With a hall of fame for just about every other major league sport in the country, why hasn't anyone thought of this yet!?!? Thankfully, Matt Savage (founder of XHall.org) has, and was nice enough to sit down with us to give us a little more information.
So give us a little life story...
I grew up skateboarding, riding motorcycles, doing lots of BMX, skiing in the winters, and surfing in the summers. Throughout my life I’ve had subscriptions to all the magazines, so I’ve always been familiar with the most influential and famous athletes. When I started going to college at the University of Colorado in 1987, snowboarding was still in its’ infancy, and I soon traded in my skis for a snowboard like so many others were doing at the time (twin tips weren’t invented yet!). While riding a lot with the Coghlan brothers, Kevin Delaney, Dave Dowd, and others around CO at the time, I founded the University of Colorado snowboard team, that’s still in place today. During the summers we would all go out to Mt. Hood, where we would camp at night and hike up to the glaciers during the day. We would also make trips up to Blackcomb, but the bears made camping a little more interesting to say the least. After school I moved out to San Diego, where I began concentrating on surfing throughout the warmer months, and spending winters riding in Vail. Eventually I settled in San Diego after having a wife and kids, so they could stay a little more grounded, and since San Diego offers all the action sports opportunities with Big Bear and Mammoth not too far away. The funny thing is that although I’ve been doing action sports my whole life, nobody ever called them action sports until more recently.
And how did the idea come to be?
About 2 years I began forming the idea, since I saw there was no real professional or physical entity set up yet. The other halls of fame in the individual action sports are mainly run out of shops, normally as a way to promote the shop.For example the skateboard hall of fame is located in a shop in Simi Valley called Skatelab, and they select their inductees through a committee, which is fine if that’s how they want to do it.We just felt that a small group of individuals shouldn’t wave a magic wand and dictate who’s in the hall of fame, since there’s only opinion to base the inductees on.There’s a surfing hall of fame run out of Huntington Surf and Sport, but it also includes industry execs and others that aren’t actual athletes. The ski and snowboard hall of fame is run out of a small ski chalet on the upper peninsula of Michigan…most of the ski inductees are old guys in big wool sweaters, wool pants, wooden skis, and wearing bota bags around their necks.Most of these guys just aren’t relevant today, since skiing has progressed so much in the last 20 years alone.At the same time, there are only about 3 snowboarders total in their inductee list… The same holds true with the Motorcycle Hall of Fame…picture guys wearing leather jackets, riding old Indian motorcycles, celebrating the early days of motorcycle barnstorming, with a few notable racers thrown into the mix.Therefore, we combine some of the older and more influential athletes, with a heavier emphasis placed on athletes that have done such huge things in progression over the last 25 years or so.
After discussing the ideas with lots of pros, many of whom are likely first round inductees, I realized that there was a lot of interest, and the general feeling was that everyone couldn’t believe it hadn’t been done yet.I then started assembling a team, working on all the research, and finally completing the web development.Trademarking the name of the Action Sports Hall of Fame took over a year, so it’s good that was started in the beginning.We just wanted to make sure this project was done in the most professional manner, with the highest amount of due diligence possible, to ensure it was done right.
Whats the future look like for ASHOF?
The future is looking great, as we've had a worldwide outpouring of support and excitement since our launch. We have been doing a pretty big social media push, mainly through Twitter, where we already have about 5200 followers and counting. Our goal is to establish a physical location here in San Diego in Balboa Park. We are currently in talks with the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park, and are working out the proposal to look for funding for the exhibit. The exhibit is already planned, and will feature cutting edge technology featuring all the athletes, as well as interactive displays that are going to blow people's minds! Our ultimate goal is to showcase the best of the best, in the most professional manner possible, and permanently establish a hall of fame for action sports that will be around for generations.
Get over to XHALL.ORG and vote for your favorite snowboarders and make sure to like them on facebook to get more information by following XHALL on twitter @ActionSportsHOF and FACEBOOK and keep up to date on their plans for the future!