Jason Ford, 1994
In the realm of snowboard photography, Trevor Graves is a legend. This Oregon-by-way-of-Vermont shooter captured OGs like Jeff Brushie and Craig Kelly on some of the world's first handmade halfpipes and shot Terje Haakonsen and Shaun White in their shred infancy. Graves' iconic images have graced many a magazine cover over the years. We asked him to pick some of his favorites from snowboarding's early days -- like this timeless picture of Jason Ford, surfing the white wave at the Remarkables, New Zealand, back in 1994.
Jamie Lynn, 1997
A classic method, a classic road gap -- this 1997 shot of Jamie Lynn is quintessentially Northwest. "As far as hard stunts, the Baker Road gap isn't that gnarly," says Graves, "but for pros coming through the ranks, it became symbolic that you had made it to the big leagues."
A young Terje rides as a relative unknown at the World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland. "This was the first time I saw Terje ride," says Graves. "He was all of 15 years old, and his run was a carbon copy of Craig Kelly's. I think he got fourth place -- but you could tell he had the skills."
A rooftop shifty at Squaw Valley, deep in the era of fat pants and wide stances. Says Graves: "This is during the heyday of Fall Line Films' 'Road Kill,' when the snowboarding world started moving toward street skating -- and Iguchi was an early influencer."
A pro skater before he was a pro snowboarder, Noah Salasnek was deeply influential, bringing Nor-Cal-influenced skate style to snowboarding, both on and off the board. "The word 'hella' migrated into snowboarding language from his Nor-Cal influence, and the idea of 'buttering' was part of his innovation," says Graves. Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Todd Richards, 1989
Before he was announcing the Sochi snowboarding events for NBC, Todd Richards was tweaking Cross Rockets out of hand-dug halfpipes back in New Hampshire. "TR was always on the podium at the New England Cup series," says Graves. "It's no wonder -- busting progressive moves like this, how did anyone stand a chance?" Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, 1989.
Craig Kelly, 1992
With signature style, Craig Kelly cracks a wind drift at Loveland Pass, Colorado, in 1992. This was Graves' introduction to the infamous "Loveland Pass shuttle run." In an era before company-funded heli trips, getting shuttled back up US Highway 6 to the top of the pass by car after each run was as good as it got for backcountry riding. "Free, easy access to fresh powder -- I felt like I was shoplifting the whole day," says Graves.
Scott Clum, 1985
In this photo early Sims pro Scott Clum is riding the first snowboard with real steel edges, wearing a comfy pair of Sorel boots and -- as was the fashion of the time -- a wet suit to keep his butt dry. The location? A farm field in rural New York, 1985. "The pioneering days of snowboarding can never be recreated," says Graves. "Deep down in my soul, I'm proud for being part of that movement."
Jeff Brushie, 1986
Before halfpipes existed, snowboard competitions were races -- and if you wanted to attend these gatherings of the snowboard tribe, you raced. Even if you were Jeff Brushie, the future reigning king of freestyle riding. "This is probably the first photo I ever shot of Brush," says Graves. Nashoba Valley, Massachusetts, 1986.
If you've never had the pleasure of meeting Russell Winfield, then put it on your bucket list. He's a larger-than-life character that came, along with the likes of Jeff Brushie, on the second wave of riders out of Vermont. "Before he was a card carrying pro-model snowboarder for Ride, Russell will be remembered as the world's first African American snowboarder," says Graves. "I love how his tongue would dangle... It's a wonder he didn't bite it off." Stratton, Vermont, 1991.
Graves endured a barrage of angry phone calls from his graphic designer buddies after this shot came out in the year "2000-ish" accusing him of Photoshopping Dave Downing on top of this chairlift cable in Argentina. "The truth of the matter is that this shot is all organic -- no Photoshop required," says Graves. "It was created with old fashion elbow grease. The secret recipe was that this lift was closed because an avalanche had taken down one of its towers. Dave, Marcus Egge and I worked all day to dig the perfect run-in to the cable."