Originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, Mountain GOATS celebrates the most influential snowboarders of the last thirty years (1987-2017), otherwise known as the Greatest Of All Time list. With over 70 men and women riding into the ranks of the Mountain GOATS, check back as we release their bios and celebrated accolades over the course of the next few weeks!
Mountain Goat: Noah Salasnek
The phrase "ahead of their time" is often bandied about when talking about legends, but perhaps no other rider on SNOWBOARDER's Greatest Of All Time tally deserves such distinction more than Noah Salasnek. Coming up in NorCal, Noah was an aspiring professional skater in the ATV style of Julien Stranger, Eric Dressen and Wade Speyer, with the signature deck to prove it, before strapping into a Kemper and becoming snowboarding's first crossover icon.
The shred world was introduced to Noah via Fall Line Films' debut effort Western Front. The knock-kneed, swivel slashing and rocket-airing Noah that Jerry and Artie Dugan first captured was soon usurped by an H-Street riding, switch-spinning, frontside-poking Salasnek who quickly became a poster boy for skate style with a four-wheel pedigree to prove it. It was initially on the halfpipe contest circuit that Noah's prophetic regimen of fakie rotations and back-to-back technical tricks would be lost on a pool of judges who were still rewarding food-named grabs and inverted flops.
Noah found respite from contest disappointment in front of the lens, becoming a star of such Mack Dawg and Standard classics as New Kids On The Twock, Upping The Ante and TB2. As Clinton ascended into the White House, Noah became one of the most popular and imitated riders on the scene, which led to the release of his now coveted Sims pro model with its iconic skate truck graphic. Despite freestyle feeding Noah's stomach, it was freeriding that fed his soul. Bored with back fives off booters and butters off cornices, Noah dabbled with linking tricks and spins in lines off of Squaw's Granite Chief and KT22. This soon escalated to Alaska strike missions with Standard and the widely-revered first descent of Super Spines. By the mid-nineties, Salasnek's film segments were more memorable for fresh tracks than fresh tricks, and unfortunately sponsor support began to wane. It wouldn't be for another decade that riders like Travis Rice, Nicolas Müller and Jake Blauvelt would effectively parlay their competitive accomplishments into freeriding fame.
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