Meet Ricardo Cotto, one of our longtime riders and owner of a very impressive board collection. He started making turns in the winter of 1988 in Metro Detroit at his small local hill, Riverview Highlands. Freestyle (and a few years later, Jibbing) was the name of the game, but turning and freeriding always stoked him out the most.

“The mountains are a place I go to feel small, to be challenged and to live in the moment.”

In 2017 his snowboarding took a major shift from quantity to quality and a desire to return to the simplicity of freeriding. Up to that time Ricardo had ridden boards from 30+ brands and as his snowboarding continued to evolve, the major brands simply weren’t producing boards to fit his flow. That winter he got his feet under a SoulMotion GoldFish snowboard and the progression of his turns changed forever.

Aaron’s wide, tapered and smooth flexing boards spoke to his riding and continuing pursuit of the perfect turn. SoulMotion became Elevated SurfCraft and a simple day ripping groomers with Aaron at Grand Targhee on top of the RedTail Hawk solidified Ricardo’s love for the culture of Snowboarding, but even more the culture of Elevated SurfCraft.

“I count the PowFish, ShortBoard, Redtail Hawk, Step-Up, MegaFish and Whsky Jack as all part of my quiver. Each board provides a unique turn experience for the given conditions. From deep pow to primo groomers to bulletproof ice to soft slush…from Japan to the Canadian Rockies to Jackson Hole to the Pacific NorthWest to Tahoe to good ol’ Wilmot Mountain in southern Wisconsin…Elevated SurfCraft Snowboards have made all my turns smooth, my smile wide and my flames of STOKE burn brighter than ever.”

Ricardo describes his riding style as buttery smooth turns at speed —like a painter’s brush on an open canvas. He believes the best board for the conditions on the given day is his favorite, but if he had to pick one it would be the Red Tail Hawk.

“It has served me well on groomers, super deep days and the occasional park laps.”

Ricardo considers himself fortunate enough to have many good days all over North America (and Japan) but in his experience Bear Valley, CA and the Sierras have always served up the goods and best vibe. And let’s face it, it’s all about the vibe!

“These boards are epic, but even better has been the community that Aaron has built around Elevated SurfCraft. From day one, I was welcomed with open arms and primo stoke. I’m just doing my best to pass-it-on here in the Midwest.”