• Erika’s version of SIA and her 3rd place win at Brighton


    After finishing some last minute preparations we set out on Tuesday around 2 for Denver. We decided to take Highway 40 the whole way, it seemed fine for the first few hours, but then we hit some weather. Right after Steamboat Springs it started snowing really hard. The road was pretty scary by now, it was night, the road was ice underneath, with a couple inches of snow on top. We had to take it really slowly in order to maintain control. Luckily we got behind a snow plow going up Berthoud Pass which takes you all the way up to 11,500 feet, where it is impossible to see. We made it down safely after about 2 hours, and we were happy to finally arrive at our final destination at Garretts’ cousins’ house in Arvada, CO. The next day we explored Arvada and the surrounding area with our great host Janna (Garretts cousins girlfriend) who also cooked us a hearty meal and with full bellies we slept soundly eagerly awaiting our next day at SIA.
    We got up around 8:00 in order to be at our first interview with Shred Betties and Spy by 9:00am. After some coffee with made our way into downtown Denver. Parking was a nightmare, but fortunately we found an underground that was only $14 for the day. When we walked inside the Colorado Convention Center I was amazed to see what a HUGE building it was- but with huge buildings comes lots of people. Kelly from Shred Betties eventually found us and gave us our credentials to get in. And the madness began…

    Our first appointment was with Spy. Valerie helped show us their 2010-11 women’s line, and was gracious enough to give us some sweet sunglasses at the end of our appointment. Next we hit up Nikita, and I got to try on some of their fun oufits, and check out their new board that they collaborated with K2 for.

    We also stopped by the O-Matic booth and talked with Tanya. She was so fun to interview, a very positive person. She did a great job telling us about Todd Richards’ graphics and what a goof-ball he seems to be. Tanya had lots of good things to say about O-Matic and even offered me a board that is on its way right now! THANK YOU TANYA CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT!

    Our day flew by, we had tons of interviews. When I finally got a little time to stray off from doing interviews Garrett and I made our way over to the Spacecraft booth to go meet my team manager Ryan. It was the first time we had met each other so I was slightly nervous! But, Ryan is not one to make people feel uncomfortable, after our first words I knew he was chill, and i’m glad to be a part of Spacecraft.
    We returned to the house after our busy day, and crashed out. Anxious to get my box of goodies Ryan promised me when I saw him I couldn’t wait to get back there in the morning. I closed my eyes, and the next thing I knew we were up and out the door again. After a day of wandering through the thousands of booths at SIA we thought we knew how to get back to Spacecraft. Half an hour later we found it! YES! Ryan had lots of goodies to give me and I am so stoked on everything he hooked me up with! THANK YOU! We chatted for a little bit, Garret and I posed for a photo, then we were off to meet Kelly at the Drop booth. I was stoked to see my team manager Suzanne from Akinz was there also, and we ran up to each other like little girls and hugged for a sentimental moment ha ha. The rest of the day was really fun as Suzanne and I are pretty goofy together. Garrett went and met up with his cousin Jason and they went their separate direction, while Suzanne and I stuck with the Shred Betties crew.
    Over at the Northwave booth we met up with another one of the team riders for Shred Betties, Clair Hewitt Demeyer. She was taking over my interviewing job, because we had to get on the road as soon as possible, Garrett had to work at 6:45 in the morning and I had a competition at Brighton the next day. Desiree from Northwave let me interview her, and ask some questions about their new product, so Clair could see how it was done. Von Zipper was next on the list, and I think this was the most fun interview we did the whole time. GT from VZ helped show us the new product line, and let me tell you, he was a riot. We all had a blast over there taking pictures, cracking jokes, and giving each GT a hard time, but he was a good sport about it. The new Von Zipper sunglasses, and goggles are sick by the way. We got some cool pictures goofing around at the booth. Thanks GT!

