Life story

From Shelters to Snowboards: The Life Story of a San Diego Native Told in Upcoming Movie

ENCINITAS – Adversity, redemption, passion and support. These are the pillars that define the life of San Diego native Ryan Hudson.

The professional snowboarder’s journey from roaming to the peak of his sport is depicted in the upcoming film, “Mountain Revelations”. The film will premiere on October 27 at the La Paloma theater in Encinitas.

“Snowboarding was the first thing that called me to live a better life,” Hudson said in a phone interview from his home in Salt Lake City. “I decided I wanted to make it a part of my life. The only reason I have a story to tell is snowboarding.

The film follows Hudson and fellow pro-snowboarders Jeremy Jones and Rafael Pease on a 10-day “human-powered” mission to a remote corner of the Chugach Mountain Range in Alaska.

Amidst breathtaking mountainous terrain, they examine how their varied backgrounds have shaped their lives and brought them to snowboarding. Hudson has anything but a typical story.

Southern Alaska’s Chugach Mountain Range eclipses pro snowboarder Ryan Hudson, who stars in “Mountain Revelations.” The film, which premieres October 27 at La Paloma Theater, follows three snowboarders who explore how their varied backgrounds led them to play the sport. Photo by Eric Henderson

The 33-year-old African-American athlete has spent much of his training years in the Father Joe Villages of downtown San Diego for homeless families.

“At first we were a pretty picky family,” said Hudson, the youngest of five siblings. “We bounced in and out of the shelters.”

After graduating from high school, he moved to housing for homeless young adults and joined Outdoor Outreach. The association offers children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to surf, ski, climb, snowboard, hike and cycle.

Still, Hudson said, “I didn’t prioritize. I ignored my responsibilities. The program kicked me out so I was alone on the street again. One day I hit rock bottom and realized that I could do so much more with my life. I turned to the manager of Outdoor Outreach and asked him to help me. I realized that I loved the outdoors and snowboarding. He encouraged me to find a job at the Utah ski lodge.

Hudson took the advice.

“(The director) bought me a plane ticket, got me a job, and gave me $ 100 in cash,” Hudson told The Coast News. “On November 7, 2008, I took off from San Diego. I had just turned 20.

At night, Hudson did the dishes; by day he was on the slopes.

“It was a great place for me to be on my mind,” said Hudson. “Night shift (meant) I could snowboard during the day. I could dive into the culture.

It was thanks to Jones, an internationally renowned snowboarder and climate activist, that Hudson had the opportunity to be part of “Mountain Revelations”.

“You rarely see people of color like me on snowboards,” said Hudson. “There has been a long history of lack of representation. What we are dealing with in the film is the experience I had because of the story of people who don’t accept (people of color).

The filming process with the three snowboarders and the five crew members was arduous, he explained.

“Every other day we were hiking and rock climbing,” said Hudson. “We have transported tons of food and tons of equipment. The crew are just as great athletes as we are.

The film’s extraordinary cinematography often gives viewers a bird’s eye view of the rugged glacial landscape that overshadows the seemingly fearless trio.

“Overall this trip was one of the best mountain experiences I have ever had,” said Hudson. “The mountains are so massive and majestic. The emotions I experienced were like a roller coaster. I have experienced a lot of personal internal growth and being with the most amazing mentor (Jones). We come from different worlds but… we are on top of the same mountain.

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