Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Daron Rahlves Latest LSSM Ambassador

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Editors of:

LAKEWOOD, Co. (October 31, 2011) - World champion skier, Daron Rahlves is the latest Ambassador for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM), the national initiative that encourages children and adults to get involved with skiing and snowboarding by taking lessons from professional instructors. Learn more about Rahlves on the LSSM website.

Rahlves serves as ambassador for Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, California, near Lake Tahoe. He works with the ski academy and ski team sharing his knowledge from his ski racing success. He retired from racing in 2006 and recently was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame along with the first LSSM Ambassador, Glen Plake. Olympic Gold Medalist Bode Miller is also a LSSM Ambassador.

“I’m excited to be an Ambassador for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Skiing is an amazing feeling and a great way to connect to the mountains. I’ve done it my entire life with family and friends and it’s a huge part of me,” said Rahlves. “My passion for snow sports is strong and I encourage others to try, especially kids because it’s a fun adventure and a great activity for the whole family. Once you ski or snowboard down a mountain, your life will change. I see it in the eyes of my young twins and everyone else out on the snow.”

As a racer, Rahlves won 12 World Cup races, stood on the World Cup podium 28 times and took seven U.S. National titles. He is the only American to win the legendary Hahnenkamm in Downhill and Super G. In 2001, Rahlves was the World Champion in Super G. He was named to five World Championships teams and four Winter Olympics teams.

Born in Walnut Creek, California, Rahlves was exposed to all kinds of sports including soccer, tennis, golf, waterskiing, jet skiing, motocross, and skiing. Growing up, he spent every winter in Tahoe and summers at Clear Lake, skiing and participating in water sports.

“We are so pleased to have Daron and Sugar Bowl involved with this initiative,” said Raelene Davis, chair of the LSSM task force. “He is the epitome of the all around elite athlete and recreation enthusiast who can set a good example for involvement in winter sports and activity year-round.”

Rahlves lives with his wife and two children at their home in Truckee, California and balancing that out with a place at the beach in Encinitas. For more details, go to

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month is an industry initiative organized by numerous state and regional ski associations, the leading snow sports media outlets, snow sports rep associations, the Professional Ski Instructors of America, the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, SnowSports Industries America, the National Ski Patrol, and the National Ski Areas Association.

Happy Holidays From Your Friends at SIA!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

As sleigh bells ring, snow begins to glisten, we dream by the fire, walking in our winter wonderlands.

All of us at SIA are wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, good health and lots of snow. As it “‘Tis the Season of Giving”, we encourage you to give locally this holiday. SOME is the local charity we are giving to this year. SOME, an organization in Washington, DC, who for more than 40 years has helped thousands of people get off the streets, transform their lives and live independently.

As we head into the New Year, let’s remember how lucky we are to work in our industry full of passion and joy. Have a wonderful holiday and we’ll see you in 2012!

Ex-snowboard champ Kevin Pearce charting a new life since brain injury

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

By , Published: December 1

For the past 23 months, Kevin Pearce’s life has been like one of those sixth-grade evolutionary charts, the one that starts with the ape on the left side and gradually progresses into the human on the right. He started out, after the accident, flat on his back. Eventually, he was able to sit up. Then he was able to stand on his feet, then walk, then run. Unlike the ape-to-human evolution, Pearce’s didn’t take several ages to complete. It only felt that way.

“It just feels like the never-ending journey,” he said.

On Pearce’s figurative chart, the panel on the far right, the one representing the pinnacle of his evolution, is still blank. When it’s done, it will show him standing on a snowboard. No halfpipes, no contests, no groundbreaking flips. Just strap into his board and take an easy cruise with some friends, the way he used to do when he first started.

“Soon,” the doctors tell him. But only then will the never-ending journey will be complete.

“The contests are cool and all,” Pearce, 24, said, “but now I almost feel like [the equivalent of] winning the contest for me is to get back on that board.”

His sense of time is one of the things that was robbed from Pearce after the accident, but he’s fully aware of the anniversary that approaches at the end of this month: On Dec. 31, 2009, in Park City, Utah, he struck his head on the side of the halfpipe while attempting a difficult trick called a double cork. Almost nothing about his life has been the same since.

At the time, Pearce was one of the top snowboarders in the country — a four-time Winter X Games medalist, a leading medal contender at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Instead, Pearce was still in the hospital when the Olympics came around, the victim of a traumatic brain injury that has dictated almost every aspect of his life since.

“I’ve pretty much hurt every other part of my body, and it’s all doing fine. I’ve broken plenty of bones — and they all come back,” he said. “But the brain comes back in a whole different way.”

Pearce was in Washington on Thursday to accept a Victory Award at a gala ceremony hosted by the National Rehabilitation Hospital, in recognition of his courage in overcoming his injury and his advocacy for brain-injury awareness.