    Unfortunately Garret and I didn’t end up leaving Denver area until about 4:30, so again, we were driving all night. We opted to take I-70 to the 191 to I-15 this time. The drive was mellow, it was a full moon, clear skies, with white snowdrifts all around us. It was beautiful, very peaceful. We ended up getting home around about 12:30pm and we both passed out hard.
    I woke up to an alarm again at 7:00, realized I didn’t even have a ride to Brighton to compete, and panicked slightly. Luckily my brothers girlfriend Jess was nice enough to come grab me and take me up there. She even showed up with a yogurt, and we stopped and got some coffee. I was feeling very slow, from lack of sleep, and lack of snowboarding for about a week and a half. I showed up right at 9:00 for registration, and ended up waiting in lines till 10:00 to finally get my paper work in.
    So by the time I got out on the course I got 3 practice runs. I was confused to see how many wall rides they decided to put in the course, I mean i’m all for wall rides, but not 5 in one run. The jumps were a little strange too, small jumps with super poppy take-offs that make it hard to clear. All in all I was a little disappointed, but I was just stoked to be snowboarding again:) My first run I got a little over confident on a front 3 and over rotated to a perfect front 450. Sweet. So I had to skip the next jump because I lost all my speed. The next run I decided to play it safe with a frontside 180 to cab 5. I butt checked a little on the cab 5, but I guess it didn’t matter too much because I still ended up in 3rd! It was a very fun competition, lots of nice people there, and tons of smiles:)
    Been having a blast riding Kings Crown at Park City the past few days. Training in session. Heading to Vermont on Friday. Stay Tuned!

  • Akinz adds Damon Butler to the team!

    Damon Butler, a snowboard slopestyle competitor out of Steamboat Springs, CO, has joined the Akinz team. Damon made the switch from competing in halfpipe to slopestyle this season and apparently it was a good decision, as he recently claimed first at the USASA Rocky Mountain series in slopestyle that was held in Copper on January 9th, 2010. We expect more medals to be thrown his way soon.

    Damon’s one of those riders that is super focused, super committed, but always has time to stop and help somebody out with whatever they’re working on.

    He’s super fun to ride with as you’ll just be chilling along a run when all of a sudden he spins a backflip off a bump you barely saw. He can throw backside double corks off kickers and doesn’t even break a sweat.

    We’re super excited to add him to our team and can promise you’ll be seeing his name around quite a bit.

  • Erika Vikander takes 1st place at Canyons NYE Rail Jam

    This year’s Canyons New Years Eve rail jam found our Akinz team rider, Erika Vikander, in first place. Hear about the event straight from her mouth:

    erikaThe Canyons hosted their 3rd annual New Years Eve rail jam on Thursday, December 31. They went all out this year. The setup was awesome! You had an option of two zones. Zone 1 started you off with a nice single barrel down rail, to a double barrel down-flat-down, to a fence. Zone 2 contained a fun box with a nice little drop off the end, to a giant corrugated tube, that you could either jib, or hit like a jump, ending with a VW Rabbit Jib.

    All of the riders were pumped and the session commenced. We had about an hour long jam session, throughout which judges were tapping riders and letting them know whether or not they made finals. All of the finalists were given glow sticks! After receiving one I decided to take it easy until finals started.
    After a short intermission to fix the course finals started. By that time the snow had slowed down a little bit, and everyone was tired. There were a couple of bad falls due to fatigue. In the end I came out on top with $100 and Alice Gong took second.

    I hope The Canyons continues to put on events like this. It was so nice to go to an event that was well maintained and FUN! The crowd was pumped, live music, fireworks, what more could you ask for?


    erika_canyonserika_canyons2erikacanyons3

  • Park City is OPEN!

    A post from Erika Vikander on December 20th about the opening of Park City.

    ErikaPark City has finally opened, with 3 parks up and running. The first few days of shredding we all got to enjoy a very nice little 3 jump line right on homerun. The jumps are so fun! The new park director of PC is doing a great job, and I am excited to see what he has in store for the rest of the season, and the bigger parks.

    They also opened up pik-n-shovel. The setup in there is so fun. Starting off with two picnic tables together to make a long one, down rail, wall ride, another down rail, and into the jumpline. With 5 perfectly built jumps to session, people are throwing down, and it’s easy to learn new tricks, because they are not your typical lippy park city jumps. The pipe is open too- and its HUGE! I haven’t had the opportunity to ride it yet, but I will definitely make my way over there tomorrow!

    That’s it thats all folks! Go ride PC!

