It once seemed that old pros retired to the backcountry; soft landings and powder turns were considered to be the furnishings of snowboarding’s geriatric ward. Progression appeared to happen elsewhere-in an inch of snow on city streets and on the man-made features of resort parks.
Now, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say something like, “Man, how times have changed.” But snowboarding is cyclical like anything else, and anyone who’s been at it for a while knows that the backcountry has been the shred world’s true proving grounds before (maybe always).
During the mid eighties, the backcountry was just about the only place to ride, because most resorts didn’t even allow snowboarders. Ten years later, Alaska was on the map, and riders like Shawn Farmer and Matt Goodwill were pushing it there.
But to every generation of riders, the old is new again. And the backcountry is never short on the things that keep us riding long after nailing this park trick or that. Discovery, challenge, and … well, Annie Boulanger says it better than I. Her story begins on page 120.

Ride on,


Kurt Hoy
Editor In Chief