We’re Going Places: Tahoe and Northern CA




The snow students just finished up an amazing trip to Lake Tahoe, California. For some of the students this was their first trip to Tahoe ever. We stayed right down the road from the California base lodge at Heavenly and only minutes from the beach. We got extremely lucky and our first day on snow was a powder day at Heavenly! Heavenly is known for their tree riding and incredible views of the lake. The next day they got to ride fresh snow at Sierra at Tahoe. There were endless rocks and logs to jump in the trees. The day began with giant flurries and ended in sunshine.

On Wednesday the students packed up and headed south to Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth is one of the most diverse mountains in the United States, they have amazing parks, breath taking steeps and a huge variety off piste terrain. For most of the students, the park was their favorite part. The students really enjoyed the South side of the lake, but the next stop was Northstar on the north side of the lake. Northstar has some of the best parks in Lake Tahoe and even has a 22 foot superpipe. The students loved all of the creative features in the park! They enjoyed Northstar so much that they went two times in a row.

The students also got to check out Woodward Tahoe. Woodward is an indoor training facility with Olympic trampolines, an indoor skatepark, and ramps with foam pits. They had fun jumping, skating and learning parkour with Shelby on Woodward’s big tumble floor. They capped off their epic adventure by watching the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as they headed home.

The skate students just finished up a great trip through Southern Oregon and Northern California. They started the trip heading south on 1-5. They spent their first night in Eugene. The skate park is lit in Eugene so the boys got to skate at night once they arrived. The Eugene skatepark is built under a freeway and is one of the best in Oregon.

The next morning they continued south towards Sacramento. Along the way they got to stretch their legs at a few parks like, Winston, Shasta Mountain, and Red Bluff California Skatepark. They spent a whole day in Sacramento skating the Mather Sports Complex Park. It was one of their favorite parks of the trip.

They got front line seats that to see the Sacramento Kings VS the Chicago Bulls game! After the game they got a tour of the practice stadium and the students shot hoops for a while. a The next morning they headed towards Santa Cruz. They stopped along the way in San Jose and skated the famous Red Park.

The night before Santa Cruz they had a great dinner at a Japanese habachi restaurant! They spent a day in Santa Cruz and skated most of what it has to offer; 4 skate parks, a DIY ditch and then of course some beach time! They eneded their trip in San Francisco and got to shred in the city!

Until next time,

Amanda Gildea

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We’re Going Places: Breckinridge, Colorado, and Park City Utah


Our snow students went on an incredible journey though the western United States. They began their trip in Oregon, drove through Idaho, Utah, and ended in Colorado. Our first stop was in Salt Lake City Utah where they got to ride and ski at the nearby Park City Resort. As tradition goes, we got some In-n-Out Burgers right when we rolled into Salt Lake City. We spent the next day shredding at Park City. Park City as always had a great rail and box set up for the students to lap.


We continued on to our house in Breckinridge Colorado, where Dew Tour was about to begin. Our students took full advantage of the prime park conditions at both Keystone and Breckinridge resorts. They got to enjoy the Dew Tour events and meet some of the athletes that were competing. When they weren’t riding or studying, they enjoyed the hot tub and downtown Breckenridge.


We ended our trip by visiting Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. The students got to see the incredible rock formations and arches. While there, a blizzard struck and we got to see the white contrast against the red rocks.

This trip was an experience no student will ever forget!

Next up: Lake Tahoe, California

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Hit the Road

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The Windells Academy students are all heading out this weekend for Northern California.  The skiers and snowboarders are taking advantage of our dear friend, El Niño, and will be in Tahoe for ten days.  Tahoe is having the best season in years and the storms just keep rolling in.  The Academy will be skiing and riding at Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Sierra. We would be happy with just one of those resorts, but why not hit them all? We are so lucky, but we are sure to take full advantage of our blessings.  We are so thankful for every rail, pillow line, and powder slash we have had this season, and they just keep coming! So far we have ridden in New Zealand, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and now we are heading down to ski and ride in California and Nevada.

The skateboarders are also heading to Northern California where the concrete waves break 24/7.  We will head down to Eugene, through the Redwoods to Sacramento and finally to the city by the bay touring in the van skating parks and street.  Sacramento and San Fransisco are meccas for skateboarding with dozens of parks collectively and a number of legendary street spots.  San Fransisco is such a vibrant city full of hill bombs, good food, and amazing sights to see.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Windells Academy Nor Cal Tour.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram and keep checking back for updates because we are going places!

