Bear Blog


TALES FROM THE DAWG: Team Rider Zak Hale

Tales From the Dawg Banner for web

Zak Hale… We caught up for a quick interview with him a few weeks ago and just as his tricks are nicely pulled off his comments were straight and to the point.  Hale’s been living in San Clemente this summer and he’s there until October when he starts moving around for the winter season.  He just been doing his thing… surfing, skating and doing his physical training. But even though Utah will be his base camp Hale is excited to come back to Bear once the winter hits and of course for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails (HDHR).Zak Hale Getting Air

During our interview Hale was reminded of his long history with Bear Mountain as he was reminiscing about how he actually learned to Snowboard at Bear as a kid.  He moved to Big Bear at the age of 4 and the rest is history…”It really all just went from there. I learned to ride at Bear when I was 5… I’d do all the contest and growing up there one thing lead to another.  I eventually got more sponsors and here I am today.” Hale was also remembering the very first HDHR. “11 years… that’s crazy to think about”.  And in those 11 years Hale has competed in every single HDHR with the exception of the first one where he was only a young spectator.

The year Hale won 3rd place was of particular significance to him.  “I don’t remember exactly what year it was, but it was great to be up on the podium in front of all my friends from High School.  That was pretty cool for sure.”  Since that time Zak Hale has definitely been one of the local kids in the industry making it happen.

It was a pleasure catching up with Zak and get his perspective on HDHR.  After his interview got finished up nice and quick we stated… “Well, that was easy enough”, to which he responded “Easy peezy lemon squeezy.”  If only we could make our own riding look as effortless and “easy peezy” as Zak does on any given day in the People’s Park.

Zak Hale
Join us Saturday, September 27th for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails. Tune in next Tuesday for another edition of Tales From the Dawg where we’ll be bringing you up to speed on what the plan is for this year at the 11th Annual HDHR!

Filed Under: Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.

Posted: 9/12/14, 9:31am, by Dustin Murphy. See Post


TALES FROM THE DAWG: Bear Mountain & Red Bull Change the Game

Tales From the Dawg Banner for web

Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails is now in its 11th year. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies… But what got us to this point here in Bear Mountain history? Even though it seems like yesterday when this event was in its creation period a lot has happened since our inaugural year. Let’s enjoy a little flashback, shall we? Everybody look up at the sky, put on your thinking face, and we’ll start the chime music and ripple your screen…

Bear Mountain & Red Bull Change the Game

TFTD Old HDHR Rave Card (1 of 1)
After the success of the inaugural year of Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails (HDHR) there was only one direction for the event to go… UP!  Each year the footprint of the event got bigger and bigger and so did the features.

“We at Bear Mountain always had the vision to take features from our HDHR event and create a little area where kids could hit all of them in our park.” Clayton Shoemaker, Director of Park Development and Youth Marketing explained. “We wanted HDHR to be almost a sneak preview for new features that would be added to our park once winter came. When the relationship was made with Red Bull for them to become a part of HDHR we seized the opportunity to grow.  We had the vision and Red Bull helped us make it happen.”

TFTD Red Bull Plaza (1 of 2)In 2010 for the 8th Annual HDHR Red Bull signed on to sponsor the event. That year the Bear Mountain Park Crew was able to take the build to the next level pushing the progression of the riders as well as the build. What started that year eventually grew into a little area of the People’s Park that we’ve all come to know and love, The Red Bull Plaza.

“The first year Red Bull joined the game, we took one feature from HDHR and place it in Street Scene.” said Clayton Shoemaker. “That is what spawned the Red Bull Plaza which we’d implement in the following season.”

TFTD Red Bull Plaza (2 of 2)
In future years the Red Bull Plaza would grow and even move to a few locations on the mountain including Powder Bowl and Street Scene. In the 2012/13 Season The Red Bull Plaza even featured an infamous cop car feature which was designed in collaboration with SPT and which quickly became a favorite for riders to hit. The entire Red Bull Plaza that year including the cop car feature was even featured on an episode of Mountain Movers on the National Geographic channel and with nationwide exposure Bear Mountain was once again in the national spotlight for its progress in park development.

The Red Bull Plaza would eventually find its home near the base of the mountain in what we refer to as “Lower Park Run” which had proven to be the perfect home for the Plaza as it can been seen by spectators enjoying a drink at our world famous sun deck in front of the Beach Bar!

Join us Saturday, September 27th for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails. Tune in Friday, September 12th for more “Tales from the Dawg” as we interview Team Rider Zak Hale!

Filed Under: Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.

Posted: 9/9/14, 3:47pm, by Dustin Murphy. See Post


TALES FROM THE DAWG: Team Rider Jordan Small

Tales From the Dawg Banner for web

After proving last season that it is indeed a “Small” world after all (check out the video edit “Bear Mountain’s Jordan Small’s World”), Jordan Small is returning this season to Bear Mountain as a Team Rider once again!  Last year was Small’s inaugural year as a Team Rider, and as he’s the “freshie” as he liked to put it we thought we’d see what he’s been up to during the off season and get his perspective on Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails (HDHR).

How has Jordan Small spent his summer?  “Hanging out and surfing a bunch!  Took a little surf trip to Indonesia for two weeks with some buddies”, said Small when we were catching up with him now that’s he’s return to So Cal for a summer filled with surfing and skating. ”Also took a little time to go up to Mt. Hood this summer for some snowboarding”.  The thought of snowboarding all year round just made us more jealous here in So Cal as we stare at the dormant features that the boys at Brownie are preparing for this coming winter.

TFTD Jordan SmallThis year will be Small’s one year anniversary as a Team Rider, even though he’s far from the new kid on the block.  “I grew up riding at Bear and Summit while I was living in Lake Forrest.  I must have been 6 or 7 coming up to Big Bear with my Dad and brothers and cousins.  I learned to board at Summit back in the West Ridge Days.”  For the 3 previous seasons before Small became a Team Rider he started filming for Bear’s Webseries Sunday’s In The Park and he has had long history of attending HDHR events. “I’ve done the past 2 years of the event,” said Small. “Last year I got third place and the year before I qualified for the Rail Jam.”

HDHR has always held a special place for Small having grown up around the resort and having attended almost every single event.  “I used to go to them every year growing up.  I was just one of those kids running around the booths trying to get free stuff,” Small said
with laugh.  And always the gentleman on the slopes he finished his remarks with, “I’d like to give a shout out to my sponsors if I could.  Thirty Two, Etnies, Step Child, Dragon, Hobo Headwear, Active and Wend Wax.”

Join us Saturday, September 27th for this year’s 11th Annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails. And don’t forget to tune in Next Tuesday for more “Tales from the Dawg” to find out how Bear Mountain and Red Bull Changed the Game!

Filed Under: Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails.

Posted: 9/5/14, 8:56am, by Dustin Murphy. See Post


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