I had no idea what to expect on my way to the Patch Match near Mountain High, just outside of Los Angeles, CA. My only choice, though, was to be optimistic. After all, hiking 2.7 miles up a closed highway would have been pointless without the allure of summer shredding around the corner. The signs were posted along the side of the road, promising one last front board, one last tailblock, one last jump. Soon enough, it actually was around the corner, a true oasis of snow looking over the high desert and all those who didn’t think it would be worth it.
The Patch Match was a good ol’ gathering of boarders. Jib kids, old schoolers, freeriders, thugs, hipsters, heshers—everyone was there, and everyone was having a good time. There were no judges (other than the drunken peanut gallery that formed on the butter box), and no judgment. People either assumed you were a local or were too stoked to care, if you put in the 2.7 miles to get up to the patch, you sure as hell earned your turns.
The whole day was a rekindling of the snowboarding flame. With the season now over, we all jumped at the chance for one last day of riding, but the Patch Match also represented the rebirth of the patch itself, a spot that has seen as much snowboard history as some resorts. Also known as “Snow Beach” or “Stargate,” the patch was host to a Volcom contest in the early 90’s, an event that Blunt Magazine covered. Back then; you could drive all the way to the patch. Pros like Brian Thien, Bryan Iguchi, and Dave England used to frequent the patch for all the same reasons we did, sneaking in some post season shredding and milking the Southern California winter for all it’s worth.
The setup was entirely hand built, and the rails and jibs were brought up in wagons. The course was a result of all the hard work that the crew put into the event. Big thanks to Craig Glover and all of his crew for bringing the shred to So Cal.
— John Poulin