words and photos: Patrick Harrington
Fact number one: snowboarding in powder is one of the best feelings that any snowboarder can experience in his or her lifetime.
Fact number two: the feeling of freedom that riding powder provides, enhances any shredder's sense of creativity and stoke, ultimately creating a desire to find an even better way to experience the ride
It is because of these two facts that living snowboard legend and Jackson, Wyoming local Rob "Kinger" Kingwill devised and created the "Jackson Hole Pow Wow". Kinger's concept was to hold a collective gathering of snowboard industry veterans, new comers and local heroes to celebrate the simple act of riding powder and creative snowboard designs that make the ride even better.
The second annual Pow Wow was held this past week at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort under perfect conditions. The kick off morning was accompanied by 11 inches of blower pow and was then followed by two bluebird days that only fueled the excitement of the testers, reps and media hounds to get out and enjoy the amazing backcountry access that Jackson Hole has to offer.
Base camp consisted of a private tent located just under the flight path of Jackson Hole's aerial tram. There, the "warriors of shred" (as Kinger called everyone) would rendezvous to talk about the previous night's exploits, nerd out on board shapes and eventually mount a stick and go rip.
Over ten brands from all over the globe were represented, essentially creating the largest powder board quiver in the world. Shapes reminiscent of the past and ones that have never been seen before filled the tent and gave testers an insane pool of design logic to choose from. The testing talent was equally as impressive as the board selection. Having the likes of legendary riders like Andy Hetzel, Roan Rogers, Dale Rehburg, and industry loose cannons like Nate Farrell and Alex Pashley testing boards and leading backcountry tours made for an incredible testing platform and an amzing mix of the snowboard community.
There certainly has been a revolution, better yet a shift of consciousness in the past five years when it comes to board design and function, flipping the script on when and where these types of boards can be used. The Jackson Hole Pow Wow is becoming the shred-centric version of the UN and Rob Kingwill is the Secretary-General. The on-hill experience of the week was complimented by amazing support from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, local retailers, restaurants and amazing snowboard minds like Jeff Grell, Stephen Koch and others who were willing to tell their stories to the Pow Wow tribe. This event has become an instant favorite, so hopefully we will see you in Jackson next year.
Keep an eye out for upcoming events on the Kinger's website: www.avalonseven.com/jhpowwow.