KMC 34 — The Wicked Issue

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If something is wicked, it’s bad. Morally, very bad. Evil even. It is fierce and vicious. Marked by mischief, disgustingly unpleasant, and wholly vile. It can cause harm, distress, or trouble: a ferocious storm, a tenacious fever, wild waves, a deadly avalanche. The teenager’s ski boots have a wicked odour.

Because of this, wicked goes beyond reasonable or predictable limits. It is of exceptional quality or degree. She’s a wicked skier. Which, of course, is good to most of us. Morally and visually and internally very good. It is fierce and vicious, the aggressiveness of her skiing. Not mischievous or evil or gross. Definitely not vile. If her skiing goes wrong, however, because it is so wicked, it could cause her harm, distress, or great amounts of trouble. She could crash and burn, tumble into oblivion. That self-inspired duality is the word’s essence, the inextricable connection between polar opposites. The word’s one constant, however, is that it pushes limits to the extreme and, in the end, can inspire exceptional quality. Bad, good, or perhaps in the case of the wicked stories you’re about to read in this magazine, something in between. Enjoy Issue #34. — Mitchell Scott, editor

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The one constant of the word “wicked” is that it pushes limits to the extreme and, in the end, can inspire exceptional quality.

Amid exploding molars, societal decay, and a Mayan microclimate, a volunteer British Columbia dentist searches for the root of it all in Guatemala.

Returning to the scene of a crash that cost him dearly, a former snowboarder-turned-sit skier is nevertheless living it, loving it, and launching it.

He crafts skis from trees he logs. There’s a terrain park in his backyard. Al Eagleton knows he owes serendipity a beer.

Got the nerve to fly a mini-car 180 clicks an hour? If so, make the trip to the historic town of Kaslo, British Columbia.

An excerpt: How the builders of boards and bikes are tackling the issues of sustainability and consumer consciousness. By Ryan Stuart.