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Featured Rider - CrazyBoy-1

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  • Featured Rider - CrazyBoy-1

    In this feature we are profiling CrazyBoy-1. Anybody who has met Tim likely comes away with the same impression - what a nice guy. Now, that could sound like a generally innocuous, plain vanilla compliment; however, in Tim's case it is totally true - he is just a really nice guy who is fun to be around. He rides a very cool step-in hard boot non-release set-up at crazy fast speeds and has a board collection that is quite impressive. Maybe the coolest part of his collection - he is still rocking on a set of the original '96 Lines!

    SBOL: What is your real name? Many people who meet you might not immediately think “CrazyBoy” - what is behind the screen name “CrazyBoy-1”?

    My name in the real world is Timothy Shenk, but only family uses my full first name. To everyone else, I’m just Tim. The forum name is one that I have used for a long time, and it has connections to two other hobbies of mine, rock climbing and motorcycles. Many years ago I was a good bit less cautious about my safety, and I decided to free-solo a local 100ft rock face a couple times. Friends who were along, of course, told me that I was crazy. About that same time I was getting into motorcycle track days on road courses, and I joined the forum of the club I was riding with. My track bike is a Honda CB-1, so I played off of that and came up with the CrazyBoy-1 name. If certain events are included in the video for Midwest Meet 6.1, some people might think it still fits pretty well.

    SBOL: What do you do for a living and what do you love about it?

    I work for a medical device company as an engineering technician, which is basically just a fancy title for someone who does setup/programming. I’m responsible for designing processes on a series of Swiss-type CNC turning centers that produce titanium and stainless steel bone screws that are used in spinal fixation surgeries. I’m basically the link between engineering and manufacturing. When the design engineers come up with a product that needs to run on my machines, I have to design a process to produce it. I also am responsible for troubleshooting any issues on the machines and in general supporting the machinists who run them. What I enjoy about the job is the variety of doing something different every day. Some days I’m programming a new process or coming up with a way to improve a current process, whether it be tweaking a program or designing a new fixture for part inspection. Other days I’m troubleshooting a problem on a machine, which is always an interesting challenge. Still other times I’ll be working on the documentation that the machinists use to run all the different processes on the machines. Continuous improvement is a big theme with the company, so my job is never done. Even after a process is validated and put into production, I’m constantly looking for ways to make it better.

    SBOL: One of your hobbies and means of transportation is motorcycles – what bike(s) do you own? What is it about riding that you enjoy? What is the favorite bike you have owned?

    I currently own four bikes: a 2006 Triumph Speed Triple, a 1989 Honda CB-1 (street), a 1989 Honda CB-1 (track), and a 1987 Yamaha TW200. For me the main draw of riding motorcycles is the engagement of the experience. In a car or truck, the driver is sitting in a seat and has no effect on the vehicle apart from steering, braking, and throttle inputs. There is also insulation from the elements. On a motorcycle, body position, peg pressure, steering, throttle, and brakes all function to control the bike as it moves. There is also exposure to the environment. In addition, I like the lack of distraction on a bike. I don’t have any kind of audio input, so there is no music and nobody can call me when I’m on my bike. I also like the freedom of movement in traffic. Strange as it may seem to some, I actually feel safer on my bike than in my car because I can accelerate, brake, and change direction much more quickly. I can also fit through smaller spaces if I need to avoid a collision.

    I don’t know if I can pick a favorite bike. I really enjoy my Speed Triple (when it’s running, it is a Triumph after all) because of how well-rounded it is. It’s sporty enough for me to go for some “spirited” riding on back roads with crotch rockets, but it’s also comfortable enough for distance. I’ve ridden it to Florida twice and to Wisconsin once. The TW was my first bike, and I’ve kept it as a commuter. The CB-1 was my first real street bike, and it does hold a special spot for me. It’s a great little bike that I will never sell.

    SBOL: How did you get into the sport of skiboarding? What keeps you involved in the sport?

    Like many others, my first foray into the sport was on a pair of SnowBlades. I had tried snowboarding a few times because that’s what my friends did, but it never worked out well for me. The next time I went to a mountain with a group I decided to rent snowblades. They weren’t the most performance oriented, but I felt in control and had fun on them. The next season, I was invited to join a group going up to VT, but there was a stipulation that you had to have your own gear. I started researching SnowBlades online and found SBOL. I was a little hesitant to invest in R8’s at that point, so I ended up with a pair of SnowJam 90’s with the X2 bindings that I got at a steal off of eBay. I took them along for the VT trip and had a blast. Once I knew that I was going to do this regularly, I invested in some EMP’s, Bomber Elites, and Deeluxe Track 225’s. The jump in performance from my previous setup was massive, and I’ve been a fan of R8 skiboards ever since.

