Snowboarding film director Tanner Pendelton came out as gay in an interview with Torment Magazine, making him part of a small but growing group of LGBTQ+ athletes in the snowsports world. Pendelton has been a fixture on the snowboarding scene for years, and his raw snowboarding and filmmaking style featured in flicks like Crazy Loco, Landline, and Together Forever and brand work for companies like Vans have put a stamp on the sport as we know it. Tanner came out as gay to his close friend Java Fernandez in the Torment interview, and admits it was tough to come to terms with his sexuality in a sport like snowboarding.
Alongside Pendelton, snowboarders Jake Kuzyk, Kennedi Deck, Chad Unger and Jill Perkins also came out as gay. The Torment Mag interviews shed an incredible light on the personal struggle being gay in what many would consider an intolerant environment is, and Pendelton offers some insight into his struggle:
Yeah. This is terrible, but my whole life I sort of felt like being gay was a problem. Like it was a defect of mine. To compensate for that, I always felt like I needed to go the extra mile in everything. If I’m snowboarding, I need to be going bigger or faster. And if I’m creating something like a video or whatever, I just need to be so on point that nobody could ever say that I didn’t go above and beyond and make the best thing possible. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse, really. It even extends to funny scenarios… Like I’d be dead-tired driving the van full of people on a trip, and I’d be like, “I can’t stop driving because I can’t be the gay guy that can’t drive.” So I would try to prove my self-worth in little ways like that. And I would think to myself, “When I come out, these guys are going to remember, I drove the van the whole way!” So silly looking back on moments like that (laughs). In a way I’m kind of grateful though, because it pushed me to work super hard and receive some forms of validation—which I used to protect myself. For example, I’d be like, “Well, yeah, maybe I’m gay, but I’m a good snowboarder.” And then as I started making videos, I was like “Yeah, maybe I’m gay, but I’m a good filmmaker.” It’s sort of like a shield in a sense. I’m slowly learning that I don’t need those shields to be a good person.
When asked about what he loves about gay culture, Pendelton says:
It’s so sick. If you look at the history of music, fashion and art, a lot of it is rooted in gay artists and culture. That’s something that I think is really amazing. Prior to coming out, I would look into musicians and artists who were gay and be like, “Damn, this is sick. All of these people are gay, and they’re pioneers of the coolest shit that I really like.” They undeniably led the charge for so many amazing things. That really inspired me and gave me confidence. Not to mention the courage they had to be themselves back then.
It seems like all that quarantine stay-at-home training got a select crew of Chamoniards into the best shape of their lives. With normal ski season long gone, the likes of Leo Slemett, Pica Herry, Vivian Bruchez, and countless other local guides and athletes are still getting after it in the Mont Blanc massif. That means massive slogs from the valley floor into zones like the famous Argentiere Basin, Tof Henry taking up the art of speedflying, or finding new first descents on Mont Blanc
Okay, this might fall on deaf ears for many of you, but for practitioners of the dark art of snowboard mountaineering, this is big news. Phantom Snow Industries – the brand behind the amazing splitboard binding that lets you use a hardboot setup – just announced their first dedicated hardboot for snowboarding. It’s called the Slipper, and it’s a refined version of the Atomic Backland Ultimate boot they have been helping customers modify to use with their binding systems. RELATED: Check Out
After closing lifts and mountain access on March 14 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Washington’s Crystal Mountain will re-open skiing and snowboarding on June 1. Following models first used at spring ski destinations like Oregon’s Timberline and Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin, Crystal will use a reservation system to limit the number of guests on the mountain at the same time. Season passholders and Ikon Pass holders will not be given priority, but will still get to ski for free if they