Forward: Blaise Rosenthal
By Andy Blumberg

In pro snowboarding, the stakes are continually raised. To sit in on the deal, you’ve got to recognize it’s a gamble: odds are never in favor of a lengthy career, and injuries can instantly call out the best and most skilled. The ante generally amounts to running the risk of losing what you purely value in exchange for money and title. Even at that-the payoff to riding for your living can justify the costs. Win, lose, or draw, Blaise Rosenthal has run a straight game.

Whatever has been dealt-whether the highs and lows of sponsorship, catching occasional wrecks, or banking his life’s means on questionable characters-Blaise methodically plays each hand. Despite the cheats, or what is said and done to attempt the take-down, he hasn’t stayed in it this long by bluffing. With great streaks of luck, he’s cashed in, broken out, and gotten even many times over. He might not be holding all the aces, but here’s proof: he’s got a pair.

Last winter, Blaise refocused his energies by placing concerted efforts toward having fun and pursuing more technical freeriding: progressive moves in grander environments with potentially graver consequences. This means he’s had to struggle to suppress the mental pressures of maintaining the job, which nearly strangled him. With renewed vigor he attended to the season’s media chores: a video part in Kingpin Productions’ Happy Hour and plenty of good photos for a Forward. When so many get fully lost in a regular shuffle-these are the results of one rider’s relentless intent.