Industry News

We're Still Rolling: Sessions @ SIA

October 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

Sierra at Tahoe’s John Rice & Tactics’ Matt Patton Up Next

22 years in the making, GM of Sierra at Tahoe John Rice, has been living the dream. Rice contributed to the “snowboarding energy” in Tahoe, and specifically at Sierra at Tahoe, in the early 90’s. At a time when snowboarding was barely allowed at the resort and had a non-existent park scene, Rice made a mark.

“We were making snowcats do things they weren’t made to do at a time when [snowboard terrain] parks weren’t even allowed [at Sierra at Tahoe].”

Arguably an early adopter and pioneer of snowboarding culture in Tahoe, alongside the likes of the South Shore Posse and the Tahoe City dump/Donner Ski Ranch, Rice took what he had learned from his early days working at Southern California’s Big Bear and Summit mountains. At Big Bear, Rice and his crew built the first full-time terrain park at a time when snowboarding was not even allowed. When the terrain park at Bear opened in the late 80’s, the sport took off in Southern California, and followed Rice North to Tahoe where he helped to evolve the terrain park scene at Sierra at Tahoe. “Tom Sims and Bert LaMar always said the mountain is just one continuous wave.

If we could shape that mountain, take snowcats, and create something, well then, we can have a terrain park.” said Rice in justifying the initial steps he took to create Sierra at Tahoe’s first park. “I kind of put my job on the line and did some midnight grooming –some renegade parks as we called them. I had to answer to the owner of the resort at one point when he discovered someone had been ‘joy-riding’ in the cats,” Rice laughs.

Read more & watch John Rice’s interview from #TheSessions SIA 

Tactics Co-founder Matt Patton and six of his friends were playing soccer one day in Eugene, Oregon, when they came up with a crazy idea. They were all snowboarders and lived for spending time on the mountain. Together, they figured it would be a dream come true to open their own snowboard shop.

“The whole idea was, why don’t we start a shop, and we’ll make enough money to all go snowboarding together,” shares Patton. “It was really naive, but it was that kind of go, go, go, late 90s mentality, and we were all young and no one had kids, and we all felt it was time for a risk.”

Patton, who had a separate personal career at the time, says he had to choose which path to take. Fifteen years later, the shop is still going strong and Patton doesn’t have any doubt he made the right choice, as he and co-owner Bob Chandler continue to run a strong retail shop and provide a solid community in the Eugene area.

He’s been attending SIA for the past 15 years, and still sees the show as a great tool:

“Even though increasingly there’s a lot of the ordering that needs to be done early, so it’s not like it was where you’re sitting at a table wherever you can find space and trying to chicken scratch out some orders to turn in, it’s just indispensable from the standpoint of seeing people that you don’t get to see.”

Read more & watch Matt Patton’s interview from #TheSessionsSIA 


Watch all of the Sessions @ SIA; featuring 686, Dragon Alliance, Zeal Optics, Burton Snowboards and many more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *