SKYLAR SPECIAL A "BEST SNOWBOARD OF 2014"
Self portrait: Skylar getting ready to drop in on his Skylar.
The Skylar Special - a Shape Shack creation by guest shaper Skylar Holgate and artist Shanna Duncan - has been named a "Best Snowboard of 2014" by Outside Magazine. And boy are we stoked!
The Shape Shack is Venture's experimental division, charged with dreaming up new and innovative board designs. Our resident shaper is the one and only Johan Olofsson, but from time to time we invite other high profile, creative minded riders to contribute their ideas to the mix.
Anyone who's ridden at Silverton Mountain, stayed at the Bonnie Belle Cabin, or spent some time in Argentina with SASS Global Travel has probably crossed paths with the inimitable Skylar Holgate. A mountain guide extraordinaire, incredible ripper, and the most down to earth guy you'll ever meet, Skylar spends the majority of the year on snow, and has been putting Venture boards through their paces both north and south of the Equator for many years. He is always willing to try out new shapes and give us feedback, so it was a no brainer to ask him to get involved with the Shape Shack. Skylar worked with Klemens Branner, Venture's founder and design engineer, to develop the shape. "For me, the coolest part of the process was how easily Klem was able to translate what I wanted into the design itself. I could tell him how I wanted it to feel when I laid into a turn, and he knew exactly how to tweak the flex or change the core profile to get that performance and that feeling," says Skylar.
The Skylar Special is a big mountain twin designed just for the way he rides. It's beefy enough to handle a day in the life of a mountain guide, but has a true twin shape and slightly softer flex that make it super fun and playful. Recently named a "Best Snowboard of 2014" by Outside Magazine, testers commented that the Skylar Special's "supple torsional flex allows for nimble edge-to-edge transfers and quick turn initiation, but the flex pattern and sidecut make it smooth and stable in all types of terrain." Check out the full review at Outside Online.
Since Skylar also rides for the Levitation Project, he collaborated with their chief artist, Shanna Duncan, to create a unique graphic for this deck. "Shanna was great to work with," says Skylar. "All I had to do was tell her about the vibe of Venture, what our graphic themes have looked like in the past, and some elements I wanted on the board and she was able to whip out something amazing in just a couple of days. I'm totally stoked with the result." You can check out more of Shanna's work in this season's Kronicle, which features a full length interview with her.
Shanna's interview and the Skylar Special graphic in Kronicle.
For more detailed info on the Skylar Special, or to purchase one of the limited edition decks, you can visit Venture's online store here.
9TH ANNUAL SEASON KICKOFF
YOU COULD WIN THIS BOARD!
Venture Snowboards and Ska Brewing are once again teaming up to welcome winter in style with our 9th Annual Season Kickoff Party scheduled for Saturday, December 21st (Silverton Mountain's opening day).
For the ninth year running, the two homegrown Colorado companies are producing a small run of custom graphics boards and a special winter brew, both of which will be unveiled at the bash.
This year's Season Kickoff features live music from Farmington Hill and The Crags, Ska drink specials, and tons of product giveaways from a host of different sponsors.
The highlight of the evening will be the raffle for a coveted limited edition Ska/Venture custom snowboard. This year's deck features a graphic with several of Ska's zany comic characters, and is destined to become a collector's item for beer and snow lovers alike.
The Season Kickoff Party gets rockin' at 8 pm at Silverton's Grand Imperial Hotel (1219 Greene Street). Cover charge is $6 and this is a 21+ event. Proceeds will benefit the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies in Silverton. For more information call 970.387.5078.
YOUR VENTURE STARTS HERE
Go deep behind-the-scenes—and into the mountains—with Venture. This short video features some sick pow surfing by Johan Olofsson, behind the scenes footage from the factory, and more.
We're stoked to announce that the newest model in our line, the Zelix, has been named a a Backcountry Magazine Editors' Choice for 2014!
A directional twin with an identical nose and tail shape, the Zelix also has 20 mm of stance offset, giving you the best of both worlds: awesome floatation alongside effortless switch riding. Originally an experimental Shape Shack design, this deck received so much incredible feedback from our staff and customers alike that we decided to add it to the 13/14 line.
The Zelix will replace two other boards in the Venture line - the Helix (a true twin shape), and the Zephyr (an all mountain shape and Editors' Choice winner in 2011). When asked how the idea for this board came about, Venture's owner and design engineer Klemens Branner explained: "We noticed that most people who were riding our Helix were setting their bindings back, so they were not in the sweet spot of the sidecut and were losing out on performance. At the same time, people were asking us to make our Zelix more playful and flexy. Combining the best features of those two decks into a single board seemed like a good way to solve both of those problems. After riding the first prototypes it found it was really fun while still maintaining the high performance aspect we are known for."
