Ten years ago, you probably couldn’t have paid me to tie up my boots at a resort in Rhode Island. In fact, mention snowboarding in Rhode Island to almost anyone outside of the state, and you’ll probably catch them with a confused look on their face. That is exactly what happened when I told people I was going there to shoot a snowboarding story last winter. It’s the last place you’d imagine having any relevance in the snowboarding world.
Until recently, when, through the frenzy of web videos and online snowboarding films, some refreshing edits started popping up by Dr. B — a local dentist and videographer named Brendan Gouin.
Dr. B set out to capture the creative backhill snowboarding at his hometown hill, Yawgoo Valley. The Yawgoons, as they’ve been dubbed, are setting a new precedent for what is possible with a little snow, some imagination and a good crew of friends.
Snowboarding, like any artistic endeavor, is about creative expression and the feeling you get doing or watching something unique unfold. You can find that inspiration anywhere, and it only takes a quick watch of one Yawgoons edit to understand why Marcus and Mary Rand, Dylan Gamache, Brian Skorupski and Dr. B are capturing audiences worldwide and consistently hitting Vimeo view counts of over 100,000.
When I asked Dr. B why and how this all got started, he explained it to me simply: “After getting my dentistry license, I returned home to Rhode Island to work for a local practice. When I went up snowboarding that year, I ran into some old friends and saw how much their style had developed and how progressive their snowboarding had become. I got a small camera for Christmas that year, so I started filming them, making edits and posting the videos online. People caught on; we won a video crew contest that year where the name The Yawgoons was born and it kind of just grew from there.”
Find their full archive of videos at vimeo.com/yawgoons
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