Venture Snowboards not making any new boards this year

Klem Branner (Venture Snowboards). photo by Justin CashA posting on the front page of Venture Snowboard’s website announced they would “not be delivering any boards to the market for the 2015-2016 season.” A former Colorado State renewable energy engineering student, Klem Branner, and his wife Lisa, formed Venture Snowboards in Silverton, Colorado in 1999. Their boards are known for being the most durable out there, no surprise given the testing grounds out their backdoor. Jarrett Luttrell, first snowboarder (of only two) to have ridden all of Colorado’s 14ers, smeared Venture’s name over many of the peaks.

While browsing the manufacturer’s web-store back in the spring of 2014 I remember a huge selection of past years boards to choose from. With Venture being so ambiguous about their long-term future it’s possible they just decided to spend this year unloading inventory. Let’s hope so, very few companies seem as committed to producing high quality big-mountain riding boards.

The Venture Odin, the “mythic brainchild of Johan Olofsson,” was one of only four models Venture produced during their last production year. In 1996, during the filming of his first major snowboard release, Johan Olofsson (Sweden) rode the 3000′, 50 degree, Cauliflower Chute outside of Valdez in 35 seconds. The descent (video here) earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and on Red Bull’s list of ‘5 greatest steep snowboard descents of all time‘. Smithsonian Magazine also placed the descent in ‘the top ten most important moments in snowboarding history‘. While on a Voile during the ’95-’96 TB 5 segment, Johan later rode on a Venture Storm-R split in TGR’s Deeper (2010) and has been a product designer for Venture since.


“I’m always looking into projects that will progress the sport, in this case freeride boards which are getting to be a rare breed in the industry. The split theory speaks for itself. Working on this level with Venture makes it possible to create and shape boards quickly, and I hope to get some good shapes out there for you all.”

-Johan Olofsson, 2010 (Read More)


This leaves 4 (or 5, depending how you count NS/HS sharing a factory) board companies in Colorado:
Never Summer and High Society  (Denver)
Oz (Denver)
Unity  (Dillon)
Weston  (Minturn)


Johan Olofsson, Jeremy Jones, and Metallica grab the closing segment in Mind The Addiction (TGR, 2002):



“Never before had a video part [Johan in TB5] captured the raw energy, aggression and sheer power of top-level snowboarding so perfectly. If snowboarding has a finest hour, those four minutes have my vote.” -Colin Whyte, former editor of Future Snowboarding

Johan Olofsson in Totally Board 5, “TB5“. Cauliflower Chute at 3:04. (Standard Films, 1996):




Silverton trying to expand heli-terrain for 2015-2016

Devin Overton, San JuansThe BLM extended the comment period on the expansion from 2 weeks to 6, until August 17th. Connie Clementson, field manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s Tres Rios Field Office “is careful to note that the proposal is only a modification – not an expansion – of Silverton Guides’ existing helicopter permit.” Meaning they are not asking for an increase in authorized use, just changing the terrain. The terrain would not be closed off to the general public.

If passed, the worry from backcountry users and locals seems to be that Silverton will follow up with bomb permits, likely closing access to the area for the whole season.

Here are a few of the areas in question (beta courtesy of


My favorite San Juans edit: