Digging up the underground skate and art scene in Denver: Boppo

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Posted Thu, Jun 20, 2013

Benny getting up at the Nederland skate park.

Benny Hernreich getting up at the Nederland skate park. (Curiosity photo)

DENVER — Former pro snowboarder Benny Hernreich has found a way to redirect his passion after several severe injuries threatened his career.

“I had a compression fracture in my L5 vertebrae and cracked my sacrum,” Hernreich explains.

The life of a professional snowboarder is a fast-paced lifestyle that is riddled with a variety of different risks. While snowboarding in New Zealand, a slushy jump put Hernreich’s career temporarily on hold after suffering a fracture to part of his lower spine and the bone connecting his spine to his pelvis.

In order to properly heal from this critical injury, Hernreich had to undergo spinal fusion surgery – the joining of two vertebrae. The recovery from such a procedure took Hernreich a while for him to recover – over 10 months.

Things were not the same upon Hernreich’s return. His mindset had changed. Hernreich rode more for the love of snowboarding than getting video footage or competitions. Even though performing in competitions and getting video footage is how extreme athletes make their career. Slowly, Hernreich’s sponsors began to drop him, because he wasn’t turning in anything to validate their endorsement.

“I was easily replaceable,” Hernreich says.

Between late 2011 and 2012, Hernreich broke his fifth metatarsal, also known as a ‘Jones fracture,’ on three separate occasions. Unfortunately, the scheduled surgery would put Hernreich out of the 2012-13 season.  His passion for other boards, in this case skateboarding, during the summer would have to be very easy going as well.

However, when the odds are against you, a life change is imminent in this lifestyle, and the passion burning inside of many professionals in extreme sports outweighs the inherent risks and obstacles.Bennysnow

As events unfolded in Hernreich’s life, another passion became a priority. Hernreich’s good friend Ryan Kelly had introduced him to Brett Dalzell and Matt Byron: two people who would influence what the next few years would like for Hernreich.

What started as a cheesy line from a 90s’ movie, became the four guys’ dream, and began to echo throughout the skate and snowboard community from Colorado to the east coast.  They started with T-shirts and stickers, and eventually purchased an old Winnebago and made a road trip around the U.S.  This was the start of Boppo.

During the summer of 2012, the guys were able to make a big move for Boppo. They found an ideal location for a warehouse, 4120 East Brighton Blvd in Denver. This became the headquarters of Boppo, and home to Hernreich and others.

“Colorado is always what I liked to call home,” says Hernreich in regards to determining a location after growing up between Arkansas, Colorado and New Hampshire.

Hernreich and his friends have structured the Boppo headquarters as a community area for local artists and skaters. The graffiti covered skate park serves as an ever-changing landscape for both mediums. Whether it is a video premiere, dance party (or after party), skate contest, or art projects/gallery, Boppo has Denver covered.

“I would never say we’re just a skate company, or a snowboard company, or a skate and snowboard company. Because we’re not, we are like a family, a crew, a spot, a lifestyle. We will always support sick snowboarders, raw-dog skateboarders, great musicians and sick artists,” Heinreich says.

Since Boppo’s headquarters has been up and running, it has hosted several skate video premieres, a skate contest, several music shows, various art projects and multiple after parties for other events.

Featured artists that have contributed to the aesthetics of Boppo, used the space for production, or participated in events include; Taste and Jolt of Guerrilla Garden, Pager of Royal Stain, Dave Lehl, Chef and Carver Catering, and musical artists endorsed by Elm and Oak.

Of course, in, out and between all of those events, fellow wood-pushing friends of Boppo have made great use of the creative indoor skate park. Multiple video edits have been released through out the headquarters existence from different local skate shops, crews, and companies.BoppoLogo

With all of the local interaction, Boppo was recently mentioned on the Berrics, an internationally renowned hub for skateboarders. This mention included a brief video featuring some skaters from 303 board shop and friends shredding at the Boppo headquarters.

So what is next for Boppo? Boppo plans on hosting many more events featuring local talents of all sorts. Hernreich has confirmed there will be another Boppo games this summer. But the date has yet to be set for this event. Hernreich also said there is a possibility of “video projection mapping” at the next big event. If you want to catch the next event at Boppo, make sure to like their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter or Tumblr.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boppomafia?fref=ts

Tumblr:  http://boppo.tumblr.com/

Official site: http://www.yodabaygo.com/

Twitter: @boppomafia

About Ted Heron

I'm a free lance writer with a passion for science. I'm working on a bachelor's in Biology with a minor in Journalism.

View all posts by Ted Heron

11 Responses to “Digging up the underground skate and art scene in Denver: Boppo”

  1. Dad Says:

    Interesting and well written.

    Reply

  2. Dad Says:

    1) Benny was never a pro snowboarder
    2) Benny had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of Boppo
    3) None of the boston boys back Benny

    Reply

  3. Anon Says:

    Benny’s claims to be a pro snowboarder but appears more on the amateur level. I fact checked him after he stated such a while back so dad’s correct.

    Reply

  4. Dad Says:

    Only thing true in the article is that Benny is easily replaceable

    Reply

  5. Beaver Creek Says:

    I hope he tries to come living again this year, we’ll run him off the mountain even faster than ever. Piece of shit

    Reply

  6. Beaver Creek Says:

    Logging*

    Reply

  7. thomas Says:

    what a bunch of shallow turds, hiding behind fake names and computer screens. is your life really so small and meaningless that you have to begrudge another man’s tiny wins? beaver creek would be so much better off without you and your condescending, holier than thou manchilde clique. you didn’t invent snowboarding and it doesn’t belong to you alone. grow up.

    Reply

  8. Benny Hernreich Says:

    Hahahaha!!!! See ya tommorow at beaver creek! Lol 😉 logging all day long!

    Reply

  9. Benny Hernreich Says:

    Keep hiding behind fake names. Everyone’s got haters when they do something real! Doesn’t hurt! All smiles.

    Reply

  10. Dad Says:

    I didn’t know stealing other people’s ideas is “doing something real”

    Reply

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