Industry Trip: Adidas Headquarters Portland, OR

IMG_6523 This semester, Adidas invited the Academy to come by and visit their Headquarters in Portland.  The students got a sneak peek at their product for the summer of 2017. They even got to give their opinions on their upcoming skateboard clothing line. Many of them were pretty excited about the new slip on Adidas coming out in May. Adidas is always a good time, they even gave everyone free socks and stickers! After the focus group we all went down to skate their private skate park that is located in their parking garage, where they have a mini bowl and some street features. Lastly the students got to shop the employee store and received 50% off of their purchases.

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Press Release: Windells Academy Cancels School for Powder Day

pdayExtreme snow fall combined with school is bad for student’s health and motivation in class. 

MT. HOOD- Windells Academy cancels school on Thursday, December 17  due to Timberline receiving 6″ overnight and to motivate students as the semester comes to a close tomorrow.

Academy President, Chris Hargrave said, “When it snows it brings the child out in all of us.  We can’t miss an unprecedented pow event on our home mountain.  This feeds all of our souls.  Long live the Windells Academy snow day!”

After working diligently all semester the students all deserved to have a snow day before heading home for the holiday break. The students just got back from an amazing trip to Colorado, but nothing is more fun than coming back to Oregon and being greeted with fresh snow and no crowds at Timberline.  Every run today was full of hooting, hollering, blasting hips, and slashing chowder!

Windells Academy continues to be the “funnest” place on earth and the best school to attend to live, learn, and ride.

Disclaimer: While school was cancelled due to snow on the mountain, there is no evidence that supports the claim that lots of powder combined with school is bad for student’s health.  This is all for fun!!



Windells Academy in New Zealand

Windells Academy New Zealand from Windells on Vimeo.

Our Windells Academy Students recently were given the opportunity to travel to the Southern Hemisphere for a trip to New Zealand, skiing, riding and exploring one of the most beautiful places int the world.

Thanksgiving Weekend

IMG_9126In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, the Windells Academy and staff started off the weekend by giving to those less fortunate. By request of some of the students, we began gathering canned goods and other non-perishable items and spent Thanksgiving morning traveling into nearby town of Gresham to drop off our items at a local food drop-off. The students really took initiative on this project. It was great to see the compassion they had for others!

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 7.39.27 AMWith perfect blue skies and crisp cold air, we continued on with the day by heading into Sandy where we all participated in a Thanksgiving game of flag Football! With a free lunch to Chipotle
on the line, the two teams battled against each other in a fun competitive game.

Upon coming back to campus, we all gathered around a table garnished in turkey, candied yams, asparagus, and many other delicious Thanksgiving classics, all prepared by chef Steve and Austin. After a moment of silence to give thanks, we all happily ate some pumpkin and pecan pie, along with other tasty deserts! We finished off the evening by heading to the cinemas to watch a movie of the students’ choice.

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Friday morning was fun-filled with snowboarding and skateboarding, complimented by a relaxing evening where we took the students to watch the sunset over Mount Tabor and did some early Christmas shopping. Trying to keep up the holiday cheer, the following day we made our way to a U-Cut Christmas tree farm where we all trudged in the mud to find the perfect tree. Some of the students have never cut down a Christmas tree, so many of them took a turn with the saw and took turns to cut down the tree themselves!

With the snowboard trip to Utah/Colorado, and the skateboard trip to Arizona around the corner, we wanted to have a weekend of good cheer and togetherness before we separate for a few weeks. While most of us were not able to go home for the Holiday, it was great to be able to spend time with each other doing the things we love and preparing for the exciting weeks to come. I know the students are looking forward to their end of semester trips, while also looking forward to going home for the Holiday!



Parent Update Thanksgiving

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Hi Parents,


The resort opened this past weekend and Mt. Hood is looking like a glacier again. This is a photo taken by our student Evan Meany. Evan enjoys taking photos for fun and is enrolled in a digital photography class this semester. I would like to put together a yearbook for the students, but I need the help of all the parents and kids on this one. I am going to have students submit their photos to me from weekend adventures (such as Evan’s), trips, and just fun memories from the semester so far. I would like to ask all of the parents to start thinking about some photos to include as well. This is something you and your child can work on when they are home for the holidays. I would like a baby picture, one from elementary school and another from middle school. These can be funny, embarrassing, serious, or all of the above. Like I said, I don’t need these back right away, but I wanted to put this on your radar. Ideally, I could get 3-5 photos from each of you by February 1.


This past weekend was pretty mellow. The kids went up and rode at Timberline on Saturday and Sunday they stuck around campus and skated BOB and the Concrete Jungle (our outdoor park). It was finally dry! It was nice to see a little sunshine J The students also went to see a movie on Sunday evening. Yesterday and today are double days since there will be no school on Thursday or Friday due to Thanksgiving break.


