'I knew I was part of something that was going to be very big'

Chris Cowbrough

Dave Wallace looks back to the early days of the sport of snowboarding and smiles. After all, Wallace, 52, who has resided on Lopez Island since 2000, is considered one of the “old dogs” and pioneers of a radical idea that has literally evolved by leaps and bounds down the mountain.
Wallace, who attended Eastern Washington University, collaborated with his father Jim, who worked in Colville at the time, on the first snowboard instructional tome of its time—“How To Snowboard—Born in the USA.”
The volume featured a cover of the 20-something Dave Wallace catching air with his early snowboard.

Loved it all

It was rad, but no fad back in the day.
“Those were the days,” Wallace said on a recent visit to Northeast Washington. “I remember loving anything that was a board.”
At Mt. Baker High School, young Wallace was part of a first generation of snowboarders called the Mt. Baker Hardcore’s.
At Eastern, he skied at mountains like 49 Degrees North and skateboarded to class. One of his EWU roomies was a Long Beach, CA surfer.
Spawned by surf and sidewalk…a burgeoning sport was making mountain waves and drawing raves—and more than a little derision from the ski crowd.
“Getting those first boards on a mountain wasn’t easy,” he concedes.
That early-day “Snow Surfing” was deemed radical and unsafe for any self-respecting ski resort.
“Getting to the point where we were accepted wasn’t easy,” Wallace, who concedes that when he started the radical new sport, he was pretty much “a snowball.
“But the beauty is it’s an easy sport to learn once you get your balance.”
A terror on a skateboard and an accomplished snow and water skier, Wallace loved the freedom this new sport of snowboarding provided.

See the full story in this week's Statesman Examiner.