DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

Healthy Reefs Initiative Report Card.

Hi friends,

Firstly, thank you all so much for the amazing response to Captive. It's been so overwhelmingly positive. Next, I wanted to share a photo that was recently published. Usually people post their published work as an ego boost or to drum up business, but I'm hoping that you'll take a minute and look at what the Healthy Reefs Initiative is doing on the Mesoamerican Reef. The largest reef system outside of the great barrier reef.

The monitoring that HRI does is crucial to the management of the reef, and the benchmarks that are set allow scientists to track both positive and negative changes. My favourite part of the report card is that it highlights victories and not just the challenges to maintaining the reef.

So that's my photo of Ian Drysdale on the Cordelia Banks there on the cover.

Have a great day.



Benji Ritchie from 2004

Hi Friends,

Today I'm bringing you a shot of Benji Ritchie that ran in Transworld Snowboarding in 2004. It's weird composition and I always wished there was a better contrail linking him to the jump, but it makes sense from a layout perspective. It's weird how much I shot for the dimensions of the magazine near the end of that run. Too bad, really.

Have a great week.



SBC Cover

I got an email from Sarah Conrad just before I went to bed the other night. You remember her, we talked about her back here in April. She dropped a line to say "thanks" for the shot we got published. I hadn't heard anything or seen anything so it came as a bit of a surprise to find that it was the cover of the Snowboard Canada Women's Annual.

It's always nice to get a cover shot but I especially like this one. I had a good feeling about her Japan to fakie as soon as we shot it which is probably why I wrote that blog. I got the pdf from John Scarth at SBC today but I still don't have the issue in my hands. Gribbon has three copies though so hopefully I'll get my greasy hands on one soon. Here it is.

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The book. It exists. And folks are talking.

Well! The advance copies of my book "Out West: Snowboarding, Westbeach and a new Canadian dream." have hit some media outlets and all I can say is wow! Great reviews. People are stoked. I'm stoked. Everybody's happy!

I want to talk more about it but I'm swamped in this edit right now. I have a lot of stuff I want to blog about so stay tuned for some recently published shots that I'm stoked of, some of my opinionated rants, and Way more pictures. Until then read the reviews:



Buy it!

I stole this photo from Transworld.

Brian Savard

Brian Savard was one of the hardest working shredders in the game for awhile and despite never having ridden for one of the big "star maker" brands in snowboarding, he still managed to become one of the biggest names in the late 90's.

This photo ran on the cover of Snowboarder Magazine in 1999 and is an all-time favourite of mine. I've shot this cliff a few times with Brian and also with Shin Campos. It's in bounds on Whistler Mountain and rarely sees much action because it's really hard to get on top of. We called it "tree cliff" because there is a tree in the landing that both Brian and Shin have hit.

In an era where we are seeing more and more weak riding in the media (tail blocks, tiny "urban cliffs", and weak backcountry booters), I miss the power of riders like Brian. Of course there are still lots of them out there, but increasingly they are pushed aside in favour of over-strobed "filler" shots. The rise of this kind of photography corresponds with the strobist culture that is prevalent with young shooters. They tend to prioritize their technical (pocket) wizardry in front of the skill of their riders. With the increase in blogs and websites as the culture-defining media outlets and their lack of buyout budget, we see lots of b and c grade photography being paraded around as legitimate. Unfortunately this trend has trickled upwards and traditional paper mags have been persuaded to believe that if a photo has enough gelled strobes lighting it, the riding can be just about anything.

I disagree. I think we are on the verge of a point where people will stop picking up magazines that continue to pass off this cheesy faux snowboarding and see it for what it is. A charade.



Hey folks,

Today I'm posting up one on my best-known and favourite photos. When I shot this photo of Lukas Huffman in 2003, this jump (known as 'perfect jump' because of its natural perfection for jumping) had become pretty blown out and was a one trick pony in terms of angles. I was completely sick of shooting it because there is such an obvious angle that has been shot to death, but not many others. This day I was determined to get something different.

I watched Luke's shadow pay across the snow in the foreground and set out to capture it. I had to beg the rest of the crew not to mess up the snow in the foreground zone with tracks, so someone threw the last bit of their sandwich in there just to mess with me. You can see it there on the left. My friends rule...

When I shot this I had never seen another snowboard shot that looked like it and I was really, really happy with the result. It has run in Magazines a bunch of times and I recently sold a print of it. I love this shot.

Ok, on a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to throw a shoutout to the good folks at Yobeat.com who have been making fun of snowboarding for over a decade.


A box full of magazines

I just found a box full of magazines. Some of my covers from over the years. Unfortunately they are mostly older and a bunch are missing, but still, it's cool to see some of my old snowboard photos. Chris Dufficy, Devun Walsh, Jf Pelchat, Bjorn Leines, Shaun Palmer, Dionne Delesalle, Brian Savard, Marc Morriset, Mark Landvik, Shin Campos and a bunch more. When I get the rest of my archives gathered together I'll try to make a comprehensive gallery.



It used to be a cover

This was once a cover of Snowboarder Magazine. They sent me a great package of history this week to help me with the book. Thanks Pat.

I'm off for my "stag" which means I'm going to fish for two days with some friends. And that is all I have to say about that. Have a great weekend.



The "Style issue" of Future Snowboarding Magazine is on newsstands right now and I have a little quote and a couple shots in it. I actually wrote a much longer quote that was truncated because of space issues, so I thought I'd put it out here in full. When I was looking for it on my hard drive I found this other piece I wrote about style for a "dos and don'ts" in the Snowboarders' Handbook. I liked it so I included it too. Enjoy.

