Dano Pendygrasse’s “Out West”

Being a Canadian shred who grew up riding one of the westernmost resorts in Canada, I was pretty excited when Dano Pendygrasse’s Westbeach-commissioned book project on Canadian snowboard history—entitled “Out West: Snowboarding, Westbeach and a new Canadian dream”—arrived at our office.

Although it is a branded book, the 120-page offering delves into more than just the history of Chip Wilson and the Westbeach brand (which, it should be noted, is an important part of the history of Canadian snowboarding). And one thing many people don’t realize is that Dano is about as good with words as he is with photos. From the start—first as a rider and then as a photog—Dano has been deeply involved with snowboarding in Canada and it shows in the book. From interviews with Ken Achenbach and Matt Houghton in the opening section, to the legendary Westbeach Classic and party-hard-ride-harder image cultivated by Canadian shreds like Kearns, Johnson and the rest of the Whiskey crew, Out West relates an evolutionary tale of Canadian snowboarding writ large.

But perhaps my favorite section was Chapter 5: What Makes a Canadian Rider? The personalities of Achenbach, the Snoboard Shop crew, Marc Morrisett and the Seymour crew—from Devun Walsh to Sansalone, Sluggo and beyond—are summed up through revealing interviews and commentary from Pendygrasse.

With another frequency TSJ contributor, Colin Whyte, penning a chapter on Blackcomb’s summer camps, the book is a thorough and insightful look into the unique characteristics that set Canadian snowboarding apart from the rest of the world, and a great read for anyone who grew up riding the mountains of the Great White North, or just anyone interested in learning a little bit more about Canadian snowboarding subculture.


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