"In 2005 snowboarding was heavily dominated by hip-hop and its associated style and fashion and we felt unrepresented," explains dalikfodda's Ian Thrashmore when asked what prompted him and co-owner Schoph Schophield to start the UK-based and Tignes, France-associated snowboard brand nearly a decade ago. "Because no one else was doing it, we were able to fully embrace the rock cliché."
The duo soon set about recruiting British riders in the Tignes snowboarding scene and dalikfodda quickly became a regional symbol of rebellion against the way in which snowboarding was betraying its punk-rock roots. The gang printed their favorite metal-music lyrics onto T-shirts and put on a launch party -- something Thrashmore now remembers as an "excuse to play metal all night in an Alpine bar."
The nascent movement clearly tapped into a potent feeling, and the metal-themed dalikfodda message soon began to spread across the Alps. This was thanks in part to the S---house Tour, a travelling metal-themed revue that took in ski resorts in Austria, Switzerland, France and the UK across several seasons, allowing dalikfodda to preach their own inimitable version of the snowboarding gospel while shredding some of Europe's finest mountains.
Not that dalikfodda was just a rock-show T-shirt brand. The outfit put together the first outdoor snowboard edit ever filmed in England, showcasing some fine rail riding by Northern England's finest snowboarders and Mr. Thrashmore himself. Their first offering, WetFart, from 2010, still stands up as a reputable shred flick, while their latest offering, WetFart2, shows a marked improvement in both production and riding quality.
These domestic endeavors were followed in 2012 by an innovative snowboard contest at the Castleford "Fridge," an indoor ski slope with artificially manufactured snow -- something relied on for shredding by folks in the UK. The competition was called Fivers 4 Trannys, and the concept was simplicity itself: no dictated runs, no marshals, no bibs, with five-pound notes handed out for tricks and a soundtrack provided by metal-band Steak. Longtime friend of dalikfodda Jamie Nicholls eventually took the win.
With a product range much the same as their musical taste and general outlook -- which is to say, not for everyone -- dalikfodda filled a space that had been empty in snowboarding for too long. They wanted to represent a scene they felt was faceless in 2005 and have done so with their dedication and product lines. Today, beanies made in the north of England (the interior label reads "Made proper in the north of England. Do not wash. Ever.") and T-shirts printed in the UK show they remain true to their roots.
"With Schoph also being a successful artist and me having undertaken a PhD in astronomy, we both have other interests, so making money has never been dalikfodda's modus operandi," explains Thrashmore. "It means that we say what we think regardless of who we annoy, we can always back the underdog and because we aren't taking a living out of it, we can support grassroots riding by donating our time and ideas in an effort to improve things for ourselves and everyone. We are proud to be independent and non-corporate, and if that means that we will forever be two guys with a box of hats that we mail out, then so be it."
The dalikfodda crew is currently bracing itself for the next phase in their story: a meaty rock night in Tignes at Loop Bar with Steak (the band, not the food) during X Games week. If previous dalikfodda nights are anything to go by, this is going to be one wild party and those attending are going to be treated to a night of ear-pounding music. It takes place on Thursday, Mar. 21. If you are in town for the festivities, it definitely is a show not to be missed.