Truth be told this is my third and final attempt at writing this article. It’s always difficult to write about your friends. You’re constantly thinking about whether or not they would be happy with it, if you are getting too personal or whether or not it’s flattering. This article happens to be about one of Michigan snowboarding’s first urban rail kids, my friend, Trevor Rhoda aka T-Woo. Trevor lives a much different life than he did a few years ago because of an injury he sustained from doing what he loved.
I felt the need to write this because of all of the interest in Trevor. People are curious about T-Woo. Whether it’s new kids who see him in pics or at snowboarding events or people who knew him from back in the day; people ask me about him all the time. Originally I was going to write this article and revolve it around helmet safety. Seeing Trevor struggle with certain things as simple as spelling or writing should be reason enough for me to wear a helmet, but it’s not so that would be a hypocritical write up. People think it can’t happen to them. Trevor was a far superior snowboarder than myself at anytime in the many years I have been snowboarding and it happened to him; yet I still don’t wear a helmet. It’s ignorant when you think about it. Yeah I think they are heinous, but seriously, who am I trying to impress at 34?
Trevor was good at front-boards. He had this wide stance and frog legs and always stomped his tricks with intentional arrogance. The first time I met him, I remember it perfectly, this itty-bitty blonde kid just walked up and was like “I just did such and such a trick.” I was like “Ok? Cool.” It kinda blew my mind. I thought to myself “What a little shit!” He was too, but he backed it up. I watched him come up so fast. Before anyone else, he was super active in the street. Trevor was the first to settle most of the rails in Kalamazoo.
Like any other shred on the real up and up he went out west. He continued to shred and was featured in a couple of widely circulated films. He was destined for deals. While back in Michigan at Marquette Mountain, Woo went to front board a kink that happened to have a broken weld. He took the rail to the head resulting in emergency brain surgery. After making a near-full recovery, Trevor had a seizure resulting in another emergency brain surgery. Let me add that I am drastically abbreviating this story, as I don’t want to focus on the negative too much. You might ask, “Well what’s positive about any of this?” Well, Trevor is still alive. If you want more of the background of his situation his sister made a very detailed and quite frank blog about it all. You can find it here.
You can also watch the movie “The Crash Reel” featuring Woo and of course Kevin Pearce.
The focus of this article is on the will of this kid in his attempt at a second recovery. In just the past month he has been improving so much. Trevor helps out at the shop I work at. He doesn’t like being helped with his tasks and does a killer job. I have been so impressed with his focus and drive to do better. At least in my mind it seems he is making leaps in his recovery. I don’t know the ins and outs of his medical progress or what to expect for his future, but I know what he isn’t going to do is stand by and let his current situation become him. It’s hard for me to describe it to you, but all of Trevor is there: his humor, his attitude, his opinions and his swagger. It’s just locked up inside him and it has trouble being let out. I can only describe it as Trevor being behind the wheel of this big machine that he hasn’t got figured out all the way, or a phone call with shitty reception; he is on the line it’s just not coming through quite right. Over the past few weeks I can hear more and more of him and I can see him making physical improvements with his dexterity and arm movement. I didn’t say this earlier, but Trevor has a difficult time with his right side.
Trevor is an awesome kid and I am grateful to be able to have him in my life. Trevor was a large piece of Michigan snowboarding and I want to be able to pay tribute to him as a Michigan snowboarder. That is the intention of my article, along with some necessary filler so you can understand the situation. So, please take a moment to peep these videos that have some pretty gnarly tricks in them even by today’s standards. Trevor you’re the man!