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Laguna resident and avid snowboarder Ryan Boyes shares his coveted tips for shredding on the mountain.

By Somer Tejwani

Zeal HD Camera Goggle

In 1965, Sherman Poppen braced two skis together, stood on the top of a hill in his backyard and started surfing the snow. He called his invention the “Snurfer” (think snow plus surfer), which, besides becoming a cult phenomenon, served as the predecessor to today’s snowboard. More than 25 years later, Ryan Boyes stepped into a snowboard for the first time in his backyard in the mountain town of Wrightwood, Calif. Ryan, who is now a Laguna Beach resident and the director of international marketing for Volcom, grew up boarding in the 1980s during a time when many ski resorts wouldn’t even allow the sport on their hills. Since then, snowboarding has come a long way, and is now a major draw at the Winter Olympic Games and ski resorts across the U.S., with millions of snowboarders vying for slope space alongside skiers each year. Here, Ryan reveals his insider perspective on the sport.

Laguna Beach Magazine: You’ve been boarding for more than two decades, but what are your tips for someone who is new to the sport?

Ryan Boyes: There’s a good chance you’ll spend part of the day on the snow, so do yourself a favor and try snowboarding on a stormy day when there’s some fresh snow on the slopes; you can feel how to move the board, push a little snow around for resistance and cushion the fall.

LBM: One of the hardest things for newcomers is conquering the fear of the chair lift. Do you have any tips?

RB: Point the board straight, look ahead, commit and ride it out.

LBM: Favorite local mountains to board on?

RB: Wrightwood, [Calif.] but Mount Waterman [in La Canada, Calif.] can be all time with the right storm.

LBM: What are some nonlocal mountains to check out?

RB: The Interior of British Columbia is a special place. I highly recommend checking out Baldface Lodge.

LBM: Any favorite gear for the sport?

RB: I’m a big fan of my Volcom Gore-Tex pant and jacket combo.

LBM: Off the mountain, what do you suggest to up performance?

RB: Stretching—before and after. Keep the body limber and relaxed.

LBM: As the director of international marketing at Volcom, you get to meet and hang out with the best in snowboarding. Who are your favorite riders?

RB: Terje Haakonsen and Jamie Lynn. Both are innovators, pioneers and beyond stylish.

LBM: How often do you get to the mountain in the winter?

RB: Trick question … if it’s good, a lot!

LBM: So, what is your favorite part of doing what you love?

RB: Spending time in the mountains, and all the elements that come with that. The anticipation for winter, the changing of the seasons, watching the trees change color, the cold air, that first snow, the feeling of the snow under your feet, and then that first pow day when you get to let it all go and throw some pow turns.

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