Athlete Stories


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Athlete Stories

Lindsey Jacobellis Athlete Profile

Wend family member, Olympian, AND Gold Medalist, Lindsey Jacobellis, let's us peek into her life off-season in her current hometown Carlsbad, California. You'll sure be impressed by her avid board riding skills off the mountain. Check it out!


Kazu Kokubo joins Adidas Pro Team

Adidas is officially upping the ante, unveiling a team that will make it a serious contender to become one of the biggest brands in snowboarding. Jake Blauvelt (who was already on the team) will now be joined by Keegan Valaika and WEND rider Kazu Kokubo, which might explain why the pair of them parted company with Burton over the summer. They’ve also signed heavy hitter (and Transworld Rider of the Year) Eric Jackson as well as Yes girl Helen Schettini and Gnu’s jibbing jedi Forest Bailey. How’s that for some seriously heavy hitters?
The announcement came out yesterday, and interestingly, it didn’t come directly from Adidas, but via the athletes’ social media feeds. As well as being a clever way to let the news leak virally, the decision to announce their participation this way fits with Adidas’ emphasis on collaboration, something they see this as key to the brand. It’s also indicative of their softly, softly approach similar to the one that has seen them grow so successfully in skating, which has to beat coming in all guns blazing.
As such, the only thing we’ll be seeing from Adidas this year is the ‘apres shred boot’, designed with the help of Blauvelt. The first of their snowboard boots proper won’t be unveiled until next year’s tradeshows, in time to make it into shops for winter 2013. If the launch means they’re going to give serious resources to the likes of E-Jack and Kazu, we’re not complaining. That’ll surely just mean more of this kind of radness!

Rahlves on his "Biggest Jump Ever"


WEND rider, Daron Rahlves, posed for our official WEND Rahlves poster. He reflects on the action shot we used, claiming it to be the biggest jump he has ever landed:

"Filming w/ Teton Gravity Research in AK we found this nice morning test slope. I saw the potential for a perfect DH air into the big bowl with a steep landing. I hiked up above the take off and sent it. My ATOMIC SKIING Atlas 192's felt quick with my signature Wend Waxworks rub on. Hard to measure out this air, but it was the biggest I've ever gone and I'd say close to 300'. I hit it twice and went about 15' further the second time. Stoked to have this shot for my Wend poster since the wax helped take it that far. After that we named the run "gal-unde"."

Rahlves unhappy about Winter X Games dropping Skier X, Snowboarder X Events

Wend rider Daron Rahlves of Lake Tahoe made his fourth and final Olympic appearance not as an Alpine skier, but competing in Ski cross, which made its Olympic debut in the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Although an untimely on-course collision may have cost him a medal, Rahlves has gained a definite affinity for the sport and has continued to ski cross in “retirement.” The Truckee resident has helped invigorate the sport by helping to establish the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour each winter, which culminates with the finals at Sugar Bowl ski resort in late winter.

Like many skiers and snowboarders, Rahlves was disappointed at last week’s announcement by the Winter X Games. Two of the longest-running competitions in X Games history – Snowboarder X and Skier X – will not be part of the show when the X Games returns to Aspen in January 2013.

Event organizers confirmed last week that ESPN decided to cut the events, as well as Mono Skier X, and will not build the X Course for the first time in history.

“I’m against X Games' decision to take out the X Course for 2013. As a competition with straight up speed, skill and battles to the finish line, this is the best action in the Winter X Games,” Rahlves said. “I’m biased, of course, because that’s what I do. It might be time for a change in the build though. Shorter length, more technical, and keep the speed in it.”

Snowboarder X was one of three events that had taken place every year since the Winter X Games debuted in 1997, along with Snowboard Superpipe and Slopestyle. Skier X had been staged 15 of those 16 years, starting in 1998. Mono Skier X was added five years ago.

“These decisions are never easy, obviously,” said Tim Reed, senior director of content strategy for ESPN X Games. “We understand the ramifications these things bring. We come up with what we believe are the best events to showcase to our fans on-site and obviously the networks, too. There wasn’t one single factor that led to this decision. It just comes down to filling the schedule with how much we believe we need to make the event enjoyable to the fans and deliver on what we need from a product standpoint.”

One of the top U.S. Alpine skiers of all time who entered the Ski Hall of Fame in 2011, Rahlves had 12 World Cup victories, 28 World Cup podiums and seven U.S. National Titles.

Despite leaving the World Cup tour, he still savors the action. Ski cross is an unpredictable event that features four skiers racing down a course with huge jumps up to 100 feet through the air, and speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The first person to the bottom wins.

“The bonus for me is the 2013 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour,” Rahlves said. “It should gain more attention now and attract athletes who want that ultimate race experience of four at a time over nature’s best natural terrain."

For more information, visit

Rahlves was quick to give credit to both the Winter X games and ESPN for promoting the event.

“We all owe ESPN and the X Games a huge thank you for the progress they have made for the sport of ski cross, boarder cross and mono-X,” Rahlves said. “Unfortunately it will make the ski cross year a little less exciting without the premiere event.”

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