A new historic event was born early September 2019 when ShredAbout was given birth from the energy and talent of twenty five of some of the best snowboarders and surfers. The group gathered for a weekend riding the South Coast waves and Thredbo’s powdery backcountry and finely groomed terrain parks, all in the name of SHRED.
This concept wasn’t new, Quiksilver’s Boardriders events through the 90’s and 00’s paved the way for the surf and snow concept, which has laid dormant for nearly 2 decades. Originally established during the champagne & caviar lifestyle of the surf and snow industry with lucrative marketing budgets, endless travel and mega prize money.
From a riders perspective, those guys really had it good back in the day. We shared stories with the team who were there during these glory years, from Marcus Stocker, Mark Cowley, Adrian Gibbs and Tim Vlandis over the weekend, some stories embellished, some foggy from a wild lifestyle, but the constant message was the rock’n’roll vibes they shared riding snow and waves with friends.
To kick things off we wanted to create a unique experience for the current generation of salty slush riders. In an effort to keep the inaugural ShredAbout flexible and free spirited we gathered at the house of infamous filmmaker Max Zappas on Friday night around a home cooked meal, costume filled living room, burning fire and cold Young Henrys tins in hand.
To level the surfing playing field in round one snowboarders were to surf against snowboarders, surfers against surfers and ladies and masters in their own individual straight finals, which allowed everyone to share a laugh with their compardres and see a good mix of talent into the finals.
Surf action was all time in punchy 1-2 foot waves. The bright white sand beach provided a mix of peaks and strong offshore winds allowing the creative few to pull out their unique quiver to get them jiving. The format was based on variety, style and radical moves, which could come in many forms from body movements, board selection, placement and human energy expressed.
In the dunes a casual beach club was set up with the crew stretched out in the sun with hot snags, fresh fruit, cold beers, melted wax and big smiles. In between winning heats, Garrett Parkes entertained the masses on the mic with outrageous commentary and interviews. World famous Jed Smith, the co-host of Ain’t That Swell’s podcast arrived in time to carry out some hard hitting interviews with the likes of Holly Wawn, fresh off the plane from Portugal and winner of the ladies final providing endless banter and laughs for the crowd.
Josh Sleep, peer voted as the ShredAbout Spirit Animal and third place in the dudes surf division rode a different board every heat providing a dynamic mix of highly torched performances on 5’8 Kungfu Cowboy, 9’ softie, and 8’9 mid-length. Sleepy’s on snow performance and relaxed style landed him with a third place overall under a thick shower of beers and cheers.
In all honesty the waves were tiny and surfing’s standouts were Asher Wale’s finners, Pete Long’s airs, ladies party waves, Sasha Stocker’s detonation of the lefts, Jai West’s jumps, Bryce Young amazing positioning and style on his mid-length and Max n’ Sleepy’s wipeouts. After the surf action we took a group shot, cleaned the beach and chased the sun to Thredbo.
In an unexpected stroke of luck a blizzard took place at Thredbo during the Saturday surf event. Lifts were shut, visibility was low and it didn’t stop till early Sunday morning when the ShredAbout team hit first lifts. To put things into perspective, it was a glory day, suns out, powder everywhere, it was perfect and we wanted to wrangle cats to try and ride together.
We met at Black Sallies for rider briefing and coffee, luckily Thredbo local and pro snowboarder Jye Kearney steered the ship finding some epic cliff and powder hits to take advantage of. “Seeing two different cultures clash and feed off each other is so inspiring” said Jye.
Everyone stepped up hucking themselves off the cliff with a variety of spins and grabs plus some incredible bails! The team then hiked and jammed perfect powder turns on what looked like the surface of the moon.
The mini shred park at Merritts was high octane extreme action with the froth over flowing from every stoke junkie losing their minds across every feature.
The crew gathered at Merritts Mountain House and was blessed with snow sunshower flakes that fell during lunch break and the crisp refreshment of a couple of Young Henry’s, as a peer voted event it was a great place to discuss the chaotic action that just happened.
Pete Long was a standout across the entire weekend and had this to say about the overall event “As an experienced snowboarder and recent recruit to the full time surfing world this past few years I was pretty hyped to see where my skill set sat amid the pack of fellow lifestyle enthusiasts. Surfing has become somewhat of an obsession for me lately and to be able to throw on a comp rashie for the first time in such a stoke fuelled, chilled environment meant the world to me”.
Jade McJannett made the trip after a recent back injury and rode in style with a big smile all weekend and had this to say “Shred with old friends and make some new, camp under the stars, add in a road trip, bbq’s and beers and you’ve just experienced the greatest weekend ever, the weekend that was ShredAbout!”
The final gathering and presentation was hosted on the Denman deck with numerous novelty awards, vinyl trophies and banter about what went down over the weekend.
We’ll leave you with some words from the overall winner of the event Garret Parkes “Advice for future contenders…get beer fit for next year’s event, haha”.
Huge shoutout to Young Henrys, Thredbo, Cricks Tweed, Rip Curl, Blue Dinosaurs, Quiksilver, Transfer Magazine and the operational team who put their heart and soul into creating the inaugural ShredAbout event, thank you. Follow @shredabout for all the latest updates.
Shred Grom: Valentino Guseli
Shred Queen: Biba Turnbull
Shred Master: Marcus Stocker
Shred King: Garrett Parkes