Thursday, November 3, 2011

Absolutely Radical - The World’s First Snowboard Magazine (A Literary Review)


Today we take a look at Absolutely Radical, the World’s first snowboard magazine. Here are a few things we learned.
  • Snowboarding magazines today are 328% more expensive but on the plus side you do get 820% more pages.
  • The first edition of Absolutely Radical featured 61% of all the people who have ever received a Transworld Snowboarding Legend Award.
  • Modern snowboards are 2.5 times more expensive and yet they are also about $9,500 cheaper.
  • Halfpipes are 2.7 times higher, but they are also approximately 2.7 times softer as they are considerably less covered in shit loads of moguls

Come with us now on a journey of historical discovery…

Here's the full list of Transworld Snowboarding Legend Award winners, which includes a brief description of their contributions to the sport.

Absolutely Radical was first published in March 1985 and in October 1986 it became the International Snowboard Magazine. It sadly went out of business in 1991 as it was squeezed out by the bigger publishing companies. It was edited and published by Tom Hsieh Jr. who now plys his trade as a consultant in the world of San Francisco politics. There’s a short interview with him in this very old article on Yobeat

So there’s the story of the World’s first snowboarding magazine. The World's just a little less radical without it.

The first edition of Absolutely Radical magazine can be found online here thanks to Bud Fawcett. It’s been up there for a year, but only had 194 views so far, go ahead and show it some love. It’s worth having a read in its original form, to enjoy anything else from that period you’d need to pay over $10,000 for a snowboard or alternatively get an old man very, very drunk. 
There are a few other editions of Absolutely Radical and International Snowboard Magazine on the same site, where you can look forward to reading the first ever snowboard test and some of the earliest and most basic the trickology articles, including:

Fuck knows how people coped in between those two editions. 

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  1. My favourite article ever!

  2. "It’s worth having a read in its original form, to
    enjoy anything else from that period you’d need to pay over $10,000 for a
    snowboard or alternatively get an old man very, very drunk." It's late, I'm tired, I'm that old man. I was the marketing and advertising director for International Snowboard Magazine for the 87/88, and 88/89 seasons. I have one of the only known complete collections of Absolutely Radical / International Snowboarding Magazine and was researching what to do with it when I came across your site. I'm off to the Caribbean to pursue sailing, and free diving a la the movie "Big Blue". All the best. I'm at

  3. You have your facts wrong the first snowboard magazine was produced by Michael George of San Jose, owner of Gremic skate store. I think it was called Snowboarder, the first edition had Steve Cab in Tahoe on the cover!

  4. More than happy to be proved wrong. If you find a copy I'd be interested in seeing it.


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