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WINDHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A group of injured veterans will learn to ski and snowboard with the help of the adaptive sports foundation at Windham Mountain.

Warriors in Motion is in its 13th year. For the Adaptive Sports Foundation this is one of their signature events. All weekend long, 18 of our nation’s heroes who you see in the blue coats will learn not only how to ski and snowboard but also how to heal.

Friday was a first for army sergeant Quincy Lopez. He’s just getting acquainted with his new prosthetic leg.

“I’ve been steady motivated to get backup and do things. Today thanks to the adaptive sports foundation we’re going to kill the slopes and go snowboarding.”

After serving two tours he was wounded in Afghanistan, suffering severe head and leg injuries. The pain eventually becoming too much to bear, so five months ago he made the decision to have doctors amputate below the knee.

He also decided that rather than letting his disabilities defeat him, he’d soldier on.

“It’s too soon, I won’t give up though until it’s done that’s for sure”

There’s others who have full physical capabilities, bearing scars the eye can’t see like spinal cord injuries or PTSD.

Gail Shnell says her challenge was just getting here and out of her comfort zone.

“Just thankful to be back and to be with other veterans to have this amazing opportunity to push ourselves to try something new and encourage each other it’s really wonderful,” Shnell said.

No matter what the obstacle there are more than 120 volunteers here reporting for duty.

Also riding alongside these heroes today was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The former congresswoman served on the Armed Service Committee, making it her mission to ensure our veterans are taken care of.

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Scandinavia is the new Japan for western skiers looking to up their travel ante and boasting rights and make some turns in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Lucky for you, Mint Tours have launched an 11 day Arctic Circle Road Trip powder tour that will have you salivating.

From March 17 to March 27, the team at Mint Tours will be taking a small group of skiers and boarders to the Nordic regions of Finland, Norway and Sweden. And you could be one of them.

Guided by Finnish locals who have been riding here for years, you’ll ride some legendary areas including challenging off-piste, incredible backcountry, and perfect free-riding terrain.

Add some unique husky and snowmobile safaris, try your luck at ice-fishing, head into the local backcountry to go snow surfing on Ilahu Boards and bask in the amazing natural beauty of the Arctic Circle and Northern Lights.

The ultimate highlight is a snow cat trip to Låktatjåkko Mountain Lodge, Sweden’s highest located Mountain Lodge, for an unforgettable overnight experience. This fully hosted tour includes private transportation, loaded up with local knowledge on all the ‘secret’ spots to shred.

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By Eddie PellsThe Associated Press

Snowboarders now have a new way to click with their ski friends.

The typical rider’s hassle of bending down — or sitting down in the snow — to buckle boots into the bindings while skiers in their group wait could be a thing of the past.

A new technology that enables the boot to snap onto the board similar to a ski binding has the potential to inject fresh life into a sport that has been dealing with slowing growth for the last decade or so.

After more than four years of research and more than a decade of trying to find the answer to a question that has long perplexed snowboarders and manufacturers alike, Burton Snowboards is releasing its new Step-On binding — touting it as a time-saver that won’t negatively impact performance. The binding goes on sale next fall and will run between $250 and $400.

“We asked the question, ‘What if?’” said Chris Cunningham, Burton’s vice president of product. “What if I could save 30 seconds per run?”

Multiplied by the 10 to 15 runs an average rider logs on any given day, a 30-second difference could mean an extra trip down the mountain per day. Over years, that number could add up into the hundreds. Meanwhile, the binding means less delay, less getting hands wet while fiddling with straps and buckles, less time the skiers in the group have to wait around for their snowboard buddies to prepare their equipment after they get off the lift.

“Every time my dad goes to strap in at the top of the mountain, he lets out a huge ‘Aaarrrrrrrgghhh,’ when he’s got to bend over to strap in,” said Danny Davis, the two-time Winter X Games champion who rides on a Burton board. “Making snowboarding something that’s easier to get into, that’s a good thing.”

An improvement in ski technology, combined with unpredictable weather, the Great Recession and increased pricing for lift tickets, helped play into flat numbers for snowboarding over the past decade-plus. SnowSports Industries America reports microscopic growth (from 7.57 million to 7.602 million) in the number of snowboard participants between 2011-12 and last winter.

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Over the past five seasons, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has become a gathering place for snowboard shapers from around the world. They come to participate in a celebration of innovation called the JH PowWow, an event founded by Rob Kingwill under the principle that snowboarding is collective experience, and together we can progress board design on the mountain and not in front of a computer. Familiar names like Gnu, Jones, Never Summer, and Arbor shared a rack with smaller shapers like Soulmotion, Winterstick, Notice, and Gentemstick, making it one of the most eclectic ensembles of the year. Feedback flows and stoke is contagious. But most importantly, JH PowWow is for the love of snowboarding.

We sat down with six shapers and designers whose boards left a lasting impression on us this year, and asked them to share their stories. Each are different. Each are the same. These are the people that will shape snowboarding for the generations to come.

Thank you Rob for yet another incredible event, thank you Jackson Hole for opening your mountain to a bunch of hard charging snowboarders, and thank you to all of the brands who participated in the JH PowWow. The future is bright.

Photography by Owen Ringwall

Mikey Franco Franco Snowshapes jackson hole jh powwow snowboarding

Mikey Franco, Franco Snowshapes

In 2010, I was on a trip to Japan working for Burton but was hurt and couldn’t snowboard. Those guys felt really bad for me because it was dumping, so the president of Burton Japan took me to meet Taro Tamai [founder of Gentemstick]. I walked into Taro’s showroom and thought it was Mecca. I had never seen anything like it before. So I came home inspired by that, and my buddies here happened to make skis and snowboards. They said, “you can’t snowboard this winter, why don’t you come in and make a board.” I said I would, but it had to be like this. They himmed and hawed, but finally they took me under their wing and taught me. Next thing I knew, I was making boards.

Mikey Franco Franco Snowshapes jackson hole jh powwow snowboarding

The work of Taro Tamai inspired Mikey Franco to create his own shapes.

I kept getting more and more inspired between Taro’s shapes and aesthetic, and with the craftsmanship of the Igneous guys here. Igneous is more utilitarian, Gentem is surfy and etherial. I wanted the two to combine to be very dreamy. I wanted to find a way to build this career. With so many clients from guiding here [in Jackson], I felt that custom was going to be the way to go. That’s what led me down that road, instead of going into production.

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Gabor Abonyi 2015 from Pleasure Snowboard Magazin on Vimeo.

Templeton X Pleasure Spring Session 2016 from Pleasure Snowboard Magazin on Vimeo.

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