In action sports, Southern California has no equivalent. It is the epicenter. There are consistent waves, warm water, and perfect skate spots. The surfing is good, and so is the skateboarding. But snowboarding?
Bear Mountain is an oasis in a region otherwise sparse with opportunity for those of us who enjoy snow as much or more than concrete or water. The SoCal resort has served as a hub for freestyle progression since snowboarding's inception.
Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails is a critical piece in both Bear's legacy and that of snowboarding as a whole. It began as a contest on the actual handrails outside the lodge and has evolved to serve as one of the most progressive setups of any rail jam worldwide.
Each year as summer comes to a close, rail riders from around the world make their way to the San Bernadino Mountains in hopes of hoisting a five-foot wide check and cementing their place on a long list of winners that reads as a rolodex of snowboarding's best jibbers.
Snowboarding is not a great spectator sport, but HDHR is an exception to this rule. Onlookers have the opportunity to witness snowboarding in all its glory and madness—the sprints to the top of the drop-in, the slams, and the makes—all larger than life, feet away.
Whether competing, heckling, or just soaking it all in, Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails signals a season about to begin.