Thursday we are planning on having a special Thanksgiving dinner that would make everyone’s grandma proud! Wally, our previous Head Chef, has taken a new job closer to home.   Wally has been a large part of Windells Academy and camps over the years and while we are sad to see him go, we are happy he will have more time at home to be with his family. Our new Head Chef, Steve Strenge, will be joining us this week. He has worked for multiple camps, and prides himself on quality food for large groups. He has been switching up the menu and we are excited for him to spice up our lives!


After our feast on Thanksgiving we will be having our second annual Academy football game. Friday the plan is to go riding up at Timberline and then to go into Portland for the Tree Lighting at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown that evening.


That is all I have for you this week! I hope everyone has an amazing holiday.


Take care,



A Week in the Life of an Academy Student

Ever wonder what it would be like to attend a school where your campus is a skatepark, you live with your friends, you get to ski/snowboard/skate every day, and go on amazing trips? Check out what an average week looks like for the students that attend Windells Academy. ..

School days you roll out of bed, put on your slip-on Vans and cruise into the cafeteria where our chef will cook you a hot, fresh breakfast that is made to order.  Want pancakes? You got it.  Scrambled eggs with cheese? Yes, please.  Want it all? No worries, we know you are a growing active teenager who’s stomach is a bottomless pit.  We will fill that pit with food that even grandma would approve of.  Even though this place is like a dream world, we do some normal things too…like school.  However you can work at your own pace and when the bell rings you get to head up to Timberline to snowboard or skate the world renown campus known as the Concrete Jungle.  When you feel like mixing things up we can take you into Portland to skate some other parks.  We even get access to private skateparks like The Grato, Nike, and Adidas.  We typically do this all week.

When the weekend comes we mix things up.  We go to video premiers at local shops, we explore this amazing place that we live, from waterfalls to hot springs, and of course we stop at every skatepark along the way. We take campus tours and help you figure out where you want to go to school, if you don’t know what you want to be, we can help show you how you can work in the action sports industry doing something you love.  Not all of our students want to be the next Nick Goepper, some just want to have fun and be immersed in the industry that they love, surrounded by like minded people.  We will take you on industry trips to places like Adidas, K2, and Airblaster to allow you to talk to some people about what they do and how they got involved.  We want to give our students the ability to do whatever it is they want, whether that is being a professional athlete, like Nick Goepper (who attended Windells Academy before becoming an Olympic athlete), or be a Marketing Director for their favorite company.

Our goal is to help you succeed and have the most fun doing it.  Come live, learn, and ride with us.  Not ready to fully commit? Send us an email or give us a call and we can set up a trial visit to see if this is the place for you.  If you can’t come to visit us here in Oregon, we may be coming to visit a place near you.  We have the opportunity to travel all over while still working on school (huge perk of online schooling).   This semester we have already been to New Zealand to ski and snowboard for three weeks.  We took a skate trip and went to seven states, skated 24 skate parks, and explored three National Parks.  Next week the students that ski and snowboard are heading to Colorado and the skate kids are heading down to Arizona.  The students have the opportunity of a life time here at Windells Academy and so do the staff.

All of our staff skis, snowboards, and/or skateboards.  The days of saying “my teacher just doesn’t get it” are long gone.  She will teach you how to write your paper in MLA format and how to kick flip.  Your coach has worked with athletes like Chas Guldemond, they have built some of the best skateparks you have ever seen, and been in magazines like Thrasher.  Your principle can teach you how to hand plant and can probably snowboard better than most of the kids at your high school that claim to snowboard.  At Windells Academy we get it, and we get you.   Come join the fun!



Family Dinner Night


Family Dinner

Every Tuesday night we sit down to an amazing family style dinner.  It is so nice to bring everyone together at one table and connect.  The students and staff have all made a commitment to wearing nicer attire, putting their cell phones down, and enjoying each others company.  It’s still a very casual affair but it’s fun to see everyone looking nice and sharing a meal together.  These photos were taken the week before Halloween.  If you look carefully you might see the spooky ghost image (Evan, Above) at the dinner table.  Take a look at our resident club GQ (Alden and Harri, below).

Dinner Suits

Every week we try to bring in a guest speaker from the industry to share their story and answer questions.   Jamie Weller, who is always far too humble, agreed to get up and share a bit of his life story of hard work, great friendships, and total dedication to skateboarding.  It was enlightening to say the least and the students were inspired by his passion and had some amazing questions that Jamie fielded like the pro he is.  It truly is amazing to see how much joy our sports and culture can offer those who choose this amazing life path.

I am inspired by this group of students and staff and look forward to seeing where their dreams and passion will take all of us this year.  Thank you to the students, parents, staff for working hard to build such an amazing program and bring together a wonderful team to be a part of.

The Snow is falling and we are all getting excited for an amazing year together.

Think Snow and dry concrete (perfect world scenario:))!