Inspiring the kids of future generations is truly a gift and one we all should share with the world. This week 686 took to the streets, inviting the Compton Snowboard Club, boys and girls from their local Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, up to Bear Mountain for private lessons from the 686 team. After getting all fifteen kids dialed in 686 jackets, pants, gloves, facemasks and special Compton Snow Club beanies, the crew took the club through the paces of the rental department. Anyone with a child or sibling knows first hand the struggles of getting one young kid organized to board, but fifteen of them all amping to get on snow for the first time provides a special energy. 686 team riders Melissa Evans and Danika Duffy led the charge, lacing up each kid’s boots and getting them prepped for shred.
“The Compton snow club is a great program,” said Forest Bailey. “It’s always a breath of fresh air introducing snowboarding to new minds, especially in this case. A lot of these kids are seeing snow for the first time and rarely get the chance to leave the inner city–a place that’s only a few hours from the mountains. It’s impossible for me to even imagine what their lives growing up in Compton are like. So to be able to share something that has brought me joy my whole life with some new kids from a completely different background is very humbling. Honestly, it’s really not about snowboarding, it’s just about realizing all the possible positive ways you can live your life outside of the city.”
The kids moved in packs, picking off the 686 riders as their own personal coaches for the day. Myself, Forest Bailey, Riley Nickerson, Mike Gray, Melissa Evans, Jared McDaniel, Danika Duffy, Brian Pracht, Buzz Holbrook, Drayden Gardner, photographer Erik Hoffman, filmers Ian Post and Mark Reznikov and 686 Director of Marketing, Brent Sandor were all out in full force to pass the craft and make a difference. Slams were had, turns were made, penguin slides were learned and by the end of the day a small group of brave kids even ventured up Chair 6 to about mid mountain to test their skills.
All in all, it was another successful day exposing new kids to the winter culture we all thrive in.
“That was my first time meeting and hanging with the Compton Snow Club,” added Riley Nickerson. “It was a lot of fun to be up there with the 686 crew and all the kids. The whole Compton Snow Club program is really rad, everything from hanging with the kids to bringing them up a chairlift for the first time. I remember what it was like going to the mountain for my time and it’s an experience I will never forget. Hopefully it’s the exact same with these kids!“
A special thanks goes out to Big Bear Mountain Resorts and Bear Mountain for facilitating the day. 686 x Compton Snow Club products are available now with proceeds going to benefit 686’s ongoing efforts with the Compton Snow Club and can be purchased on the 686 website.
A quote from my fearless snowboarder of the day, Juan, “What I love about the Compton Snow Club is a chance to get out of the city, smell the mountain air and be up on the chairlift with the cold wind in my face.” Thanks to Bear Mountain and 686 for making this epic event a reality. I’m looking forward to more adventures to the mountain together with Compton Snow Club.
Read the full Dispatches: 686 brings the Compton Snow Club to Bear Mountain article on Snowboarder Magazine.