Jones Snowboards, Patagonia, RED, Kombi, Aurora Projekt, Alaska powder descents, one ball jay, Anon, unofficialnetworks.com, dedicatebrand.com
Growing up in a family of commercial fisherman in the beauty of the mountains, has permanently shaped Ryland Bell's lifestyle and outlook. Today the 24-year-old freerides out of Squaw Valley, CA in the winter, returning to Alaska to fish in the summers. "Growing up in Alaska taught me to love snow, to play hard outdoors, to be safe in the wilderness, and to work hard," explains Bell. "These principals also steer my snowboarding."
Winter traditionally starts for Bell in Fairbanks on the first of October and wraps up in the fjiords of Southeast Alaska in June. He clocks in well over 100 days a year on snow. While some riders spend summers sunning in the tropics, Bell heads back to the Alaskan village of Elfin Cove, where he captains his own boat. Repeated 20-hour days, hauling, cleaning, and icing salmon and halibut is grueling work. But, the reward for Bell is looking up from the grind to catch humpbacks swimming by, or watching the Peregrin falcons dive and the orcas breach. It's the same love of nature that propels Bell behind Jones up another rise of the mountain even steeper than the last.
Bells captured a few second place finishes at The North Face Masters, and came in 8th last year at the Freeride World Tour at Squaw Valley. His riding is characterized by smooth clean turns at high speed with tricks interlaced. This winter the Alaskan's filming with the Deeper crew both in the Sierras and back home in AK.
InterviewHome Mountain Range:
Hard one, riding Mt baker was amazing, inspiring, and eye opening. But riding 6 weeks straight of lift service pow at squaw valley twice in one season was all-time. My favorite line was stomping TB spines in blackwood twice, and conquering the first descent of Mckinistry peak in Tahoe.
Where did you ride this year?
Rode mostly tahoe, squaw and BC, but also Utah Jackson and baker/crystal. And of course some AK in the spring.
Boards you used this year and for what conditions:
I ride the flagship exclusively and the solution when I'm splitboarding.
The 161 flagship carbon, the sickest board ever made by far!!!! This board allowed me to take my riding to new levels daily!! So freaking pumped on this thing and can't wait to ride it in 64 and solution. The thing is unreal when it comes to responsiveness, life and pop. The shape is revolutionary, and I feel so much power and float, so stoked!!!
Why do you snowboard?
Snowboarding is really fun. I suppose its the incredible feelings of pure freedom I experience. Now though, it has become something more, it is a quest. To find the perfect lines to explore and to push my level of riding to it's limits. I want to ride spines, I want to ride fast.
How do you train for snowboarding?
I train by riding everyday, sure I run and hike as much as possible, but summers on the boat are not condusive to staying in good shape. So mostly it's just getting out there everyday in the early season.
What will you do after snowboarding?
I will always snowboard, by for work I will fish.
Why do you love to freeride?
It's all in the name. Free riding. It's about the freedom to express yourself. To create a path down the mountain that is unique to yourself that no one will ever ride the same again.
What does your dream line look like?
Dream line. 4000 vert of 60 plus degree spines in stable neck deep blower. Essentially if you stacked the barenjager on top of corrugated... Epic!!
When did you start splitboarding? Do splitboards work? Has splitboarding changed snowboarding for you?
Started splitboarding three years ago seriously, and yes it has changes everything and I love it!!