Clearly the folks at Backcountry Magazine agreed. Testers called the Zelix an "all-mountain badass," and "a sports car of a splitboard." Here are some other choice quotes about the board:
"Surprisingly nimble and agile."
"Great float for a twin."
"A powerful directional twin that's playful in mellow terrain and steps it up in the steeps."
For the 13/14 winter season the Zelix is available in both solid and splitboard versions. For detailed specs and more information you can visit the Zelix page on our website or check out the videos below.
Venture Snowboards and Sledchile Backcountry Adventures have teamed up to open a South American demo center in Malalcahuello, Chile.
The demo center, called Freeride, is located at the base of the Lonquimay Volcano and Corralco Ski Resort. Freeride will maintain a fleet of Venture’s solid boards, splitboards and powder surfers, as well as a few pairs of Icelantic skis.
Sledchile is run by Chilean national Cesar Gibert. The company has been offering custom tours of the Araucania backcountry in the Southern Andes and Patagonia since 2007, when Gibert started Sledchile as a way to combine his passions for snowboarding and Motocross racing. Clients can choose to explore via snowmobiles, splitboards, or a combination of both.
“We are very excited to be working with Venture. I was able to ride the Zelix 163/26 for a few weeks this past season in Colorado and since we started riding here in early June, it has been my board of choice,” says Gibert. “Being able to offer a touring option to our customers is awesome, as the zones we access during storms are below tree line and wind sheltered. There are good options up here for tree riding, and splitboards are a great tool to access those lines. As we are exploring new terrain the combination of the snowmobiles and the touring equipment allows us to reach even further.”
Venture’s Sales Manager Jerome Boulay, who spends three months a year south of the equator, is also enthusiastic about the partnership. “Given our focus on producing high quality freeride boards, collaborating with Sledchile is a natural. The terrain they are accessing in and around Malalcahuello is exactly what our boards are designed for – steep, deep, and wide open bowls. Together we can offer a superior experience to riders seeking the never ending winter.”
Check out all that Sledchile has to offer at www.sledchile.com.
As a company on the leading edge of design and innovation, it’s no surprise that Venture Snowboards is once again pushing the envelope with the Shape Shack, an experimental division charged with dreaming up new and innovative board shapes.
“Pushing boundaries and trying new things is built into the DNA of snowboarding,” says Klemens Branner, Venture’s founder and design engineer, who is heading up the effort with creative input from big mountain legend Johan Olofsson and select guest shapers. “You never know where a good idea is going to come from, so inviting new perspectives into the mix is a great way to spark the creative process.”
Shape Shack boards are produced in small, limited edition runs and made available to the public through choice retailers and Venture’s online store. For 12/13, the three new Shape Shack designs are limited edition collector's items, with only 25 of each design produced.
What does Branner enjoy most about the Shape Shack? “Of course riding the finished product is the best part! But bringing a new board shape from concept to reality in a short period of time is extremely gratifying. It brings our whole team together, and because we own our own factory we have control over that process from start to finish. We can produce pretty much anything that we can dream up, and then walk out the front door and ride it right here in our backyard. It's an ideal setup for experimentation without boundaries.”
Here's the skinny on the different shapes, available for purchase now through Venture's online store:
Resident Shaper & Graphic Artist: Johan Olofsson
The Powder Pig is the second powder specific shape dreamed up by big mountain legend and pow surfing pioneer Johan Olofsson. Available in a 156 cm length, it has no edges and only two inserts - one near the tip and one near the tail - for attaching a rope. The flat “bat tail,” mellow rocker, and 33 cm width provide uncanny floatation. A true pow surfer’s dream. Say oink as you gorge on the deep stuff!
Guest Shaper: Skylar Holgate, Graphic Artist: Shanna Duncan
The Skylar Special is a big mountain twin designed by infamous Silverton Mountain guide Skylar Holgate. Available in a 160 cm length and 25 cm waist, with a true twin shape that offers greater maneuverability and effortless switch riding. While this deck’s slightly softer flex makes it fun and playful, quadratics still give it plenty of bite and grip for less forgiving conditions.
Guest Shaper: Aaron Brill
The Swallowtail Bomber is a classic swallowtail shape designed by Silverton Mountain’s founder and owner Aaron Brill. Lots of length for charging big lines and an elongated rocker profile for effortless float in the deep stuff. 180 cm length and 26 cm width. Go big or go home.