    What keeps me in the sport is the fun factor. Before getting into the sport, I really didn’t like winter. Now, I look forward to the temperatures dropping and hope for lots of snowfall. I also really enjoy the community. I have a great time going to meets and riding with other skiboarders.

    SBOL: You have introduced a lot of people to the sport of skiboarding. What is your approach for doing this and what equipment do you use? Do you have a favorite memory of introducing someone to the sport?

    I personally always start people out on the shortest boards that I think they will be comfortable with. In general, this is 90cm, but I’ve started smaller/younger riders on 75cm boards, and I’ve started bigger riders on larger boards like KTP’s. I have a pretty large collection of skiboards and bindings, and I have them to be able to get others into the sport. My philosophy is that if a person only has to worry about paying for a lift ticket they will be more inclined to try skiboarding. I keep extra boots and outerwear for this purpose. I always start with the statement “skiboarding is not skiing.” I realize that there are those in the community who would take issue with that, but I’ve found it best to make a clear distinction for new people. If I don’t, people tend to try to apply ski techniques to their skiboards that really don’t work. This is particularly true with people who come from a skiing background. I get people to the point where they can stop easily and make basic turns, and then I just release them to have fun and develop their own style. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that everyone doesn’t carve the same or approach features the same way.

    I would say that my favourite memory of introducing new people to the sport is when I got my parents onto skiboards. I wasn’t sure how they would respond, but they really enjoyed it, and it is now something that we do as a family.

    SBOL: We are going to play “3 runs, 3 people” – you can pick 3 ski runs to ride and 3 people to ride with you. Which runs would you pick (and from what mountain), who would you ride with and why?

    That’s a tough one. I generally get to ride with the people I want to, but not always where I want to. I can’t come up with three, but I can do two.

    1 – My family at Jay Peak with good conditions. We went up to Jay last season, so that they could get a taste of riding glades, but the conditions were pretty bad. I’d really like to be able to have them experience what Jay can offer.

    2 – My best friend at Mount Bohemia. I put my best friend on my EMP’s about six years ago, and he never rode his snowboard again. We used to be able to ride together quite a bit, but he now has family obligations that keep him pretty local for skiboarding. He’s always wanted to come out to the Midwest Meet ever since I started going and telling him about it, but it hasn’t worked out. I’d love to have him as part of the crew out there since he loves riding through trees probably as much as I do.

    SBOL: You have gone to the Midwest Meet a number of times. How many times have you gone? What is it that keeps you coming back to the Midwest Meet? Do you have any favorite memories?

    I haven’t missed a Midwest Meet since its inception six years ago. Counting the “.2” meets, I’ve gone to Mount Bohemia nine times. There are two main draws for me at the Midwest Meet, the mountain and the people. Mount Bohemia is definitely unique in that it is completely natural. There is no grooming of the open slopes, and the entire mountain is available to ride. Getting off either lift at the top gives you 360 worth of options as to where to go. We do occasionally ride on the open trails, but most of the time is spent in the woods. Even with all the times we’ve gone, the mountain is a little different each year, so we’re always finding new stuff. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed with no massive commercial lodge on the property and very little crowding. It’s not uncommon to make at least half of your runs without seeing any other people because of how open things are. The group that gets together out there is also really laid back. Yes, some of us like to charge through the trees at speed and look for cliffs to drop and natural jibs to hit, but there are also those who just like to cruise through the woods at a more sedate pace and watch others gamble with their safety. With not much to do around the area and most of us staying on slope, we tend to spend the whole weekend as a group, which is pretty cool. I think everyone who has come out and joined us has had a good time, even if the terrain was a bit over their level. This is why I always encourage people to come out and give it a try. It’s a great place to challenge yourself and your riding abilities with a great group of people.

    SBOL: Can you give us an “insider’s guide” to Mount Bohemia, the resort where the Midwest Meet is held?

    Mount Bohemia is a great little mountain in the middle of nowhere in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As I mentioned in my response to the previous question, it’s pretty unique in that it relies totally on natural snowfall, and that snow is not groomed at all. Plus, you can pretty much go anywhere. After being there so many times, we’ve learned what runs to take to get back to the lifts, but even if you drop off of the back of the mountain, you’ll eventually come out to a road, and there are buses running on a regular basis that will pick you up and take you back to the base area. The front glades that run near the triple chair are a bit more open and provide a good area to get familiar with riding in trees. The Haunted Valley area that is straight out from the triple on the back of the mountain has some nice steep areas that drop into a long looping trail that ends up back at the base area. Part way down there is a spot to cut back into the woods, and this area tends to be tracked out early. The result is a relatively flat area that nevertheless results in some high speeds if ridden correctly. This is one of my favorite areas to get a good burn in my legs.

