[splitpost intro="true"]A look at the owners of the10 most iconic methods in the history of snowboarding
If you’re new to snowboarding it might look a lot more impressive seeing riders throw down triple corks so fast you think they joined Marty McFly back into the future, than simply grabbing your board with one hand and throwing your other in the air while stretching. Don’t get us wrong here, triples are impressive, especially if done right, and we’re excited about the first rider to throw down the quadruple in the future (well, maybe not so much...), but that's not all what snowboarding is about.
After all, snowboarding isn’t figure skating so we should take it easy on the whole ‘spin to the win’ thing. (Though, has anyone ever actually bothered to ask a figure skater if spinning as much as you can really is what you’re aiming for? The cool kids probably have their own sick Method and we’re all just too ignorant to realize...) Anyways, that's not the point we’re trying to make here.
Grandparents might babble a lot of nonsense throughout the day but sometimes they do have a point, like when they say "you know, back in the days, everything just used to be so much better". Leaving out the possibility that they might be talking about the glory days of a certain leader with a tiny but voluminous moustache, they could have a point.
Browsing through the list of what we consider some of the best Methods of all time, it's quite obvious that most of them have reached that certain age, with the youngest being Scotty Lago at 26 years old. Were the times when they had their heyday so much better for snowboarding than now? Or why else did so few riders from the younger generations pop into our heads that can throw down impressive and more importantly, memorable Methods? Of course that icon-factor does play a role: it’s not just their Methods but also the personalities they developed over the years that have garnered our admiration.
They’ve had the opportunity to show them off and perfect them for years and on numerous occasions, with plenty of cameras aimed at them. But there's no denying that younger riders are much more associated with the number of times they can spin and cork than their own personal way of tweaking their Method Air.
Alright, we’re going to stop being that annoying uncle who won’t put down his wagging finger at everybody so you can enjoy our compilation of riders who throw down the sickest Methods.
[part title="Jamie Lynn"]
This one was a fairly easy call given the fact that Jamie Lynn himself is not only an icon in snowboarding history, but his Method has its very own Facebook Like-Page, (which you could
also call the knightly accolade of the 21st century). Contrary to his sponsors, Volcom, Dragon and Lib Tech, whom he has stayed true to during the last decades, his method didn’t stay the same. It matured and evolved over time just like he did and he still throws down one of the best we’ve seen to date.
[part title="Terje Haakonsen"]
When Terje Haakonsen speaks you listen, or read the open letters, for that matter. We obviously would believe his every word when it comes to subjects like Norwegian sweaters or Death Metal but mostly it’s what he has to say about snowboarding and its competitive side that sticks in our head.
When he brought the Arctic Challenge upon us it wasn’t just a counter part to the same old boring contests, but also the venue for him to set the world record for the highest frickin' Method Air there ever was, at 9.8 meters respectively. Of course, amplitude isn’t all that counts, and when Terje lays down a Method at a more, say, human height, he straight up bosses it too.
[part title="Nicolas Müller"]
Of course we couldn’t leave out our favourite hippie and soul surfer, Nicolas Müller. Give it to him to not only grace the films he’s doing with some really sick riding but also the most memorable quotes – “the only trick is to strap in" being the most recent one from his part in Nike's Never Not.
Aside from that, he also always reminds us that our sport isn’t defined by contest results but by riding for one reason alone: having fun. His method is a classic you’d recognize just from its silhouette, because nature’s just throwing out its most romantic sunset for one of its biggest worshipers.
[part title="Shaun Palmer"]
Shaun Palmer was never one to hold back his emotions. If something didn’t suit him, he had no problem flipping off whoever it was that didn’t meet his expectations. Though his temper was unpredictable, he had the skills to make up for his behaviour. The Palm was part of numerous classic movies like “Critical Condition" and easily won contests like it was no big deal. We’re probably not going to see him throw down his iconic Method in Sochi because that normally isn’t part of a Boarder cross competition (unless you happen to be called Lindsay Jacobellis), but with this guy you actually really never know what’s going to happen.
[part title="Craig Kelly"]
Craig Kelly strapped on his first board before snowboarders were even allowed on the slopes of his home mountain, Mount Baker. He was one of the first professional snowboarders - killing it not only in pipe but also as a racer. Despite being crucial to the development of freestyle snowboarding, he made the decision to back out of contests at the top of his career and many followed his call for freeriding.
At 36 years of age he tragically died in an avalanche, while guiding a group of skiers and snowboarders, but his timeless Methods are going be stuck in our heads for a long, long time to come.
[part title="Shaun White"]
Adding Shaun White to this list is as debatable as the ginger ninja himself (flying tomato apparently is off the chart but are we still allowed to call him that?).
White isn’t exactly someone who is known for style you would call “classic" or a personality that would boost an iconic Method.
But honestly, who else can do them 24 feet out of an icy superpipe? And who knows, maybe the documentary he’s doing about himself will reveal a completely new and totally likeable Shaun White so the Internet will stop going batshit crazy at every mention of his name. We’ll have to wait and see for this one.
[part title="Gigi Rüf"]
Gigi Rüf has been part of the industry for quite some time, showing off his skills with Film Crews like the Pirates and Absinthe. Being the badass that he is, he’s graced the backcountry with his Methods for more than 13 years now. As he’s always played a part in the design and technology in his snowboards, he finally took matters in his own hands and started his own snowboard company Slash by Gigi, with which he now provides boards for riders such as Johnnie Paxson and Manuel Diaz. Apart from his insane riding, he might just be the single nicest dude out there, always with that cheeky smile on his face.
[part title="Scotty Lago"]
Scotty Lago is one the few guys in this list that are still in their 20s. Although a lot of the youngsters are either contest crazy or mostly shooting movies, Scotty has proved himself in both. Snagging bronze at the Olympics in Vancouver or being part of ‘That’s It That’s All’ are just two examples of his different facets.
Aside from the fact that his method is so nice, the crowd at the Winter X Games crowned him with the “Best Method Award" (with a shattered jaw that is) and he managed to sneak into this list because he knows how to make use of medals like that by wearing them in, let's say, unconventional ways, and getting girls involved. We approve!
[part title="Ingemar Backman"]
For quite some time Ingemar Backman set the world record for the highest Method Air at 8.5m. Even though his colleagues (Finn Heikki Sorsa and Terje Haakonsen) set the bar even higher, you really can’t forget about it, given not only the amount of magazine covers this Method graced at that time, but it also being the opening sequence to Mack Dawgs ‘Stomping Grounds’.
Switching from sponsored Pro Snowboarder to sponsored Pro Poker Player whilst co-founding WeSC and running Allian, he kept himself busy, without being forgotten by his snowboarding worshipers.
[part title="Markus Keller"]
Markus Keller has been a well-respected rider for a while now, throwing it down in contests easily. But that was only making way for Volcom to be inspired by him so much, that they dedicated a whole movie to him - ChaMäleon. Given the fact that, before him, only Gigi Rüf and Terje Haakonsen have had the honour of such a film, the Swissman fits into this list as if he was straight-up made for it. Great style, great dude.
You should also check out his homepage, it doesn’t have much info but you can make Markus jump around which is quite entertaining.
And that's it! Now of course, this is by no means a definitive list and this was hard as hell to restrict to just 10. But do you think we've missed any more absolute classic ones? Let us know in the comments and if we can get to 20 we'll expand out the list...