• Erika Vikander wins at the Campus Rail Jam Tour Finals

    Team Rider Erika never fails to deliver and this season has been nothing different. In probably the last snowboard rail jam of the (real) season in Portland, Or at the Campus Rail Jam Tour finals, she killed it and ended up at the top of the podium with a nice little box of cash to get her through the summer.

    Erika Vikander wins First Place at Campus Rail Jam Tour
    Friday May 26th I hopped on a plane from Salt Lake City up to Portland, OR. This is the second time I have attended the Cricket Campus Rail Jam Tour Finals, and probably my tenth time competing in the series. The guys at the tour do a great job keeping everything legitimate, therefore its easy to come back year after year! I landed around 7pm and my friend Janessa came and picked me up, we got some food then went to her house to rest up for the following contest day.

    The following morning we woke up to some true Oregon weather, rain. Thankfully I had checked the weather prior to leaving so I was prepared. Janessa was patient and kind enough to play tour guide all day before the contest, and she took me to some pretty spectacular places around Portland. We checked out Pittock Mansion, downtown, and some other areas, it was really nice and I appreciate her putting up with me being such a tourist!

    Erika Vikander with Randa ShahinThe contest didn’t start until about 3:30 after we had about thirty minutes to practice. Trying not to get too wet or wear myself out, I only hit it twice during practice to feel the speed.The girls were all grouped together, in the 3rd heat, so we had a while to hang out and socialize. I spent most of my time with Janessa and her boyfriend and fellow Shred Betties team rider Randa Shahin. Between the crowd, the setup, and those two girls my spirits were high and I was ready to get out onto the course.

    With about eight or nine other girls competing, I wasn’t sure what to expect. These girls not only met, but exceeded my expectations for the level of riding. I was very impressed with what girls were doing, and trying to do. It poured rain on us the whole time, but I had enough in me to get some solid tricks on every feature which included; a down-flat-down rail on the lookers right, a launch box in the middle, and down rail with a kick at the end of it on the lookers left. The jam lasted about 30 minutes, then they announced the top 5 finalists which included myself and Janessa!

    The crowd was pleased to have this going on downtown Portland and the CRJT guys always find a way to get them involved. This time they had a dance off featuring some of the very colorful people in the audience. Needless to say it was amazing to watch. After the dance-off it was time for finals to start, all the the guys and girls on ski’s and snowboard’s were at the top strapped in, itching to drop first.

    Erika Vikander Rail Jam Portland

    In the end I believe they were looking for consistency across the board and a variety of tricks. I cleaned the down-flat-down rail a few times, got some solid back lips and 180’s on and off the down rail, and some good 180 taps over the launch box. I was very happy to take 1st and Janessa got 2nd and another lady shred friend Krysta got 3rd! It was a great event and a lot of love goes out to the guys who put this on year after year. Another successful year down, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT EVENT GUYS! Till next year…

  • Akinz Got New Meat! Intern Erin…

    My name is Erin Blaisdell and I am more than excited to start interning with Akinz. I am looking forward to being a part of a company that keeps it real and only gives us what we want, creativity with top of the line apparel and accessories. A little background about me is that I am an avid snowboarder and skateboarder who loves the outdoors, I do not think I could live my life any other way. Catching the thrill of it all is what I seek out.

    I have been working around the industry as a Marketing/PR/ Sales Assistant for a few years. I have met some great people along the way and absolutely love being apart of this community. I have recently moved from the East Coast out West to explore more life and make some grand memories. And no, I do not have a favorite coast, they both have some great qualities and life that I find exciting. Ill be posting up some Blog entries about the on goings at Akinz and whatever we think is awesome that you should know about. Make sure you check in often so you do not miss out. Akinz is  constantly growing and you do not want to be the one not in the know!

  • Get Some! at UNC

    We headed over to Greeley yesterday for the Northern Colorado Riders’ Get Some! season kickoff event at UNC. The event was way more packed than expected and since we were giving away a pair of our Shenanakinz wayfarer sunglasses if you signed up for our e-mail list, we had a line forming pretty quickly. Since I didn’t plan for such a turnout, we ran out of sunglasses in the first 30 minutes. They also almost cleaned me out of stickers and buttons too. Next time I attend a Northern Colorado Riders event, I’ll definitely know to be better prepared! Other sponsors were Never Summer, Blacklist Boardshop, The Gathering, and R.E.D. and Burton. Plus they were selling passes and giving out free BBQ. Good times.