  • Erika talks about the Backyard Bang

    We went down and supported Erika at Backyard Bang and had a lot of fun.  Lots of good riders.  Lots of fun tricks.  The setup seemed a little cramped, but I guess that’s what happens when you have a rail jam in the middle of downtown on a 2-lane street. :)  Ran into our friend Chris Rogers from Sbgmag.com who took this killer photo of Erika showing off her skills.  This is what Erika had to say about the competition:

    Backyard-Bang-Denver-35

    The backyard bang hit Denver’s Art Institute of Colorado on Saturday. They closed off Lincoln street and put a three feature setup in the middle of the street! It was a beautiful day, about 55 degrees, sunny, and blue skies. Lots of spectators flocked to the street to watch everyone throw down. I think registration was one of the most packed full little tents I have ever been in. So many guys trying to register day of for 45 spots. Luckily, every girl gets to compete, because there are so few of us. Turns out there were more than they expected, so they split us up into groups of about 4 and threw us into the guys heats.

    The drop in was to say the least, fast. Before you even had time to think about what you were doing you were already at the rail! Unfortunately the landing was flat too, so some people hit pretty hard without any transition for it.
    Next year I hope they build some sort of landing, and it would be nice if they had put all the girls in the same heat. A lot of the girls seem to get overlooked when they are in a heat with 4 of them and 15 guys. I’m not exactly sure what they were thinking only taking the top 3 girls to finals, with 5 girls at least more have a chance, and there is a mystery as to who will get top 3!
    Shred Betties girls were all killing it. I think we each were in a different heat and everyone was definitely shining. Everyone had a good time and was smiling and thats what counts!
  • Come support Akinz team rider Erika Vikander at Denver’s Backyard Bang

    Erika Vikander, our solo female team rider will be competing in this weekend’s Backyard Bang in Denver. The Backyard Bang is a celebration of Art, Music, Food, and of course snowboarding, put on by Salomon Snowboards and the Art Institute of Colorado. For more information or to register, click here. Otherwise, just come out and support Erika and Akinz from 11-5 at 1200 Lincoln St in Denver, CO

    Backyard Bang flyer

    Backyard Bang flyer

  • Interactive Akinz road trip!

    So, we’re halfway through our little road trip, but our next stop is only 5 hours away today. We’re leaving Chicago and headed to the Hawkeye State of Iowa for the capitol town of Des Moines.

    We decided we would race you. Armed only with our GPS, Thelma “Danger” Maxwell, Twizzlers, and a camera…. you’ve got a pretty good chance to beat us, cause we are distracted easily. All you have to do is go to the website and use the discount code HAWKEYE to get 60% off your entire order. That’s right, even the new stuff. But, as soon as we check in to Des Moines, it’s no more discount, so get it while it’s good!

    I’ll keep you updated along the way for your deadline… see you on the road!

  • Team Rider Max hosts backyard rail jam bday bash

    Max Middlestadt talks about his upcoming rail jam comp set in his very own backyard:

    For everyone who rides, you know there’s no better feeling than that first pre-season drop-in on your backyard jib. After a solid shoveling session at the local arena, the trailer is loaded up and en route to the about-to-be shredded setup. Every year around this time me and the local crew get together to enjoy those first runs of the season. To me its hard to beat having your good friends out, best tunes, and a fun setup to throw down on right at your own place, so last season i got the idea to get all my buddies out and have one big jam. With a 28′ long down flat down box, live DJ, product to give away (courtesy of Akinz, Dialogue, and United Riders) and my birthday the day after i think there is definitely potential to have a wicked night with close friends, and good tricks. Sights are set on Friday October 23, to hold the jam and things are looking up right now just hoping the weather holds out for us.

    backyard jam

    Akinz is delivering some goodies for the winners, so if you’re up in Canada… get out there. 🙂

  • Help Support the Akinz Team by shopping!

    Since Akinz has announced our new team for the 09/10 winter season, they’ve come up with some big ideas, but unfortunately, Akinz is still fairly small company. So, Akinz is giving them the opportunity to grow the Team Fund… this fund will go towards travel for comps, backyard rail jams, video edits, or whatever else they come up with.

    So, now is your chance to help them out! If there is an item you’ve had your eye on on the Akinz site, buy it between now and October 19th and 20% of the sale will go to their Fun/Travel/Comp Fund.

    Shop http://www.shop.akinz.com now!

  • 09/10 Team Announced!

    We’re gearing up for the 09/10 winter season and we’ve got some awesome new team members ready to hit the slopes.

    On Snowboard, we’ve got Erika Vikander of Salt Lake City and Max Middlestadt of Canada joining the ranks.

    On Ski, we’ve got young’uns Josh Satterfield and Brandon Krentz from Steamboat showing us how it’s done. Stay tuned to see more from these guys on their recent competitions, shenanigans, and how you can get more involved!