Trip Mentality: Rolling Deep in Central Wisconsin

It’s February and nearing negative degrees Fahrenheit across the Midwest. Charlie Folkert is attempting to 50-50 the top of a chain-link fence before ollieing backside into a gritty bricked bank below. We’re shooting across the street from a bus station where people line up to film their own angles of the trick on their phones. In this neck of west-central Wisconsin, it seems most of the locals are more intrigued than annoyed by our presence. The same goes for the cops sent to the following spot we set up, who even let Chaney Gilmore hit a last-try buzzer beater before giving us the boot. So long as you’re not talking shit about the Packers, Wisconsinites witnessing street snowboarding are likely going to leave you be. 

Some might suspect the residents of this city could care less because they’re so accustomed to snow sports—we are seventh in the nation for hockey players per capita, after all. But, like anywhere else, Wisconsin isn’t an entirely homogenous state. Wisconsin and the Cheeseheads who live there sometimes get put in a bit of a stereotypical box. Referred to as America’s Dairyland for being one of the country’s top producers of milk, cheese and butter, Wisconsin is often written off as little more than a flat flyover state full of farmland and conjunctive drawl. Sure, we’ve got plenty of that, but there’s also lively art and music scenes, particularly in metro areas like Madison, Milwaukee, and the low-key city where we are now working on a two-year film project called Riddles. I’d scoped this surprisingly hip downtown before, knowing that it’s big enough to offer up some serious infrastructure yet small enough to be overlooked by most snowboarders. Situated roughly 150 miles southwest and 200 miles west of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, respectively, this area receives roughly 50 inches of snowfall each winter. Storms are typically brought through by the Lake Effect, which occurs when large cold air masses pass over the unfrozen Great Lakes, pick up moisture and increase snowfall downwind. Fortunately for us, of all the Great Lakes, Lake Superior has the greatest impact on local snowfalls, and the low temps in this region let their bounties linger for a while…

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