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The Beta Spring ’22 Issue—Behind The Cover

Photographer Dave Smith takes us behind the cover image of Beta's Spring '22 Issue—out on newsstands now

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The first issue of Beta’s second volume is out now—and, at 132 pages, it’s meatier than ever before, packed with columns, profiles, feature stories, and a huge section devoted to the craft of trailbuilding. Leading it all off is longtime North Vancouver-based photographer Dave Smith, with his image of North Shore mainstay rider Steve Vanderhoek, a photo that may seem unconventional for the cover, but one that perfectly captures the spirit of the issue: “In Good Company.”

Smith further described his motivation for the image below:

“How can things change so much and yet remain the same? The question of permanence is something that is imbued into the trails and the mountain biking community in North Vancouver. Every day, newer and more aggressive trails are built over the mossy remains of once-famous artifacts. Or old trails are rerouted to find faster lines. But the dark, brooding nature of the Shore remains.

Carried forward by improvements in bike technology and inspired by history, riders like Steve Vanderhoek—who grew up riding the North Shore’s rough and tumble trails—are now speeding in a new age of mountain biking. While I document these riders, I’m often reminded that the defining features of the trails may change, but they’re still just as challenging as they’ve ever been. As if to underscore that sentiment, tattooed onto the digits of Steve’s right hand are the lucky charms he carries with him while riding every white-knuckle chute and monstrous rock feature that he’s punched into the landscape. To him, these simple lines of ink are personal reminders of his passion for mountain biking. And for us, at this everchanging intersection, they serve to remind that the North Shore is forever the Shore. Shrouded in mist, the trails continue to leave a permanent mark on those that ride these mountains.”

Beta is available on newsstands in the U.S. and Canada at Barnes & Noble, Raley’s and Indigo. The quarterly print issue is a perk for U.S. residents who have a Beta Pass or Outside+ membership (an international print option is in the works, and details will be announced in the coming days, but in the meantime, all members have access to a digital version of the magazine, as well as the full print archive from 2021). Find more on membership prices and packages here.