It’s early February 2017 and Tahoe is getting thumped by a storm. Heavy rain down low, 80pmh winds and inch-an-hour snow up high. Half the highways are closed. So are most of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. I’d tell you the backcountry is closed too, but Johnny Brady Jr, Kael Martin, and Kyle Miller are here to ride.
The trio’s gotta make the most of their opportunities. Even though they all snowboard at a high level, none of them are putting food on the table via their snow-media exploits. Still, they roll with the cameras for the opportunities it affords. All three do it to manifest their snowboard dreams, in one way or another. And this winter, their second lives as sponsored riders is being driven by “OFF & ON,” a Warp Wave production. It’s Johnny’s concept, with Sam Tuor behind the lens, and K2 Snowboarding backing the whole thing. It’s about their work/ride balance.
Case in point: Kael’s taken time off from his job as a civil engineer in Seattle, WA to be here. Kyle’s got a hall pass from fatherhood duties, and he’s got winters otherwise free thanks to his summer job fighting forest fires. While Johhny doesn’t currently have the day-to-day obligations of the other two, he grinds it out in the North Cascades all summer as part of the Baker River Hotshots fire crew.
And all three rip with the best of them. I’ve spent a lot of time riding and shooting with Kael over the past few years, from the WA backcountry to Interior BC and beyond. He’s always down to ride, to hike it one more time, no matter the conditions. Same goes for Kyle and Johnny.
So, joined by Tim and Hannah Eddy, we head out into the storm. Today, it’ll be some mini-golf sessions near Boreal off I-80—small, manageable slopes with plenty of poppers. Yesterday, it was tree sessions off Mt Rose. The day prior, mini-shred sessions on the Eddy’s front yard. When it pops blue for a moment, we’ll head out the west shore and brave the winds. And the dudes will send til last light, cause they’re on a tight schedule—they’re working to ride, and carving out a space to pursue snowboarding to the fullest, on their own terms.