Nine years ago today, Craig Kelly and six other passed away in an avalanche near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Almost a decade later his soulful style still touches snowboarding to the core—he remains our copilot.
Craig was the first rider to have his own TransWorld column—Techniques, a trick tip column covering roast beefs, 360 air to fakies, and other cutting-edge freestyle tricks. He was the first rider ever to score a TransWorld interview; it was 1989, when, as the reigning four-time world champion, he revealed his plan to transition out of contest riding. He was the first to win a title at the inaugural 1991 Riders’ Poll: All Around Rider Of The Year and Halfpipe Rider Of The Year. At the time, we wrote, “It’s really no surprise that Craig Kelly swept the overall in the poll. He’s arguably the single most recognized person in the sport…” Branching off from that recognition into more soulful pursuits in the backcountry, Craig’s contribution continued—he spearheaded epic travel features to Greenland (November 1997) and famously to Iran (March 1997).
Today we ask that you take a moment to honor not only Craig’s memory and contribution to snowboarding, but all those that lost their lives in pursuit of the sport they loved. Craig, Jeff Anderson, Aaron Robinson, Sarah Burke, and all the unsung shreds who have tragically passed away, may you Rest In Peace.