Five years after noboarding founder Greg Todds was killed by an avalanche, riding without bindings is hitting new heights. A noboarding film, “Yes to the No,” premiered as the “Fan Favorite” at the 2006 Banff Mountain Film Festival. And people are noboarding progressively steeper lines, throwing inimitable tricks, and just pounding powder fields as snowboarding turns back to its surf-inspired roots.
So, what is noboarding? The application is pretty simple. A noboard mat gets attached to your snowboard with 3M double-sided tape; it features a handle for ease of carry, studs for boot traction, and a heavy-duty bungee cord attached at either end for keeping balanced and reigning her in. Beware of hardpack—It’s definitely a pow-centric pursuit. Here’s the word straight from Yes to the No filmmaker and noboarder Cholo Burns.
“Greg Todds, RIP, is the godfather of noboarding. In 1999 he started building his ideas, rode them for a few years, and then in 2002 we started a company to get them into full production. We made a bunch of different molds ‘til we got it right. We have it all produced in Canada.”
“January 13, 2003, Greg passed away in an avalanche. That year was really tough and a lot of noboard work was postponed to help with GTs family. The next season we started filming, and about halfway through the season we realized that we had some good stuff. Spencer Francey from Banff came out to ride and mentioned that he would like to make a film for the Banff Film Fest. We all grew up going to the BFF tours, so instead of making a team NB movie, we put all our energy into the BFF idea.”
Mountains and Molehills
“People are trying it everywhere: golf courses, ski hills, and hitting lines off of the highways. Anywhere that there is pow—even little runs are fun. We all used to ride golf courses back in the day, but obviously heli is the way to go.”
Drop the Rope
“Since GT passed, so many more people are trying it, which pushes the progression everyday. Once you feel like you’ve got it, you just drop the rope and it’s another level.”