    Pushing out to the right as you come off of the lifts will drop you into the Outer Limits and the Bear Den. Both areas have some great hidden stashes, but a short hike may be required here and there to access the good stuff. The Outer Limits empties to the road, while the Bear Den is close enough to the double lift to avoid a trip on the bus. Way out past Outer Limits is The Shire. There is a lot more potential for hiking in this area, but the payoff is untouched snow during times when a good portion of the mountain is tracked out. Between the two lifts is Extreme Backcountry. This area contains some of the steepest areas, and it is a blast when there is really deep powder on the mountain. In every area you can find at least a few easier lines, and some of them contain some pretty daring lines as well. Due to the untouched nature of the terrain, it is not uncommon to run over branches, small trees, and rocks. If you are someone who likes to keep your boards pristine, this mountain is not for you. You’ll get the most out of it by pushing your comfort level and tackling the rougher terrain.

    The base area is pretty simple with several yurts and cabins. We initially stayed in cabins, but as our number has increased we’ve moved to a yurt. Amenities are very simple but adequate. There is now a bar and “restaurant” area for food and beverages. Breakfast and dinner is now included with lodging, for better or worse. Recently there has been more development, so the mountain has lost some of its rustic charm, but I’m hoping that it never turns into a huge resort. At that point, I wouldn’t make the trek out.

    SBOL: What are your favorite skiboard models and why?

    That’s a tough call for me considering all the boards I have. If I had to pick three, I’d go with the RVL8 Revolt, the RVL8 Rockered Condor, and the original 1996 Line Skiboards. The R8 EMP was the design that really opened my eyes to what skiboards are capable of. The Revolt carries on the tradition. The RC dared to push skiboard design into uncharted territory, with fantastic results. I spent two whole seasons on the RC’s and learned to ride them all over the mountain. The 1996 Lines are a design that has stood the test of time. I rode mine the last day of this year’s Midwest Meet, and I was reminded of just how good they are. Those boards are almost twenty years old, but they still carried me through the glades right beside riders on modern designs.

    SBOL: Where would you like the sport of skiboarding to go in the next 3 to 5 years?

    There are four things I’d like to see in the sport over the next few years:

    1 – Continuing and expanding meets. I’ve seen skiboard meets come and go, and the only ones that have survived for more than a couple years are ShredFest and the Midwest Meet. I’d love to see other local meets started, and I wouldn’t mind seeing some small competitions started again. The competitions at Ragged Mountain a few years ago were a lot of fun, and they allowed the sponsored riders to really showcase their skill. I’ve made some great friends through skiboarding meets, and my skill level has risen at them from riding with others who are better than I. With more opportunities for newer people to join in on meets I think we’d see the sport expand at a greater rate.

    2 – Continuing innovation in skiboard design. We now have rockered skiboards, and we even have some designs in the longer lengths that include both camber and rocker. I’d like to see this design philosophy adapted to shorter designs, and I’d like to see the width boundary pushed. When the original Condor came out, people were stunned at the girth and questioned whether they’d be rideable. Now, years later, I find myself used to their size and desiring more surface area. I won’t go over 110cm in length, so I need more width. Is it possible to make a set of skiboards 18cm wide that can be easily ridden? There’s only one way to find out.

    3 – Continuing innovation in boot/binding combinations and designs. The softboot revolution has been fascinating to watch, even though I have not jumped in (I love my step-ins too much). I think there is potential to create a hybrid hard shell/soft shell design that will work well for skiboarding and provide both comfort and control. This will require an abandonment of the old standards of ski boot design that people are so comfortable with, but I believe that there must be a better option. The skiboarding community has already shown itself to be capable of some small scale design and production (BTK, custom softboot bindings, etc.), and I think that with the right combination of resources we could do it some more.

    SBOL: A bunch of your family members skiboard right? How did they get into the sport? Where do you ride as a family?

    I have introduced nine of my immediate and extended family members to skiboarding, and several of them now have their own gear and ride regularly. We generally ride at Blue Mountain, PA.

    SBOL: Can you share a few of your favorite wintersports photos with us?

    My first cliff drop ever at Midwest Meet 1:

    Backcountry at ShredFest:

    Several members of my family at Jay Peak last season:

    Part of this year’s crew at the Midwest Meet:

    Most of my collection (cell picture in poor light, but you get the idea):

    SBOL: Any final thoughts?

