Video: The Sierra Nevados Surf Club 2018 Season Recap

Jun 19, 2019
by Drew Boxold  
Views: 1,914    Faves: 29    Comments: 4


There is a common thread between gravity riders that grew up or have spent a lot of time riding in California's’ Sierra Nevada mountains. Located between North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, Northstar has established itself as Nevada and Northern California's’ premiere lift access bike park. It is generally a tough place to ride earning itself a reputation for abused trails and sketchy terrain. Ask your average tourist what they think of Northstar and chances are you will not hear positive remarks, but to the regional gravity scene, it’s someplace special. Riders who have accepted it for what it is have been able to start looking past its imperfections and now see the mountain in a new light, letting the condition of the trail inform them as to how it could be ridden.



Over the past summer, we have been having a lot of fun letting film and photo adapt the way we perceive what we have always ridden. Sitting on sections and analyzing what we could capture and how we wanted to capture it was huge for exploring shoulders of the trail or pockets we would otherwise ride right by. We began understanding that riding a trail fast was mono-dimensional, there is a fast line and everyone takes it. When we began to slow things down and ride sections at different speeds, we realized there was so much more depth offered by the same trail we had ridden a hundred times before. I believe there is a competitive drive in every cyclist to want to go fast or better another rider. To disassociate from that inner rider in an effort to chase different trail feelings around the mountain by exploring alternative lines at different speeds has been really refreshing and a cornerstone to the riding we have been about lately. That being said I think it’s a way to freshen up any park that any rider has a relationship with. Don’t think so? Try it.

We realized there was so much more depth offered by the same trail we had ridden a hundred times before.Steven Ruudbigquotes


bigquotesEvery rider brought something unique to the table and it was a treat to see how many different ways a single section could be ridden.Brian Cahal

Comparing a small local bike park to a household name like Whistler, which spoon feeds you the best trails in the world, you really have to work harder to have an equal amount of fun here. Through an alternative mindset towards Northstar and its riding experience, myself and the rest of the Surf Club were able to have the most memorable seasons of riding despite Northstar's undesirable traits. Weekend after weekend this group of friends slowly dissected the mountain finding new lines and creative interpretations of features we had ridden thousands of times before.

The filming process provided the opportunity to analyze each section in great detail and allow each rider to meet the trail with their own style. Every rider brought something unique to the table and it was a treat to see how many different ways a single section could be ridden. By the end of the season, we were flowing down every trail and finding the fun in sections that were previously uninspiring. It is easy to complain about the trails at Northstar, but this season gave me a real appreciation for the challenges it gave us and the blank canvas it provided this group of two-wheeled artists.


Truckee is undoubtedly my most beloved place to spend my free time; it's my home away from home. There's just something about the fresh air, pine trees and big open spaces that rids you of your day-to-day worries. It's a big contrast from living in the bay area. This laid back Tahoe mentality shows in each rider's personal style and is something I look for when behind the camera. The riding style of this group blended with the loose soil of the mountain made every shoot unpredictable and it's been exciting to see how these riders direct their creativity in this dirt playground. Going into my shoots with the Surf Club this summer I had some preconceived ideas here and there but I generally acted on instinct, and I pick up the laid-back Tahoe vibe in my work by developing a sense of community off the bike. It's been so rad to slide with the boys and create some media alongside Drew, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.




bigquotesBeing able to step back from riding to watch and compare the subtleties in each person’s riding style lets you catch a glimpse of each rider’s personality.Ty Wilkins



Northstar was my first ever taste of true gravity riding years ago, and it has been the go-to spot every summer since. As par for the course with most gravity riders, I ended up catching the Whistler disease. The trails I used to enjoy at Northstar now felt flat and small in comparison. I didn’t feel the same love for the park as I used to. This season, however, was shaping up differently than past years. Jonny was living in Reno, Steven was staying in the area nearly every weekend, Ty and Sharney were driving up regularly, and Brian and I were always making plans for some lift serviced laps. Everything aligned perfectly and the weekends became the time our core friend group would gather at Northstar for laps. We would already know everyone’s weekend plans even before a “What’s up?” text.

Each day would start with breakfast sandwiches, warm up with party laps down Livewire or Speed Control, continue with a filming/photo session, and end with beverages and dock jumping. This became the routine. The routine created an environment that only your local trails can provide; something that paradise destinations like can’t offer. The ability to arrive in the parking lot, spot multiple friends’ cars and get a group of a dozen buddies riding together instantly. It allows you to actually get to know people that you’ve only ever known over social media and become even better friends with your core group of buddies than ever before. This past season showed me that quality trails are only a small part of the equation for a good time. The right group of friends and a fresh mindset makes all the difference.

bigquotesAs much as it sucks to be in the middle of a 12-person train down Livewire, the feeling of getting loose in a corner or hearing yells behind you from a whip or corner slash makes all the dust inhalation worth it.Drew Boxold




Thank you to all the sliders involved with the Sierra Nevados Surf Club for making this past season the most memorable yet. Without everyone's creative vision, company, stories, input, and fellowship, last season would not have been as special. Looking forward to more sliding this summer. - SNSC
Photo: Ty Wilkins
Video: Drew Boxold
Words: Steven Ruud, Brian Cahal, Ty Wilkins, Drew Boxold



19 Comments

  • + 10
 Goddaam lads absolutely mental. So inspiring to see how you guys rip that mountain got me stoked for sum summer shlarpin !!
  • + 6
 Brian riding a 26” Sunday to Big B hooligan...that’s how you can tell he’s a real one!
  • + 5
 Big ups boys! Never a bad time riding or hanging with any of y'all. Keep those slidas coming hot off the grill for 2k19!
  • + 5
 Awesome write up, photos, and footage. Oh and that IH Sunday was dope to see!
  • + 7
 Sliders gotta slide
  • + 7
 Sliders Gotta Slide
  • + 1
 This is pretty NorCal if I ever seen it... Nice.
  • + 4
 Well worth the wait. stoked to slide in 2019!
  • + 4
 Nice work G’s
  • + 3
 Friggin' rights boys - This is what it's about
  • + 3
 Absolute heat
  • + 1
 Quality
  • + 1
 Give us Scharninghausen
  • + 1
 Hell yeah boys!
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