Is Anybody Out There? We invited some of our friends in the wide world of snowboarding to dropus a line-powder boasts, love poems, travel horrors, chicken scratch-on a postcard so you can catcha glimpse of the life these road warriors lead. We’d love to see where you’ve been, too!

Letter Of The Month

I’ve been buying your magazine for a while, so I thought I’d write and say I think it’s really cool. Iread each issue over and over and then lend them to my friends, so lots of people end up getting their grubbyhands on them. I wanted to ask you something, ’cause I’m not embarrassed about who I am. Your magazinealways shows lots of cool riders, but are any of them gay? I’m “out” to all my friends (and my parents, butthat’s a different tragedy-I mean, story), and everyone’s been really cool. Just in case you think all boardersare STR8-they’re not. I’ve been boarding for four years. I think it’d be cool if you could feature guys whowere gay, ’cause my friends would say, “Hey, Jeremy! This is so cool-this guy can be your hero!” Ha ha. Atthe very least, you could write an article about how tired kewl gay boarders are of girls hitting on them! Haha-that was a joke, in case you’re not laughing there in your office. Okay, so seriously, your magazine rocks.2 GR8 2B STR8.

Jeremy London, Ontario, Canada

Thanks, but no thanks, Jer. Luckily, we’ve gotstrict policies in place preventing us from delving into the riders’ private nookie worlds. Althougha bit mystified, the Snowboard Life staff is touched you feel comfortable enough to share yourinnermost feelings with us. But seriously, it takes serious courage to expose your true self(symbolically, of course), so we’ve decided to reward your mettle with our inaugural Letter of theMonth free snowboard! That’s right, Jer, you’ll be the one laughing when your friends see thefun-loving, liberated you, complete with your stylin’ and absolutely free Arbor freeriding board.Live it up, buddy. Life is good.-E.M.

Sizing Us Up What’s my story?

I’m a 53-year-old dentist wholoves to snowboard. I enjoy the backcountry, heliboarding, and freeriding. The halfpipe is forpeople half my age. I wasn’t surprised to see you needing help in the direction of your magazine.The first year, you had great articles and a real direction of a freeriding magazine. This pastseason, your magazine has completely fallen apart-poor articles and no direction. It seems lessthan half the original size. One of my patients was an editor of Skiing magazine until they movedto their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. He couldn’t believe how far the magazine has fallensince its initial release. It seems I’m not telling you anything new! Please review the initial issuesof your magazine. I still have them. If it doesn’t change, I will cancel my subscription.

Sincerely,

Jerome Wolfert, D.M.D. Cold Springs Harbor, New York

It’s actually a good sign that yourex-ski-editor buddy doesn’t much fancy Snowboard Life, since it is a pure snowboardingmagazine. We’ve worked hard to cultivate our own crop of wordsmiths who actually ride, andaccording to the vast majority of letters we receive, we’re on the right track. Stick around for acouple issues, doc, the best is yet to come. And quit listening to those ne’er-do-wellskier-types-they’ll rot your brain.-E.M.

Boarder In The Big House

My name is Jon. I’m from NewYork. I’m a big fan of Snowboard Life. I’ve been snowboarding for about five years now. From thefirst time I strapped in, I knew I wanted to do it the rest of my life. At the present moment I am ina county jail for a little bit. I’ve had no idea what has been happening in the world of snowboarding.Fortunately I found a way to get Snowboard Life. It gives me the ins and outs of what’s happening,and the latest updates on the newest equipment. It keeps me in touch with what I love so much-theslopes. Thank you!

Jon P. Herdman Genesco, New York

P.S. I’d like to see some instruction onhow to pull off some new move

You’re in luck. Next month we’ll show you how to pull off thebackside-fakie-sneak-the-key-break-free.-R.H.

