Rep and Team Focus Groups, photo shoots, filming, product testing and crazy shred sessions at Mt. Hood. It all went down last month when seven of our pro team riders, four regional reps, two Italian designers, and four in-house peeps all piled into a nine bed cabin to get ‘er done. The three main goals at hand were to:

1. Make a Team DVD.

2. Shoot footage for Sunset Film’s: Montreal 16mm Snowboarding Documentary.

3. Meet in focus groups to talk about the 07/08 product lineup.

Talk about taking the most diverse group of people and shoving them into one small cabin for a week. Each rider has a completely different style, personality, and background. Just to give a short intro to all the Northwave team riders, we have:

Patrick McCarthy: Backcountry slayer, Mt. Baker local and lady killer. Pat spent this season filming for Mack Dawg’s People.

Matty Ryan, a.k.a. Homewreck: A Hollywood player down with the SLC crew. Of course Matty can be seen in his and Nate Bozung’s movie, BozWreck.

Hans Ahlund: Heavy hittin’ Swede. Check out Hans in Montreal and BozWreck.

Shayne Pospisil: Jersey/Cali boy who kills it in the pipe and the waves

Matt Beardmore: Canadian backcountry film star whose all abooot getting two full length parts in one season. Look for Matt in Absinthe Films’ More and Alterna Films’ Intransit.

Michael Goldschmidt a.k.a. Goldy: The halfpipe golden boy

Brett Butcher: Ginger shredder who can stomp pretty much anything. Look for the Butcher in ThinkThank Films’ Patchwork Patterns.

When you put that many strong personalities together you might expect some to clash, some heads to butt or maybe a black eye … well, the last one may have happened, but that’s actually different story. Anyway, as we found out, it was the perfect mix for a great week. Patrick McCarthy put it best, “The team that we have is so unique and cool to be around, we meshed better than any other team I have been on a trip with. Everyone brought their ideas to the design table and individual riding styles to the glacier.

The first few days at Rhododendron consisted of mornings building big booters on the mountain and evenings going over new designs and innovations. Windell’s and Timberline’s representatives are some of the best people to work with when you need to get some filming done on after the winter season is over. Their efficiency in helping us build booters, shuttle riders on jumps and take us up in cats for night time shoots was incredible. Plus, there’s no better way to spend summer than on glacier slush.

Product focus groups consisted of the Italian and North American design teams going over the new product lines for Northwave, Drake, Venue and Bakoda for 07/08. The reps and riders were all given an opportunity to state concerns and express approval or distaste over new design ideas. Team riders gave their input of what worked well for them in the past years, what new innovations would really help out, what designs they were stoked on and what they felt was beat. Having a direct hand and say in the design from rep and riders was a great tool in making sure that the product is perfect for the upcoming season.

The week wrapped up with everyone slappin’ fives and saying their good byes. It was kind of sad to see the whole group go in separate directions. The good news was that we had accomplished a lot in the week and new friends were definitely made. We may not be the biggest company, but we are a tight knit group that works hard together to create products for everyone. Having the whole crew there with the team, reps, designers, and marketing peeps was a good way of making sure that we had our products dialed in. And not to mention that experiences like this definitely lead us back to what snowboarding should be—fun.

To get the photos: you can click the individual link in the right column, or click here on the left to get to our ever-growing collection of photos.