Venture's new Shape Shack board, the Snowy Owl, was released last week. Like every Shape Shack project, this limited edition splitboard is the fruit of a collaboration between a guest shaper and a guest artist. For the board shape, Venture worked with resident shaper Johan Olofsson. For the Snowy Owl graphic, Venture commissioned original work from Washington State artist Shanna Duncan, who has created graphics for such notables as The Levitation Project, Queensryche and Fender Guitars. We caught up with Shanna to get an inside look at her inspiration, creative process, and involvement with this project.
VS: Your marching orders were to create a graphic with an owl (per Johan Olofsson's request), but did you have other inspiration at work in creating the graphics for this snowboard?
SD: Being a Pacific Northwest native, I get a lot of inspiration just walking out of my house. I live on the outskirts of a mountain and it's easy to immerse yourself in the beauty of this area. When Klem gave me the idea of the owl, he just told me to "run with it." That gave me a lot of room to work with and I just dove into the work. After doing some research I started working on the graphics and came up with the artwork for this board. It was a fun process and I'm really happy with the result. If anyone is familiar with my work, it can get pretty dark, garish and downright gruesome. The owl takes a pretty different approach. I appreciate the beauty and movement of this bird. I really like the simplicity of the color palette as well. It made me think about the fact that I live in and absolutely love the Pacific Northwest.
VS: Do the graphics have some special significance for you? What do you like most about them?
SD: Every piece of work I create has a special meaning to me. When I do the graphics for a board, the best thing about it is knowing that that piece of work is going to go on an adventure with someone, somewhere really special. That same train of thought applies to this owl. When I'm working on another peice of artwork or doodling in a sketchbook, he'll be spreading his wings on some mountain with someone who really loves being in his or her own element. I feel like that ties me to that moment in a way. It's a pretty cool feeling. And as an artist, it makes you even prouder of the work you created. Someone relates to it as much as you do and is willing to take it with them on his/her own adventure.
VS: Tell us a little about your background as an artist. What's your favorite part of the creative process?
SD: I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. My father was the biggest influence in my pursuing a career as an artist. I think that if he were alive today, he'd be very proud. As for my creative process, it's pretty all over the map. I get ideas from co-workers, family and friends. Or I'll be drinking coffee and will get a random thought. My favorite part is getting to the final product. It's amazing to see an initial idea evolve into a body of work. A lot like a science experiment with ink and paper.
VS: What are your thoughts on Venture Snowboards' Shape Shack?
SD: I think the Shape Shack is great. Life is about changing and snowboarding is one of those sports that takes things to the next level. Experimenting with shape, artwork and more keeps things interesting and the movement flowing within this industry. I see great things coming out of the Shape Shack and I'm excited to see what Venture has in store for the future.
The Snowy Owl splitboard is available through select Venture dealers as well as Venture's online store. Check it out here. To learn more about Shanna and her art, visit her website: www.shannaduncanart.com.
LIMITED EDITION SHAPE SHACK RELEASE: THE SNOWY OWL
SHAPER: JOHAN OLOFSSON | ARTIST: SHANNA DUNCAN
Venture’s Shape Shack Division releases the pinnacle board in powsurfing: Johan Olofsson’s Snowy Owl Splitsurfer. Olofsson’s limited edition, one-of-a-kind snowboard is handcrafted in Silverton, Colo. by snowboarders. The splitsurfer features the amazing artwork of Shanna Duncan, who has collaborated with Venture on multiple Shape Shack projects. The Snowy Owl is now available through select Venture dealers and Venture’s online store at www.venturesnowboards.com.
The Snowy Owl swoops down powder lines like a bird hunting its prey. A third-generation splitsurfer with reverse sidecut, a 33 cm waist, “bat wing” tail, and generous helping of straight-line rocker, the Owl is the ideal deck for powsurfers looking to expand their reach deeper into the backcountry. This board has no edges, and there are inserts for touring brackets only. The insert pattern is also flipped for greater ease while skinning. According to Olofsson, “The Owl was made for quick and shuffling turns, especially in the trees. Compared to the Euphoria it is more in the groove with fatter riding, longer arcing turns and has a solid grip from its fishtail. I would [describe] this board as more ‘tree jazzy’ than the Euphoria, which is slightly ‘alpine metal.’”
- Colorado Core
- Seamless Split Technology
- Straight-Line Rocker
- Sintered P-Tex Sidewall & Base
- Touring Bracket Inserts Only
- Length: 156 cm
- Width: 33 cm
- MSRP: $895 USD
Each Shape Shack project is also emblazoned with the creative vision of a guest artist. For the Snowy Owl, Venture commissioned original work from Washington State artist Shanna Duncan. Duncan is a revered artist in many circles for her work with the likes of The Levitation Project, Queensryche and Fender Guitars. “If anyone is familiar with my work, it can get pretty dark, garish and downright gruesome,” says Duncan. “This owl takes a pretty different approach. I appreciate the beauty and movement of this bird.” But Duncan also appreciates the bridge that art can build between the artist and the end user. “When I do the graphics for a board, the best thing about it is knowing that that piece of work is going to go on an adventure with someone, somewhere really special. That same train of thought applies to this owl…he'll be spreading his wings on some mountain with someone who really loves being in his or her own element. I feel like that ties me to that moment in a way…and as an artist, it makes you even prouder of the work you created.”
ABOUT THE SHAPE SHACK
The Shape Shack is Venture’s experimental division, charged with creating new and innovative board shapes. Each project has a guest shaper and a guest artist, who work together to create a unique, limited edition design. “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,” says Klemens Branner, Venture’s owner and engineer. “Taking a new Shape Shack design from concept to reality brings our whole team together. And because we own our own factory we can produce pretty much anything that we can dream up, and then walk out the front door and ride it in some of the most badass mountains in the Lower 48. It's an ideal setup for experimentation without boundaries.” For Olofsson, the appeal lies in helping create new shapes that may be a departure from the norm. “The powsurfing aspect that I´ve been working on is a blast, and having the ability to work on a few new rides every year apart from traditionally shaped snowboards is awesome.”
The Snowy Owl is now available for purchase in Venture's online store. Order yours before they fly away!
THE SHAPE SHACK
In our final installment of "Your Venture Starts Here" we take a peek inside the Shape Shack - Venture's experimental division. Stay tuned for new Shape Shack designs dropping later this month!
ODE TO SILVERTON
The third video in our four part series captures the magic of life in Silverton, and what's so special about our home town. Plus it features riding footage from the San Juan backcountry and Silverton Mountain's heli op.
THE SECRET SAUCE
The second video in our four parts series "Your Venture Starts Here" goes behind the scenes in the factory, to reveal the secret ingredient in our handcrafted snowboards.
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.
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'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 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:
Great short segment on splitboarding that aired on RSN earlier this winter. Includes a demonstration with a Venture Storm-R splitboard!