Welcome to, “Along for the Ride;" a periodic snowboard blog from Bonfire Outerwear pro snowboarder Ralph Kucharek that covers all sides of the snowboarder's journey.
I am Ralph Kucharek, a 24-year-old snowboarder from Northern Vermont and stoked member of the Bonfire Outerwear team. Over the next several months I will be based out of Vermont exploring and reporting about snowboarding here and traveling to various locations throughout the winter.
The past few days at home here in Vermont have been tried, tested, and true. Of all the things I've heard riding here over this past week this quote has been most memorable, “It’s starting to look like Japan out here!”
Quick quiz: Is this Northern Japan or Northern Vermont?
We were at Stowe Mountain Resort in the woods after a fast, hell track traverse and looking down untouched hallways through the trees. Each limb was covered in ice from a storm the week prior and blanketed with snow that was blowing right back into the woods. All while snowflakes simultaneously fell from the sky blanketing the trees again. We may have not been in Japan’s world famous woods, but with a little imagination it became our own Japanese powder stash.
In October, I had the opportunity to shape a Powder Jet with help from Jesse Loomis. His boards are tested, pressed, shaped, and designed in Vermont, and the original Powder Jet shape was created with the woods here specifically in mind.
After a few months of waiting for the right conditions it was time to test out the shape that I manifested and shaped for deep days in the trees. On Monday, the “Know Brainer” was in its element and proved to be quick, nimble, sturdy, and float like no other.
Ralph not giving a second thought to ripping down the slopes on his brand-new self-titled "Know Brainer" Powder Jets board. p. Shem Roose