When most people think of a typicalLake Forest High School athlete, the image of a built football player, a lankybasketball star or a preppy golfer comes to mind. While these sports andstudent-athletes are easily accessible and fun to watch there is a new moreunderground freesking and snowboarding movement occurring in the hallways ofLFHS that have started to attract everyone from former golf, wrestling andtrack stars to book worms and skateboarders. Freesking, a sport that started upin the late 1990’s is a type of skiing that allows riders to go both forwardand backwards on twin (or dual) tipped skis. It encourages creativity andfreedom just as skateboarding, surfing or its close relative snowboarding do.Freeskiers ride the terrain or snowboard park as well as the half pipe (Olympicgold medallist Shaun White) and to many Midwesterners surprise has gained asmuch or more popularity as snowboarding in the western region of the UnitedStates. Freesking or park skiing (for the terrain park aspect) has trulyresurrected the sport of skiing. Snowboarding emphasizes this same aspect ofcreativity and individualism as well. At this point you may be asking yourselfwhat does this have to do with Lake Forest High School students? Well startingtwo years ago the popularity of these two sports in the high school hasskyrocketed. The love and passion for freesking and snowboarding that theathletes involved exhibit cannot seem to be found elsewhere. People such as LFHSjunior Brian Trouch describe freesking as an addiction saying “the adrenalinrush cant be beat or found anywhere else” Each weekend and many weekday nights(under the lights) between the months of late November and early April swarmsof obsessed Freeskiers and snowboarders make the hour pilgrimage to the Meccaof Midwest skiing and snowboarding, the immaculate Raging Buffalo “snowboardpark”. The terrain park only hill boasts two rope tows, an intimidating 300foot vertical drop and a grizzled veteran owner/groomer who goes by Keith.Passionate LFHS riders Ben Van, Forster Meeks, James Wilson, Zach Moreno, MarkParitz, Elan Maj, Brian Trouch, Jake “Bob” Flood and Josh Gelman just to name afew descend upon Buffalo over fifty or sixty times a winter to ski/snowboard,train for upcoming events, film for sponsors or just have a good time. Thesestudents all seem to bring something unique to the skiing and snowboardingparty as well. Some of these riders excel in the local competitions making alarge chunk of money over the course of the winter. Maj, a freshmen hadoutstanding contest results over the course of the winter getting third in theBig Nut Open, Second in the Midwest Open, and Third at the Eneme OfState competition. Ben Van achieved a first place finish in the windycity rail jam while Mark Paritz had a first place finish in a USASAsnowboarding halfpipe event. Forster Meeks (myself) had a first place finish inthe Eneme of State competition and finally freshmen James Wilson put himself onthe national stage by advancing all the way to Copper mountain Colorado fornationals in multiple snowboarding disciples. These students athletes take thesport seriously, trying to follow in the footsteps of pro-snowboarder/DJ KodyMadro, a former LFHS student. Zach Moreno works as hard as anyone to reach thisgoal. When describing his daily skiing routine he claims to “train everyday inmy backyard (he has built a homemade rail setup) by myself to dial in tricksfor dew tour and X-games (half)pipe”. In addition to this he spends up to twohours each day on skiing website Newschoolers.com perfecting his skiingknowledge and memorizing trivial facts that will hopefully land him moresponsors. He is not the only one to do this though. Snowboarder Mark Paritz,with a unique style inspired by “my favorite musicians such as Flo-Rida,Wu-Tang Clan and N.W.A.” trains “in the desolate Raging Buffalo halfpipe almostdaily.” These riders are road warriors during the winter, traveling the Midwesttrying to make a name for themselves in a pond full of talented skiers andsnowboarders. Other LFHS students take a simpler (sometimes seen as morepassionate or “hardcore”) approach to the sports, not because they lack intalent but are tired of the rules and regulations contests have. SnowboarderJake “Bob” Flood is one of these riders. Seen by some LFHS students as a quietgood kid, Bob rides his snowboard nonstop on the weekends. With snowboardingconsuming his weekend time, he has little to no time to shower, dressing like agypsy-hipster vagabond. He can be found blasting his favorite band Slayer,riding faster and going much bigger than anyone else at Buffalo. His passion isevident in the fact that he doesn’t just stop snowboarding at Raging Buffalo.Flood brings his snowboarding to the streets hucking himself at huge, highconsequence urban features with no regard for his body. I, Forster Meeks, joinFlood in these on hill and urban riding adventures. We try to film and gatherup as much footage on camera as possible to document our riding in short 2-3minute film clips called edits. It is safe to say that the filming and editingproduced by Flood and Zach Moreno is top of the line and has been gainingattention and recognition on skiing websites such as Brobomb.com, Newschoolers.comand freeskier.com. It is clear to all that the future of skiing andsnowboarding at LFHS is bright and the sports, although seen as somewhatunderground are here to stay.