Board of Choice: 161 Alchemist
Rob Vandervoort started skiing Crested Butte Mountain Resort at the tender age of 2, but by the time he was 9 his interest had turned to snowboarding. He had started skateboarding the previous summer and was hooked on riding a board as opposed to two planks.
“The flow of surfing a board on snow down a mountain is addicting, and that’s what keeps me coming back,” he says. The 30-year-old has lived in Montana, Washington and California but has since returned to his hometown. He’s received numerous podiums at Freeride World Qualifier events, including a second-place finish at Crested Butte in 2016 as well as third overall on the tour that season. However, his first big result came three years prior at the Rahlves Banzai Tour in 2013 at Squaw Valley. Vandervoort finished second at that event, and third overall on the tour.
Yet, the backcountry has become a big draw. Vandervoort’s perfect day in the backcountry starts with an early rise, quick stretch, breakfast and he’s out the door, splitboarding from his doorstep before hiking multiple laps in his favorite backyard zone. “Shred deep, stable powder all morning. Lunch somewhere in the woods. A few more afternoon bonus laps. Splitboard back to the house to enjoy victory beers on the porch. Ahh …”
Board of Choice: 154 Voodoo
Elizabeth is originally from Maryland — where there’s cows and trees, not the city part, she clarifies. She started snowboarding in seventh grade at a small ski area in Pennsylvania called Whitetail Resort.
Her ties to Jackson, Wyo., stem all the way back to her youth, when her parents would tote her along on month-long family vacations to the Tetons.
Around 2007, Elizabeth obtained her first splitboard after becoming tired of post-holing for turns. Since then, she’s climbed and descended many of the peaks in the Tetons. Her perfect day consists of waking in the dark to some good coffee, carpooling with a friend to the trailhead while jamming out to shitty pop music and starting to skin under still-dark skies amid a sea of crystals. Then comes the sunrise as the touring crew reaches a high spot, stopping for warm beverages and a snack.
After a season atop a Voodoo 154, she prefers the control the board offers on slick terrain, as well as the deck’s penchant to float over powder.
Board of Choice: 158 Voodoo
Elias Goutos grew up on Colorado’s Front Range, spending his early years snowboarding nearby resorts — including Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park and other ski areas a stone’s throw from the Denver metropolis. Elias moved to Crested Butte after high school and attended Western Colorado University.
At Western, he served as an intern for Cold Smoke, which proved both an introduction and immersion into the world of splitboarding. It was around this time that Elias’ attention turned to the nearby Elk Mountains. When the snow is flying in Colorado, more times than not, that’s where he can be found. Over the last few years, Elias has spent about 10 months each year on snow, including summers in New Zealand.
JAIME VAN LANEN
Board of Choice: 163 Voodoo
Jaime Van Lanen built his first custom splitboard in the year 2000. Living in North Lake Tahoe at the time, he’d watched lift lines on powder days increase to the point that the only way to gain a solid day of riding was to get in line at 6 a.m. with his MSR Whisperlite stove in his backpack so he could eat breakfast and drink coffee while waiting three-plus hours for the chairs to open.
Born and raised in Lakewood, Colo., from a young age, Jaime’s father began taking him and brother Ryan to St. Mary’s Glacier, Loveland and Berthoud passes to hike for turns. The fire was ignited.
By the mid-‘90s, Jamie’s drive to arrive at the precipice of snowboarding had landed him as a professional rider, competing in freestyle. In 1999, he won the U.S. National Championship in Slopestyle and Overall Freestyle.