Vans Snowboarding Days is where the Californian footwear brand gathers together their team riders, media, reps and some key retailers for two days of on hill product evaluation, fine food, good times and music. All photos by Matt Georges
The 2019 edition of Vans Snow Days was held in Champoluc, Italy, part of the Monterosa ski region and somewhere that we at The Reason had never had the pleasure of visiting before. Unfortunately, as the rest of the Alps were getting pounded, this small corner of Italy managed to miss all the snow. What we got instead was an unforgettable shred in this vast ski area – so vast in fact that we covered over 35 miles in just one day!
Our home for the trip was the Cre Fornet hotel, a slope side lodge that housed less than 40 guests, but offered incredible food and an uninterrupted view from two sides of the main floor, where we gathered each night to eat, talk and make party.
The main presentation is where we got to see and hear what Vans have in store for next season, as well as catching up on the goings on with the team and their marketing activities – and let’s just say this now: Vans are KILLING IT.
First up, following the success of Vans first snowboard movie ‘Landline’, the crew simply decided to keep filming and spent the early part of 2018 filming for a brand new short movie ‘Together Forever’, featuring the likes of Jake Kuzyk, Arthur Longo, Sam Taxwood, Danimals, Pat Moore, Cole Navin, Hana Beaman, Darrell Mathes, Dillon Ojo and more. The movie is filmed primarily on Kodak 16mm film in Japan, France, Russia and Finland. ‘Together Forever’ is out now and is well worth the watch.
Next, Germany’s Benny Urban was bumped from the Euro team to the full Global Team. The announcement was made in front of all of us and a visibly emotional Benny earned a loud cheer from everyone there.
Benny is one of the raddest snowboarders to ever come out of Germany and his full part ‘Space Camp’ which was culled from unused parts of his Landline footage as well as more footage that was shot at the end of last season is a groundbreaker – check it out for yourself here
Rounding out the team news was the addition of two brand new faces to the Vans squad, Rene Rinnekangas and Fritdjof ‘Fridge’Tischendorf. The only was you’ll be forgiven for not knowing who these two are is if you live in 1995 and the internet has not made it to your time zone yet. Rene is one of the most exciting young shreds to come out of Finland (and given the calibre of the average Finnish rider that’s about five times as exciting as any regular country’s exciting rider) and seems to be able to ride it all – street, X Games courses, pow, the lot. Fridge is a quiet Icelandic powerhouse who’s blazing his own trail and smashing out solid web parts as well as getting everyone stoked to ride. The future is bright for Vans Snowboarding.
Product wise, 2019 is promising great things from Vans. They are doubling, tripling down on their snowboard range and committing even harder to the sport. A brand new liner system called UltraCush will be available in three levels depending on the price point and will offer enhanced fit and comfort across the entire range.
Jake Kuzyk follows up his ‘Best Part’ award for his triumphant Landline section with a full pro capsule that includes a pro model version of the ever popular Vans Hi Standard Boot, am MTE jacket and a Vans Smartwool sock – each part looks tight! The boot is a soft to medium flexing all mountain ripper that is perfect for freestyle and progressive all mountain riding and offers everything you need. Mary Rand’s pro model of the Vetta boot returns and promises great things once more
Two legends of the sport will be getting a pro boot as well – Jamie Lynn and Bryan Iguchi. Jamie’s boot is limited to just 250 pairs worldwide and is being released to coincide with a brand new documentary that Vans are producing to outline Jamie’s history with and contribution to the sport. The boot will feature top of the line tech including V3 UltraCush and The North Face Flashdry fabric which helps to keep you dry on the hill. The boot comes in a custom packaging that includes a patch and sketchbook to help keep you creative on the road. It’s pretty fair to say that snowboarding would not be what it is today without Jamie’s input and we can’t wait to see the project fulfilled. Bryan Iguchi celebrates his third pro model boot on Vans with a a boot that is modelled on the Verse and will be aimed at the kind of riding that Much loves to – freestyle inspired backcountry and and all mountain shredding. The boot features double Boas for speedy access and micro tuning of fit, ensuring a custom tweaked flex every day you ride.
Entertainment off the hill is always high on the agenda at Vans Snow Days and this year was no exception. After riding on the main day, the Vans crew had built a mini park right outside our hotel where we got to see some of the world’s best throwing down, including Sparrow Knox, Fridge, Benny Urban, Yung Doli and Enni Rukajarvi and Mary Rand for the women. As the sun dropped, so did the temperatures but the team put on a killer show despite the plummeting barometer. Once the shredding was done and dinner was finished we were treated to a live acoustic set from Sunset Sons, which was a sick way to round out the trip – chilling with great company, great wine and great music.
So, Vans Snow Days was done for another year. As we left Champoluc, we headed back into the depths of this season known that next year is looking even better! Thanks to Vans for the trip and watch this space for the upcoming product!