Feature | Tackling The California Double: From Surfing To Snowboarding In A Single Day
The author (standing) with Fox pro surfer Damien Hobgood (sitting on the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Shoreline). Photo: Erik Isakson/Chevrolet.
The California Double is the ultimate goal for any wide-eyed dreamer with a love for extreme sports and a taste for adventure. Under ordinary circumstances, you’d be forced to choose between surfing and snowboarding. “Can’t do both, bro,” they say. For those of us fortunate enough to live in Southern California, that doesn’t apply here. It’s Heaven’s playground.
Where else can you have the opportunity to go to the beautiful breaks of Huntington Beach, surf in the morning and then drive a couple of hours to the snow-capped mountains of Big Bear to snowboard in the afternoon? To experience these two extremes is without a doubt one epic ride.
Being someone who grew up with an unhealthy obsession for the movie Point Break, surfing became a passion for me. It led me to move to Southern California just so I could emulate what the “Ex-Presidents” had done (surfing not bank robberies). Surfing became a common experience for me. However, snowboarding never entered the picture and neither did the idea of being able to surf and snowboard in the same day.
Luckily, I had the chance to team up with Chevrolet and Fox to tackle the California Double. I wouldn’t be alone either. Fox pro surfer Damien Hobgood would be running the show, carving up waves and carving up the mountain all in one day’s time.
“I came from Florida and had never seen snow,” Hobgood said. “So when we came out here to California, all of our friends were like, we gotta surf and snowboard in the same day. That’d be so epic!”
Due to the fact that I already reside in Huntington Beach, it took no time for me to throw on a wetsuit and hit the morning waves. Now understand this, when you’re about to do something with a professional, prepare to be humbled and in awe of their talent. I caught a couple of waves and thought I had a decent day and then I looked down the line and saw Hobgood just killing it with ease.
Humbling…but awesome to watch.
After the morning surf session, we got out of the water and then scarfed down some delicious local tacos before we set off for our next adventure in Big Bear. As stylish as Hobgood was in the water, I was about to drive in something as awesome and stylish as his moves: a brand new 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Shoreline. This smooth riding beast had Wi-Fi and it easily allowed us to throw our surfboards and snowboards in the back and begin the next leg of our journey.
Once we arrived in Big Bear, I had to get dressed in snowboarding gear, which required more layers than I have grown accustomed to wearing since living in California. Regardless, I was a total novice so I made sure to get a helmet to protect myself for the inevitable falls to come.
After making sure I at least looked the part of a snowboarder, we headed up to Snow Summit. This was not an ideal spot for a beginner, especially when you’re just learning how to get off a chairlift. But you can’t be the one guy taking a pass while everyone else is going down the mountain with no fear.
Through trial and error, I had to figure out the simple basics. I fell about eight times within the first 10 minutes on the mountain. If it weren’t for the coaching of Fox Head’s Global Surf Marketing Manager Frankie D’Andrea, I’d still be on the mountain. Nonetheless, with his positive attitude and my desire to conquer this obstacle, I had to keep getting back up after eating it.
I’m glad I did because the rush of flying down the mountain is second to none. Make no mistake, my snowboarding skills are laughable but it went pretty well for the first time. However, the body takes an unbelievable beating when you wipe out that many times and it becomes exhausting, simply trying to flip your board and get yourself up.
Hobgood had already been up and down the mountain about 8 times before I finished getting down the mountain. He looked every bit as good on a snowboard as he did on a surfboard. Still, when I wasn’t on my butt and dodging children, the speed and total freedom you feel while snowboarding was indescribable.
Chevrolet’s motto is “Find new roads” in regards to seeking new adventures and living life to the fullest. The California Double delivered an adrenaline rush so gnarly that I still haven’t come back down from the epic experience.
Photos by Erik Isakson/Chevrolet.
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline Sports, a surfing enthusiast, an avid basketball fan, a pro wrestling connoisseur and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like”CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.