Crew of friends at Aspen X bonded by passion for snowboarding | AspenTimes.com

Crew of friends at Aspen X bonded by passion for snowboarding

Pat Graham
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colordo
Snowboard competitor Mason Aguirre of Mammoth, Calif., adjusts his goggles during the Winter X Games at Buttermilk Ski Area, near Aspen, Colo. on Thursday, Jan., 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Nathan Bilow)
AP | FR37383 AP

ASPEN ” They’re a bunch of young buddies bonded by the board.

They ride together, party together, plan to make a big splash in the sport together.

They’re “Frends,” ” minus the “I” because there’s no individual in this crew composed of snowboarders Kevin Pearce, Danny Davis, Jack Mitrani, Keir Dillon, Luke Mitrani, Mason Aguirre and Scotty Lago.

This fraternity of “Frends” is talented ” real talented. They’re the present and future of snowboarding, the names you’ll soon recognize like you do Shaun White.

Just don’t compare them to White. They’re not White, nor want to be him, preferring to carve out their own identities.

“We’re just a group of dudes that are coming up together, snowboarding and making a name for ourselves,” Aguirre said. “It’s really all about friendship and having each other’s backs.”

When one wins, the party is on, because they feel like they all win.

Like when Davis knocked off White in slopestyle and Pearce beat the “Flying Tomato” in halfpipe at a recent event in Switzerland. That was reason to raise a raucous.

“It’s easy to be stoked for your homies when they do well,” Pearce said. “Ability wise, we’re all similar.”

Yeah, but who’s the king of the hill?

“You can’t ask that question!” Pearce said. “Everyone has the same talent. We’re a crew.”

Like any good entourage ” “Ocean’s Eleven” jumps to mind ” they all bring different personalities.

There’s Aguirre, he’s the pop star, loaded with ability. The 21-year-old from Mammoth, Calif., has two Winter X medals on his resume, including a silver in superpipe in 2006.

“Super funny dude,” Pearce said. “Mason knows how to have a good time.”

Pearce is the mellow one, always willing to roll along with the plan of the moment. He was recently featured on the cover of ESPN magazine, lauded for his skills on the slope. He’s just 21 and known for his diverse skills, becoming the first boarder last season at Winter X to compete in the slopestyle final, superpipe elimination and big air competition on the same day.

“Kevin is a super humble kid, super talented, very focused. Just an incredible snowboarder,” Lago said.

An avid surfer and hunter, Lago also finds time to fit in some boarding. He finished second in the slopestyle competition on Saturday, just behind White. He’s fearless, so much so that he got “Lago” tattooed on the inside of his lip.

“Only my dentist sees it,” Lago said.

Dillon’s the respected father figure ” he’s the oldest at 29 ” while Jack Mitrani’s the jokester, Luke Mitrani the little brother of the group and Davis the music maven, always finding killer music for the group to jam to.

“Everyone has their own personality,” Pearce said. “Everyone brings something to the table. We get along super well.”

There are also honorary members of the group, boarders like Norway’s Mikkel Bang, who will ride with them when he’s in town or they’re in Oslo.

“Cool kid and we get along with him super well,” Pearce said.

No girls are allowed, though. Not yet at least.

“Haven’t found any yet,” Pearce said, laughing.

The crew is always around each other. See one, you’ll typically see them all.

They’re around for each other in goods times and bad. Like when Davis went down hard in a crash during the superpipe qualifying round on Saturday, tweaking his knee.

His buddies were the first on the scene to check on his health when he came down the pipe.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Davis said. “We snowboard a lot, listen to a lot of music, party here and there, have some fun after a contest. It’s definitely cool.”

They’re not all about boarding and parties, though.

The posses of the pipe launched their own website, with the goal of starting a business. They’re aiming for something to help the environment ” they just don’t have the specifics figured out yet.

“We see this being a bigger status than it is now,” Aguirre said. “We’re trying to take ‘Frends’ to a different level.”

If the company plans don’t pan out, oh well, they still have boarding.

“This is all about having each other’s back and cruising together,” Pearce said. “If we don’t win, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll go out and party with our friends.”


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