Snowboarding photos raise money for breast cancer

Jan 27, 2016

Scotty Wittlake rides down a wooden rail in 2001.
Credit Andy Wright

Boarding 4 Breast Cancer will be at the X Games opening event tonight. The group is celebrating its 20th year in 2016. To pull out all the stops, the group’s executive director wanted something big.


Kathleen Gasperini is the co-founder of Boarding 4 Breast Cancer. She helped start the group two decades ago when a young friend lost her life to the disease after a misdiagnosis.


Now the group is 20 years old and has gotten attention from members of the Beastie Boys. Gasperini felt that there was a gap in fundraisers for breast cancer. No one addressed the youth part of it, which was where she got her calling to raise money. Now in her 8th year of working with the X Games, Gasperini had a friend put together what they thought were the 20 most iconic snowboarding photos of all time.


“All these pictures took the game up a notch to show others that you too, can take it to the next level,” says Travis Graves, the curator of the photos.


Graves is the owner of Nemo Design, in Portland, Oregon. He’s also been photographing snowboarders for a while now. Wright says in choosing the photos, he looked for ones that showed how people pushed the boundaries of the sport.


Gasperini says the collection wouldn’t be the same without his input.


“We couldn’t have had such an iconic photo exhibition if it weren’t for Trevor," she says. "It would have been cool, we would have done the best we could, but this is really a step up.”


Andy Wright shot two photos featured in the show. One of them shows a snowboarder riding a wooden handrail down a steep and narrow staircase. He says it was a daring ride.


“People who were doing this stuff - the handrails they were riding were a lot safer, more traditional," Wright." They had ways out.”


But whenever someone calls something the “most” of anything, like we have here, people are going to debate it. Who says a photo is more iconic than another one? For Graves, that’s part of the fun.


“With any good show, I hope there will be some controversy," says Graves. "People are going to challenge it. There’s others that are just, there’s not even a question that, yes, this is the most iconic photo in snowboarding.”


The photos are being auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research.

Bids are open until January 31st.