Where Are They Now? Part 2

Remember those neon colored snowboard jackets, the wild hair, and brands like Avalanche and Look?  The ’80s and ’90s definitely were a flashy time for the sport.  The snowboarding pioneers were in their prime during these decades and livin’ the dream.  So where are they now?

Terje Haakonsen

Terje Haakonsen

Terje Haakonsen

Then
Terje Haakonsen was one of the most influential snowboarders from the ’90s.  Born in Norway in 1974, Haakonsen was one of his country’s most elite in the snowboarding world.  He won the ISF World Championship in the half-pipe from ’93-’97 (three times in a row!).  Terje also won five European Championships in half-pipe during his heyday.  But, he wasn’t just a half-pipe guy.  His ability to ride practically any terrain set him apart from other pro riders.  Terje is the man behind the Haakon Flip and is also credited with the development of the Burton T6.  As far as mentors are concerned, Terje felt Craig Kelley was his and looked up to him for both his riding skills and his passion  for life.  What is a pro athlete without a little scandal?  Haakonsen’s comes in the form of boycotting the ’98 Winter Olympics, the year snowboarding made its debut at the games.  Instead of participating in the games, he engineered the Artic Challenge , a snowboard event focused on the riders that has been held annually since 2000 in Norway, with Daniel Franck.

Now
So where is he now?  Well, probably still up on the mountain somewhere riding fresh powder.  Haakonsen, now 39, is still on Burton’s Pro Team and filming snowboarding videos, probably the most noteworthy of which is First Descent, a documentary featuring Haakonsen that covers the progression of snowboarding during its early decades.  He is still not a fan of snowboarding being in the Olympics, particularly because of his belief that snowboarding should be rider-controlled culture.  He has worked closely with Burton in developing boards like the Landlord and Fish, which are total game-changers when it comes to conquering freshies.  Terje is still competing and taking titles such as all-time high quarter pipe airs and Mt. Baker Banked Slalom wins.  Burton has begun releasing a new four-part web series, BACKCOUNTRY, where Terje’s free riding  is highlighted. Haakonsen is a family man with 3 kids.

Jim Rippey

Jim Rippey

Jim Rippey

Then
Jim Rippey, born in 1970, turned pro in the ’80s and was sponsored by Burton.  He is best known for his big mountain freestyle riding and his fearless front and back flips off of large cliffs.  Rippey is credited as the first person to land a backflip on a snowmobile.  Rippey retired after 13 years of professional snowboarding, but he stayed involved in the snowboarding community for a while afterwards.  He announced the play-by-plays for the snowboarding events at the ’98 Winter Olympics.

Now
Since his retirement, Jim Rippey has found a closeness to God.  He has become a minister of Grace Church in Reno, NV in 2011.  He is a family man, too, with a wife and one son.  He is active in both his church and his community and attends Elevate Camps regularly.  www.JimRippey.com

Damian Sanders

Damian Sanders

Damian Sanders

Then
Damian Sanders is known as one of the pioneers of snowboarding.  He was easily recognizable up on the mountain with his wild hair and audacious style.  It has been said that he was the original rockstar snowboarder. Damian was also one of the only advocates for hard boots in that era.  Pretty much everyone else thought he was crazy for loving that style of boot…even back then.  Sanders was featured in a number of snowboarding videos including, Powder and Rails and Critical Condition and also got the cover of the first ever issue of Snowboarder Mag.  His pro days dwindled after a little over thirteen years in the business.  Back then he was recently married to a playmate named Brandy and they moved to California to settle down and party with some of Hollywood’s elite.  Sanders quickly realized he was pretty good at throwing parties and went into business with Jon Huntington throwing elite parties in California and Las Vegas.  Once the event business took off, Sanders and his partner started Spiritworld Productions.

Now
Once Spiritworld Productions took off, the sky was the limit for Damian.  He took the Pimp N’ Ho party from house party level to club level and took Club Rubber one step further to the Galaxy Concert Theater.  He also has Monster Stage to his credit, a company that specializes in building stages and producing events.  Some of the events that Sanders is known for have have fizzled and come back to life, and some are considered to be the wildest and most elite parties of the year.  But, after an active snowboard career and an even more exciting night life career, Damian Sanders is now making his mark in the fitness industry.  He has recently launched a new fitness product line called XBAR Fitness by Damian Sanders.   A pre-sale is happening now and the first shipments are expected July 2014!  Check it out: XBAR.com

Dave Seoane

Dave Seoane

Dave Seoane

Then
Dave Seoane saw himself as a 2nd generation snowboarder.  He was sponsored by Look and good buddies with Steve Graham, who was also sponsored by the brand.  Seoane is not someone you would have seen in many competitions, though he did well.  His rise to fame in the ’90s was through appearances in snowboard videos like Snowboarders in Exile.  While his pro career was short-lived, Seoane found a love for film and stayed relevant in the industry from behind the camera.  His first film experience was during Critical Condition where he was assigned to wear the helmet cam because he was the only one on the crew who could keep up with the riders on a snowboard.

Now
Seoane has come a long way from being the lowest guy on the totem pole wearing the helmet cam.  He is an accomplished filmmaker and cinematographer, as well as an established artist.  He founded Cinemaseoane Inc. in 1997 and has created films such as The White Album and Subjekt: Haakonsen.  When it comes to his artwork, you’ll find that Seoane creates functional structures, spaces, and furniture. www.DavePaulSeoane.com

Circe Wallace

Circe Wallace

Circe Wallace

Then
Circe Wallace was born in Oregon, where she first fell in love with board sports at age 13.  She started out skateboarding and entered the snowboarding world in ’85.  Wallace was introduced to the sport through a school program and quickly became a pioneer for women’s snowboarding.  Being one of the only females on the mountain back then, the guys pushed her physical abilities and helped her become a better athlete.  She dated Jamie Lynn, her first love, and helped to get him sponsored by Wave Rave.  Wallace was the first Roxy Girl snowboarder in the United States and the first female to earn a pro model boot.  She worked tirelessly to carve the path for women in board sports to make the salaries they currently earn.

Now
Towards the end of her pro career, Wallace became an advocate for athletes.  She is a self-taught sports agent, with no higher education involved.  She now holds the title of Senior Vice President at Wasserman Media Group.  Her clientele includes Paul Rodriquez and Nyjah Huston and formerly Eric Koston.  She also has her own boutique outerwear company called Circe Snow.

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