People come and people go in this world. Some you meet and some pass by seemingly unnoticed. There are those destined for greatness and others that barely leave their mark. We are all intertwined in this web we call life. To me, it isn’t about what you do or gain for yourself, but it’s more about the experience and how you relate to others. Bob Marley once said, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” These words seem to embody the life of a man I’ve come to know of recently. He was a transplant to the Tahoe area, but fit in so well he’s regarded as a local…his name was Steve Anderson. To most his friends and family he went by “Rocker.”
Tragically, at Donner Ski Ranch, on December 24, 2012 he was swept away and buried in an avalanche that took his life. Even though this is very sad, I’m not writing a sob story…based on what I gather from his friends, that’s not how he would’ve wanted it. Instead, this is to celebrate his life! It’s about a guy who really left his mark on this world and especially on the Tahoe community.
Rocker was born in Abilene, TX in “63.” After high school he went on to enlist in the Air Force when no one else was. He was an original who fit his own mold. After serving our country from “81” – “92”, he was honorably discharged as a sergeant. Upon his return home, he ended up in Sacramento before moving to Truckee. There he ran his own welding shop in the summer. Since he was a skateboarder/ snowboarder he taught snowboarding lessons during the winter. This wasn’t all for Rocker. His talents eventually led him to World Cup Sk8boarding and the X-Games, where he built courses and judged events. Although he loved the mountains he briefly moved back to Abilene to be closer to friends and family. Shortly after, the mountains were calling and he returned to Truckee in June of 2012, where he would spend the last months of his life as a welder, musician and artist.
Rocker was a man living with his on convictions. From my understanding he wasn’t flashy, just a guy that took life as it came. He enjoyed skating in the park or riding his favorite run. Then he’d finish the day with Budweiser instead of a fancy craft IPA. He was always into the mountain life and was a regular at community skating events showing his support for the cause. Friends and family were most important. He was genuine and always had a positive attitude that will inspire for years to come. After his passing, Rocker was inducted in the Snowboard Hall of Fame in April of 2013.
Keep the spirit alive!
Fast forward to the present…how do you honor a guy who made an impact on so many and gave so much without any expectations, not just to individuals but to an entire community. Longtime friend and Jones rider Taylor Carlton had the answer. He and his crew put together the Rally for Rocker Banked Slalom.
The 3rd annual for this grassroots event.
There’s no huge marketing budget for promotion, only word of mouth and social media. Since Rocker was the epitome of DIY, the course is off the grid and dug entirely by hand! Anyone can participate and riders can take as many runs as they want. Simply hike back up! That’s right, no chairlift or snowmobiles. Also, the entire community is invited out to catch the action. The event is entirely BYOB and BYOFood, so come prepared. Of course bring enough for you and your neighbor, but you must pack everything out! Expect any weather and it is spring so hopefully there will be plenty of sunshine!
As you’ve probably guessed there is also a cause and of course it benefits Truckee. The event is put on by theSteve “Rocker” Anderson Memorial Skatepark, which is an organization focused on building another skatepark in Truckee. This plan was already in action while Steve was alive, but the crew dedicated the park to him to further motivate the community. Many say, “Another skatepark?” Why do you need another? The current park was fine when originally built, but things have changed. Now the original park is overcrowded making it dangerous. Laws have been upgraded to allow for a bigger park with deeper bowls and more features which gives riders space to spread out to provide room for all skill levels. While much progress has been made there’s still plenty to be done. At this point it’s mainly a funding issue. All patrons and participants can do their part to help and keep Rockers’ memory alive by making a donation.
This is going to be a great spring event and you know we will see you all there. For further information go toSteve “Rocker” Anderson Memorial Skatepark or see the details below.
When: Sunday, April 10th
Where: Sugar Bowl Academy 815 Lupine Trail, Norden, CA 95724
***Parking at Sugar Bowl Academy then follow the signs to the course.***
Registration & Practice: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Competition: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Race (Grom’s, Men’s, Women’s and Masters): $20
Package (Race & T-shirt): $30
Giveaways: Snowboards, jackets and pants
Trophies (Handmade): 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
Bring your family! Bring your friends! It’s going to be a good time. It’s an excellent way to keep spring rollin’ and a good portion of the Jones Snowboard team along with the Volcom team might show up.