P3: Pipes, Park, and Powder – Review

I’ve read this book twice now, and enjoyed it just as much the second time through. Todd Richards is a champion snowboarder who’s played a role in how the sport has developed. With Todd having been in snowboarding since just about the beginning, this book gives you a kind of hands-on history of snowboarding, as well as a great insight his life. The book has an easy style, it’s funny, enjoyable; it’s great.

P3 shows us a good view of the early snowboarding scene: the first brands, what the boards were like, the early riders, the (crappy) half-pipes, those who brought the skateboarding influence to snowboarding and how sponsorship worked when the sport was young. All through the eyes of an aspiring and influenceable teenager.

Todd Richards develops as snowboarding develops – and there are lots of fun and interesting stories along the way, as well as some great pictures. There’s a really funny snippet telling how Todd helped one of his friends (who couldn’t really ride) to blag a sponsorship deal, and then how long it took the sponsor to figure the joke out.

Todd discusses the jibb movement and the progression to shorter, freestyle boards, better for spinning. Enter snowboard parks. Enter slopestyle contests. Adapting from pipe to park. How much can a rider make from a pro-model?

Then there’s the arrival of the XGames and the impact it had on snowboarding. Followed by the first Olympics including snowboarding as an event. Each time, Todd talks about his involvement, his views and how it effected him.

It’s all there.

But what makes it a good book is finding out what it all meant to Todd Richards. How he got into snowboarding. His dedication to progession. How he both struggled and excelled with the pressure of competition. His matching up against Terje. His life outside of snowboarding. His personality.

If you don’t know who Todd Richards is, you should read this book just to find out: snowboarding’s really important to him, and he’s been important for snowboarding. There is of course the chance that you’ll bump into him on a hill someday and you might say hello; but you’d still need to have read the book to know why that would be funny!

Read it on your next snowboard trip, you’ll enjoy it.

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