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The Ultimate Boarding House

January 10, 2008|Craig Nakano

WHEREAS some look to the walls and see an unconventional choice in artwork, Tim Gallagher sees nothing less than the documentation of a sport's evolution.

From the start, the snowboard shop manager and longtime board tester for manufacturer Burton knew that he wanted snowboarding to play a part in the design of his new house. His collection of boards is vast and diverse, spanning two decades, from when snowboarding was an underground movement and snowboarders were banned from ski resorts to more recent years, after its phenomenal rise in popularity and acceptance as an Olympic event.

Gallagher's main display consists of 13 boards, mounted in a straight line above a staircase, each piece representing a different technological advancement or paying homage to legends of the movement.

"You always see people's family pictures on the stairwell," Gallagher says. "I really wanted to pay tribute to the sport and its fallen soldiers."

You'll see the first fully twin-tipped design, as well as significant pro-signature models -- boards designed for and by top riders.

One of the most recent additions to the collection: a blue and yellow Craig Kelly board, never used, designed for the former world champion who died in an 2003 avalanche.

"It was his last signature model," says Gallagher, who says Kelly was like a mentor to him. "I just wanted to have one pristine."

On another wall leading to the kitchen, he went with five snowboards that when hung together form the image of two icy eyes. Above the fireplace sits a snowboard silk-screened with Andy Warhol's "The Last Supper," a collaboration between Burton and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

"It was just a beautiful art piece that I liked," Gallagher says.

As a whole, the collection echoes the spirit of snowboarding: "Always right on the edge of mainstream, just forward-thinking enough to be inspiring, but still accessible," he says. "Just edgy enough."

With help from brother Dan, he hung the boards using industrial Velcro and strips of acrylic screwed into the walls. ("In my previous condo, I put the Velcro directly on the wall," he says. "When I pulled it up, it took the drywall with it.")

His brother, the architect, was "completely cool" with the use of sports equipment as objets d'art. But Tim?

"I kind of flinched with every hole that we drilled into the wall, but now that they're up, I can't imagine them anywhere else," he says of the collection.

"And there's still room to grow."

-- Craig Nakano

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