words: Brendan Hart
American culture has a uniform crust, an outer layer of customs and conventions, fringed with prominent ridges of burgers, dogs, beer, and Katy Perry. These commonalities, though awesome, especially when combined, don't accurately represent America's diverse nature. The real heart of America beats in the pit of our melting pot, whose eclectic center is the source of our rich culture. The Fourth of July is special because it celebrates the fact that we are independent, not just as a unique country, but as unique people. Besides nocturnally congregating in the smoke-strewn streets and standing amidst the soft booming and cackling shower of the fireworks, there's no one prescribed way to spend the Fourth—do whatever you want, do it your own way, just have fun and try to keep things somewhat constitutional.
We reached out to a cluster of snowboarding's stars from different sectors of the 50 States, as well as one foreigner, with personalized questions. The goal was to incorporate the human with the holiday, to get a specific picture of how these boarders relate to the Fourth of July and pay homage to the stars and stripes. Read their answers, which provide shrewd insight and wise advice about how to spend your own holiday weekend. They might just help your Independence Day go off with a heightened bang.
SNOWBOARDER: There is nothing more American than the backyard barbecue; our country was built upon noble ideals and inexpensive meat products. Spates of hot dogs will be cooked on this upcoming Indepedence Day. Considering your position as the all-knowing Weena Man, what is the best way to prepare, top, and enjoy a perfect patriotic dog?
VERY FUNNY. You know, Cobra Dogs is closed every Independence Day. Harsh. Well, it’s out there. We have never been open on the Fourth and that is what we call “business suicide…” It’s just that our crew works like crazy, spending long, hot days in a tiny trailer. It’s worth it for me, as a business owner, to let my crew take two days to float the river, drink cold Limearita’s, make out with chicks, etc. and come back fresh for session three. It’s a crazy session for us with the Rat Race and such, so it’s good to get a crispy crew back.
Well, I am shooting myself in the foot here… But, the best dog and most American way to be American on the Fourth (also applies to camping) is like this. The shittiest little franks you can find with the little foam hot dog buns that taste like half gluten, half starch, and the absolute cheapest plain yellow mustard you can find. Don’t be scared to overcook that bad oscar either. And no ketchup. FUCK KETCHUP.
The Fourth of July is an ideal setting for family and fun. Your son is still at a germinal, eating and sleeping age (and at times making strides in the skatepark), and has not yet attained the durability and fine motor skills of adolescence. As Ollie matures, which part of the Fourth’s festivities are you most excited to share with him?
I’ve never been a big fireworks guy. Liked buying them, tons of stands up in AK, liked having them as a kid, they looked cool like comic books or baseball cards look cool to a kid, bright stuff, risky, bad kid style. Lighting them off was just sort of meh for me. I’m kind of a non-pyro, so that’s not really on the forefront for me as far as the Fourth goes. I’m sure Ollie will get in to them because Pika was a real firework kid. All the other American stuff is awesome on the Fourth. Just the never-ending bbq, usually a tramp skating marathon, always end up in a bike gang at some point. This Fourth will be full on, Ollie is a walking sort of talking little maven of mayhem. We’ll party till he passes out!
If Instagram has taught us anything, it's that Minnesota snowboarders love to fish. Maybe that's a generalization, but there's definitely a crew including yourself that are solid anglers. Every Fourth of July we feel the need to exhibit our patriotism: suddenly being American becomes a competition. Many are seized with the desire to partake in our country’s favorite pastimes like baseball, barbecuing—and, of course, fishing. As we come up on the long July Fourth weekend, can you offer a few pieces of advice to those who are trying to cast their lines into water for the first time? Does fishing fit into your personal 4th of July plans?
