“Midwest represent!” I believe the phrase goes something like that. I’m proud of Minnesota because it is not a destination spot. It’s not cool to say to your friends, “Dude, I’m so stoked, I’m gonna be cruising home to MN for the summer.” It just isn’t tough or glamorous to say that, and that’s why kids from the Midwest are cool. They have to earn it.

Come November, the sun disappears behind low, flat clouds, and you won’t see it again until April. The only thing to do is snowboard. Not to mention that it gets so cold there they actually call off school a few times a year-only if it’s at least negative-45 degrees Fahrenheit with windchill, though. Usually we’d go snowboarding on those days anyway-with two neck gaiters, four sweatshirts, two pairs of long underwear, and two pairs of socks.

In fact, our crew pretty much shredded every night. I’d get home from school and make something to eat, and then I’d grab my stuff and be out the door. By the time everyone showed up at the mountain, it was dark and we were buttering the bunny hill. Towropes are the shit! We’d always find new jumps and jibs on the mountain (which can be a challenge when you’re only working with 300 vertical feet), and we’d name them things like “The Sewer” and “The Sunshine Gap.” I tell you, those were some pretty crazy nights-drunken redneck skiers in overalls skiing out of control and starting fights with “those damn snowboarders-always just sittin’ down in the middle of run and scraping all the snow off the hill. I hate ‘em!”-Matt Peterson

With the amount of snow Minnesota gets, this place is an endless haven for rails. After riding the resort for a good hour or two, we’d always drive to a couple rails and finish the evening thrashing the concrete. There were no crews or overcrowded parks-it was your bros, and that’s it.-Micah McGinnity

When you live in Minnesota and don’t have much to ride, it makes you extremely hungry for good terrain. I like to see kids coming out of there because they’re stoked to be out west riding real mountains. I’m glad MN is where I’m from!-Erik Leines

Snowboarding is the funnest thing to do when it’s twenty-below outside. I’d get out of school at 3:15 p.m., go home to get my snowboard stuff, and drive 50 miles out into the country to Wild Mountain or Trollhaugen. We mostly rode at night. On Friday, the lifts were open ’til four in the morning, and we always had a posse of five to ten people. On weekdays, you recognized everyone who was riding a snowboard. It was like going to a good skate spot-you knew everyone.-Chad Otterstrom

The shred community is probably the best part about snowboarding in the Midwest for me, because where I grew up, if you weren’t into team sports, then you weren’t in with anything. I met kids from all the other towns at the local contests, and then we’d start shredding together after school. When I graduated from high school, me and six other friends from different Midwest towns all moved out to Colorado together. We barely new each other outside of shredding the local mountains, but that was enough to make it work. The Midwest has a tight scene-because it’s a small scene.-Matt Peterson

If I had to pick one thing that sums up riding in the Midwest, it would be stoke. People are so insanely excited about riding less-than-awesome terrain-it’s ten times the stoke most ‘core riders get on a powder day out west. Everyone spends all week dreaming about the next time they can go shred that crappy ice, and then they talk about it every day after that until they can go again. It’s like getting out of jail for a day.-Brent Meyer

Minnesota winters are treacherous and unbearably cold. I love ski resorts with absolutely no real snow-the ice you’re riding on is from the lake over yonder. But Minneapolis holds many secret handrail spots. I remember when the Neoproto crew came to Minneapolis. We were in Duluth looking for handrails in negative-twenty-degree weather. Our buddies Jordan and Jonas drove up to Duluth with us in a beat-up old red van with no heat and no side window. We snowboarded all hours on that trip-we were sliding handrails at five in the morning, still going from the night before.-Zac Marben

Riding back in Minnesota was sweet. All the homeys-Matt, Chad, Micah-hitting the ice-cube tabletops and ghetto handrails that consisted of rusty water pipes and garbage barrels. There are ropetows everywhere, and you can hit all the rails and jumps about 200 times in a day-no joke! You’d freeze your ass off because it was always so cold, but we just bundled up and had the best time!- C.J. Marsh