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Monday, May 21, 2012
Gear: Longest-running pro models

Lib Tech
Matt Cummins, owner of One Ball Jay and brother of Temple Cummins, has been riding for Mervin since the early days and was very influential in shaping the future of snowboarding.

The rise and fall of pro models mirrors the business side of snowboarding, for better or worse. Board lines shrink. Budgets get slashed. Contracts don't get renewed. Riders get hurt, change teams or start their own brands, and so pros and their namesake snowboards usually have a limited time in the limelight.

Then there's Matt Cummins' board. Cummins was one of Lib Tech's first pro riders, and his pro model, the MC 5'3" has been around longer than many pro snowboarders have been alive. Old school snowboarders know what I'm talking about -- you may know it as the bones board. It's the one with the big skeleton on it.

"I started riding Gnu boards in 1988. I bought my first one from Mike [Olson] and Pete [Saari]," says Cummins. "It was a 156-swallow tail. I ended up placing pretty well at some contest and they asked me if I wanted to be on the team."

"Matt pushed us to build board he could skate on," explains Mervin co-founder Pete Saari. "He constantly wanted the boards to be lighter and easier to tweak and poke, with twin shapes with kicked tails and built in rails for grabs ... He worked with us on a lot of the early twin tip freestyle shapes that have become the standard for what a modern snowboard looks and rides like. Jamie Lynn and others rode Matt's model and it became the base line that his and other pro models were designed around."

Cummins first board was introduced in 1991. His 2013 model now goes by the name La Niņa, but it's still his and has elements of pretty much every tech in the Lib Tech toolbox, designed using knowledge gathered from 20-plus years of snowboard testing and development. We thought it'd be fun to take a look at a few of the pro models that have stood the test of time. Here are a few of the standouts. Launch Gallery »