Dave Downing had already been splitboarding with Craig Kelly in the middle of the 90th. A big Thank You for Dave to share this experience with us.
In the mid 90's is when i started splitboarding. I was living in Utah at the time and really learning a lot about the Backcountry. I was using splitboards to get to terrain i want to film for some of the Standard Films movies i was working on. During that time I was invited to go on a trip to North Cascade Heli with Craig Kelly and Joe and Jeff Curtes for a Burton Photo shoot. I was telling Craig about splitboarding and how much i loved it before the trip. JG at Burton made Craig a splitboard to check out for the trip. We took the Heli to this Yurt out in the middle of nowhere in Washington and stayed there for 5 days. It was snowing the whole time, and there were these amazing tree runs right behind the Yurt that were about 3,000ft runs with easy access skinning to them. Craig and I spent all day skinning up and riding these lines together, while Joe Curtes was on Snowshoes, just hating life.
It was for sure a very Memorable time in my life to be with my Hero and Friend enjoying the Mountains together on Splitboards.
For those who might not remember Craig Kelly, well I mean everybody who is into snowboarding should know something about him. He was one of the founders of the Snowboard World in the mid 80th. He loved freeriding and traveling, he did the first 540 for a Wrigleys Chewing Gum Television advertisement and rejected several million dollar deals, to keep loyal with himself and his freeriding. He founded the Craig Kelly Snowboard Camp to strengthen the kids riding skills. At Burton Craig Kelly was the main force in development and created several pro-models. He participated in lots of Snowboard Movies e.g. from Warren Miller and his style was incomparable. He got named " Master of Style" by the Snowboard Magazine. Unfortunately he got trapped in a huge avalanche in 2003. Craig Kelly will always be in our minds, as a creative, inspiring and open minded Snowboard Legend.
Here you get the latest vid of Dave Downing riding his Burton Landlord Split, there will be more about him soon, so stay tuned.