Fact: You will see Rich more than any other rep. Rich does the most events and takes care of the most kids and truly is an adequate successor to his mentor Pete Harvieux. Rich is OG. We like him.
We’re going to, every once in awhile, do a little Q&A with some of the Midwest reps. In Michigan there are some reps that are way more active in the scene than others. For that exact reason, we are kicking our Rep Q&A off with Rich Whinnie.
Fact: You will see Rich more than any other rep. Rich does the most events and takes care of the most kids and truly is an adequate successor to his mentor Pete Harvieux.
Rich is OG. We like him. Even more after this interview actually. He has the same passion and ideals toward snowboarding as we do. It is a relief to know there are still some of the old souls out there.
Where are you from originally?
Originally from Indian River, MI. I grew up riding Nub’s Nob, my favorite Michigan resort!
14…I have a team rider that just turned 13 and he’s way better than me… jeesh.
Seems to change every year, but right now I’m riding a 150 Mod Rocker, 390 Boss bindings with 3.5 degree cant pads, Libertine boots, Rhythm Outerwear, and Ashbury Goggles. I love this setup! It allows me to ride both park and charge every part of the hill. Should I get all early 2000’s SnowboarderMag and tell you my stance?? Ok here it is – Goofy, 20.5 inches, 9º x -9º
Currently I live in Grand Rapids, MI so Cannonsburg is the place to be! Nub’s Nob will always be my second home though.
The companies I rep are Rome SDS and Rhythm Outerwear.
Favorite Michigan spots?
There are a lot of good handrails and spots scattered all over Michigan that are fun. Resort riding is always a good time with the crew. Really my favorite place to ride is wherever my friends are.
What’s rad in Michigan Snowboarding?
…Where to begin? I’ll start off by saying there is a lot of unknown kids that are super talented. I think they’re unknown (I mean in the industry) because they don’t blow up their own egos. They are just out there riding with friends and having a good time. I mean there are a few bad eggs, but for the most part a lot of the riders in Michigan are just down to have a good time, they’re super welcoming when fellow travelers come to visit, they’re always down to take different film crews to good spots, etc.
Another thing that’s rad is that there is a lot of participation when it comes to shop owners and employees. That’s true throughout a lot of the Midwest. It’s just rad to see the owner of one’s favorite shop charging the hill and ollie-ing some big ass rope gaps. (ahem, Ben Clarke). A ton of these shops also host some of my favorite events to attend. For example, Casualties in Marquette does a lot for the snowboard and skateboard community and they have attendees come from all over MI, OH, and even MN. I think there needs to be more of that. These examples are also true with the brands I work for. Snowboarders supporting snowboarding. It’s that simple.
Events your apart of for this season?
I have a lot going on this year. We will be doing a preseason event at Cannonsburg so kids can get their early season shred on. A lot of demos which I’m still trying to dial in dates for. One thing I did last year which I am doing again are some opening day events. Last season we did an opening day party at Mt.Holly which was killer. It’s not a contest, just a gathering for fellow snowboarders and we give away tees/coozies/etc. There are a ton of events throughout the whole season. If you want to stay updated “like” the facebook page that I run called Great Lakes Insurgents – RomeSDS
What’s wrong with snowboarding?
There is a lot that’s wrong with snowboarding right now. haha.
I’ll start with the product side of things: This may be at least a decade old argument, but I’m NOT ok with fucking ski brands and sports brands running snowboard companies. It just makes absolutely no sense to me. For so many years snowboarders were HATED by skiers, and in some cases they still are. We weren’t welcome at resorts, and we weren’t welcome at their events/contests. Then those resorts and brands looked at it from solely a $$$ perspective. They thought “Oh, there seem to be a lot of people interested in this odd, standing sideways activity. Let’s make these people (that we don’t care about or even like that much) some gear, that way we will meet our quotas for this quarter.” Nowadays it’s getting even worse. They think “Oh, a lot of people actually like this strange activity. They’re buying a lot of these things! Bob, I just don’t get it, but oh well! I have an idea, how about we spend a shitload of money on a really cool looking team that’s already tied into the “scene”. We will give them a contract they can’t refuse! We are going to sell so much more. Hey, we might even double our profits this year!” As cheesy as that was its sad and true. Modern day pimps and whores. The suits that run these brands have no idea what feeling you get from grabbing method, or slashing your friends. And the reason why it’s working is because kids now have no idea about the history of snowboarding, which isn’t their fault. I’m optimistic though, I think if we’re all patient it’ll come back full circle and things will be back to the way they were. It all boils down to the shop floor. I used to look up to the dudes at the shops back in the day. I think if they help educate the kids then there’s still hope!
Last but certainly not least, there needs to be more LOYALTY in snowboarding, support your local shop… that is all.
What’s right with snowboarding?
There is a lot that’s right with snowboarding right now. One of my favorite things is how accessible cameras and computers are now. I remember how insanely hard it was filming and editing when I started riding. It sure has changed a lot since then, but in a good way. It’s fun to be able to jump on my computer and see the latest edits from different crews from all around the world all year round. Sometimes it’s overwhelming with how many there are, but it’s still rad. Having said that, nothing beats a hard copy dvd! My collection’s getting deep.
Also, my friend and mentor Pete Harvieux aka “the busiest man in snowboarding” runs a Midwestern based magazine called Corduroy. He’s a few issues deep with more to come. It’s a biannual release, one based around skating and one around snowboarding. This is super sick. The majority of the mag is photo based with captions, but it also consists of three interviews being Past, Present, and Future. It’s rad to see what happened before, what’s happening now, and what’s to come.
Here is a rapid fire of the other things that’s right with snowboarding: Jacob Clute RIP brother!, All of my regional team riders ’cause they’re loyal, passionate, and they rip, Interior Plain Project, Jake Durham, Make Friends or Die, Kevin Castanheira, Spit Jack, Josh Reid, Paul Maravetz, Sully, Anna Starr, Cafiero, Grady, Theo Muse, Bald E-Gal, Marc Moline, flop houses, couch surfing, fast food, 12 Months, Brothers Factory, Flanel Lifestyles, Local Gnar, first chair, so much more but I can’t think right now!