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: Damian Sanders
On paper, Damian Sanders seemed like your typical “rip the gnar” poser. He had the spandex pants, moussed-up bleached blond mop, Vuarnet shades, and hot pink hardboots. Yet once in front of the lens a magnetic persona appeared unlike any other. By dropping insane cliffs and doing tricks the uninitiated could understand, like backflips, Damian Sanders was an accessible icon for a growing number of non-hardcore snowboarders in the late eighties.
Riding for his brother Chris’s Tahoe-based brand Avalanche, Damian developed his own aggro surf style that quickly took him away from the contest circuit and put him in front of Fall Line Films‘ cameras. As the star of Snowboarders in Exile Damian become our sports first film pro. Before this point, every sponsored rider was expected to prove their worth on the pro tour. Damian changed all that. His Squaw Valley lines and Mount Rose booter sessions electrified a sport that was quickly falling into the regimented rat race it was initially pioneered to thwart. Once Snowboarders In Exile broke Damian blew up and earned himself accolades from coast to coast, launched a supersized cliff in a McDonald’s Super Bowl commercial and landed some B-level celebrity arm candy by way of Penthouse Magazine‘s 1992 Pet Of The Year, Brandy Ledford. After a brief attempt at a softbooted comeback in the mid-nineties, Damien put his aptitude for living fast to good use. He joined John Huntington in creating Club Rubber, a high production rave type celebration of everything hedonistic that had become an institution in Southern California and Nevada. In 2013, with the hardboots long since retired Damian shifted his focus to hardbodies by inventing the XBAR, a portable fitness device.