“I’m in awe of snowboarding at this current point in my life — all avenues, from Alaska spines to Quebec street madness. We are the future, creating it. What a cool time.”
Byron Bagwell, 35, hails from sunny, southern California. At some point in his early twenties, he decided to trade in the concrete wave of L.A. for the great white wave. Since then, months have blurred into years. Byron now resides in Bellingham, Washington, where he splits his time riding the chairs at Mt. Baker and touring the extensive backcountry of the Cascade Range. “For me, exploration is a must,” Byron said. “I have been fortunate to see Austrian sunrises and Chilean sunsets — all because of snowboarding.”
Q & A
Q. Years snowboarding?
A. 14 years
Q. Years splitboarding?
A. 8 years
Q. What Spark R&D gear do you ride?
A. I am currently involved with the Afterburner binding, which belongs to the Tesla family. I use the Sabertooth crampons when its gets dicey.
Q. Why ride Spark gear?
A. They just look so cool — really cool. Sparks are simple and solid; this is the key to snow gear, in my opinion.
Q. How much splitboarding do you do?
A. This is 100% condition dependent. I have spent weeks at a time on the splitty. Weather and snowpack determine everything. I’d say an honest estimate is 50% of the time.
Q. How has splitboarding changed snowboarding?
A. It allows common folk to get out and see some really cool natural things. It adds a whole new element to snowboarding; peaceful exploration.
Q. For you, what’s a perfect day splitboarding?
A. Early, possibly still dark, really good coffee. Powder and sun with more powder and more sun in the forecast, ending with a nice cold, adult beverage before good sleep. Wake up, repeat. Oh yeah…and air — lots and lots of flight.