Photo above, from left to right: Powder Pig, Skylar Special, Swallowtail Bomber
Venture Snowboards and Ska Brewing are once again teaming up to welcome winter in style with their 8th Annual Season Kickoff Party scheduled for Saturday, December 15th (Silverton Mountain's opening day).
For the eighth year running, the two homegrown Colorado companies are producing a small run of custom graphics boards and a special winter brew, both of which will be unveiled at the bash.
The partnership between Venture and Ska started nearly a decade ago when the two businesses came together to talk about how they could collaborate. "We jokingly refer to ourselves as the microbrew of snowboards because we build high quality boards from scratch," explains Venture's Lisa Branner. "Ska takes the same approach in crafting their beer, so teaming up seemed like a natural."
This year's Season Kickoff features live music, Ska drink specials, and tons of product giveaways from a host of different sponsors.
The highlight of the evening will be the raffle for a coveted limited edition Ska/Venture custom snowboard. This year's deck features the Mole Stout graphic, and is destined to become a collector's item for beer and snow lovers alike.
The Season Kickoff Party gets rockin' at 8 pm at Silverton's Grand Imperial Hotel (1219 Greene Street). Cover charge is $6 and this is a 21+ event. Proceeds will benefit the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies in Silverton. For more information call 970.387.5527.
YOU COULD WIN THIS BOARD!!
For the fourth year running, Venture has taken home one of the most coveted awards in backcountry snowboarding - the Editor's Choice award from Backcountry Magazine. The 2013 winner is our Euphoria Splitboard - a pow surfer complete with rocker, reverse sidecut and a swallowtail ideal for those epic, deep days. Dubbed "Floatilla the Hun" by Backcountry's testers, here are some of their choice comments about this deck:
"Surfs like a dream. Incredibly agile and nimble for such a wide-waisted board."
"Merges snowboarding and surfing more than any other model...Ride it with bindings or without, as a solid or a split, and chase down the white wave."
The Euphoria is the result of a close collaboration between pow surfing pioneer Johan Olofsson and Venture’s founder and design engineer, Klemens Branner, and emerged as part of the company’s experimental Shape Shack division. “The idea is to take a bit of a mad scientist kind of approach, experimenting with designs that might normally be considered too wacky, and then testing those concepts by offering small batch releases to the public,” says Branner.
Olofsson was visiting the Venture factory working on other board designs when he spotted a board tucked away in the corner. It was a shape that Branner had created several years prior, inspired by classic surfboard design. “I had tinkered with a few different reverse sidecut designs but had put the project on the back burner. When Johan saw that prototype he got all fired up.” With a few modifications Olofsson thought Branner’s experimental shape would make a perfect pow surfer. They decided to resurrect a previous powder specific model, the Euphoria.
After several new prototypes were built and ridden, Olofsson and Branner settled on the final shape. It includes rocker, reverse sidecut and a swallowtail for unsinkable performance on bottomless days. A full insert pack allows it to be ridden with traditional bindings, though it is designed to excel when surfed bindingless. When asked what it is about bindingless riding that appeals to him, Olofsson explains: “Everything is kind of new, and you have all these new spices. It takes me to a level of snowboarding where I don't even care what anyone thinks about how I ride. I'm having fun.”
The Euphoria is the fourth board in the Venture quiver to receive an Editors’ Choice Award, following close on the heels of victories by the Odin Splitboard in 2012, the Zephyr Splitboard in 2011 and the Storm Splitboard in 2010. “Four Editors’ Choice awards don’t lie,” says Branner. “To receive such an incredible honor four years running is a huge statement about the quality and performance of our boards. Clearly the backcountry community feels we’re doing it right.”
For the 12/13 winter season the Euphoria is available through select Venture dealers, as well as the Venture webstore. Like all Venture’s boards, it will be offered in both solid and split versions, which will retail for $595 and $895 respectively. Available lengths are 156, 162 and 168 cm.
Put dibs on your dream board before we sell out! We are now accepting pre-orders for the 12/13 lineup through the Venture Snowboards webstore. Orders will ship on a rolling basis from mid-September through mid-November as boards come off the production line.
A big congrats to Brandon Reid, the new reigning King of the Hill! For the second year running, the winner of this big mountain snowboard competition at Thompson Pass, AK has won riding a Venture board! Brandon truly earned his title, moving up from fourth place in 2011 to first in 2012. Kudos Brandon!
Here's an awesome photo of Brandon's winning run.
And some video footage of Brandon on his Venture towards the end of this piece: