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In Rhythm project joins Bend partners Breedlove and SnoPlanks

Charity auction featuring one-of-a-kind guitar/snowboard pair will benefit The Conservation Alliance

Rhythm. It’s the pulse of life

Rhythm. It’s everywhere around us—in the syncopated strum of a guitar; in the crystalline swoosh of powder beneath a snowboarder’s feet.

In Rhythm. That’s when things align, in time, in philosophy, in action.

In Rhythm is also the name of a new project joining Breedlove and SnoPlanks, both based in Bend, Oregon, and both certainly in line with the concept of producing artisan quality tools while respecting the environment.

Visit Bend and you’ll immediately understand why. Nature surrounds the town, governing the relaxed pace of everyday life. Bend is, simply put, in rhythm.

The project, which culminates with a January 15 combined auction benefitting The Conservation Alliance (a group of like-minded businesses pooling resources to fund and advocate for the protection of North America’s wild places) is a collaboration in the truest sense.

Breedlove designer Angela Christensen and SnoPlanks co-founder James Nicol spent hours talking sustainable woods, shared working methods and the many connecting points of music and snow sports.

“James feels there’s a real Bend bond between us,” says Christensen, “with the passion for and the quality of what we do, and the fact that we’re using woods that are responsibly and sustainably harvested.”

“It’s about two brands building products from scratch that can be utilized by someone to create music or to create beauty riding a mountain,” Nicol agrees, “to create and spread joy for themselves and others.”

Christensen sees this as an inaugural effort, “a stepping-stone towards developing other symbiotic ideas.”

The guitar, like the board, will honor tonewoods native to the Pacific Northwest, with a salvaged 3A redwood top and figured walnut back and sides. Simple appointments include a walnut bridge, rosette and headstock overlay; a pair of mountain peaks inlaid above the twelfth fret; and an LR Baggs Element pickup system. A soft cutaway Concert, its warm wood pairing will feel intimate and personal.

“After having a kickass day on the mountain, embracing the Pacific Northwest aura of where these trees were grown,” Christensen says, “somebody will get to come back to their room and cuddle up for the evening with this incredible Made in Bend guitar and find that same parallel through playing.”

“The action of sliding down a mountain doesn’t exist without music,” chuckles Nicol.  “They’re just intrinsically bound.”

He should know. In pre-SnoPlanks days, he spent a few years with San Diego reggae masters Uproot, and he currently plays a Breedlove Oregon Concert CE.

“You can always pick up a guitar and take 10 minutes for yourself,” he says. “It can be very healing and balancing.”

The singular handcrafted auction board, also employing redwood and walnut, in addition to SnoPlank’s standard bamboo core, is a riff on the small maker’s Snofish model. It will feature laser-etched artwork by Janessa Bork of Bend’s Vivi Design Co.

“It’s so dynamic looking, so beautiful,” says Nicol. “It almost looks like a guitar in its curves.”

“We test SnoPlanks in the central Cascades, on the volcanoes that we have here, Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mount Bachelor, Mount McLoughlin, Crater Lake, Diamond Peak … We are so blessed with mountains in this area that we can assess our boards in myriad circumstances and terrains.”

Imagine the music you could make with this snowboard, a song in the key of redwood; imagine the places you could go with this guitar, to the mountains and back.

“Just like Breedlove,” Nicol concludes, “we want to be as environmentally sound as possible, but we also want to make great things. You can go all the way in one direction and come out with an incredible product that’s not environmentally sound, or a super environmentally sound product that breaks the first time you step on it. It’s a fine balance figuring out the highest performance materials we can use, while leaving the smallest footprint.”

You can bid on this guitar-snowboard combo here!