Stab Magazine | Ian Walsh snowboarding in... Hawaii

Ian Walsh snowboarding in… Hawaii

Did you know it snows in Hawaii? It does! Some mountain tops were recently dusted, and since it’s such a rarity, Ian Walsh couldn’t help getting at it… “It was a last minute trip for me,” Ian told Stab. “I wanted to get on the snow really bad, but the snow in the west part […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by Ehitu Keeling
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Did you know it snows in Hawaii? It does! Some mountain tops were recently dusted, and since it’s such a rarity, Ian Walsh couldn’t help getting at it…

“It was a last minute trip for me,” Ian told Stab. “I wanted to get on the snow really bad, but the snow in the west part of America has been really, really average in most places, so I’ve just kept at my ocean activities. After flying to LA with my snow gear, with plans to go after a few meetings there, I ended up coming home because nowhere really looked to be getting any fresh snow other than the 80,000 inches on the east coast. Feeling a little defeated that I didn’t get into the bindings yet this winter, I saw a message from Ehitu (Keeling) about possibly riding on the big island. I knew there was a ton of rain and cold weather (for Hawaii), so I put together a last-second day drip. Onto the first flight from Maui to the big island then straight up onto the road and into the snow gear once we broke some serious altitude. Hiking at 13,000 feet or so really drains you so after a full day or hiking around and having my mind blown that Hawaii could have snow that fun, it was straight back to the airport and off to Maui for a late dinner.”

Ehitu Keeling, who fired off this frame of Ian, fills us in on the snow activity up there: “The conditions have to be pretty much perfect. There’s an observatory up there, so the rangers say if the roads are open or closed. The mountain’s name is Mauna Kea, and it stands 13,700 feet above the ocean. The air up there is really thin, and there are no lifts on the mountain so you have to hike to wherever you want to snowboard. It’s also rare that we get this much snow, but the El Nino season has been producing enough rain and storms to come our way. The snow doesn’t last too long so when it’s there, you have to get it. It’s not like the states where the snow will last weeks – ours lasts days. We really scored this day, there were no clouds or variable winds, so it was all-time and about six feet of snow in some areas. There are no open fields there, it’s all lava rock and cinder lava. There are mountains of cinder that create all the slopes for us to hike up and snowboard down, and wind banks that you could hit, cause most of the time the wind up at the peak is really strong.”


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022