words and photos: David Steigerwald
Editor’s note: We are stoked to welcome David Steigerwald to our crew at the magazine as our new Art Director. Dave spent the majority of 2013 in our Southern California office before joining SNOWBOARDER full time this month. In between, he was able to head home to New England to partake in one of the coldest, snowiest Januarys the East Coast has seen.
On December 26th, 2013 at 11:30AM, I crossed the still-yet-to-be-fixed bridge into Loon Mountain’s parking carrells for the first time in almost 365 days. Seventeen hours prior, I was in Toledo, Ohio yearning to get back to the Northeast to begin my thirty-day snowboard vacation in my home territory of NH. So it was without hesitation that I left Ohio at 5PM on the 25th and roared across the last few remaining states that stood between me and the White Mountains. After a three hour nap at 5AM when I arrived in Massachusetts and a grueling final three and a half hour stretch through a classic northeast shitstorm, I had made it. My 4000 mile, seven-day, solo driving bender from southern California to northern New Hampshire had reached its fruition (for now) and there was no better way to commence the vacation than with eight inches of fresh snow and the infamous ReLoonion.
Having thirty days off puts one in a weird situation if you intend to not spend that thirty days where you are currently paying rent. It’s too long to dish out money for a hotel every day and it’s too short to try and negotiate a month-to-month place (though if it was described as “month-to-month” you would think that one month would fall into that category?). Couch surfing is a good solution, but when your plan is to snowboard as much as possible it’s nice to have somewhere to call base so you’re not grossing up everyone’s joint with your lack of hygiene and laundry. Luckily for me, it all came together less than three miles down the road from Loon Mtn at a place simply referred to as “The Studio”. The Studio 317 is more of a hostel than anything else, permanently resided in by Mike Ravelson, Scott McCurdy, Jay Minassian, and Trent Gelo who together create a snowboarding career casserole with a mix of professional snowboarder, brand rep, shop employee, and park crew member. Their short distance sanctuary from Loon is a sleeping spot for all Loon visitors, from Plymouth, NH to Rhode Island, and now Southern California. No one is denied from The Studio as long as you’re there to have a good time and not ruin theirs. The Studio is ruled by snowboarding and the lifestyle that comes with it; there’s always empty beers to be picked up, it smells, and you’re guaranteed to have some of the most fun in your life if you happen to stay there. During my own downtime from snowboarding I spent a lot of it at The Studio painting and being as creative as possible to fight the sometimes inevitable boredom of midweek nights in a ski town. After a few weeks, as my vacation came closer to its end, we locked up the date of January 22nd and decided to host an art show for all those who loved snowboarding and the aforementioned lifestyle that comes with it.
The show’s main bulk of art was helmed by Rav, Scott, and myself (Davidaisy). In total there were close to thirty additional artists contributions from all over New England. One of the biggest driving factors behind the show was that whenever someone new stays at The Studio they are forced to draw, paint, or make something (usually on cardboard) to contribute to their massive wall of guest art. It was that rule that triggered the idea to have a show with art from people that are just learning to ride all the way up the trunk to the professional level and branching out to industry and shop employees as well–a true glance at snowboarding as a whole. The show was a great success, not only was it an awesome time but it brought together groups of people to find common ground on getting hyped about snowboarding. Thanks to all who came out to the show, big thanks to The Studio 317 for housing me for a month, and biggest thanks to prizza and wines. ‘Till next time East Coast.