Starting in 1982, Stratton Mountain was home to snowboarding's biggest competition; the U.S. Open - an open comp that would draw in the biggest names each year from around the world. Riders ran gates down Suntanner and competed in halfpipe competitions on lower Byrnes Side trail before it moved to Big Ben after 1997. It's where a lot of snowboarding's most iconic memories were made and helped define the zeitgeist of snowboarding during those early days.
In 2012, Stratton hosted its last U.S. Open. Thus stripping the East of any major international competition. Rail Jams, USASA's and grass roots comps became the main source of events for East coast riders for years to come. It was relocated to Vail and only lasted a few more years before the plug was pulled altogether in 2020–leaving snowboarding without a U.S. Open at all.
This year, on the third weekend of March, Gary Land and Barry Dugan from East Street Archives brought back the vibe that the East Coast has been without for way too long. Homesick was a 3-day celebration of what many consider snowboarding's golden era in the place where it all went down decades ago. Riders convened from near and far; groms and veterans were back at Stratton to ride with friends, compete, and share their love of snowboarding. There were vintage board exhibitions, photo galleries and signings, even a poker tournament. The vibe was next level. Old friends reunited and new friends were made. The OG’s represented and the young guns gave us a glimpse into the future.
Homesick was long overdue. You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going. It reignited a sense of community and echoed the strong history that is East coast snowboarding.
If a photo is worth 1000 words, we wrote a million over the weekend. Read them below.