Cannabis Seeds

Legalize it: Academy Snowboards Propaganda Series Raises Awarness

By R.J. Villa

Academy Snowboards Propaganda on the Snow
Academy Snowboards always tries to address issues that make a difference in people’s lives with their Propaganda snowboard series. This year, the team at Academy Snowboards takes a cue from one of the most polarizing topics of debate (and one close to all of our hearts here at NUG Magazine) with the release of their “Legalize It” snowboard for this season’s Propaganda series. Peter Tosh once sang in song, “Legalize it… don’t criticize it. Legalize it and I will advertise it.” Academy Snowboards is doing just that; advertising and pushing this issue to the forefront of the snowboarding industry with this year’s “Legalize It” snowboard.

The “Legalize It” snowboard for Academy Snowboards’ Propaganda series came from the suggestion of team rider, Chad Tarbell. Tarbell has been riding for Academy Snowboarders since it was founded in 2002. He has been through a lot with the company and worked hard to progress his way in becoming a pro rider in 2007. Although his home base is in Big Bear Lake, California, he travels the world for photo shoots and competitions. He is a medical marijuana patient and quite proud of it.

“For snowboarding, I like to smoke hybrids like Headband,” stated Academy Snowboards pro rider Tarbell. “Nothing that makes me tired. I just like feeling loose and light on my feet. When I am chillin’ with injuries, I like to puff on something heavier. Right now, my favorite relaxing strain is just good old Master Kush.”

As a pro rider for Academy, he has dealt with many injuries over the years and spent a lot of time in hospital beds recovering from various surgeries. For his post operation pain management, a large part of the first steps to recovery, doctors’ prescriptions for medication helped manage the pain; however, the prescriptions were often for pills that are notorious for addiction and liver killing. Tarbell grew tired of getting hooked on pain pills and all the bad news that comes from steady doses of Vicodin.

Exploring alternative options, Tarbell got his medical marijuana card to heal up and recover in a less damaging and more natural way. Medical marijuana has had a big impact on his recovery from injuries and he thought the time was right for others to become aware and benefit from its medicinal value. Tarbell believes that those suffering should have safe access to medicinal marijuana without the obstacle of having to heal in the shadows. He truly believes that legalization is the path.

Propaganda “Legalize It” Snowboard: Concept Craft and Design
Academy’s Propaganda “Legalize It” line of snowboards identifies the large presence of medical cannabis users in the snowboard community. This is one of the only action sports companies using their products to spread the word about the medicinal properties of cannabis. While not everyone in the industry is ready to stand up and follow Academy’s lead on raising awareness, the feedback and response, since announcing the direction of the Propaganda line within and throughout the snowboard industry, has been quite positive.

“The response has been great,” explained Erich Dummer, Media Director for Academy Snowboards. “Most in the industry feel the same way even though they are not willing to announce it as publicly. But, snowboarding and snowboarders, in general, have always done what they feel is right and what feels good, so it is a natural fit within the snowboarding world.”

Academy Snowboards was founded back in 2002 by Jeff Baughn, who is originally from Auburn, California. He started Academy Snowboards in Oceanside, CA; but last summer, Baughn decided to move the company back to his hometown of Auburn. Academy Snowboards is truly a global company, having manufactured their snowboards in factories from all over the world; having worked with factories in Austria, California, Canada, China and Utah. They are currently using a factory in Austria for their snowboards and Dummer insists that Academy has found Austria to be the best in the business.

“They’ve been building boards for over 20 years, and their technicians and most of their engineers have been there since the beginning and seen it all,” explained Dummer. “They continue to lead the way in board technology and innovation. We have a great relationship with our factory and it has helped us develop the best riding and most durable snowboards on the market.”

“The Propaganda is made with a special WDT core, which is engineered in Germany and produced in Austria,” Dummer added. “It has a super unique flex that’s soft and easy to ride and won’t break down or noodle-out over time like most park boards. And, it has an amazing pop that differentiates it from the rest of the soft jib boards on the market; super fun for small jibs and butters, but can hold its own on big jumps or gnarly features. Not many boards on the market can say that.”

Academy Snowboards’ Propaganda “Legalize It” line is available in traditional and reverse camber, taking into consideration the direction snowboard design has taken over the past few years. It was designed for the intermediate and advanced freestylers who will find this to be a great jib stick. It is advertised as an ultimate park board with a blunted tip and tail. It is a true twin tip, reverse cambered, infused with a carbon synthetic mix and aspen wood components that give the core an amazing flex pattern. The board comes in various sizes to accommodate groms, gals, and guys alike. Their traditional camber options measure 145, 150, 153, 155, and 158, and their reverse camber options measure 149, 152, and 156.

“It took a lot of work to create the graphic just right. We had the design team at Second World Design lay everything out and fine tune it over months of time,” said Dummer. “In the end, they feel it’s one of their best and most exciting works to date, and we feel the same.”

Academy Snowboards has contracted their line of snowboards over the years, narrowing its focus on each individual snowboard being the best. They have three men’s series and one women’s series, offering traditional and reverse camber boards in each series to cater to both styles of riders. Dummer upholds that quality is at the core of the company and Academy Snowboards does not cut costs with cheap materials or milled out cores for a better bottom line at year’s end. They firmly stand behind the quality of their products and the comfort of their performance.

Keep on the Lookout for Academy Snowboards
You can see the Propaganda “Legalize It” board being ridden by Tarbell and Jonas Michilot in the new Videograss movie, Shoot the Moon.  They are currently filming on it for next year’s Videograss project as well.

Being a pro rider for Academy Snowboards takes Tarbell state to state as he competes in contests and shoots sequences for magazines and films. Exciting and exotic locations may feed the gravity junkie in Tarbell, but his appetite for high quality medication always has him waiting for his return back to Cali; more specifically, his favorite collective in Hollywood, California.

“Strains in other states outside of Cali just aren’t the same,” explained Tarbell.  “Every time I am gone, I want to come back just for that reason. I do not know what it is, the strains, the knowledge on growing or whatever. From my own knowledge, Los Angeles has the best strains I have ever tried. The Hollywood OG at Hollywood THC…FIRE!”

Tarbell’s brother, Ryan Tarbell, is also on the Academy Snowboards pro rider team. He also lives in Big Bear and the two of them have used their sibling rivalry to help push each other’s riding over the years. Sibling team riders appear to be a theme for the Academy Snowboards team, as brothers Jonas and Jordan Michilot out of Minnesota are riding for them as well. Jonas has been on top of snowboarding for years, being filmed for premier movies and continuing to put out some of the most progressive rail and urban riding year after year.

“I think we’re the only snowboard company out there with two sets of brothers on the team,” stated Dummer proudly. “It shows how close everyone is to each other. The team is family, both metaphorically and literally.”

Academy Snowboards is also putting on their 7th Annual Snowboard Camp at Boreal this spring, in April 2012. What started as something small has developed into a huge gathering for Academy Snowboards’ team riders, friends, and campers with an awesome weekend of progression and fun. The camp is for riders ages 6-60 and everyone is guaranteed to learn something new. Academy Snowboards also continues to offer its Foundation Scholarship and gives 1% of sales back to kids who are keeping their dream to shred alive while going to college.

“We find ways to give back wherever we can,” explained Dummer. “Although we’re small, we feel it’s super important to make a difference and give back to the shred community that has given us so much.”

For more information on Academy Snowboards, please visit their website at:

Academy Snowboards
P.O. Box 4628
Auburn, Ca. 95604
Tel 619-243-1455
Fax 619-243-1455


Author: Steve

Built Like That!

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