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  • Erika kills it in old bindings and rental boots.

    Our team rider Erika recently proved her dedication to the sport of snowboarding, by participating in and WINNING a rail jam in the middle of her vacation. Read on to hear about her adventures in finding snowboarding gear to use and how she snagged the first place spot.

    campus rail jamHaving come down to California for a vacation, the last thing I thought I would be doing is snowboarding. However, when I found out about the Campus Rail Jam Tour San Diego stop, things changed. Just one problem…. I didn’t bring ANY of my snowboarding gear with me.
    My scramble to begin finding gear started on tuesday the 4th of May. I emailed my wonderful helmet sponsor CAPIX to see if I could get a helmet by Friday the 7th (the day of the competition.) Thanks Ronnie for making that happen! I also contacted my most recent sponsor ROXY to see if I could get a board, boots, and bindings from them in order to participate. Unfortunately, I contacted them too short of notice, and they were unable to get me a board in time. But I did get an amazing setup from them the day after the competition! THANKS NICHOLE AND ROXY!

    So I had a helmet to use, but no snowboard, boots, bindings, or snowpants. Fortunately, Raelynd Tarnove brought me a pair of her snowpants to use, another friend from Irvine let me borrow her board from about 8 years ago with one of the first models’ of Burton bindings ever, and I rented some Salomon boots straight from the 80’s from Sport Chalet.

    The competition started at 5p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Garrett and I arrived down there a little bit early after happily missing the heavy traffic. While standing in the registration line I was excited to see lots of the same guys putting on the event. Feeling pretty confident going into this competition, despite being on an old setup which I had never ridden before, it must have shown. Before the competition started I got interviewed by ABC 10 News, and Fuel Tv. . . they asked me the usual stuff about competing, and asked if I would be competing in my swimsuit. My immediate response “No i’m going to represent the ladies in a decent and respectful fashion.” And thats just what I did.

    The ladies were in heat two. We all watched the men’s snowboard category in anticipation of getting on the setup ourselves. I was happy we didn’t have to waste time practicing. In a jam format like this, there really is no reason to practice. Not to mention I have hit this exact setup about 3 or 4 times already this year. Trying to encourage the rest of the girls who looked a little nervous, I dropped first for the ladies. I chose to hit the gap-to-downbox first, the speed was fine, and my confidence grew just a little bit.

    After about a half an hour to forty five minutes later, I had laid down at least a couple of solid tricks on every feature. Half of the battle was landing and riding away- due to the warm weather the landing was quickly melting away straight to the asphalt. Luckily, I didn’t take one hard fall and wreck myself. They announced the top three girls to move onto finals.
    Including myself, two other girls, the top 5 skiers, and the top 10 men’s snowboarders the finals lasted for only 30 minutes. That was more than enough time for me. The judges were judging us on overall impression. After landing almost every trick I tried , I felt good after it was all over. After they announced the results, I took 1st, and my friend Raelynd got 3rd! Joe from Fuel TV asked to do another interview with me, it felt good to have another solid result on my resume. Oh, and it was a LOT OF FUN! Great job to the guys at the Cricket Campus Rail Jam Tour- you guys always know how to do it right!

  • 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.

  • 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 who took this killer photo of Erika showing off her skills.  This is what Erika had to say about the competition:


    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!

  • All the cold weather has us beanie inspired!

    I don’t know if you live in a cold climate area or not, but here in Steamboat, temperatures have been in the negatives for a week straight.  Of course, we’re unwilling to sacrifice good riding since we’ve also gotten almost 3 feet of snow in the last 48 hours!  Therefore, I’ve endured a frostbitten nose, a side bruise from a hip check on a tree and sore legs from riding in so much powder… I know, you don’t feel sorry for me. 

    But, all that cold weather has made us beanie crazy!  So far, our website has up the two new beanies, the jailbait beanie with either a hot pink, lime, or aqua pompom and the Elementary beanie with it’s back to basics, blue, white, and yellow stripes with pink pom.  Soon you’ll be seeing the grape escape pop up and even more to come!  Keep an eye on our hats section for more fun beanies and colors!

  • “Where’d the gnar go?” winner announced!

    After staring at some pretty sick photos for about an hour, I finally decided that this pic stood out above them all!


    Fredrik Savenberg

    Fredrik Savenberg

    We thought this pic was the perfect combination of excellent photographic skills and boarding skills.  There were so many good shots!  Thank you all for entering! Fredrik won his choice of one of our t-shirts as his prize.  Want to be involved the next time there’s an opportunity to win one of our t-shirts or hats?  Join our newsletter to receive current promotions!