    I’m very thankful that I discovered skiboarding eight years ago. It has become a large part of my life and one of my favourite hobbies. Through this sport I have met many great people and travelled to places I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I hope to continue in the sport for many many years, and I hope to be able to contribute to it at least a little bit.
    Last edited by Greco; 02-10-2015, 12:06 AM.
    In pursuit of Peace, Harmony and Flow.....
    Think Like a Mountain

    Boards ridden, some owned: Sherpas, Spruce 120 "STS", Blunts, DS110 custom prototypes, Rockered Condors, Revolts, DLPs, Summit Custom 110s, Summit Marauders, Head 94s, Raptor prototypes, Osprey prototypes.

  • #2
    Great insight into the sport, thanks.
    Just these, nothing else !


    • #3
      It is always a pleasure riding with you Tim. Thank you for your contributions to the sport and I look forward to meeting and riding with you again.

      Glad to have you in my profile picture haha


      • #4
        Great profile and that skiboard collection is awesome (mostly because it makes my board hoarding appear to be at a normal level .... that collection is impressive!!)
        2016 Spruce tuned Head Jr. Caddys - 131cm
        2013 Spruce "CTS" 120s
        2010 Spruce "Yellow/Red" 120s
        2018 Spruce "CTS" Crossbows - 115cm
        2016 RVL8 Spliffs - 109cm
        2008 RVL8 Revolt "City" - 105cm
        2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Icky - 104cm
        2011 Defiance Blades - 101cm


        • #5
          Great insight of a true promoter of skiboarding and a very nice young man.

          Osprey, Sherpa, Custom Coda 120WT, Custom DS110, Condor (Green), Spliff

          Custom Twist Out duck foot bindings, Bombers (custom duck foot base plate and 3 pads), releasable S810ti on custom duck foot riser

          Nordica N3 NXT ski boots (best so far)

          Wife: 104 SII & 100 Blunt XL with S810ti bindings on custom "adjustable duck foot" risers

          Loaners: 125LE, 105 EMP, 101 KTP, 100 Blunt XL, 98 Slapdash, 88 Blunts


          • #6
            After you've seen Tim ride at Bohemia, CrazyBoy makes complete sense!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Courtney View Post
              After you've seen Tim ride at Bohemia, CrazyBoy makes complete sense!
              Indeed! Standing there watching him do all the crazy cliff/tree drops at Bohemia was a amazing.
              Tim tells me "go ahead you can do it!" I end up face planted into the snow :P "True story"
              RVL8 2012 Rockered Condor 110cm
              RVL8 2011 Kirk Thompson Pro "KTP" 101cm
              RVL8 2012 Rumspringa "MaryJane" 103cm
              RVL8 2007 ALP 110cm

              Bomber Elite2
              RVL8 2014 Receptor "Black"
              Spruce Composite Riser

              Nordica Ace of Spades 2013


              • #8
                Never had a bad day riding with Tim! It's hard to believe it's been six years since we first rode together.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluewing View Post
                  Many years ago I was a good bit less cautious about my safety
                  ..... what.


                  • #10
                    I've never met Tim in person, but would like to. It's obvious from our brief correspondence that he's a super-personable guy, talented and innovative to boot.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jackschmid View Post
                      ..... what.
                      Bohemia regresses me, Jack.
                      RVL8 Condors - The Flex will be with me, always...until I break them

                      Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!!"


                      • #12
                        Nice profile Tim!

                        ~ KTP ~ Revolts (mucho) ~ ALP/DLP ~ BCP ~ RC's ~ Blunt~ Blunt XL~ Spliff ~ Sticky ii~ Spruce LE /Osprey~ Crossbow ~ Bomber E2 Bindings / RVL8 Receptors
                        ~ Full Tilt Boots

                        ~ Your 1 ply guy

                        Big or Small I Ride them All !


                        • #13
                          Great interview Tim! You have a very impressive collection of boards.
                          2013 Spruce Sherpas w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
                          2023 Spruce Stingers w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
                          2015 RVL8 Blunt XLs w/Tyrolia Attack 13s
                          2020 RVL8 Sticky Icky Ickys w/Tyrolia SX 10s

                          Salomon X-Pro 80

                          Past boards: Salomon Snowblades, Line MNPs 89 & 98 cm, Five-Os, Bullets, Jedis, Spruce 120s, LE 125s, Ospreys, Crossbows
                          Summit 110s, Nomads, Jades, RVL8 ALPs, BWPs, KTPs, Tanshos, Rockets, DLPs, Blunts, Condors, RCs, Revolts, Spliffs