As you grow up a snowboarder in Minnesota, you quickly realize your tremendous and unfortunate situation: the scene is small, and your hills are smaller. Little did I know that we were playing by fire rather than candlelight and it wasn’t until I left my home hill in northern Minnesota that it occurred to me. What we have here is a condensed meal of talent and outright creative fearlessness. The scene in Minnesota has become an incredible landscape for great riders and talent that reaches the peripheries of the sport. This is to include riders, film and edit crews, writers, graphic designers, and salty park crews (many a times being a combination of all of these things).
As I was fumbling with my summer job, I had an optimistic feeling that the upcoming season would be one of the best, mainly because of the incredible friends I’ve made working with Colab. During the season of 2018-2019, I had the opportunity to build some parks with Austin Sam, an Afton Alps local and aspiring polymath of the talents listed above. This season, he’s partnered with FYVE to complete an online video series (link below) called HEARTLAND that delves into the beating heart of Midwest snowboarding. Here’s what he had to say.