DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

Jumping through hoops for the Olympics.

All last year my friend Shin would disappear now and again for a secret project that he was working on. I didn't think too much about it until we started getting closer to the Olympics and the rumours started flying about a crazy ramp being built in BC place for the opening ceremonies. Right around that time I noticed that Shin was making a lot of trips to the city. And then My friend Johnny sorta disappeared from the twittershpere. Hmmm, something was going on.

Well secrets don't stay secret very long in the snowboard community, so by the time I attended the Opening Ceremony rehearsal I already knew that Shin and Johnny were going to be jumping through the Olympic Rings as part of the ceremony. What I didn't know was that the whole stunt would be preceded by a couple minutes of really well filmed freeriding shot last year, and that the jump was going to kick off the whole Olympics! Damn!

I wish I had a chance to see Shin hit the jump in the first rehearsal but it was amazing to watch Johnny stomp his indy on the sketchiest carpet and airbag landing. As the story now goes, the decision came down to a coin flip. I'm stoked to have known and shot these guys for years and glad that they had such a positive influence on the way snowboarding was portrayed to the world. Shin has said that the producers were really open to their input and made sure that snowboarders wouldn't be bummed on yet another misguided "hollywood" attempt at portraying us.

Here are some shots of the boys over the years.
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Johnny Lyall on a Whistler kink rail
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Johnny Lyall on a Whistler Backcountry booter.
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Shin at Whistler last season
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Shin Campos from the deep winter contest in 2008
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Shin Campos on Whistler last season.
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The Nike and Nemo Aries 2010 project

A few months back my old friend Trevor Graves from Nemo asked me to be involved with a project that he was putting together. It's called Aries2010 and it is a time capsule to chronicle historical artifacts from the progression of snowboarding. At first he just asked me to submit some photography, which of course I was happy to do, but as the date of the opening reception came closer he asked if I would be a keynote speaker with Legend Terry Kidwell. That was an easy decision despite the fact that I've been underwater with other projects in the run-up to the Olympics.

As I walked in the door last night I began to understand the scope of what Trevor had undertaken. He spent months talking to many of the players and original characters from snowboarding and collecting many of the most significant bits and pieces of detritus from our culture. There are more memories in that room than you can imagine including many prototypes of influential boards, boots and bindings. Obviously it's not all going to fit into the Aries capsule, but everything has been documented and will be included as well as some select items.

I was honored to say a few words and show a quick slideshow that did its best to shed some light on my perspective of the history of Canadian snowboarding, but I was most honored to be able to introduce Terry Kidwell. His influence on snowboarding can't be understated. He was a critical participant in the design of the first kicktail that ushered in the concept of riding both ways on a board, and then he took that design to the hills and basically invented freestyle snowboarding. Terry never made a fortune from his snowboard career so he's auctioning some of the most photographed boards in the history of snowboarding. A semi-tragedy that is all too common with athletes in young sports. I know he appreciated the turnout last night and young shredders and pros alike were literally lining up to shake his hand and let him know how big a deal he is to them. I saw more than one person stand speechless in front of him.

Here are some photos, I wish I had more time too shoot but I was kept busy most of the night. The whole set is on Flickr. My pal Mark Gribbon shot the photo wall all night and you can see those shots here. If you can get your hands on the Aries book, it is a remarkable document and will be going in my permanent collection. (Right next to Out West, which I gave out quite a bit last night too) If you are in Vancouver before the 19th you pretty much have to go down to the Boardroom and check this out. the closing reception is on Friday and the always entertaining Ken Ach will be speaking.

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Trevor's "misty cam". Many photogs in the mid 90's would have given a digit to see this little number.
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Trevor and Ken Achenbach in front of the actual capsule.
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Shaun Palmer's infamous gold victory suit.
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Ken Ach checks out the Kidwell quiver. The best snowboard shots of the 80's were taken on these boards.
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John Kamitakahara is a long time Vancouver snowboarder, photographer and unintentional archivist. He was stoked to meet Kidwell.
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Annie Boulanger is Rider of the year. What you know bout dat?
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Terry talks to a rapt audience.
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Former SBC editor and current Push.ca editor Matt Houghton with legend Chris Nicholls.
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Kidwell and Kevin Sansalone compare notes.

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