A comprehensive retrospective from the former and current Editors of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, pick up your copy now!
Words by Tom Monterosso, current editor of SNOWBOARDER Magazine.
For as Long as Socially Allowable
This all started by chance, really; because I liked to ride my snowboard and I wanted to figure out a way to continue to do it for as long as was socially allowable. I was working at High Cascade Snowboard Camp after I graduated college, with no real plans for the coming winter, other than moving to Lake Tahoe with my friends to ride powder, live on the cheap, and get out of New Hampshire—a place I had spent all my life at that point. My good friend, Ben Fee, was the Associate Editor of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, and I was envious of him, but then one fateful day, Ben called me. He asked what my plans were after Tahoe, and I told him that I didn't have any, so he told me that I should move to Southern California to intern with SNOWBOARDER. I jumped at the opportunity and after selling most of my personal belongings, I got on a one-way flight and never looked back.
Eleven years later and I've been at the helm of SNOWBOARDER Magazine for five years now, after working my way up from intern to Associate Editor, Senior Editor and now Editor of this publication and I've watched the landscape of snowboard media—and media as a whole—change drastically from what it once was. Gone are the days where my paycheck comes solely from print, and gone are the days when we would work all winter in order to produce seven or eight magazines in a summer. It's constant content creation, all the time, be it on social media, our website, or any number of events that SNOWBOARDER puts on throughout the season. It really is a never-ending gig…and I wouldn't have it any other way.
You see, since my very first day, I was taught by my good friend and mentor Pat Bridges that the SNOWBOARDER ethos is the ability to generate good, quality content at all costs and at any time, because the SNOWBOARDER reader eats, sleeps, and breathes this culture. It's a value that I'm reminded of every time I sit down at my computer, be it to edit photos or write a column or a full-length feature. We take care of our own. We help each other out. We lift one another up when things are looking grim and we celebrate with each other when the time calls for it. We are a family, and my goal as the Editor of this publication is to make you feel like you're at a reunion every single time you pick up this magazine, scroll through your social feed or refresh our webpage. That's always been the goal, since I was a lowly intern sitting in a cubicle, not knowing what in the hell I was doing in Southern California. There was a time, long ago, before I was getting paid by SNOWBOARDER, that I had had enough. I couldn't do it anymore. I had no car. I was working five days a week in our offices in San Juan Capistrano and six days a week at Jack's Garage up in Huntington Beach, bumming rides with Ben and sleeping in a small tent on his tiny back porch, and I simply couldn't do it anymore. I walked into Pat's office and told him that I was broke, hungry, exhausted and dejected. He told me to hold on for just a little bit longer, until he could free up some budget to get me on staff, at least part-time, so I decided to give it a little bit longer. A few days later, I walked upstairs to my cubicle and there was an envelope sitting on my desk with $1,000.00 cash stuffed inside of it. I knew who it was from, but more importantly, I knew why it was there, and I've never forgotten that gesture during my tenure at SNOWBOARDER. It taught me two things: One, as an Editor, to understand that you must fully embrace this job and dive into it with every fiber of your being because you truly care about snowboarding and what it has given you, and two, to understand who is in this for the long haul, and to do anything within your power to keep them right there in the fire with you. Ultimately, that's what I have attempted to do with all of SNOWBOARDER's readers over the last decade of my life, and here's hoping to ten more years of making SNOWBOARDER the best snowboard media outlet that there has ever been.
Over the years, I've been lucky enough to travel the world and ride my snowboard. I've watched my friends make a shit ton of money doing what they love. I've watched as some of my friends wrapped up amazing careers at brands or as riders. I've watched snowboarding rise, and I've watched snowboarding fall. I've witnessed some of the most iconic riding with my very eyes. I've met lifelong friends and been able to share lift rides, splitboard laps and even a few heli bumps with them. I've watched myself evolve from a tent-dwelling dirtbag snowboarder into a husband and soon-to-be-father snowboarder, and I can't wait to pass along my passion to my daughter. I've seen a lot in my ten years with SNOWBOARDER and my eyes are as wide open as ever. I can't wait to see what the future brings.
Thank you Bridges, Ben, Joe Prebich, Joel Muzzey, Mark Michaylira, Andrew Sekora, Sean Burke, Chris Engelsman, Ryan Field, Kyle Kennedy, Lucky Lopez, Reid Casner, Bryan Crosscup, Ryan Hughes, Mike Yoshida, Espen Lystad, Daniel Blom, Aaron Dodds, Ethan Fortier, Oli Gagnon, Laura Austin, Big Mike, Dave Steigerwald, Mary Walsh, John Cavan, Mark Clavin, Alyssa Falso, Jeff Baker and everyone in the snowboarding industry who is still reading this. A product is only as good as the people that make it, and these people are some of the best I've ever met. I owe you all so much. Here's to another 30.
-Tom "T. Bird" Monterosso