    Best part was watching the hilarity that ensued for the chance to win a prize. There was a whipped cream eating, bubble gum blowing, run there and back race for a hoodie. I saw two back handsprings into a backflip for a North Face jacket. And a dance contest for a Never Summer sticker. People love free swag.

    Megan holding down the tent after we basically ran out of everything

    Product Toss

    Gathering for the product toss

    The Monster chugging contest

    Hot dog eating contest

  • 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!

  • Sunglasses at Night After Party Recap

    preparation for the mayhem

    I’m just now getting the recap up from the Akinz Sunglasses at Night After Party because I have been recovering up until this point. The party was April 3rd at Amante in Steamboat Springs and was tunes were provided by local djs, DJ Theory and DJ Dicon.

    The party started at 9 and the early party-goers started up the dance floor by 9:30 and it didn’t stop bumping until the party ended at 2:00am. Team skiiers Josh Satterfield and Brandon Krentz, being the youngun’s they are, avoided the mayhem that was the bar and dance floor area and started up their own hacky sack game by the entrance… enticing others tipsy and sober alike to join in.

    I don’t think Amante knew what was coming their way, considering they had to make 2 separate beer runs to the local liquor store and still ran out of beer before midnight. Of course, after the beer was gone, the liquor was soon to follow. By the time we decided to stop taking cover at the door around 11:45 , they had already run out of vodka, and were on to rum and whiskey. At the end of the night, they only had 2 bottles of white wine left.

    Overall, there were plenty of shenanigans for stories the next day and everybody was of course wearing the new Akinz Shenanakinz sunglasses which was a lovely sight to behold. I’ve heard reports of them being spotted all over Steamboat for the past couple weeks and there were quite a few Akinz sunglasses spottings at the Copper closing weekend.

    Shannon Johnson of Shayboarder.com

    Josh Satterfield

    Akinz owner Suzanne with team skiers Brandon Krentz and Josh Satterfield

    Check out all the photos from the party in our Facebook album.

  • Another win for Erika at Oakley Zone Madness

    Saturday the 20th of March marked another beautiful spring day up here in UT. We have had a lot of those lately, and I’m very happy about it. With the sun shining, and the sky blue I knew it was going to be a good day.
    After registering with the friendly staff of the Canyons, I took the gondola up the the Upper Respect Terrain Park. This park is so much fun, and has been all year. The Canyons park crew really do a wonderful job with what they have to work with, and I know a lot of people including myself will be buying passes there next year instead of Park City.
    I ran into a few people I knew there, including Kiri Bennersly. She is a rad ripper from New Zealand, we were stoked to see each other and tear up the park all day. Kiri is a local canyons girl, and she showed me the ropes a little bit. I love The Canyons, it has such a great vibe, and it is very spread out.
    After a couple laps through the park it was time to start the competition. This competition had an unusual format. There were 3 zones to choose from. The first was an option between a down-flat-down rail, and a down-flat-down skinny box. The second was the first two jumps in Upper Respect. The third was a log jib, or a big stall/bonk option. You had the choice of competing in all three to win the overall, or just do certain divisions. This park is too much fun so I had to do all three right??
    We started with a 30 minute rail jam on the two down-flat-down features. People were throwing down, and they were playing really good music, so I decided to get a little technical with my tricks. I got a couple of solid Cab 270’s on and off the down-flat-down skinny box, and a 50-50 to switch 50-50 on the down-flat-down rail. Feeling pretty confident we moved to the jump section which is my favorite.
    We were judged on the first two jumps, as I normally have to practice with three jumps in other competitions, I was slightly thrown off by just two, but I adjusted accordingly, and it was just plain fun. I landed a couple of Cab 540’s and some backside 360’s and ended with a huge method grab! Luckily we were able to ride the lift during this portion, hit the bigger part of the park, and rest a bit.
    Up next came the final Jam session on the log jib, and the Skullcandy Stall. I had never hit either of these features before in the park, so I was a little hesitant at first. But after watching where a couple of the guys dropped in from, I went for it. Happily all went well, I did a couple of mellow tricks, and walked away with an overall win! Mission accomplished! Thanks for putting on another great event CANYONS!!!