Neon Daze & Winter Waves: About this project January 21 2014, 1 Comment « Back to Blog

Neon Daze & Winter Waves began life in the summer of 2013, conceived by Mike Parillo, Corey Smith - founder of Spring Break Snowboards - and Asymbol. It's story, however, begins decades earlier, in the early 1980's, with snowboarding pioneers like Chuck Barfoot and Tom Sims and Regis Roland, whose approach to snowboarding leaned heavily in the direction of surfing on snow.

It's hard to remember, but snowboarding was at one time only a backcountry activity. Boards were shaped by hand using simple tools and plywood. Edges? Who needed edges in powder? 

Neon Daze & Winter Waves celebrates all that is pure and fun about riding. It's a project that takes us back to snowboarding's roots, interpreted through the creative minds of some of the most legendary riders and artists of our time. 

View behind-the-scenes photo gallery here.

This project is about much more than 17 hand-made works of original, rideable art. It's about reconnecting with the spirit of board riding itself. 

Kevin Pearce giving his Neon Daze prototype the shakedown at Baldface Lodge

The invitation for Neon Daze & Winter Waves, written by Mike Parillo, conveys it best:

Imagine that you’ve been teleported to a winter dreamland. You wake up not knowing where you are but its cold and there’s the soft sound of bluster in the morning. You walk out of your room, down a hallway where you see a sliding glass door that reveals snow and sun, look a little further and an amazing hike-able peak just behind your house.

You rush back in to find all the gear you need with the exception of a board. In the garage you find tools, a two foot by eight foot piece of plywood, epoxy resin and enough hardware to mount your bindings. What would you make?  

Mike Parillo assesses a very fresh Jeremy Jones' 5'9" Lish Fish. Photo by Pascal Shirley

This invitation was sent to a list of riders, surfers and artists so legendary it's impossible to calculate their collective impact on the sport. Together, they represent an unprecedented group of board riding heroes: 

Travis Rice, Pat Moore, Kevin Pearce, Corey Smith, Bryan Iguchi, Jeremy Jones, Ian Walsh, Gerry Lopez, Nathan Fletcher, Mike Parillo, Todd Glaser, Matt French, Jeff Pensiero, Nick Russian, Carl E. Smith, Pete Saari, Adam Haynes and Willie McMillon. 

The ideas flowed almost immediately, ranging from swallow-tail pow shapes to shapes inspired by old-school skate decks. More than simply an artistic challenge, Neon Daze & Winter Waves also posed the challenge of designing a board that's as fun to ride as it is to look at. 

Jeff Pensiero's design

Each of the boards in this project was hand cut and shaped by Corey Smith and Mike Parillo in Corey's backyard in Truckee, California. These raw boards were then transported to Los Angeles, where Mike Parillo spent hundreds of hours glassing, sanding and painting them by hand into the finished boards that comprise this remarkable collection. Each board is a one-off work of original art.

Along the way, a quiver of them were taken to Baldface Lodge outside Nelson, BC, to be test-ridden in epic early season powder by Mike, Corey, Travis Rice, Kevin Pearce and Jeff Pensiero. 

Parillo takes a spin through the white room

Neon Daze & Winter Waves is an unabashed celebration of the roots of snowboarding, and the simple act of riding a hand-built board down a powder covered hill.

In the words of Mike Parillo: 

"Lets strip our beautiful sport down to the absolute basics, celebrate purity and simplicity and how fun that can be." 

In reducing a snowboard down to its most basic elements, form and function become one in the same. Nothing is more elemental than that. 

Let the Neon Daze & Winter Waves begin...