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The term “legend” may get thrown around a little too generously nowadays. But when it comes to certain riders, “legend” is completely appropriate. This winter Transworld Snowboarding paid tribute to a rider who’s focus on style and skate-influenced riding impacted a whole generation of riders. Chris Roach won the Riders Poll Legend Award for his legacy and on-going contributions to the culture of snowboarding.
Roach first strapped into a snowboard in 1985. By the late-80s, his impeccable style on a snowboard influenced a generation of riders. Roach, drawing upon his skate roots, was one of the first to embrace switch tricks and cab spins, popularizing them at events and in classic video parts like Fall Line Films’ “Snowboarders In Exile” (https://vimeo.com/126512262) and Mack Dawg’s “New Kids On the Twock”.
Ultimately, Roach was best known for is his stylish grabs. A legend himself, Todd Richards said in Roach’s episode of “Powder and Rails”, “Every grab Roach did was full skate, around his feet, ya know, everything was proper.” A Grass Valley, CA native, Roach is credited with coining the term “Grasser.” It describes the type of method locals were known for in those days with the back leg fully poked out—something many riders still aspire to do.
Roach was presented his award by Richards and past legends award winner (and longtime partner in crime) Mike Ranquet. Ranquet praised Roach’s timeless style and his approach to snowboarding. In his acceptance speech, Roach reaffirmed his position as a leader in snowboarding. Beyond just reiterating his love and passion for snowboarding, and his total excitement for being able to snowboard again for the first time in 20 years, Roach voiced his opinion on the direction snowboarding should take in the future. When Roach was younger, there was a divide between racing and hardboots, and skate/surf style and soft boots. Roach chose the latter, and according to Todd Richards, is the reason we wear soft boots today. Now, Roach feels there is a division between the skate/surf influence type of riding and freestyle skiing a.k.a. focusing on bigger jumps and more rotations. With all the snow that it takes to create these monstrous jumps Roach says, there is enough snow to build several “bowls, hips, spines,…fun shit for EVERYBODY!” Focus on the masses of snowboarding, not just the few guys that can hit the massive jumps.
Twenty years ago, Roach stepped away to focus on his family (he’s got five kids) and start an excavating company, CR Trucking and Excavating. After being out of snowboarding for years, and with a surgically repaired knee, Roach got back to his first true love--snowboarding and vows to never let it go. The focus is on the future and finally being able to snowboard again. After standout performances at Holy Bowly and the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge, Roach is finally in a place where he can contribute as much to snowboarding as ever before.
We are proud to support Roach and the direction he feels snowboarding should follow. Roach’s kit includes the Vices Jacket and Heavy Days Pant, as well as our snapback cap, which he is rarely seen without off the hill.
As a fictional Babe Ruth once said, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Roach’s influence on snowboarding still holds strong. The “Grasser” will be a trademark snowboarding trick for generations to come.
Tags: Homeschool Outerwear, Homeschool Snowboarding, Chris Roach, Vices Jacket, Heavy Days Pant, Transworld Rider Poll, Legend Award, Chris Roach
Links: Powder and Rails (www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O7_Ee0_aCE, www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-r5lNrwYhQ) Speech and Interview (http://snowboarding.transworld.net/videos/riders-poll-16-legend-award/#P810iEZoW86TRMpL.97) Pro Setup (http://snowboarding.transworld.net/gear/pro-setups-chris-roachs-head-to-toe-2015-2016-gear/#jG3eCkClt1E4WS7o.97) write up (http://snowboarding.transworld.net/news/chris-roach-receive-transworld-snowboarding-legend-award-riders-poll/#WQBQR8f7iLAurKxV.97)