Ed note: Due to an early-season lack of snow, North America's premier big mountain snowboard contest, The North Face Masters, had to postpone it's first of three event stops. And so, tour is just now getting started, with the first event currently taking place right now at Crystal Mountain, Washington. Unfortunately, last year's NFM tour champion, Aaron Robinson, passed away this summer as a result of injuries sustained in a snowboarding accident. It is not the lack of a defending champion that is felt, it is the lack of that particular champ. But though he may be gone, but he's not forgotten. A-Rob's final labor of love, the full-length snowboard movie "Manifest," was recently completed, so we wanted to post it for you here, in its entirety. The tribute below is from A-Rob's co-star and friend Alex Yoder, who's competing in the NFM this week.
I tried not to make many plans last winter. A phone call from Aaron Robinson was the reason. I had just spent two weeks of my August in Chile following him around on his whimsical and seemingly effortless shred tour of the country. He had a way with words, even when he was speaking a language he barely knew. We had it made, all the time, for little-to-no money. I'm talking made. Not many gringos get their hands on military ski passes to Portillo -- let's leave it at that.
Up until those two weeks I had only hung out with A-Rob occasionally, at competitions and other gatherings, since we had first met on Thompson Pass in Alaska three years before. After those two weeks I would follow him anywhere.
The phone call from A-Rob was simple. He had an idea for a movie and asked if I wanted to film with him. After seeing how he rolled in a foreign country there was no doubt in my mind that spending the winter with him on his home turf would be an excellent and hilarious adventure.
Looking back on it now, it was the best winter of my life. I think I was laughing as much I was snowboarding, usually at A-Rob. His style was just so unique, from riding his sled, snowboarding, ordering food, to flattering every girl he encountered, even though he had no interest in them at all. (Maybe he did, but I think he just did it to make them smile.) Everything he did was completely genuine, original, and present.
From the start, the goal of this movie was to create a film that left the viewer itching to get out and ride. We wanted nothing less than for it to awaken the soul of snowboarding. With Aaron and Sam Tuor spearheading the project the good vibe was set from the very beginning to the very end.
The culmination of this project was bitter sweet. When Aaron passed away, we lost our best friend, brother, and snowboarding's brightest spirit, but we knew we had to honor him and shine his light on the masses. So we did. Everyone dropped what they were doing and flew to Chile to celebrate our fallen friend by embracing his spirit and being present in that moment. Your reality can be anything you want it to be. Aaron taught us that. All you have to do is manifest it.
Thanks Aaron. We love you.