“Life at Riks… you snowboard and sleep. That is all you do.” – Alek Østreng
A quick look into snowboarding’s past with some of its current iconic names. Smith Optic’s Scott Stevens, Alek Østreng, Austin Smith, Louif Paradis, Elias Elhardt and Len Jorgensen meet up to pay homage to Riksgränsen’s place in our culture and to snowboard, of course. Berms, butters, and unstrapped bindings are all in play with this all-time crew. Reflection and progression have never been closer. We would tell you to watch it… but we are guessing you started after reading the list of riders involved.
In 1996, one method changed what was considered possible on a snowboard. Moving forward from that moment, the sky was the limit. Ingemar Backman's groundbreaking method went down in a place called Riksgränsen and would prove to be an inspiration to generations of snowboarders.
Riksgränsen is the Scandinavian border between Norway and Sweden. Under a midnight sun, Smith team riders Scott Stevens, Alek Østreng, Austin Smith, Louif Paradis, Elias Elhardt and Len Jorgensen gathered there in May of 2016 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Ingmar's legendary Method. Multiple generations of snowboarders pushed the levels of progression with each other, keeping the stoke level high. Alek's timeless Methods fueled Scott's inventive Tail Blocks and so on down the line. After leaving Riks, the crew seized the opportunity to chase waves on the Norwegian coast and skate the city of Oslo. Austin, stoked to be in the land of a never setting sun, made a midnight expedition across the Fjord (via a commandeered stand up paddle board) to hike and ride a chute he'd had his eye on. The whole trip was snowboarding distilled. Scott reflected, "It was like being back in '96." smithoptics.com