Words: Russell Holt
A couple of years into Transfer I bumped into a mate down at his shop in Cooma. “Transfer – the thinking man’s mag”, he joked. I hadn’t really thought about it before that, but it was one of the reasons that I guess we started Transfer. To go deeper into snowboarding culture, provide some insights to what was really going on behind the story. That idea led to some incredible experiences, many late nights and a chance to work with an array of talented people.
Some of the highlights during my time at the helm are; putting a woman – Abby Lockhart – on the cover of Issue 2. That crazy Guthega Dam session with team DC, the first descents using a farmer’s helicopter on the mountains around Kaikoura, NZ that rarely get snow, and of course that Afghanistan trip and its movie White Silk Road.
Oh man – that Afghanistan trip! By the time our guys hit the ground in Kabul it was possible that they were going to get killed. With no contact with them for days, sitting in my loungeroom at 4am reading Twitter from Afghan journos on the ground in Kabul saying how the Taliban was going to kill any Westerner that shows their face… I was shitting bricks. Thank God, the guys came through in the end alive and with an epic story to tell their grandkids. Nick Gregory, Mitch Allan, Clint Allan, Alex Cameron, Richard James and Vaughan Brookfield – stand up boys and take a bow. If you haven’t seen the movie, get onto it.
Other stories like Field Of Dreams – The Story of Snow Park also really stood out because they detailed the people behind the scenes and their totally illogical passion for snowboarding. Sam Lee and his family ploughed millions into that pile of mud on top of a hill just outside of Wanaka, NZ – it hardly even snowed there, but their uncanny Kiwi ingenuity led to a snowboarder’s paradise on earth that put Down Under on the map for freestyle park snowboarding like never before.
Unfortunately, Snow Park ran out of runway and closed, but it is still one of the most amazing feats in the history of snowboarding. It started a new era – an era which Perisher resort picked up on. Still to this day, the best snowboarders from around the globe pilgrimage Down Under each August to ollie a wombat, bonk a Jindy Bushy and shred the best parks on the planet.
Antipodeans snowboarders are unique in that respect, no one travels as much as we do, no one endures the conditions we do, and no one has short seasons like we do. And there’s no ski town I’ve been to globally that didn’t have an Aussie or Kiwi doin’ the season. Our scene is way bigger than you think.
Transfer has always aimed to highlight that uniqueness through the riders, the destinations, the movies, the books and the events. Tt was never about copying or even glorification. They are representations of our culture to create rally points for Down Under snowboarders to gather around and be proud of. For every Jye Kearney story we did, there are a thousand other kids in Jindy who were going through the same thing. The same life style, challenges and progression in their snowboarding. Maybe not double cork 1080’s, but the mental state and approach is the same. Progression, adventure, evolution and carving out your unique path.
Similarly, for every adventurous trip to the clubbies of the Southern Alps there were hundreds of other crews of mates jumping in cars, strapping on nutcrackers and finding adventure exploring the mountains in our own backyard. Snowboarding is just the vehicle that transports us to a life of experience that just wouldn’t happen sitting on a couch waiting for your next shift at the mall. With Transfer, we always wanted that message to come through strong.
Australia and New Zealand snowboarding is full of talented writers, photographers, snowboarders, filmers and artists. And even though our industry is cottage when compared to Europe or the US, who cares? It’s ours and we are punching way above our weight. Thank you to everyone who helped make Transfer be a bold marker in the whiteout noise of modern media. Most importantly, thank you for picking it up and having a flick! That seemingly simple act means Transfer will keep going.
Viva La Transfer