Category Archives: Columns

Columns are personal blogs for our authors.

2 stroke smoke.

Yesterday a few of me n’ the boys when out snowmobiling; that’s sleddin’ to you rednecks, sledneckin’ to you jocks/rich guys, and snowmachining to you Canandians.



We went up to Castle Peak on Donner Summet, CA. This was my first time out in the backcountry this season because of the low snow amounts here in Tahoe. There were a few shallow areas, but we found a couple real nice deep “secret” powder zones.


You can paypal me $100 and I’ll give you the GPS coordinates.


Active Ride Shop supporter Jared Johnson.


This guy was a rookie, didn’t know when to turn around and ran into these rocks.


It was difficult to get this sled back to the trucks with no steering. Not fun.


Step up.


Step down.


Air show.


Good times.

New tearsheets.

I’ve been lucky to get a bunch of photos published this season, 19 so far. Here’s a few of them.


Stephen Duke Transworld Nov 2008


Eric Messier Transworld 2009 Photo Issue


Stephen Duke Snowboarder Dec 2008


Seth Huot, pillow line. Snowboarder Dec 2008


Stephen Duke fs 900. Transworld 2009 Photo Issue


Ben Rice, nose pick transfer. Snowboarder Nov 2008


Chad Otterstrom, chute line. Transworld Nov 2008


Zac Marben, Ollie. Transworld Jan 2009


Robbie Walker, switch front board. Snowboard 2009 Photo Annual

Hotty Whitesnake


I’ve been going through my photo archives, mainly organizing my snapshots from the past few years, and have been totally reliving the past. I’ll be editing up some stuff and posting it soon.

So I was going through a group of photos from a Neoproto video premier years ago, and came across a snapshot of one of my best friends- Scotty Wittlake. We used to hang out a lot back in Truckee; I lived on his couch for months during the winter and springs. We also were both very into bicycling, and still are. He’s been a bike courier in Portland for a few years now, and I haven’t been able to visit as much as I’d like. He even sold his truck so bikes, hitchhiking, and skateboards are his modes of transportation now.

Scott’s a badass and has been a huge influence on me in the past. He’s a very intelligent and kind person, and will do literally anything for a friend in need. He’s seen a lot in his young life; his grandkids (if they are ever created) are going to be amazed by his stories. Anyways… here are a few photos of him.






p.s. If you didn’t know, Scotty used to ride for Active Ride Shop. Check out the Active movie “One” to see a very unique video part.

Jamie Thomas Answers Your Questions

You asked for it, you got it. We went down to Black Box and brought a list of questions YOU wanted Jamie Thomas to answer. Here are the first 3 segments. Jamie wants to answer more questions on film, which will be posted at a later date. Did your question make the cut?

Ask Jamie Thomas

Jamie Thomas: Professional Skateboarder, business owner, family man, and director of all things Black Box is going to be answering your questions! Ask him whatever you’d like to know about from his long, amazing, and ongoing career which has not slowed down. If you’re lucky he’ll pick your question and answer them for you right here on You have until October 20th to get your questions in and we will post the video of Jamie’s answers by November 1st.

Jamie’s favorite question, by one of you out there, will win a Black Box package!

**Make sure you submit your correct email address, as to be notified if you are the winner** Also, check out our Ask Erik Ellington Video!


Website update… about time!

I’ve just updated my website, finally. I have to wait until the magazines first publish my photos until I can put them on my site, because they want the exclusive first showing to the public. So now that the majority of the issues have been out, I can put them in my portfolio. There still are a few shots that I hope will come out, but I’ll show those later.

A few of the Active team riders are on it. Check it out. Let me know what you think, leave critique and suggestions in the comment area please. Thanks, enjoy.

This photo of Ryan Thompson was just published in the photo annual of Snowboard Mag.


Fair well old friend.

Bad news party people. Our days of Sparks are limited. I’m not talking about the town down the street from Reno, I’m talking about the greatest invention since coffee and Baileys… SPARKS! If you aren’t familiar with this drink (which could be a good thing), it’s a malt liquor energy drink. It’s given me the best/worst of times, and that will only continue until January 10, 2009.


Back to RedBull and Stoli I suppose.

Santa Crawls & the pipe tournament.

Last night here in Reno was the Santa Crawl. It’s an annual event charity benefit for the families of fallen law enforcement officers in the area. There were hundreds, actually more like a couple thousand people dressed up in christmas outfits running around downtown and partying. This year 27 bars were a part of it.

It was insane. Stephen Duke came to town to check it out. Here’s a few photos from the night.








Then this morning I saw some boarding on the television. I think it was the Grand Prix pipe contest. Todd Richards was announcing, which was the only reason it was entertaining. He was pretty funny, like calling out the girls for riding below their potential. Kelly even admitted it in her victory speech, lame. Torah would have killed them.


Danny Davis had a bad ass run. He messed up on one of his big tricks and lost his speed, but ended up doing what I thought was the coolest line in the entire contest; which was a Miller flip to an elgerial.


Photo battle, round 3… ding!

On’s photo battle, I’ve got a picture of Active pro Ryan Thompson that has beat out two other shots already. If I make it past this round, I only have one more to win; if so I make it to their wall of fame… oooohhhhh, aaahhhhhh.   

  So go take a look, study the photographs, and vote. Here’s an alternate picture from the same photoshoot.  


Early xmas from Nike

Star of the infamous Robot Food films, legend of style, perfector of the backside tailslide, insane circus high diver, computer wiz, and new Nike captain- Bobby Meeks made my christmas start early this year.

I decided to have a little product photoshoot with my present. My makeshift studio was sooo ghetto it made me laugh; seriously I laughed out loud while doing this with nobody around.

