Category Archives: Columns

Columns are personal blogs for our authors.

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!

Blast from the past.

I’ve been reorganizing my photo archives and came across these photos that have never been seen outside of my computer. It’s been fun remembering these moments.

Here are 3 photos from december of 2005, while I was filming my video part for the first MDP-People film “People”. I was in Minnesota along with Mitch Neslon, Ryan Thompson, Curtis Woodman, and Darrel Mathes. We had full pro photographers there at the time, being Andy Wright and Rob Mathis. After I got my shot at these spots, I took out my camera and went on the other side of the lens. I never submitted these photos anywhere, so here’s their first look into the public.


I sessioned this ledge first, getting a lipslide to fakie on it. Then Mitch Nelson got a backside tailpress on it.


This kinked rail is right across the field from the ledge. Ryan Thompson got his shot right before sundown.


This rail has since been hit by JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, and others. But first person to step up was Curtis Woodman!

Hanging with the People people.

  Last february I got invited to join the MDP-People crew over in Tahoe.  It was with Brian Fox, Stephen Duke, Louie Fountain, and Josh Mills (funny the crew was  all Active team riders).  Here’s a few photos from the weekend with my homeys.   


Louie & Brian.     


Louie, method, gap.     


Josh Mills.      


Josh Mills, backside 5.     


Beef ox.     


Brian, dicey branch gap ollie.    


Stephen Duke had some sled problems.      


Duke with a perfect method tweak.     


Brian found this tranny finder gap, did a fs 180 and luckily did it perfect first try, because that landing was a stump with just a little snow on it.  No repeats could have been done.     


Mills, back 5 from another point of view.       


Louie’s helmet says it all.     

Top to bottom at Boreal Mountain.

   Tahoe is still off to a mellow start in it’s winter, but Boreal wants you to feel otherwise.  They opened their main chairlift to the top of the mountain, so my homey’s and I went up to escape the Reno heat… which must have followed us because the falling snow was warmed into a cloudy mist.

Our goggles were beaded up with water, but not bad enough to get our clothes really wet.   It actually was really fun.  It’s those kind of conditions that remind you that you’re snowboarding, and not skating on the snow; even though the features where video game perfect.

The park was packed; people were already imitating their favorite pros video parts.  Even a few local pros were reenacting their own video segments.  Stephen Duke, Andrew Brewer, Nick Visconti, Danny Davis, Jason Kell, John Foy and others were putting on a show.  I put my compact camera in my pocket, hit the slopes, and got some photos for you.

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Retro Neoproto photo and(o) Minhondo vimeo

  Pierre Minhondo didn’t just pop up in the snowboard movie scene without paying his dues. Before making the latest People film “Down With People” along with Justin Eeles, they made the Neoproto series, and prior to that Pierre made “Mixed Elements” under the Leviathon Project name.     

Santa Cruz ams Stephen Duke, Curtis Woodman, and myself all lived together at the time. I had just come off filming for the Standard films project “Blacklight”, and thought I was the cool shit so I was filming for a few movies: “Declaration”, T9’s “Gen Pop”, 411, and also put some time into Pierre’s movie. In hindsight I should have scrapped all those other videos and focused just on my “Mixed Elements” part, but whatevers… After this video dropped (2002) people were so down for it, Neoproto was formed the next year and the rest is history.  Editing this movie was really fun. I sat in and was a guest editor along with True Love, and all the little things made this movie great. Check out the montage section and see if you can recognize the now famous snowboard pros.  

Mixed Elements from NEOPROTO on Vimeo.

  The next year we had the best snowboard flop house. Here’s an old photo from then; Jacqui Berg, Chris Hotel, & Lexi Waite. 


Dirty fingers need not apply

  My favorite germaphobe and Active team rider Ryan Thompson (not the NY Yankee’s outfielder) just today got a shot on


Ryan is an amazing and unique person.  My first impression of him was nothing but interesting. I met him while he was living in SLC, UT with Technine team manager/filmer Cole Taylor.  I knew Cole already, and he’s intimidating sometimes… kinda gangster. At the time I too was sponsored by T9 and filming for their FODT film; and prior to meeting Ryan I assumed that he was a some fresh white kid trying to act all tough, while ironically living in the middle of Utah…  but was happily surprised by Ryan’s normal demeanor. He’s almost too normal. He once had a sponsor tell him he needed an image!  

DISCLAIMER. To everyone in SLC who may take offense to that: -I am not talking poop. I am simply making a statement about the style in Utah. I could have just as easily commented about the “rocker/hesh/hipster” scene there. …but I’ll save that for when I write about Ryan’s fellow Active teammate Josh Mills. haha, just kiddin bud!  

 To get to know him better, go ahead and google his name like the majority of his fans do. Or here, say hi to him if you are familiar to 

Now go here and look at photo #6 to see my photo of him: you noticed a change, I had to edit it. I was drinking too much wine when I first wrote it.)

Pizza and Pancakes?

mike mo pizza and pancakes


Active Pro Mike-Mo Capaldi loves Pizza and Pancakes. Weird combo? Yes. Weirder contest? You bet!

Active and Girl want you to step out of your comfort zone and create a video having to do with Pizza and Pancakes. We don’t care what you do, or how you do it, but whoever submits the one Mike Mo likes the best will win a year’s supply of Girl decks. I’ll say it again, a year’s supply of Girl decks. Do I have your attention now? Good.

The rules are pretty loose on this one, so go nuts. I don’t want to spoil any ideas people have out there, but here are some quick thoughts I’ve got to get your imagination going: Film a Pizza Pancakes eating contest, Pizza Pancakes art creation (syrup & sauce paintings?) Civil war battle enactment with soldiers made of dough, (think peperoni battle wounds and syrup blood) I’m not going to give any more free ideas away. Get going! Contest ends January 1st 2009!


Continue reading Pizza and Pancakes?