Dano Pendygrasse

"Snowboarding is one of those lucky sports where the scoreboard at the end of the game isn’t the thing that defines greatness. Very few of our sport's iconic riders are remembered for their contest results. Even great contest riders tend to fade into the background if they are perceived to have “wack style”. Style is king in snowboarding. A long time ago I was asked “What is style?” for an article in Snowboarder magazine and I answered something about it being “the art of making whatever it is you’re doing, look like it’s worth doing.” I’d stand by that today because when you see someone with amazing style riding they just seem so comfortable in their skin, so fluid and in their element, that you can’t help but appreciate that you are watching them do what they were meant to do. Craig Kelly was always held out as an example of great style, and even though his style came to represent the old school eventually, he was so often imitated that it is impossible not to recognize his status.

I have a memory that will always define Craig’s style for me, even though it had nothing to do with giant airs or steep descents. We were riding at Mt. Baker one day and had to ride from the top of Chair Two down to the mid-station of Chair One. It’s not far and it’s relatively flat, I buckled in for the short ride and when I looked up watched Craig throw his board down and jump on without strapping in. He rode down the flat cattrack for a short distance and then dropped off the side and into a couple feet of fresh snow. He rode down the short pitch making his signature turns, and then when he reached the lower cattrack proceeded to hit the small wall hits, playing around, grabbing his board, kicking out a foot here and there, all the while with nothing but gravity and his balance holding him to the board. It was effortless for him and I rode behind him in awe.

Not long after, Jamie Lynn changed style forever in snowboarding but Craig had cemented his legendary status by then. I feel lucky to be a part of something that rewards people for looking like they are having fun. That’s why style is so important to us, it is always present no matter what kind of riding you’re doing, no matter what level you are at, and if you are a lucky, someday somebody will ride up to you and say; “nice style”."

And the handbook thing:

Style is personal and for better or worse, everyone has it. Unlike a haircut though, you can’t just go out and get good style, so some people are stuck with the dreaded “wack” style. Really, what is good style anyway? Well to me, style has always been the ability to make whatever it is you are doing, look like it’s worth doing. You see some guy hucking himself off a jump, flailing through the air, swatting at flies, and your reaction isn’t necessarily “I want to do that!” But watch someone with good style smoothly spin a 540 on the same jump, land solidly and ride away, and you start to think that maybe that’s something worth giving a shot.

So how do you know if you have good style? Look at yourself in photos or video, or if that’s not an option, ask a friend. Ask an honest friend, though, because it’s hard to tell someone that they look like a gingerbread man riding a rodeo bull.

It is important to realize that style evolves. Craig Kelly had the best style in the world and just about everyone copied it as a result. Then one day Jamie Lynn came along and changed everything and suddenly there was a line drawn in the sand. If you still had “Craig leg” you were old school. As simple as that.

As fluid as style is, some things are big style no-no’s. The dreaded tindy grab is never going to be anything but wack, with the possible exception of being ironically humourous. It’s best to keep it in the tickle trunk though. Bringing it out too often may result in the mistaken impression that it is part of your arsenal…

If you want to play it safe, here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you towards epic style:


Bend your goddamn knees. Nothing says “I’m wack” louder than straight legs and a bent waist.

Keep your arms calm. Waving or flapping your arms says, “I’m out of control” louder than Mark Sullivan with a microphone in front of him.

Keep ‘em down too. Arms in the air looks great in the crowd at a Motely Crue concert, not so much on your wicked surf slasher brah.

Try to keep the grabs between the feet, or on the end of your board. There are going to be a bunch of people telling you it’s ok to grab outside the bindings and it’s true, there are exceptions, and exceptional people who can pull it off, but if you are reading this, chances are you need to play it safe.


Claim anything. Ever. Here is a mountain rule that some folks just don’t seem to understand: If you tell someone how rad something you did is, it instantly becomes less than half as rad. Limit it to “did you see that?” or “how was my style?”. This tells your friends that you are stoked on what you did without the dreaded “claim”. (Now I know you are saying to yourself: “well I see those guys in the X Games claiming the hell out of shit with their arms in the air at the end of their run. Why is it ok for them?” Here’s the deal, a long time ago, it was discovered that judges reward that stupid little arm raise at the end of a run and it became almost like a last trick. Now fools raise their arms in ‘victory’ no matter what kind of run they had and the whole thing is ridiculous. Want to know how those guys act when there are no judges watching? Take a guess. Let me put it this way, if I got to keep every Rolex, Nixon and Timex raised above ear level on a training day I wouldn’t know what time to go to dinner.)

Grab outside your bindings. We’ve already established that you aren’t ready yet. Most folks never will be.

Assume that just because you bought all the gear, all the flair, and all the videos, that your style is world class. Most people rocking the current park costume look like clowns and don’t have the skills to back up the look. If you rip harder than all the other shredders on the mountain then maybe you are getting away with it, if not, you aren’t. (Your friends wanted to tell you, but it was too funny to laugh at you behind your back)

Snake someone’s line. It’s just so “not cool”. I can’t even tell you.

Now of course there are always exceptions to every rule, but until you’re writing this column, it’s probably just better than to play it safe and stick with the rules. One last thing: If you feel awkward, you probably look awkward.

Pendygrasse snowboard photography, snowboarding photos, photographs of snowboarders, shred photographers, snowboard photographer, snow photographers, pictures of snowboarding, pictures of snowboarders, photos of snowboards, photos of snowboarding. Daniel Stephen Pendygrasse, DSP Photography.