Vans snowboarding days

Vans snowboarding days

Text & Photos by Matt Georges

When we checked our app that first night, we got 28% chance of seeing the Northern Lights up in Ruka, Finnish Lapland. Well it didn’t happen, the 72% chance of not seeing them were right. Anyway we all flew there (or drove – those crazy Russians) in from 13 different countries and we were not here to only look at the sky (if you know what I mean).

A 60-strong crew of medias, shops and Vans top team riders such as Bryan Iguchi, Jake Kuzyk, Sam Taxwood, Benny Urban, Alek Oestreng, Enni Rukajarvi, Antti Jussila, Nikita Sekh, Will Smith, Sebi Springeth and Sparrow Knox set the scene for three days of snowboarding, snowmobile riding, ice diving, reindeer eating and boozing! Plenty of boozing!

Things kicked off with a product run down on next seasons newness along with the brand strategy for Fall 20. With industry big wigs present such as Kevin Casillo, Matt Patti, Kyle Martin, Ben Sooprayen & Bruno Rivoire we were in good hands to get us fired up on the new lines. Vans Snowboarding Days isn’t just a brand presentation, it’s a wear test in the finest of forms. Following the welcome meeting, we tried on boots for size and put them through their paces on the hill whilst following around the likes of (or should I say, trying to keep up with)  Bryan Iguchi, Jake Kuzyk, Sam Taxwood and the rest of the Euro team legends! There is no better way to truly understand the innovative technologies and product development behind each boot than to go ride them. Head of Product for Snow, Matt Patti told us how they’re using their deep history in snowboarding to inspire what they do with product. The product development team has been making snowboard boots for 28 years. Snowboard legend Bryan Iguchi invented park snowboarding and that’s where Matt takes his inspiration from when designing a new line. This year is also the launch of their new premium ‘Hi-Country and Hell-Bound’ boot, fronted next season by pro rider Sam Taxwood, the boot has all the bells and whistles, with over 200 individual pieces and is a real feat in snowboard boot production. A real masterpiece!

What we say about icy finish Snowpark is definitely not a legend, it is VERY VERY ICY. It’s amazing to witness local shredder Enni Rukajaervi send it on a 25m jumps like it’s nothing. Ruka park is very well shaped and designed but you really need to have that finish blood to fully enjoy this massive ice slope. Riding the rest of the resort is really an experience itsellf specially at night (well it’s only 1pm but already dark). It feels like being on the moon, it’s different than anywhere else. Yeah I know I never been on the moon but Neil Armstrong told me.