Shredding into Spring with Urban Snowboarding and Skateboarding
Duluth thrillseekers make extreme fun out of the remaining snow
DULUTH, Minn.- Winter has now officially ended, but some Northlanders know how to make it last.
Hills like Spirit Mountain or Chester Bowl are always a good time in winter.
But these gnarly rippers get together, and get innovative to shred some powder closer to home, in the beginning of Spring.
To your left, a skateboard seems to float off the top of a ramp before roaring back down the incline.
To your right, a snowboard leaps off a snowy ramp and grinds off a ledge.
“This is pretty rare,” said Damage Boardshop employee Wyatt Lindberg.
“This is one of the first times it’s actually been nice enough to skateboard, and still have enough snow to snowboard.”
It’s called Urban Snowboarding, and it’s pretty literal.
“We like to ride on kind of features that would be replicated in a snowboard park, but in like an urban setting,” Daniel Spooner, fellow local snowboarder and skateboarder, said.
“So, y’know handrails, jumping over gaps, that kinda stuff.”
It might seem impossible, snowboarding without hills and such little snow.
“Obviously skate parks aren’t necessarily designed for snowboarding, but today we’re making it work.” Lindberg said.
The group shoveled nearby snow onto the concrete, sometimes a couple days before, crafting their own ramps and jumps.
“On the snowboard side of things, we kinda just, yeah we built our own park,” said Spooner.
All of these skaters and snowboarders are either employees, customers, or are sponsored by Damage Boardshop in West Duluth.
They spent about an hour gathering the last bit of snow to make their ultimate course.
Soon skateboarders and snowboarders shred side by side, each trick getting harder.
“The snowboarders are going to attempt to jump over the volcano, and attempt to land on the opposite side,” Lindberg said, grinning from ear to ear.
Each snowboarder approaches the run without fear, coasting down the slope, up the ramp, and grinding the volcano effortlessly.
When sailing through the air or grinding off a rail, Spooner said the mind clears.
“You’re pretty much kind of focused, zoned in on what you’re doing and yeah, you’re really just not thinking about anything else.”
A trio of skateboarders hop a railing in succession, dangerously close to each other.
When they nail the difficult trick, claps and cheers of astonishment echo around Wheeler Skate Park.
“There’s a reward, y’know, if you land a trick, y’know that you’ve been trying for a while,” said Spooner. “Everyone’s friendly, just kind of good vibes all around.”
Despite their conviction to crush the course, it’s the community, and the changing season, that keeps them together.
“We’re here with a common interest and a common passion for what we do,” Lindberg said.
“If we didn’t love skateboarding and snowboarding, we wouldn’t be out here.”