i traveled to japan with the life cosmic project, an organization focused on exploration, cultivation and perpetuation of “stoke!” japan was a dream. a mythical land of deep snow awesomeness, delicious ramen at every turn. hot springs, sake, friendship and love was thick in the air.
this adventure was a true high point in my life, riding the great white wave and sailing in the most positive direction i have ever been.
for years i had been search for others who embraced a style of connectivity through active participation with the environment and found myself in the middle of a many thousand year old culture that revolved around the style of consciousness. through our exploration we connected with some of the great master riders from the area.
they called themselves the gentemstick family (gentem roughly translated). we gathered with them over tea, discussed matters of life, love, environment and of course the joy of riding as a means of finding add expressing creative engagement with the world.
this consciousness is exemplified by the design of the boards in which they ride. with philosophies similar to surfing, the boards are shaped and engineered to enact this philosophy.
we went out to the mountain one beautiful day after it snowed nearly fifteen inches of fresh powder, sailed through the birch groves and made huge arching turns down the groomers. in the midst of those carbs everything clicked. time and space disappeared into a single moment and I was in full tune with the velocity of the cosmos.
i felt so drawn to the style that i sold pretty much everything i brought with me in order to return home with one of their boards. i arrived back to montana with the board, it attracted a lot of attention for it’s shape along with the writing style associated with it. people really started to become intrigued.
i realized that you could not find any boards of the shape or style distributed in the united states, which lead me to creating a solution and i began crafting my own. i put all of my experience and knowledge to use and began to craft boards designed specifically for a rider based off their size, style, ability, and matched to the terrain and conditions in which they were riding. this is basically the same equation that surfboard shaper uses when creating boards for different riders and the waves they are surfing.
it is a blessing to look back at now, how the trip inspired me to pursue my own custom crafting. there’s a touch of sadness that lingers as the women who were our other halves no longer are along for the ride. but through the highs and lows, friendship remains the core of the life cosmic project and how i’m living life every day. we’ve been gathering every year for the past twelve years, adding new members along the way, loosing some in the journey, but with each year’s expedition, we live a in a meditative practice of presence in the moment through adventure and mis-adventure. i am stoked to have my best friend lefteri alexander (eudamonia) coming out to montana for this years adventure- mountains, buslife, dogs, and good times as single men.