lift with him and Mr. Ween himself, Cory Grove. We took some laps and checked out the features. By the end of the day, Mikey Leblanc and Jake Blattner had arrived at the RV. The music started. We drove to HOW (House on Wheels) down to Snowbunny and set up camp for the night. (If you are wondering who Jake, Mikey, and Matt are, you need to do your homework. They are all the part of the original group of snowboarders that took snowboarding and melded it with street skating. So, if you see any of them, you should give them a high five because without people like them, you might be in a speed suit runnin’ gates.) We all played music ’til the early morning hours. The funniest thing happened. People literally started coming out of the woodwork to join in on the party. There’s a lot of people who live in the woods up in Govy during the summer. They said, “we were at our camp site and heard music so we decided to come down.” If you do it out of love, people will respond.
Day 2 was rained out, so we setup at Charlie’s, thanks to Scotty and Cory. Day drinking and music eased everybody’s dismay. There’s something to be said for a bar to packed at 11 in the morning with people having a great time! Later that day, I saw Jamie come back into the bar in his full snowboard kit, googles and all. I soon found out that he lost a bet and had to luge on his skateboard down the alpine slide. Because people went so hard during the day the night ended pretty early for most.
Day 3 was a recovery day with music being played in the HOW and multiple trips to Huck’s and Charlie’s. That night, Rip [Zinger] and Jamie went out and shot some rad, long exposure shots. Day 4 we decided to go down to Portland and visit some friends at Poler and go get our skate on at Burnside. Once we got to Burnside we saw Rocco, one of the locals, killing it. Jamie, Wes and Jake skated while Rip and I took some pics..
The final day, I went up to the hill with Ween and cruised around the jib park watching the kids ripping and making sure they were keeping it trill. The rest of the boys stayed down at Bridges’ condo getting Titty Fish ready for the gig at Charlie’s that night.
Monday we packed up and headed to Portland. I had to go back to Seattle so I got dropped of at the train station. The rest of The Rock and Roll Express crew, sans Donahue and Leblanc, went west to get some surf and skate with the Volcom crew..
This is our life. This is our style. Welcome inside The Rock and Roll Express.