Snowboard icon Noah Salasnek, who rose to fame in the early 1990’s, passed away less than two weeks ago after a lengthy bout with cancer. While the news is sad, it is also reason to celebrate his legacy. The 47-year-old’s impact can still be noticed throughout the snowboarding community today.
The Lake Tahoe native revolutionized the sport during one of its most popular eras. What made Salasnek unique was his unusual blend of freeride and freestyle techniques. He is credited as one of the founders of this approach. His riding style endeared him to fans of the budding sport in the 90’s.
His greatest impact may be the link his style provides between snowboarding and skateboarding. Salasnek is partly responsible for bringing those two worlds together. Today, it’s commonplace to participate in both activities; skating in the summer and boarding in the winter. Many extreme athletes can thank Salasnek for that.
Of course, Salasnek really made his name in the ‘New Kids on the Twock’ film. The movie was the first of its kind as it introduced these underground riding techniques to a mass audience. Salasnek, along with other riders such as Chris Roach and Shawn Palmer, forever changed the way future snowboarders view the slopes.
After Twock, Salasnek was a wanted man in the industry. He was the center of a high-price sponsorship bidding war between several board brands. Eventually, he signed with Sims Snowboards. The company quickly produced Salasnek’s signature skate-truck board. It was high-profile sponsorships like this that helped create the market for the sports’ biggest names today.
In the end, Salasnek brought snowboarding to the mainstream. His rare blend of riding styles continues to influence the next generation of boarders. Noah Salasnek may be gone, but his legacy in the industry will live on forever.