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There’s been a recent resurgence of printed snowboard content beyond magazines, Curator Volume II: Cult of Snowboarding being one of the stronger entries. This second release from Munich-based Curator Publishing paints a picture of contemporary snowboarding and the individuals and influences who originally colored the palette, encapsulating modern snowboarding in the vein of David Benedek’s Current State.
Cult of Snowboarding makes an intriguing first impression, beautifully hardbound in a black-on-matte-black cover that parallels appropriately with the book’s theme, Alchemy. The matching endpapers and black ribbon bookmark add a classy touch. The layout is clean and understated, driven by graphic designer Alex Pfeffer’s tactful use of negative space and a refreshing alternation between black and white matte stock, splashed with glossy galleries.
Little is accidental about this book; Cult of Snowboarding’s editorial direction and composition are just as sharp and deliberate as its presentation and design attributes.
While the snowboarders-as-alchemists analogy, for me, balances on the knife-edged precipice of sensationalism, Editor-in-Chief Tassilo Hager pulls it off with editorial heft. Cult of Snowboarding is segmented by topic into five chapters—Loyalty, Inspiration, Balance, Family, and Heritage—titles that hint at the overall tone of the book and deliver across the board. The subjects within are well-varied—from Jake Burton to John Cardiel, Denis Leontyev to Nicolas Müller, Maria Thomsen to Hampus Mosesson.
The features are purposeful, offering both an examination of snowboarding today, a reverent look into its foundation, and a glimpse behind the curtain at the equally important, and oft overlooked, operatives within “the industry” who cultivate culture at the periphery—or at least outside the mainstream gaze on action and “athletes.”
Overall, Cult of Snowboarding provides a balanced view of the snowboarding whole to create an appealing book for boarders of all strata. It’s core and nuanced enough for the most discerning to find it interesting, while approachable to the vaguely familiar—and vastly better than the majority of snowboard content on offer. If you are into snowboarding and snowboard books, I’d recommend snagging it for the collection.