Even though he is highly regarded by his fellow snowboarders and considered a legend, I would argue that Bryan Iguchi was one of the most underrated guys on a snowboard. I loved his surf/skate influenced style and crazy tweaks he would put on his tricks. Fakie 900 Japan grab in shorts for his ender in The Hard, Hungry and Homeless capped off one of the best snowboarding video parts ever filmed. Bryan killed all types of terrain from park, tranny, street rails to pow and even some street skating. Best of all the guys still rips today. Maximum Respect.
Noah Salasnek was my first snowboarding idol. I tried to mimic his tricks, I had his board, his same clothing and even his goatee. The first snowboard video I ever saw was Critical Condition and his footage stood out to me so much more than anyone else’s. He was a pro skater and his skate style transferred to the snow in a way never before seen. He was at the fore front of jibbing and he buttered and bonked up a storm and spun like a top but could also rip a first decent in AK like it was a groomed park. One of the first dudes that could handle himself with style in any situation. I still have his promodel in my house and it’s one of my most cherished boards I’ve ever had. Maximum respect to Salaz.
This summer was the first time I ever got to ride with one of my earliest snowboarding inspirations, Dale Rehberg. I first saw footy of him in MDP’s The Hard, Hungry and the Homeless. Right away I was so impressed with his riding and unique style. Look at that crail grab in the third photo, I don’t think anyone has done a better one to this day. Dale was also ahead of his time on the jibs flexing his boards in unnatural, futuristic ways that barely make sense today. At Mt. Hood this summer he was ripping HCSC while his video part footy and music played through my head as clear as the first time I saw it in ‘92. Maximum Respect.
Jamie is at the top of everyones favorite shredders list but he was on mine for a different reason than most, the dude could jib! Peep that second screen grab, That’s one of the first frontside 270’s onto a rail ever done. Perfectly posed and squared up. Jamie never seemed to have the biggest bag of tricks but everything he did was done to the max with style and technique. Maximum Respect.
Matt Donahue has to be one of the most underrated riders from back in the day. This guy had such a progressive style for the time and the trick selection was highly evolved as well. Look at the tweaks he would put on his mute grabs, so sick, like there wasn’t even ankle straps. I really liked how Matt could rip tranny and pipe as well as jib. The backside 540 stalefish in the pipe taken from The Hard The Hungry and The Homeless was text book perfect and never seen at that time but the style was the main thing that this dude had down. Peep the tail grab nose manny on the wood rail, just pure finesse. I only remember a couple short sections from Matt but they were always sick.
Few probably remember this guy but Chad Schnacky was a big inspiration for me. The first and one of the only times I really saw anything from him was in MPD’s Upping The Ante. Not even holding a full part he shared a spot in a big montage but had some of the best shit in there. This is when jibs really started to move into more high consequence spots like the rails at resorts and other ski town establishments. Backlips were rare and a switch frontboard was unheard of but Schnacky had ‘em down. The big one though was the last shot where he took a long, probably the longest at the time, frontboard back to forward during what looks like an after hours session on a decent street set. Most people doing any kind of slide heels first lacked the control to bring it back to forward so to see this done so proper on a big set was crazy. Schnacky, that just sounds like someone who jibs hard. Maximum respect.
Brian “Chico” Thien. I was heavily inspired by this guy when I first started to snowboard. Chico has one of the smoothest styles in snowboarding and after watching him at The Nixon JibFest last week I can once again confirm that style is something that you are born with and it cannot be faked. Thien was as buttery as ever and looked like he hadn’t missed a day of riding despite it being six years to the contrary. I thought I would pull a few screen grabs from Chico’s video part in MDP’s Upping The Ante just so people could take a look back and remember how sick this dude is. That round bar nose press shot is the first time a round bar ever got nose pressed. Sick! I’m stoked to have met Brian and had a chance to live with and film with him for a few good years. It was sick to see him on snow again at the JibFest. Thanks for the inspiration.
I’m starting a new feature soon called Real Recognize Real. It will be short tributes to people that I was influenced by when I first started to snowboard. A few words, a few photos. After seeing Brian Thien at the JibFest I was taken back by his style and began to reminisce about old times. I was inspired to give this dude some props so the idea was born. Look for Brian’s Real Recognize Real coming soon.