backcountry | News from 9,318' | Venture Snowboards Blog

News From 9,318' is a forum for Venture Snowboards to share company news and happenings. We'll post pics from recent backcountry trips, give you the skinny on our different board models, announce events and contests, tell tall tales, and connect with fellow Venture owners. We look forward to sharing the stoke with you...

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Venture Snowboards Opens South American Demo Center

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.


Venture Demo Center     Venture & SledChile


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


Powder Surfing in Chile


Venture's Limited Edition Shape Shack Boards Are Here!

Venture Shape Shack


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

Euphoria Splitboard Wins Editors' Choice Award!

Editor's Choice 2013



Euphoria Splitboard

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.

12/13 Lineup Now Available for Pre-Order

Venture Storm


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. 


Brandon Reid wins 2012 King of the Hill on a Venture

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.


Brandon Reid, King of the Hill 2012


And some video footage of Brandon on his Venture towards the end of this piece:

Sneak Peek at Venture's 2012/2013 Line!

Just back from the SIA SnowShow in Denver, and wanted to share a little preview of Venture's 2012/2013 line with you all.  Still staying true to our focus on big mountain freeride boards.  Don't they look dreamy??


Venture 2011/2012 lineup

Zephyr Splitboard Wins Editor's Choice

Venture's Zephyr Splitboard has received the prestigious Editors' Choice Award from Backcountry Magazine!

As the premier backcountry skiing and snowboarding publication in North America, Backcountry Magazine's endorsement is highly coveted within the snow sports industry. This year's annual product test was held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where a selection of boards from top manufacturers were put through their paces both on piste and off. When the powder cloud settled, Venture’s Zephyr Splitboard emerged as a top choice.

According to Backcountry, "Outstanding tester response, exceptionally high scores, and category-leading overall performance contributed to our selection of the Zephyr as a 2011 Gear Guide Editors’ Choice.” Additionally, they commented that the Zephyr splitboard is “the elusive quiver of one: an all-season, all-conditions animal that devours all-things powder.”

The solid version of the Zephyr has been Venture’s flagship board since the company’s founding in 1999. Designed as a versatile, all-mountain powerhouse, it performs well in a range of conditions. It has also received many accolades over the years, including Future Snowboarding Magazine’s Most Valuable Product award in 2007 and 2008.

The split version, introduced last winter, was well received by backcountry riders seeking a precise and controlled ride in challenging and variable terrain. Building on this successful design, the changes for winter 2010/2011 have boosted the board’s performance. A switch from camber to rocker has had the biggest impact, giving the Zephyr splitboard greater maneuverability and float without sacrificing edge hold or performance in less than ideal conditions.

The Zephyr’s victory follows close on the heels of the Storm Splitboard’s success in 2010. The Storm is Venture’s best-selling splitboard model, and also won an Editors’ Choice award from Backcountry last season.

Needless to say, we are stoked to have our splitboards receive such a prestigious honor two years in a row! Look out for the Zephyr's write up in this year's Backcountry Gear Guide, which will hit the newsstands in September.


Jarrett Luttrell Rides All CO's 14ers!

Jarrett Luttrell recently made history - he became the first snowboarder to climb and ride all 54 of Colorado's 14ers from their summits. It's an amazing accomplishment - congrats Jarrett! And we're stoked to say he bagged some of those peaks on his trusty Venture splitboard!

For more info, check out the following stories about Jarrett:

Transworld Snowboarding

Wild Snow

Johan Olofsson Joins Venture!

We are super stoked to announce that big mountain legend Johan Olofsson has joined Venture Snowboards as a product tester, and will be contributing to product design and development.

Initially an accomplished freestyle rider, Swedish-born Olofsson is renowned for being one of the first snowboarders to take freestyle tricks out of the terrain park and into big mountain environments.  According to an interview in White Lines, “ What followed was nothing short of mindblowing…he tackled lines which veterans of the Alaskan heli scene had only contemplated in their dreams, with a speed and fluidity that would change the concept of freeriding forever.”

In 1996, Olofsson shook the very foundations of snowboarding with his descent of the Cauliflower Chutes in the Standard Films movie TB5. The ride took him down an Alaskan slope of over 40 degrees and 3,000 vertical feet in just 35 seconds, averaging close to 50 miles per hour. This feat landed him in the 1996 Guinness Book of World Records and solidified his status as a living legend of big mountain snowboarding.

Olofsson’s involvement with Venture began last spring when we sent him a splitboard while filming in Glacier Bay National Park for the Teton Gravity Research movie Deeper. After riding Venture’s Storm splitboard in some of Alaska’s most remote and inaccessible terrain, Olofsson was impressed. I like the solid feel of Venture boards and the first try at riding the Storm was a blast. The rockered shape and snappy turns make it a fun freeride board. You can slash and throw the tail around in all kinds of places. I like to have fun on my board and this one helps.”

The primary role Olofsson will play with Venture will be to influence product design and development. “I’m super stoked to have Johan riding our boards and am looking forward to working with him on continuing to improve our designs,” says Klemens Branner, Venture’s founder and co-owner. “It’s going to be amazing to have one of the world’s most accomplished freeriders collaborating with us.”

Olofsson is also excited about the opportunity, especially in regard to developing splitboards. “ I’m always looking into projects that will progress the sport, in this case freeride boards which are getting to be a rare breed in the industry. The split theory speaks for itself. Working on this level with Venture makes it possible to create and shape boards quickly, and I hope to get some good shapes out there for you all.”

Welcome on board Johan!

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