The Powderjet Speed of Sawdust Tour shapes up in NYC


Words: Jesse Loomis

Photos: Shem Roose

On an unseasonably warm January morning this past Saturday, eight men ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​gathered in front of the Patagonia Bowery store, on a storied stretch of NYC sidewalk, to talk snowboarding. The conversation ranged from local mountain haunts, recent trips out west and gear comparisons to approaching storm systems and…more gear talk. At a certain point John, a NYC train engineer covered in tattoos remarked, “Holy shit, I just realized where we’re standing”. He’d been here many times as a teen in the ’80s, back when the sign over the front entry said “CBGB”.

The guys on the sidewalk were thoughtful for a moment, and then we walked to the front door, made a hard right down the stairs to the basement and pulled seven blank snowboards out of their waiting board bags.

©Shem Roose-9917

For the next two days, the sounds of punk rock ceded airspace to the visceral hum of saw blades cutting, sanders sanding, metal files, hacksaws and drills drilling. It was immediately clear that all seven men had totally different ideas as to what was their ideal board design. Swallowtails of varying depths emerged, along with a completely flat, diamond shaped tail, and one kick tail.

There was a lot of head scratching, some plans being adhered to strictly, others thrown away completely. The air was full of noise and sawdust, occasionally a wisp of smoke and some salty language befitting a location known as the birthplace of punk rock.

Day two was mostly dedicated to finishing details and applying art to the boards. Again, massive differences in what class attendees’ interests when it came to applying art. From a simple two-stripe design or dark stain, to a highly involved and perfectly measured inspirational phrase, the designs were all super unique, personal and really cool. They all came out looking beautiful.

We had a bunch of visitors coming by to check out the boards, some who had taken classes in Maine in the past. There was much talk of Chinatown’s famous soup dumplings, and the pizza we ate was some of the best in New York, which puts it high on the list of best pizza ever.

I’d like to offer a special thanks to DL, T, Buddy, Ian and the rest of the Patagonia Bowery crew who were so great to us all weekend. It’s an amazing shop, with a ton of super nice surfboards, and I think we all know that Patagonia is possibly the most ethical brand ever, ecologically and otherwise. Thanks, guys!

Want to make your own Powderjet? Get more info on the Speed of Sawdust tour at

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©Shem Roose-9895 ©Shem Roose-9935 ©Shem Roose_9931 ©Shem Roose-9996 ©Shem Roose-9923 ©Shem Roose-9840


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