A comprehensive retrospective from the former Editors of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, originally published in the 30th Anniversary Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine, pick up your copy now!
Words by Jeff Galbraith, a former Editor and Senior Editor of SNOWBOARDER Magazine (1992-2003). He is currently owner and president of FFLLC (publishers of The Snowboarders Journal, The Ski Journal and The Flyfish Journal) and lives in Bellingham, WA with his wife Jessica and daughter Lucita.
“That was a purely magical time.
Snowboarding was ours to define, travel was easy and my friends were largely alive.
I took on the job of Senior Editor of SNOWBOARDER Magazine in the fall of 1991, working out of my home in Bellingham, Washington and traveling to events and interviews from there. Having both grown up riding Mt. Baker with stalwarts like Dan Donnelly and Craig Kelly, and having also worked at snowboarding's first publication International Snowboard Magazine (ISM), I had become friends with the crowd that threatened to keep snowboarding punk for the foreseeable future.
Globetrotting with guys like Andy Hetzel, Noah Salasnek, the Roach brothers, Shawn Farmer, and later, Jamie Lynn, Matt Donahue, Dale Rehberg and others in snowboarding's early golden age was utterly phenomenal. From $50 heli drops in AK with no guides, to exploring the French Alps with Tom Burt and Martin Gallant, to watching Terje blow minds as a 15 year old, to riotous US Opens in Vermont –- all of it was electric.
Publisher Doug Palladini saw fit to take a chance on me, a guy who had first introduced himself by sending a virulent and unsolicited edit of SNOWBOARDER's launch issue. Photographer Sean Sullivan and I drove to the tip of Vancouver Island with Baker locals Jason Basarich and Bryan Hollenbeck on my first assignment. And although we usurped the ski patrol at tiny Mount Cain and stayed in their small, dank cabin, they still helped us build a jump off the cat track. We rode powder off an old surface lift, got heckled by loggers, drank cases of Molson and set off on a path that, for myself, would ultimately lead to a business career in this brand of madness.
Palladini hired me after I submitted the piece.
I worked for several years after in the original Quonset hut offices of Surfer Publications, cranking on SNOWBOARDER with a truly great and tight crew of Palladini, Lisa Eilertson, and Jeff Darnell. Three people producing this at a time of 300+ page issues. Later additions of Jamie Mulhausen, Regina, Katie Peck, George Covalla, Rob Campell, Mark Sullivan and Pat Bridges made the workload immeasurably easier, and the camaraderie made it a lot more enjoyable.
And while working at Snowboarder gave me the experience and confidence to launch my own media company in 2001, including The Snowboarder's Journal, the real value came in the form of two individuals: My great friendship with former Photo Editor, Chris Brunkhart (RIP), and my introduction to Jessica (nee Lovett) my wife of 15+ years.
Chris taught us all the true meaning of courage in beating his drug addictions, coming out as a gay man in an often unfriendly industry and in the end, facing his own death with as much grace as any human.
And Jessica is just absolutely everything to me.
It's been a fair trade. Thanks, and happy fucking birthday, SNOWBOARDER.”