Letters To the Editor and
From the Editor of

Questioning Lauren’s standing up for Lindsey
Lindsey Jacobellis Treated Harshly by NBC for Snowboard Cross Gaff 2/20/06
How do you get through Summer? 8/2/05
Corey Rudl’s Untimely Death 6/3/05
Learn the Fundamentals of Snowboarding 1/16/05
2 Broken Ribs – Cannot Ride for 6 Weeks 1/2/05
Lay off Tara! 9/4/04!
Tara Dakides Sets a Bad Example 2/13/04

February 21, 2006

Ms. Teton,

I was googling Lindsey Jacobellis to see what happened to her when your post was the 1st result. I read through your remarks and would like to ask you a question. Why is it that people seem to forget that the Olympics are hundreds of years old and for all of those years the “best of the best”, if you will, are sent from nations to compete to be the best and win? Not to just have fun. I agree, snowboarding should not be an Olympic sport because of that fact. You are absolutely right, most do it just for the fun. But some do not. Some do it because they have always dreamed of being in the Olympics. When an athlete purposely does something to “show off” instead of keeping a level head and making sure they bring home that gold, it is wrong and against the entire purpose of the Olympics. For you to also defend Bode Miller is also ridiculous. He is a spoiled brat who uses the “too high standards” card as his defense. Yes, after being the best in the world people are going to expect the same if not more from you. Some people can handle the pressure and end up being the best, some cannot and end up skiing off the side of a mountain after being disqualified. Oh, and then they go to the media and give a whole bunch of excuses and scapegoat until they are blue in the face. I am not trying to put down Lindsey, but when you tryout and get into the Olympics you are representing our fine country, and recently the world hasn’t really looked fondly of us. Trying to showboat instead of getting an easy gold metal just proves to the rest of the world that their opinions of us are absolutely right.


Brian Bonafede


Hi Brian,
Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion. The short of it is  that I don’t believe that Lindsey J. was “showboating.” I believe she  was reacting instinctively, and that was her mistake. Yes, even the  best of the best make mistakes. That is why it was shocking. But I  don’t believe she should be vilified, as she is being.

February 20, 2006

Hi Ms. Teton,

I just read your quotes in the “Lindsey Jacobellis Treated Harshly by NBC for Snowboard Cross Gaff, According to Snowboard Website Owner” article.

I wanted to thank you for being so vocal in Lindsey Jacobellis’ defense. I was disgusted by the way the media jumped on her after the SBX finals. I was further disgusted by the way the media took quotes from her coaches and other snowboarders out of context to make them appear that they were also very critical of Jacobellis’ grab and fall. NBC even had Jerome Bettis get in on the action. NBC wasn’t alone in their criticism of Jacobellis – the AP also ran a couple of stories on the SBX final that bordered on mean (sorry, can’t find the links). Do a Google News search on her name and you’ll see what I mean.

It seems that every main stream media outlet is inundating us with stories on what a selfish rotten girl Jacobellis is, and how she basically let her team and country down. It’s nauseating, really. Up until I read your comments I thought I was alone in my disgust. It was affirming to read what you said and realize there are other people in the world that realize that this stuff happens sometimes in competitions.

I am a skier, and I use that term loosely (ha, maybe I should try boarding out, instead), and an avid sports fan. I don’t necessarily follow snowboard competitions religously, but I’m glued to the Olympics, X-Games, Gravity Games, etc. I’m not a Jacobellis groupie, but from my limited exposure to her I’ve seen what an outstanding ambassador she is for her sport. She is well spoken, articulate, nice and seems hell bent on breaking every punk stereotype snowboarding has. Hardly the villain the media wants to make her.

I am hesitant to make any US Olympic athlete a villain. As a former NCAA Div 1A athlete I understand and have a great deal of respect for the hours of training our Olympic team puts in. It seems, though, that if we are looking for a villain, there are a number of athletes that better fit the bill – Bode Miller, the men’s speed skating team, the Austrian X-Country team, etc. I really don’t see the necessity of picking on a 20 year old until she cries. Bottom line – she’s arguably the best in the world at Boarder X, she’s an Olympic Silver Medalist, and at 20 she’s got 2, maybe 3 Olympics left in her.