My advice for someone who is going fishing for the first time is most importantly exercising patience. Fishing is a game of patience and trial and error, and if you are just starting out its most likely going to be a slow start. That's not to say you can’t catch a big fish on your first time out, I have seen that happen before and it just goes to show how goofy and random fishing and fish in general can be. You could have all the best equipment and think you are using the best presentation and some crazy expensive bass boat and then somebody fishing off the dock with a bobber and worm catches a 5 lb bass! I've seen it happen. It's important to note as well that July days are typically hot and known as dogged days of summer, so fish are going to be more lethargic during these hot times. So my overall advice would be to have fun with it! Don't expect too much, and as the old adage says “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” Yes, fishing is for sure in my Fourth of July plans! See you on the water.
Being someone who was raised in New Zealand, and consequently a late starter in the peculiar ways of Americanism, what is your perspective on the Fourth of July? Does New Zealand have any comparable holidays? How are you planning to celebrate this 'Murica Day?
‘MURICA, I'd say is pretty well known for its patriotism and next level drinking culture (COLLEGE), it's amazing. I really think it's underrated; you guys have found so many creative and insane ways to just funnel alcohol into your system as fast as possible while playing fun games like throwing ping pong balls into plastic cups. And God save the souls of any foreigner who would even mention America as anything other than the greatest country on the planet (‘MURICA!!).
The only day that we have in NZ that comes close to being comparable to the 4th is a day called Waitangi Day. It celebrates the peace treaty that the British settlers and the natives of NZ (Maoris) signed. I'd say this day contains similar levels of alcohol intake (depends on who you are), but with less extreme patriotism. NZ is a humble wee country; the most patriotism you'll see out of the typical Kiwi is when the All Blacks (rugby team) are winning.
Last year I popped my 4th of July cherry. (Isn't it sad I had gone through 24 years of life without experiencing this beautiful day first hand!) This ‘MURICA day I'll be spending in Bend, Oregon. I have heard it's the best damn America Day celebration this side of the Colorado River. Am I right?
Bend, Oregon, your hometown, is known for its annual bizarre and ballistic 4th of July celebration. Can you tell us about the Freedom Ride?
The whole town of Bend is total mayhem on Fourth of July. What started a few years ago as a group of friends that rode their bikes through downtown and called it The Freedom Ride now completely disrupts the whole town. Thousands of bikers fill the streets, shutting down all traffic, and parade through Bend for a few hours. The ride begins and ends at different parks in town and each one is chaos. I have never been anywhere that does it quite like Bend does for the Fourth.
We've seen from the internet-breaking Labor Day videos that the Change That Tape crew take their motorized, beer-powered celebrations seriously. What are three things that are necessary for a proper summer celebration in Salt Lake City?
Salt Lake has been extremely hot this year so my plan is 30 pounds of ice and two coolers full of an array of coors light and corona. # 2 Water is key. That’s why I bought what I’d call a bit on the white trash side of an above ground pool at Wal-Mart. #3 Bottle rockets! They are fun and semi on the safe side in the dry climate and you can shoot your friends!! What more could you ask for.
Every holiday has a certain theme: Thanksgiving is the day of thanks; Christmas is the day of giving; Valentine’s Day is the day of love—but the Fourth of July is just about being gloriously, almost recklessly American, which means seeing just how loose we can get before the appearance of the dawn’s early light. Your ability to get the party started is renowned and respected. What advice can you give to anyone trying to put on a post-firework shindig of legendary proportions? Follow up, what will you be doing this Fourth of July?
If you're trying to throw a mega Spoice post-firework party there are a few things that I think are very necessary. First and foremost, you need an excessive amount of booze and Spoicey women—because let’s be honest, what gets people more hyped to celebrate this goddamn country more than those two things! A BBQ! People have been drinking all day so they’ve got to stay fueled by whatever the grill master is cooking up throughout the night! Music! You can’t have a good shindig without some tunes! Make people wanna get down and dance! Last but not least, your kit has to be all time! If you don’t have a good Fourth of July outfit, you should probably stay home! You have to represent this amazing country we live in! (And you probably won’t be getting any Spoice) ‘MERICA!!!!!!!!