I did this on the floor of my apt. It was shot on a piece of glass from a cabinet for the reflection. For the light to be focused to a small beam, I used a cardboard snoot and gaffers tape. Then for some light to be bounced around I used some reflective gold paper from the box packaging, and also a foam core that is the back of a poster. To flag/hide some light, I used the box itself and also a t-shirt… real classy I know. I have some legit equipment in line for the future, but was just doing this for fun really; so please don’t hate on me too bad. I’m actually quite happy with the results considering I didn’t use Photoshop and it was just entertainment for myself. Check it out and laugh with/at me.





Badass Bryan

Bryan Fox is a badass, and I’m not writing that just because it was actually said on the cover of Future Snowboarding magazine! He’s a strong willed individual, which is hard to come by in the pro snowboarding scene. There’s a lot of people out there who are followers, style biters, puppets, pussies, & dummies; but Bryan is not one of them.

A few years ago, during the filming of the original “People” film, I hitched a ride with Bryan from Tahoe to Mt. Baker. If you aren’t familiar that route, it’s about a 12 hour drive. I’m not a psychologist, but got to figure him much better by the time we got there. He’s got strong morals and beliefs, with a great family background. Even though we may differ on some opinions, I appreciate his honesty, intelligence, and character to back it up. He’s not afraid to speak his mind (which I have done in the past and ended up with my foot in my mouth), where most publicized figures sugar coat everything in fear of criticism. He even keeps his life drug and alcohol free, now that’s some amazing will power! …no way I could do that one. All of these reasons are why I call him a badass!

Fox is also a badass on a snowboard. Watch Neoproto “Some Kinda Life”, or any of the “People” films for proof. I really dig his style. His urban riding is heavily skate influenced, instead of looking like he’s performing in “Ringling Brothers” circus act. And when out in the backcountry or park, his jumping is on point. I doubt you could name 5 pros who spin frontside off their toe edge; a lost art which Fox is keeping alive.

Anyways, I just received a message from him this morning which inspired me to write this letter. It’s big news, which I won’t blab about yet… maybe soon, but not yet. Here are a few of my photos of the “powder cowboy”.


Party to benefit!

Over the years I’ve been going to Reno to party, many times going to Fritz’s bar. The owner Derek, is a snowboarder and a very cool guy. He’s hosted numerous video premiers and rail jams in his parking lot. He’s created a cool scene in the stereotypical jock/hick area of Reno… and unfortunately it’s coming to an end.

Sadly he’s closing the bar at the end of the month. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with cancer, and needs the sale to support his treatment. I’m doing what I can to help him out, please help if you can also.

Here’s an article from Reno’s KTVN Channel 2 News:

It’s a fixture in town.
You’ve probably stopped by or perhaps have seen it right there near U.N.R. campus.
The owner of Fritz Bar and Grill is facing an uncertain future. Morg and his friends get together for a Thanksgiving meal. But, this is the last year they’re getting together because the owner has put the bar up for sale, its doors are closing just next month.

“I’m trying to sell it to get money for the bone marrow transplant,” says Morg.
Early this year, Derek Morg was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease. Chemotherapy treatments began in July. But, the worst news came about a week ago.
“It’s the most aggressive form,” adds Morg.

A bone marrow transplant is Morg’s only hope for survival and it has to happen soon.
Jonathon Chapin, Morg’s best friend says, “He has 6 months to live. If he gets a bone marrow transplant he’s got a 40% chance.” Morg explains, “They give you a real hard dose of chemo. But, they take your bone marrow out first. Freeze it. And then they basically kill all your cells and give your own bone marrow back to ya.”

Since he’s self-employed, he never really looked into getting health insurance for himself. “We’re looking for Medicaid assistance. It makes it a little more hard since he owns a small business. It makes it difficult to fill out the applications.” says Morg’s girlfriend, Kara Knespler.

Now, he’s selling the bar he opened six years ago.
“Having to close your business is hard. Having to close because you’re sick and battling to survive makes it even harder,” says Morg. Knespler and their friends gather for a last thanksgiving meal inside Fritz. “He’s willing to fight. There’s a lot of people in his corner willing to fight with him. Do what we need to do to make things happen.” says Chapin.

Looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills is scary.
All of Morg’s family lives in Chicago, so it’s these friends who are coming together to help put on fundraisers and benefits for the bone marrow transplant. The transplant will happen at Stanford Medical Center in January. “We’re trying to network as hard as we can to get local businesses and people to not only spread the word, contribute what they can.” says Chapin.

Fritz will close on December 20th, the last day of the semester.
“I hope it remains a college bar because I think a lot of people had a lot of fun. It’s what’s needed around this area.”

Morg says after his bone marrow transplant he’ll be coming back to Reno to recouperate and start all over again.

To Contribute:
The Derek Morg Fund
2692 Spearpoint Drive
Reno, NV 89509

Upcoming Event to Benefit Derek Morg

Punk for a Cause
Fritz Bar and Grill
December 6th, 2008
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Jamie Thomas’ Answers Coming Soon!

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Soooo After much anticipation and a long drawn out process, to make sure you get only the best, Jamie Thomas and the Black Box guys are almost finished with the first installment of ‘Ask Jamie Thomas – The Answers’. There was an overwhelming response to the Ask Jamie Thomas promotion and he wanted to make sure that he answered as many of the best questions that he could. You also know the Chief goes for quality over quantity. So of course, the HD video, including some skateboarding footage from Jamie Thomas, Chris Cole, and friends, will be put out very soon… Hold tight and make sure you check back daily!