By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury is home to one of the world’s best snowboarders. And although that may seem like an improbable statement, it’s true. Though the northeast has historically produced some outstanding ski and snowboard talent, it’s typically in places much further north than Shrewsbury. But that hasn’t hindered Mike Ravelson from becoming one of the most-recognizable up and coming names in snowboarding.
“Mike Rav,” as he’s more commonly known, got his start at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury as a skier and raced raced for the Ski Ward race team. That is, until he saw a snowboard.
“It was race day, and my friend Nick Esposito ended up winning that race,” Ravelson recalled, “and after the race I saw Nick pass me on a snowboard. That moment sticks out because I was blown away by how fun he made snowboarding look.”
Not long after, Ravelson got a snowboard of his own, and started traveling to larger terrains with Esposito and his family.
Hard work mixed with natural ability propelled Ravelson to the point of recognition from sponsors and snowboarding enthusiasts alike. He attended college at Plymouth State University, living half way between campus and Loon Mountain. It was here that Ravelson was discovered for his talent.
What made him stand out was his original style and lack of restriction. He grinds rail and attacks jumps in untraditional manners, mixing in cartwheels, somersaults, and a certain reckless abandon that only a snowboarder could really appreciate. This impressed the likes of some of the biggest extreme sport companies, some of which were able to reach deal agreements to sponsor Ravelson, including Volcom, Capita, Vans, Electric Goggles, and Eastern Boarder. Mike Rav represents these companies by using their products every day. Conveniently, it’s all top of the line gear that many riders prefer to work with.
Ravelson’s talent can be displayed in some of the most popular snowboard videos, including Capita’s “Defenders of Awesome,”’ Transworld Snowboarding’s “‘ Ride Park City,” and 2015’s “Rendered Useless”’ video, which he helped create and produce as well.
Though he now calls Salt Lake City home, Ski Ward and Shrewsbury still always hold a special place in Ravelson’s heart.
“I’m so thankful for having grown up in Shrewsbury. I look back now and think really fondly of everyone from there. From teachers, to coaches, old neighbors to former classmates, I’ve learned a lot from the people of Shrewsbury. I still go back as much as I can,” he said.
Descriptions of Ravelson’s ability don’t really do his talent justice, so be sure to look out for him on your TV or iPhone screen. Whether it’s competing at the X-games or simply recording his day with a GoPro cam for YouTube, Mike Rav is going to wow you, and rest assured, he’s having the time of his life in the process.