Watching these Olympics I have been so impressed with the level of sportsmanship exhibited by (in particular) the US Snowboarding team. They look like they are having fun and that they realize that at this level of competition, they are competing more against themselves than the other athletes. The behavior of the media and some fans and other athletes after the woman’s SBX final, with the call for Jacobellis’ virtual crucifixion, has been a gross exhibition of unsportsmanlike behavior.

I hope some how some of these good vibes get through to Jacobellis and she realizes that what the media is saying is not representative of how sports fans in general feel. We are proud of her and her Olympic Silver medal.

Thanks again for being the lone voice in the wilderness,

Tara R.
Bellingham, WA
Home of Mt. Baker 🙂

August 2, 2005

Dear Lauren,

I have to ask how in the world do you make it through the summer?

I’m about to explode from the desire to ride. Even to the point of just jumping back on my ’89 Tony Hawk which I really have not ridden since 1989. I’m afraid these young skaters would see that wide board and just die from laughing at what we used to ride in the day.  I mean this is even more painful then breaking up with ex after nine years. Here is my address so please send me something to watch so I can dream of white powder again.
Ken Martin

Hi Ken,
The answer is, summer is tough to get thru, and I’m suffering a bit too. I even got on a skateboard last week, and as a beginner of advanced age, I know it’s not the smartest thing to do, considering the consequences of a fall.

In the winter we get on our boards for a cool wintery fun adventure regularly, and then when spring comes, the snowy fun is over. I’m cryin for it.

Some summer fun alternatives that I’ve found are:

Wakeboarding – recaptures that snowboarding rush, but you have to have friends with a boat and equipment, or find a place to take a lesson.

Surfing – harder than snowboarding. Maybe the hardest sport. And can be life-threateningly dangerous.

Riding my Vespa – a pleasant way to re-capture that snowboard Zen “flowing” feeling of
seeing the scenery spin past you.

Summer Snowboard Camp – on a glacier or in the southern hemisphere. If you can get it together: the money, time, equipment, and foresight to make a trip, this can be a lot of fun. More on Camps here.

I guess bicycling, rock climbing, and river sports might help too. I had fun river-tubing in CT recently. Check out
And you can always catch up on those snowboard movies and mags you have lying around.

Winter is coming – hang in. Even though it’s August, the little yellow leaves are starting to fall down, reminding me that the cold white stuff will replace them soon.


June 3, 2005

Dear Lauren,

I was looking for information about Corey Rudl’s tragic death.  I have his course and numerous other products and met him once in the UK. I spoke to him for about 20 minutes and really warmed to him ­ he was a genuinely nice guy.  Such a sad loss.

David Oakley


Dear David,
I had no idea! What happened?


Dear Lauren

Yeh, died in a racing car accident.

(Details of Corey Rudl’s untimely death here)


Thanks for the info. I am truly surprised, and saddened!
There’s a guy who had everything going for him. A newlywed too!

I found that I even bought his first book back in 1996, before he was marketing on the Internet;
“Car Secrets Revealed.” Just found it last month while cleaning the bookshelf! I guess I’ve been a fan of his enthusiastic and original marketing methods for 10 years already.

And of course his “Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet” course taught me about making money on the Internet before I even conceived this website.

He’s my Internet Mentor and I’m so sorry he’s gone. He was brilliant.

best regards,


hi, is there a site that you can watch video and learn the fundamentals of snowboarding…getting my children started?


Dear FN,

There are videos I can recommend, but I think THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is for them to have some lessons from certified instructors. So I recommend that you spend the money on lessons now instead of videos.

So many people think they can learn on their own, and although they can learn to stand up and go fast, they don’t learn to steer and turn competently. They are safety menaces to others and to themselves when they start speeding down the slopes and are not agile enough to avoid others, and obstacles.
We don’t want your kids to be like that.

I have been compiling a list of snowboard deaths from this season alone and it is shocking. (See below.) I believe the cause of most of the “tree deaths” is the fact that kids just go bombing down a gladed tree run way too fast and they can’t steer and turn in time, so they hit trees, with tragic results.


Dear Lauren,

On thurs i was involved in a very serious snowboard accident. I was on a narrow blue run, traveling at high speed, when another rider shot out of the trees, i never saw him cause i was on my toe edge about to turn a corner. he said he saw me, but didn’t have time 2 stop.

