Framed consists of top photos that we highlight in every print issue, with a little bit more context to them given from Managing Editor Taylor Boyd. Popping out the of pages of our October issue, Nick Russell, Frank Bourgeois, Jason Robinson, and Len Jørgensen all have been captured with their unique style of snowboarding. Let your mind wander and get lost in these excellent exposures for this month’s FRAMED.
Frank Bourgeois—Here we have a textbook example of the way snowboarding warps mind and sight. Many of us see crazy spots and daydream. Frank Bourgeois can hit them. Maybe one of us normal snowboarders would walk down the street right here, next to these colorful murals, and imagine the fantastic possibility of gapping from above to below. To see it as feasible then go through with it is absurd and exactly what makes Frank B. the jaw-dropping rider he is. With three hours of shovel work on the landing alone, the cooperation of a restaurant whose parking lot serves as the run-out, a police officer willing to turn a blind eye, and a massive amount of courage, Frank sent it over this backcountry-sized stepdown in Quebec, far from the realm of comprehension for a normal person. Imagine coming across this scenario on your drive to work, which happened to multiple awestruck commuters. Frank's response the whole thing? "Beer was good that night." PHOTO: Will Demers
Jason Robinson—The freedom snowboarding elicits is what makes it gratifying, if only momentarily. It's a temporary transport to fantasyland. Here, there are no mortgages, significant others, or deadlines. So we keep chasing these simultaneous moments of literal and figurative weightlessness. Snowboarding is a distraction. Not until the bottom of the run do we have to think about real life. The concept is similar to a bender. And the more critical the scenarios we put ourselves in, the less mental space we have to consider problems external of the situation in front of us, or—in the case of Jason Robinson in this photo—below. Upside down in Alaska, there's no extra space in the brain. It is the ultimate moment of freedom. J. Rob has found a way to make this freedom more enduring by exempting himself from many traditional societal constraints, living mostly on the road, never too far from the mountains or the ocean, where these moments are always available nearby. PHOTO: Andy Wright
Len Jorgensen / Sparrow Knox—Sure, you can throw and retrieve a football by yourself or volley a tennis ball against a wall, but even imagining those scenarios is a bummer. Part of the beauty in snowboarding lies in the fact that you don't need anyone else to do it. There's nothing depressing about laying into solo slash or catching air with no one around. We all enjoy company, however. The difference is that in snowboarding it's more auxiliary than requisite. This photo of Sparrow Knox and Len Jørgensen is a fitting example. Take either out of the frame, and it's still a fine image. Sparrow is planted firm on the coping, and Len is boosting with proper style and a funny hat, but the two together are what make the photo for the viewer—in the same way it made the experience for the riders. No doubt, that invert felt great; surely Len's air did as well. But would they be enjoying themselves as much as their expressions indicate were it not for the company of the other? Hard to say. PHOTO: Daniel Tengs
Nick Russell—We are cursed as snowboarders—and it only magnifies if you skateboard or surf. Hell, scooter kids probably even do it—to analyze every embankment and piece of transition, plausible or impossible. We walk down the street daydreaming of popping off curb-cuts and drive through the mountains mentally gapping drifts on the side of the road. That is a thought process the pedestrian world doesn't have. We're the weird ones. Mind-surfing is an accepted term to describe this phenomenon, and if it didn't happen to you when you saw at this photo, maybe there's another hobby out there for you. Croquet is said to be quite relaxing. With Nick Russell as the rider to surf vicariously through, imagine snapping off your tail as you go weightless and float into the shadowed pitch. Then what? Backside hack, frontside slash, or straightline out? PHOTO: Andrew Miller
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