Anyone meeting Pearce for the first time would never suspect the trauma he had been through. He looks and sounds like any 24-year-old from the snowboarding scene: sporting a mop of hair, a flannel shirt, utility pants and sneakers, and dropping the occasional “gnarly” and “mellow” into his unrushed but hardly slow speech.

“Have I changed much, Danielle?” he asked his publicist, Danielle Burch, who had joined him on the trip.

“You’re the same Kev as always,” Burch answered. “Maybe a little more lovey-dovey.”

At that, Pearce howled in laughter.

“I think that’s where I’m lucky, in that I’m the same person,” he said. “I feel like some people change after something like this. I really come across as the same person. I’m so lucky there. . . . Unless you hung out with me a lot [previously], you wouldn’t notice the issues. If you just have a conversation with me, you’d think I was totally fine.”

But he’s not totally fine, of course. His vision is still poor, although the surgery he had on his right eye a month ago has improved it greatly. The strong medicine he takes to prevent seizures makes him drowsy and necessitates afternoon naps most days. His short-term memory is sometimes faulty. And his sense of balance is still coming back. He doesn’t have to go through eight hours of rehab a day — eye exercises, physical therapy and cognitive drills — like he did in the months just after the accident. But he still does plenty.

Where Pearce is strongest in his battle against the injury is in his emotional state. When he speaks of his situation, there is not a trace of self-pity — only acknowledgment, and almost a boyish sense of wonder at the sudden lack of long-term direction in his life.

“I’m not like scared of saying that I’m brain-injured and I’ll always be brain-injured, and that’s just how it is,” he said. “. . . I’m trying to figure out my life pretty much. It’s pretty crazy. It was all kind of heading in this one direction, and everything was going so well. I was at the top of snowboarding. I was hanging with all my buddies. We were just living the best life, just living it up, and then it just kind of turned pretty quickly to the exact opposite of that.”

Pearce thinks about the future, of course. Just not very often and not very hard. Wisely, he isn’t looking too far ahead. He and some friends are gathering in Colorado this weekend to start shooting a pilot for a reality-TV show — about snowboarders, naturally — that they hope to get picked up. After spending seven months living with his parents in Vermont, he was able to move back into his own place in Southern California. He has dabbled in television commentary for snowboarding competitions, but he’s not ready to think about a career, or even a steady job.

“I’m not really in position to have a nine-to-five right now,” he said.

Whatever the future holds, it will not include competitive snowboarding.

“What I’ve heard from everybody is that if I hit my head again, it’s just game over. I’m done for. . . . And I don’t want to go through this again. It’s been such a struggle on me and such a struggle on my family, and such a burden for so many people to deal with. I don’t want to put that on them again.”

For now, it isn’t so bad being 24 years old, with few responsibilities outside of rehab, with plenty of friends and family to lean on, and with some money coming in from the several sponsors who stuck with him after the accident.

“The future is going to be mellow, and it’s a bummer that it has to be so mellow,” he said. “But I’m still young, and I’ve still got my whole life ahead of me. I’m not stressing it too hard yet.”


© The Washington Post Company

Small Business Saturday- November 26!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Love your local ski or board shop? Show your support on Small Business Saturday, November 26 by going small! If you register your American Express Card here you can get $25 back on any small business purchase of $25 or more- what a deal!

Ski Halfpipe Approved for 2014 Olympics

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Men’s and women’s ski halfpipe has been added to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday in London.

Men’s and women’s snowboard slopestyle and men’s and women’s ski slopestyle were not added to the program at this time.

“This is a great day,” Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s sports director, said. “A decision will be made in the coming month [regarding slopestyle] after further feasibility study. We need our experts to review the situation with the organizing committee, FIS [skiing's governing body] as well, prior to making a final decision.” Dubi confirmed that a decision on slopestyle is expected in a “matter of weeks.”

For the upcoming slopestyle decision, the IOC is sending a team to Sochi to conduct a feasability report. “We need extra information about the capacity for the athletes and the spectators in the region,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge at a later press conference at the London meetings. “If you add more events, you need more slopes and more access for spectators and technicians.”

Read On …

Bring A Friend Skiing This Weekend

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

There’s snow, it’s cold , so now’s the time to get your days in on the mountain!

With the upcoming holiday weekend, we’re encouraging you to Bring A Friend Skiing. Whether it’s your first time or your 50th, there’s nothing like getting your skis on the snow. So bring a friend and get out and ski!

Check out this site for tips, trends. and pick up some new gear.
Let’s make this holiday weekend the largest community skiing days of the season. See you on the mountain!

photo credit: VoeFreeski-Polzer