 When he hit me, i felt something snap. i rolled several times. unable 2 breath.  i thought i could ride to the bottom, but was unable 2 get up. i had to be taken down mt on a stretcher, where an ambulance was waiting, i was in the hospital 9 hrs, getting cat scans and xrays.

i have 2 broken ribs and CANNOT ride for at least 6 weeks.

Whenever i’m riding, no matter how fast i’m going when i’m merging i ALWAYS slowdown,  but i never realized how important it really was. the person who hit me  wasn’t even on a real run, which i know is fine, but if he had slowed down just a bit ,he wouldve seen me earlier, or missed me altogether. he was lucky, and had no injuries. he stayed with me until the paramedics came.  but  i just hope that when riders merge, they slow down just a bit.

i was very lucky, it could have been alot worse. Last yr i cracked a rib, but it was no where near as painful as this. i was hoping that maybe you could post this letter, so other riders know the significance of two people colliding at high speeds.  its comparable to a  high speed car accident.  the results could be catastrophic.

Well thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

signed       Shannon

From: Lauren Traub Teton
Date: Monday, September 6, 2004
Subject: Re: lay off

Hi Jamie,
Thanks for the letter, and the positive spin you put on the situation is provocative.
Maybe I sounded angry and like I was picking on Tara.
I was annoyed, for sure, and I don't like to see people hurt themselves when it is avoidable. I'm sure you don't either.

Here are my facts:

I watched Tara do the trick on tv. She started from 15 feet or more high, rode down a ramp raised WAY above street level, and fell off, not like we do onto snow, but she fell down 6 feet or more onto street CONCRETE!!
David Letterman was watching from inside, and was so stunned and upset at her injury, that he cancelled the rest of the taping of his show! (He seems to like Tara – everybody does!)

This was not a situation where she got to practice the trick over and over. It was a totally manmade urban ride.
AND Tara is sponsored by a HELMET company, for goodness sake. She was just showing off, not being sensible, and not supporting her sponsor.
People learn by example, and I think she set an unsafe example.
Don’t you?

Keep in touch, and please read the next email I’m sending you in 3 minutes about the new


September 4, 2004
Subject: lay off
from: Jamie Tine

Why have you singled out Tara Dakides for not wearing a helmet? (see original article below)
Have you been on the slopes to see the amount of riders without them?
The people kids have daily contact with are responsible for them not wearing helmets.
On top of that, the pictures you have on your website has your riders without gear.
Trust me, I am 30 years old now and I wear protective gear, getting old sucks, but to single out a rider and badmouth them the way you did is immature and sets another "bad example"
I like the way the rest of your site addresses safety, and I think you are doing a great thing with your site, but leave single riders alone. People have been saying wearing pads is {sissy} since I can remember.
My point is that the way you addressed the problem just looks like an attack. I guess that's how Americans handle everything they don't agree with, attack it.

Here’s something to think about, when I was a baby there was no such thing as car seats. My dad jokingly says “we used to just let you roll around on the floor.” The way we raise kids today is to be afraid to get hurt. That pain and physical contact is bad. Now you may need you use your imagination here, but a kid who is afraid to use his body to defend himself will pick up a weapon. My kid will come home with bruises, and will probably break a bone or two, and they will be stronger for it.

I think Tara set a great example: wear a helmet and avoid ambulance rides. You see we are not that different, I just found something positive, and you found a way to attack and be negative. Have you thought about what you are teaching young impressionable minds with your statement?
Everybody wants to be a hero. Well true heroes don’t have an agenda, it just happens to them.

Tara Dakides Sets a Bad Example

This letter was published Feb. 13, 2004 in the NY Daily News in a shortened version.

To the Editor;

“It’s all about progression.” That’s what they say about snowboarding. What a bunch of baloney. In truth, it’s all about conservatism, macho, and fashion follow-the leader.

When Tara Dakides performed a dangerous snowboard stunt on ramps and man-made snow outside the Ed Sullivan Theater for the Letterman show the other day, she was not wearing a helmet or padding.

Tara, because you didn’t wear a helmet, you now have stitches in the back of your head. And probably a big bump. Doctors surely had to shave some of your pretty hair.

And you’ve set a marvelous example for the snowboarders who idolize you. Your actions have shown that it’s better to look cool when doing dangerous tricks, by not wearing a helmet and padding, than to be safe. Brava!

Lauren Traub Teton