If you’re a regular reader on Yooper Steez you probably know by now that I grew up snowboarding in the Upper Peninsula, namely Mont Ripley in Houghton.
Last winter Houghton, MI was visited by four of the gnarliest “urban snowboarders” in the world: Peter Line (who’s a legend in the history of snowboarding), Eddie Wall, Pat Moore, and Stevie Bell. The boys saw prime Upper Peninsula weather, with temperatures as low -25 degrees. Even more consistent to the U.P. than a cold winter is there story of kind people. From a waitress at Joey’s Seafood helping them find a generator to Scott MacInnes giving them permission to do their thing all over town.
Supposedly the group was planning to stay just a couple of days and perhaps throw a couple photos in the magazine. A couple days turned into a much longer stay and an 11-page photography feature in the October issue titled “What’s U.P. with Houghton, Michigan?”.
As mentioned in the article the owners of Rhythm Skate Shop played a big role in supporting the Forum Snowboards team while they were in Houghton, helping to hook them up with anything they needed. I can’t agree more with Snowboarder when they say “It’s the nicest shop I have ever been in.”
Of the Rhythm owners, Adam Yeoman is the one I’ve gotten to know a little over the years. I remember the first time I met up with him skateboarding at MTU when I was 17 years old. At the time there was no skate park, Mont Ripley was still pretty new to having snowboarders, and the snowboarding and skateboard culture was hardly established in Houghton.
Nine years later there is a successful skateboard park (I remember being there for opening day and embarrassing myself on the half-pipe when it was first built). There are impressive snowboarders coming form the community. I remember being kicked out of the old Bonanza for skateboarding, and now those police officers are supporting Rhythm Skate Shop to buy skateboards and snowboards for their kids.
I mean are you kidding me, Peter Line visiting Houghton? The rail jam that the city approved to have downtown? It’s incredible how far it’s come. And I personally have to give Adam Yeoman a world of credit for his involvement in all of it.
By having the city embrace and welcome this group of snowboarders, Houghton and the Upper Peninsula have been put into the national spotlight for snowboard culture.
Take some time to hit the news stand and pick up the October 2009 issue of Snowboarder Magazine while it’s still available. Check out Pat Moore’s 30-second caption for the two page photo spread you see above.
Photo: Pat Moore, shredding in the U.P. in the October 2009 issue of Snowboarder Magazine