Ski New Mexico and the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame Announce the Induction of their First Snowboarders into the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame
Snowboard Pioneers to be Recognized at the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame Banquet in October 2023
2023 Ski New Mexico Hall of Fame Inductees
Ski New Mexico, along with the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame, selected their first snowboarders to be inducted into the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame. Referred to as the Experience Snowboards Crew, this is the story of three Mavericks that came together in 1994 as friends and business partners, Brandon Peterson, George Medina and Michael Johnstone. Over the course of the next two decades, they changed the face of snowboarding in New Mexico forever.
Arguably one of their most notable influences was the creation of the Free Taos campaign that is still legendary to this day. What started as a fun protest became a radical, popular movement. The Free Taos campaign received national coverage, including the cover of Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarding Business Magazine and the Seattle Times to name a few. This campaign ultimately contributed to Taos Ski Valley opening to snowboarders on March 19, 2008 – promoted at the time as “The Day Hell Froze Over.”
Owners of Experience Snowboards, a small snowboard shop in Northern New Mexico, this trio of inductees pushed the envelope to develop nationally competitive athletes, cutting edge freestyle parks and snowboard friendly terrain, competitions and activities throughout the state.
A few of their many other contributions include:
- Amongst the first PSIA Level 3 Certified Snowboard instructors in the state.
- Coached and instructed snowboarders for 20+ years.
- Improved the Southwest race series and expanded its reach by spreading the competitions throughout all of the New Mexico ski resorts.
- Created the first sanctioned USASA Boardercross, Slopestyle and Skiercross competitions in New Mexico – the Jedi Challenge, which is ongoing today.
- Brought the USASA National Championships to Angel Fire, New Mexico in 2004 – the world’s largest ski and snowboard competition at the time.
- Competed on a National level.
- Created the first freestyle parks in New Mexico along with junk parks and snow skate parks and events.
- Brought the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to Angel Fire in 2005. At the time, it was the first UCI MTB World Cup event held in the United States in over a decade.
Over the years, the crew eventually went in separate directions but their contributions to the New Mexico Ski and Snowboard Industry remain securing their legacy as pioneers of snowboarding in our state.
In a tragic turn of events, Medina was killed in a motor vehicle accident the summer of 2020. Johnstone’s death followed a few short days later after a prolonged battle with cancer. The sole survivor, Brandon Peterson lives in Sandpoint, Idaho where he resides with his wife and two young daughters. He now owns and operates a solar electric company and spends his spare time playing in the snow with his family where he continues to share his passion for snowboarding.
Brandon Peterson and family members of both George Medina and Michael Johnstone will be present at the induction ceremony.
The event will take place the Anderson Abruzzo Balloon Museum on Saturday, October 28. Tickets for the banquet go on sale on Monday, September 18 and can be purchased on the Ski New Mexico website skinewmexio.com.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Also, to be recognized at the banquet are the following:
Joey Turiciano from Ski Santa Fe and Max Killinger from Taos Ski Valley will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their commitment and dedication to the New Mexico Ski Industry over the past 40+ years.
“Best of the Best”
“Best of the Best” in the ski industry for the 2022-2023 winter season will be awarded to:
- Amy Gaskins – Customer Service – Sipapu
- Carrie McConaughy – Ski Patrol – Ski Santa Fe
- Roland Garcia – Rental Shop – Ski Santa Fe
- Elke May & Sebastian Cuadra Rivera – Ski Instructors – Angel Fire Resort
The purpose of the New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame is to honor the pioneers, the industry leaders, the competitors and the inspirational individuals who have contributed substantially to the development of skiing and snowboarding in New Mexico. The museum is located at the base of the Sandia Peak Tramway thanks to the generosity of the Abruzzo family.
Ski New Mexico is a not-for-profit trade organization founded in 1979 whose mission is to promote the ski industry of New Mexico within and outside the state. Our objective is to increase year-round visitation to the ski and mountain areas of New Mexico through marketing and promotional strategies.