2021 Slush Awards—Forward Lean Award Nominees

  |   Michael Goodwin

In an effort to recognize the people, projects and initiatives that have elevated the snowboarding conversation by greatly enriching our culture over the last year, Slush The Magazine has created the Forward Lean Award. Each of the four initiatives nominated for the 2021 Slush Forward Lean Award have enhanced the connection to snowboarding for riders around the world, and while we are ultimately bestowing this accolade upon the endeavor that proved most resonant with the hundreds of pros tasked with determining an outcome, each of the following four nominees deserves to be applauded for how they have enriched the mosaic our collective snowboarding community.

The 2021 Slush Awards are brought to you by 10 Barrel, The Ikon Pass, GoPro, & Liquid Death.

The Bombhole
From a humble garage in Salt Lake City, The Bombhole began streaming to the shred starved masses as a welcome distraction from the turbulent happenings of a world in the uncertain peril of a pandemic. With the slopes closed, schools on hiatus and stay-at-home orders omnipresent, Chris Grenier and Ethan Fortier provided quarantined frothers with a respite from the isolation. The honest and at times all-too-frank conversation style took the art of banter to the next level, while guests like Jamie “The Chief” Thomas, Caleb Flowers, Justin Bennee and more, were unguarded as they put it all on the record. Even earworms like “Name That Videopart”, became a cherished part of their weekly sermon, as snowboarders collectively kept asking themselves “What the fuck is Patreon?” or "How Dirty is E-Stones Lens, Really?"

Uninvited II
The story of snowboarders who have persevered beyond all adversity to elevate themselves to the vaulted position of being a pro rider is rather pedestrian, and well mined by the media as the “underdog done good” trope never grows old. Yet, oftentimes, these stories are still worth sharing because snowboarding is ever more becoming a sport of the privileged. Rare though is the tale of someone who has bucked the odds, clawed their way to the top, and then kept toiling to bring others up in their wake. This is the story of Jess Kimura and The Uninvited. By taking on the mantle of providing the next generation of unknown talents with the opportunities and resources she wasn’t afforded in her youth, Jess Kimera has become an incubator for the future of women’s snowboarding, catalyzing the careers of some of today's most high-profile riders including Kennedi Deck, Maria Thomsen and Ivika Jorgenson. With Uninvited II, Jess has once again shined a light on emerging talents including 2021 Slush Magazine Award nominees Ylfa Rúnarsdóttir and Savannah Shinske. Yet openers and enders aside, there is a depth to Jess’s sophomore effort with Maggie Leon, Naima Antolin, Miyon Yamaguchi and all of the other ladies on the Uninvited II marquee displaying talent that is undeniable.

At 288 pages and weighing more than three pounds, "Heroes" by Jerome Tanon is literally and figuratively one of the heaviest reflections upon women’s snowboarding ever created. This gritty, immersive and aesthetically compelling tome pays tribute to a side of snowboarding that has more depth, texture and layers than what is routinely represented by more conventional snowboarding media. With an eye for detail and a light touch, Jerome Tanon has deftly woven a tapestry of collaboration, curation and trust resulting in a project that is as much a product of protagonists like Hannah Eddy, Christy Prior and as it is of the producer, Jerome Tanon.


Torment Pride Week
In June of 2020, Torment Magazine injected a dose of humanity into a riding community often caught up in the maelstrom of esoteric spot dissections and vapid trick porn by providing an outlet for some of the most accomplished riders and creators in the scene today to come out publicly as queer and candidly speak about their experience in snowboarding. Tanner Pendleton, Kennedi Deck, Jill Perkins, Chad Unger, and Jake Kuzyk collectively put a very real and relatable face to the LGBTQ+ cause by opening up about self-acceptance, insecurity, anxiety, and the impact that their choosing to no longer be guarded about this facet of their being has had or could have on their life and career as they navigate a largely heteronormative landscape. The resulting impact of Torment Pride Week, and the words of Tanner, Kennedi, Jill, Chad, and Jake, will be felt for generations to come, invoking progression in ways not counted in steps, degrees, rotations or accolades.