Radical Recreation: Documenting the ride

Shannon Evans snowboarding at a local street spot Photo credit: Brandon Johnson

No matter the season, Shannon Evans, associate of arts major, always finds a way to keep busy. From skateboarding in the summer, snowboarding in the winter and filming throughout the whole year, Evans does it all.

After falling in love with board sports at the age of 14, Evans’ lifestyle has been based around the skate and snowboard community. Evans was first exposed to skateboarding by her brothers. She would use their boards to push around the garage, finding her balance at a young age.

“They would always be outside skating in front of the house and they had a flat rail they would skate every day,” Evans said. “All my brother’s friends would come over and they would have a big session, it just looked like a lot of fun and it made me want to do that.”

What attracted Evans to board sports is the fact that there are no rules.

“My favorite thing is the freedom of expression. If you just want to cruise around you can do that or you can learn tricks and there’s such a variety of different tricks you can learn,” Evans said.

The feeling of accomplishment is what keeps Evans pushing through the difficult-to-master sports.

“It sucks at first when you’re falling a lot and getting hurt constantly, but once you get past that and actually getting good at it then it feels good because you know that you are pushing yourself to be better at something,” Evans said.

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Through her accomplishments, Evans has come across serious injuries. Five years ago, Evans suffered a head injury from skating, but that only inspired her to get back on the board after her recovery.

“Even when she had to re-teach herself some of the skills that she lost due to her injury, she pushed herself to not only learn those skills again, but become better than she was before. To me that says a lot about her,” said Briana King, physical therapist assistant major and close friend of Evans.

Evans is influenced to improve her skill level and style by the growth of females in board sports.

“For skateboarding and snowboarding, I’d say my biggest inspirations are watching female riders doing something that has a really good style and everyone double takes and are like, ‘Whoa, a girl just did that and it was sick!’ That’s what inspires me,” Evans said.

Shannon Evans doing a nosegrab to fake on the bank at Loretta French Skatepark. Photo credit: Brandon Johnson

Having a skate session with her friends and feeding off their high-energy keeps Evans wanting to land more tricks.

“During the time that I’ve known Shannon she has progressed quite a bit, she’s done a lot of stuff especially in the last year where I’ve been pretty hyped on it and it’s really cool knowing someone and just watching them progress throughout the time that you know them,” Brandon Johnson, close friend, said. “Shannon has done quite a bit, she has a whole bunch of new tricks, started to figure out her style, knows what she likes and she’s been kicking ass when she’s not behind the lens.”

In addition to skateboarding and snowboarding, Evans also enjoys filming her friends. One reason she decided to further her education after high school was to take photography and videography classes provided at UAA to expand her knowledge of filming.

“I just want to be around the snow and skate scene as much as possible filming, because filming skating is really fun and I don’t get bored of it,” Evans said. “There’s a number of different things I can be filming but I know that if I do it for a couple seasons I’ll get tired of it, but I’ll never get tired of filming skating.”

Along with Evans’ photography and filming, she provides support anytime her friends need her, whether it’s pulling bungee at a snowboard spot or building ramps.

“Shannon is on it with the filming, photo-taking and everything, she loves that stuff,” Johnson said. “So that’s what she really what she brings, just someone that you can rely on especially when you’re short on people at a spot, you really need every pair of hands you can get.”

Evans’ determination is contagious and often inspires those around her.

“Shannon’s love for both of these sports makes me, someone who is not considered a snowboarder or skateboarder, so much more excited to continue learn and get better,” King said. “She has been a fantastic teacher to me, and still continues to be. I couldn’t think of anyone else I would rather have helped me improve. I look up to her, her skills and her determination to be a better snowboarder and skateboarder.”

What Evans can do year round is film and have sessions with her friends, whether it is skating or snowboarding.