|ESPN.com: Snowboarding||[Print without images]|
|Johan Olofsson fulfilling his role as Venture's new R&D madman.|
If you like big mountain freestyle, thank Johan Olofsson. The Swede could almost have a copyright on what is arguably the most exciting and aesthetically-pleasing style of snowboarding and his part in TB5 (1996) is still the (cough) standard to which a rider should aspire.
Today, Venture Snowboards announced that Johan (when you're as rad as him a last name seems a bit superfluous) would be riding their boards from this point on. In the last decade and a half, Johan has gone from all-out Burton superstar to missing-in-action to "over it" to being one of the most accomplished Noboarders out there. (And he's been killing it the whole time...just not always in public.) We get the sense that Johan has left behind previous approaches to his riding and is looking for a more meaningful engagement with the sport he loves and has done so much to progress. This new move to Venture could definitely lead to some new directions.
Venture Snowboards' release says that Johan has signed on as a "product tester" and that he will be contributing in what sounds like an R&D-heavy role. Scoring such a legend should be a boon to this small company, owned by husband and wife team Klemens and Lisa Branner and headquartered in Silverton, Colorado. Yes: that Silverton.
Venture is an interesting company that tends to fly below the hype radar in a lot of ways. However, its products have consistently done well in magazine board tests over the last five years, including an Editors' Choice from Backcountry Magazine. The company offers a small range of boards in a lot of sizes and widths and, unique to Venture, any board is available as a factory split. The company builds all their boards from scratch at 9,318 feet in the San Juans and, as a result, can implement new ideas on-snow much faster than many big companies. San Juans, meet St. Johan...
Check Venture Snowboards' blog for more..