The location is undisclosed, the time varies, but when the annual gathering goes down, snowboarding’s best slog deep into the Canadian interior to celebrate a regression of our culture. The yearly G.T. Memorial NoBoard Race draws a crowd to rejoice life and death, and snowboarding in its simplest form. Sure, it’s timed, but that only matters for barroom bragging rights because, “The warm, nostalgia-filled cabin and retro snowcat are the epitome of what the NoBoard stands for-an unabashed honesty, utter lack of expectation, and a group of friends congregating to ride beyond the restrictions of both modern resorts and bindings.” Writes Pete Anderson in the October 2008 TransWorld Snowboarding article, NoBoarding: Staking Their Claim.
The NoBoard–a modified, bindingless board is the co-creation of Cholo Burns and the late Greg Todds. A rope holds it snug to your feet, while a traction pad grips your boots. The ride is like a rodeo, and if you got what it takes you can drop the rope like Wolle.
“The NoBoard is the brainchild of Greg Todds, or G.T. to his friends. A true Canadian snowboard pioneer, Greg chased the snow and its ever elusive stoke for years. Always pushing the sport’s evolution, he put together one of the first terrain parks at Lake Louise, Alberta, and then moved on to Whistler, where he built the first “Superpipe” with Al Clark at Brohm Ridge. Finally growing tired of the Whistler scene, Greg moved inland to Revelstoke, eventually venturing even deeper into the B.C. Interior in search of his snowboard Nirvana.” Says Pete.
True to G.T.’s pursuit, this year’s bash went of again. Terje, Devun, Wolle, Tadashi, Johan, Cholo, Iikka, Eero, the list goes on. So many heavies showed up for the minute or so plunder down the pillow packed, clear-cut run and the few days’ festivities. Filmer Jake Price was the first to smash the beer at the bottom in the Chinese-Canadian downhill race, while Ave had the fastest one run of the day. The antics rolled into the evenings and a good chunk of change was raised in an art auction for G.T.’s two children.
It’s been three years since TWS featured the NoBoarding article. This type of riding was barely heard of and its future was uncertain at the time. “Born from boredom and bred in an environment centered around a community and the greater good of the group, NoBoarding, along with its participants–not participants but rather disciples–may have breached the mainstream, but it fully intends to maintain its organic grassroots heritage. But as this snowboard hybrid inches closer to tipping point, co-creator Cholo Burns and his ever-growing NoBoard crew find themselves facing a double-edged sword and are hoping to come out unscathed.” The scene still remains in limbo and if you’re wondering what Cholo and the crew has to say about the current state, you’ll have to find them first.