I probably should’ve posted this yesterday in memory of the late great Craig Kelly, but for some reason it just slipped my mind. A lot of kids nowadays probably never even heard of him let alone know why he’s famous. I mean, he was almost at the peak of his career around the time I was born so I barely know who he is. I do know, however, that many if not all of us owe him a bit of gratitude and respect. Without Craig there might not be such a thing as freeriding like we know it today, and style wouldn’t exist. He also understood the spirit of snowboarding and gave the mountain the respect it deserves.
Checking the dailies yesterday, and I came across this tribute on TWSnow.com: Keys to Reality
It’s a pretty short editorial, but the article written by Ken Achenbach is killer – definitely stirs up some emotions. Albeit, things have changed nowadays in regards to sponsorships and the like, especially with a weakening economy and poor winter conditions due to “climate change,” I think many of us who participate in the sport can relate to the article on one level or another. The article is from Jan. ’92 and is one of Craig’s favorites. If you can figure out why, then you can guess where Craig’s heart lies and why he was such a positive influence on the snowboarding community.
I won’t make this blog about the pros and cons of selling out because there are great rationales for both (e.g. making money and riding all year vs. “keepin’ it ‘core”), but I do want to say that no matter where you sit on the fence, you’ll always have the keys in your pocket. The difference is which one you choose to throw out and why.
“Enjoy the journey…”
Whenever I think or hear of snowboarding and snowboarders, what usually comes to mind is individuality – not just in people’s personalities but in tricks, clothing and pretty much everything else that’s associated with the sport. I hear a lot of people trying/wanting to be different from one another, riding with their own unique style, which I think only drives the creativity and progression of the sport. It also allows people to be comfortable with themselves and not care too much of what others think. And that’s how it should be! Who cares if your pants are tucked into your boots or if you stuff a fat beanie under your helmet? We’ve all probably been there before, and none of that should matter because we’re all on the mountain for the same reason.
Amidst the differences between each person lies something that we all share and have in common – passion. No matter if you wear tight pants or baggy tall tees, you can’t deny that you simply love to snowboard. It’s a universal element that’s shared by the newbie on the bunny run to the pro hitting 60ft. kickers, and in no other time have I seen this passion more prevalent than in the past 5 days.
Many participants and fans of snowboarding have most likely heard about the unfortunate situation regarding Kevin Pearce.
In a nutshell, one the top U.S. Olympic hopefuls was critically injured while practicing to secure his spot on the team. He’s currently sedated at a hospital in Salt Lake City until further notice, but he’s definitely not alone and not the only one feeling the pain. Setting aside any differences in style, vernacular and reason, I’ve never seen a community of people come together and show/share as much love and support for one person as I have seen in the past few days. It seems that everyone in the snowboarding community has sent positive vibes and prayers to the entire Pearce family. Although Kevin is still under, doctors say he’s doing a lot better albeit has a long recovery ahead of him. Regardless of how long it takes for him to be dropping double corks again, it’s truly inspiring to see the camaraderie and fellowship of the snowboarding community come together during this tough time. It’s as if we’ve all got a brother in the hospital and are eagerly waiting for him to check out. My point is that we can all try to be as different and unique as we want, but when it comes down to it we have one thing that keeps us on the mountain, keeps us all connected, and keeps us all hoping and praying for Kevin and the entire Pearce family. Hang in there, man!
To stay up to date on Kevin’s latest condition, visit the official Facebook page here