Before the Olympics, before the X Games and before the U.S. Open, there was the 1982 National Snow Surfing Championship held at Suicide Six in Woodstock. In 1982, Paul Graves launched the first national snowboarding event that would go on to become the longest-running event in snowboarding history.

Forty years later, Graves will do it again. An entrepreneur at heart and a snowboarding OG — old guy, Graves now brings the world The OG Invitational. Once again at Suicide Six, the best in the snowboard industry, and many of the original riders from the 1982 event will gather to celebrate the 40th anniversary in February.

Graves has gathered his friends, teammates, and other old guy riders from the 1982 event to sit around the virtual Red Bench at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, Thursday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m., to share stories, reminisce and discuss their hopes for the new event.

Panelists

David Alert left Indiana and relocated to Woodstock in 1981 to train with the Snowboard East Team in preparation for the 1982 National Snow Surfing Championships. He became a top 10 rider in the early 1980s. Today he is a driving force of the reggae scene back home as a promoter and radio show host.

Peter Ross was the evening newscaster at WNNE 31 by night and a secret snowboarder by day. He joined the Snowboard East Team and was a catalyst for media exposure both local and national. His career in media broadcasting has covered over 40 years.

Chris Karol as a teen was spotted showing exceptional skateboarding skills while upsetting the locals in Hanover, N.H. He joined the Snowboard East Team and immediately put those skills to use on a snowboard at the 1982 event. Karol went on to be a successful competitor and captured multiple titles along the way. He’s still involved in the industry today.

Tim Reiter is an example of snowboarding’s impact on winter sports. He grew up a passionate snowboarder. Today he is the manager of Suicide Six Ski Area and the host sponsor of The OG Invitational.

Jack Smith is one of the early pioneers of snowboarding, as a rider, designer, A-Team Snowboard founder and filmmaker. He competed at the original 1982 Nationals.

Graves discovered sliding on snow in the mid-1960s with a Surfer and became the first sponsored rider, appearing in the first TV commercial featuring snowboarding for Labatt beer in 1979. In 1982 he founded and created the first national championship, exposing the sport to millions of first-time viewers. The event is now known as the U.S. Open. He will moderate the Red Bench discussion.

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