Looking For The Haak

I’m a new subscriber and Iwas wondering why you don’t put in any pictures or interviews with Terje Haakonsen. I watch hismovie, Subjekt: Haakonsen, all the time. Is it because he’s riding without the photographers, orhave you forgotten how good of a freerider he is? I would like to see him in more magazinepictures, or maybe even in an ad for Burton, Volcom, Oakley, or Reef. I think that he’s the bestrider, and many people would agree with me, but not as many as there would be if they all knewwho he was. Thanks. Jamie Kyes Oakville, Ontario, Canada You’re not the first or last reader towrite us wondering why we don’t run more shots of Terje. As you suspected, Terje’s an elusiveson-of-a-gun, and doesn’t ride for photos too often. We rarely receive shots of him that weren’ttaken at contests. We’ll redouble our efforts to track down some freeriding shots of him.-E.M.South American Shakas I’m a Brazilian snowboarder, a freerider with Alpine technique and asurfing style. So your magazine always has a lot to contribute to my lifestyle. A few years ago, Iwas hanging around at the airport waiting to fly back to Rio after some “surfing” days inColorado when I first saw an ad for Snowboard Life in another magazine. I knew right away itwas the magazine for me. I immediately subscribed. The first magazine I received at home in Riowas your second or third issue, I believe, and to my surprise, there was a very good article writtenby my good friend and coach Kurt Hoy. His instructional articles, I can say, are just the same I ashad at the mountain-great tips. Another great guy I can now “see” in the Life is our friend,photographer Aaron Chang (“Totally Board: A look behind the scenes at Standard Films,” April1999), with his way of picturing snowboarding-just like surfing. I’ve had the idea to write you aletter in mind since my first issue, just to say you are in the right way. Jake Burton, Tom Sims,and any others who first idealized snowboarding-they were for sure dreaming about “surfing” themountains, not spinning, catching the air, or racing on the snow. Of course, I like freestyle andslalom races, but they are not as cool as the surfing style in the powder. Kurt, congratulations onyour editorial “Nothing Personal” (From The Top, January 1999). We don’t try to be different,we just are because we ride the way we like! And Aaron, you got the picture you were looking for.You were really able to show snowboarding like surfing in the December and Januaryissues-congratulations. Sorry for my English, I hope I can be understandable.

Oskar Metsavaht

Founder and President, Brazilian Snowboard Association

Oskar, como vai? Todo bien? Thecoolest thing about the surfing and snowboarding lifestyles is the friends we meet along the way(even though they never write). Thanks for the stoke and dedication. If you see Aaron, tell him tosend some more photos-they’re always insane. Hope we can make some turns now that the snow’sfalling in Chile.-K.H.

Great Laker

I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation for yourarticle on snowboarding in the Midwest. As I hope you discovered, the spirit of snowboardingradiates throughout the freshwater regions of our Midwestern hometowns. As riders, we all dreamabout vast mountains blanketed with deep powder and endless days floating in blissful delight.Certainly all natives of the Midwest who dream of greater riding pursuits approach a time in theirlives when the temptation of packing up and heading West boils within their thoughts. But thereis something special about heritage. Call it values, call it what you will, I am incredibly proud ofmy Michigan roots and take great pride in the natural gifts within the borders of the Great Lakes.Though bigger would be better, we all still shine on the eve of a lake-effect snowfall, andanxiously await our pursuit of the ultimate sensation of freedom that snowboarding provides. Thelifestyle and sport of snowboarding in the Midwest, perhaps quiet to the distant ear, has a boomin’tone that reverberates through the hearts of all Great Lakes snowboarders. Thanks again forpassing through. You’re always welcome!

Mike Sispera Snowboard Instructor and Owner ofCarvana Board Sports Boyne Highlands, Michigan

Reader Intelligence Quiz

Get down, hype up,lay low, step off, speak out. Make it insane-win a free snowboard or some other killer item. Sendall correspondence to: Snowboard Life 353 Airport Road Oceanside, California 92054 FAX:(760) 722-0653 E-mail: sblife@twsnet.com sensation of freedom that snowboarding provides. Thelifestyle and sport of snowboarding in the Midwest, perhaps quiet to the distant ear, has a boomin’tone that reverberates through the hearts of all Great Lakes snowboarders. Thanks again forpassing through. You’re always welcome!

Mike Sispera Snowboard Instructor and Owner ofCarvana Board Sports Boyne Highlands, Michigan

Reader Intelligence Quiz

Get down, hype up,lay low, step off, speak out. Make it insane-win a free snowboard or some other killer item. Sendall correspondence to: Snowboard Life 353 Airport Road Oceanside, California 92054 FAX:(760) 722-0653 E-mail: sblife@twsnet.com