Yawgoo Valley, with an elevation of 310 feet at its peak, is the only ski and snowboard resort in the state of Rhode Island. The Yawgoons, a group of five snowboarders who all grew up less than 10 miles from the hill, claim Yawgoo Valley as their home mountain with as much pride as those from snowboarding’s high profile resorts and, technically, it’s not even a mountain. Dylan Gamache, Brendan Gouin, Marcus Rand, Mary Rand and Brian Skorupski are a rare breed of snowboarders from one of the smallest states in America, and their snowboarding speaks volumes about two very important subjects. The Yawgoons are present day masters of making due with what you have and living examples of the fact that working class snowboarding is not dead. They are regular people that you could meet any day in the liftline, with one exception, their snowboarding talents are a match for what one would expect from snowboarders who get paid to travel the world. They are at the forefront of the type of movement that snowboarding needs right now. The Yawgoons are living proof that quality snowboarding does not happen because of perfect conditions on the world’s most scenic mountains. By looking at their environment differently than most would, they are carving a niche for the little hill that they call home and setting themselves up to shut down any spot that the snowboard industry ships them to in the future.
words by: Kevin Susienka