As snowboarding is beginning to come full circle and recognize the roots of the sport and culture that surrounds it, events follow suit. The Rally For Rocker, now in it’s second incarnation, is exactly that kind of even. No rules, limited organization, a handful of prizes and handmade trophies, and no permits pretty much means a free for all. The key ingredient is that it truly is an event for anyone willing to make the hike up to course.

Hand dug and higher up the mountain than the previous year, snow levels dictated the arena for the banked slalom course, and even that was challenged fiercely by mother nature. For a week prior to the event, a group of local snowboarders and skateboarders, lead by event mastermind Taylor Carlton, made the hike up the hill daily, packing shovels, trash cans, water, food and anything else that would help farm the limited snow over the ever present rocks, bushes and stumps that littered the usually glaciated gully. Without their hard work, there is no way the event could have happened. Luck on their side, it snowed a foot over the weekend before the event, providing them with more snow to work with as well as to cover up dangerous areas in fall zones that pretty much surrounded the entire course.

The Rally For Rocker is the most DIY snowboard event out. No permits, no resort, no snowcats to build anything, no chairlift. It really is a throwback to the early days when sliding sideways was banned at the resorts and the only way to make it happen was to do it yourself. Social media helped spread the word to the hundreds of die hards that made the hike up to race, hang out, BBQ and soak in the California sun. It also caught the attention of the National Forest Rangers, who also made the hike up and deemed it necessary to hand out a grand total of 7 citations for the event. You win some, you lose some. On the bright side, once the formalities were handled, they went on their way and the event continued on.

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission. In the words of one of the Rangers, “The National Forest Service would never issue a permit for people to crash and hit their heads on rocks.” As a testament to the course building and level of riding, no one got hurt during the event and besides the run in the Johnny Law, the event went off without a hitch. The fire behind it all is fundraising to bring a newer, bigger skateboard park to nearby Truckee in honor of Steve “Rocker” Anderson, a local all around badass who was killed in an avalanche across the street and within view of the event at Donner Ski Ranch. Rocker’s positive energy and DIY attitude permeated the entire event and that spirit will continue to carry forward onto the skatepark build and the future Rally’s.



  1. Tim Humphreys
  2. Eric Messier
  3. Gray Thompson
  4. Tucker Andrews
  5. Johnny Brady
  6. Danny Kern
  7. David Gray
  8. Felix Mobarg
  9. Roan Rodgers
  10. Brian Bozack


  1. Hannah Fuller
  2. Ashley Galleher
  3. Nelly Steinhoff
  4. Susan Wahl
  5. Kellie Wright


  1. Keegan Hosetros
  2. Benoit Rouchy
  3. Elias Maas
  4. Phoenix Sanchez

Style Master: Brett Davis

Biggest Shit Eater: Ian Gill

Snowskaters: Logan Knutzen and Kendra Wilson

Photos by IJ Valenzuela, Bryan Sampson and Silver Serino. Words by Dan Conroy

For information on how to donate to the cause and more background on the effort, visit

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Dan Conroy

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