Even though this initial Spotlight post serves the purposes of creating an initial example and possible template for potential partners to understand how new and relevant information will be displayed on the website during it’s construction, there’s no reason that it can’t be dual-purposed. In that spirit, I decided that it would be a good place to give a bit of background on why RTR exists.

Moldoveanu 2021

I never imagined the fantastic natural beauty that awaited me when I moved to Romania about a year ago. I expected that I would find wonderful discoveries along the way, as always occurs when you go somewhere completely foreign to you, but after climbing Moldoveanu within the first month that I was here, I knew I had landed somewhere special.

I grew up in the United States, between New York City and Boston on the shoreline of Connecticut. I learned to ski on a family trip to Colorado when I was a kid and then spent most of my childhood skiing on the unforgiving, icy slopes of Vermont. They were more like large hills than mountains. I also loved rollerblading and skateboarding in the summer when I wasn’t on the water sailing or surfing. I spent some time at Woodward Camp in Pennsylvania learning from the pro instructors which was great, but skiing was still my main sport. That was in the late 1990’s when the X-Games really took off and skiers realized they could do snowboard style tricks on jumps and rails. I competed in all local freestyle competitions that I could get a ride to, and when I got a bit older I went to High North Ski Camp in Whistler, BC for summer training, again from professional athletes. It was a game-changer for learning how to progress my level of riding in a way that was structured and safe, but also yielded measurable results.

Iraq 2016

Fast forward through my adult life, including professional careers as a musician in LA and Nashville and the US Army as an Apache attack helicopter pilot with 3 combat tours of 2.5 years total in Iraq and Afghanistan, I never stopped skiing and snowboarding or trying to go airborne on either. I did meet my wife, who is Romanian, and since the pandemic killed most aviation jobs in the US, we decided to make a go of it in Romania. We moved into her apartment in Bucharest and I really enjoyed getting to know the country and the people.

Adam Balogh, Făgăras 2022

It has been a fantastic year. I’ve made so many friends, including the small crew of Black Sea surfers who were confused when I showed up with 3 of my boards on the first day because they thought I wanted to learn how to surf, instead of learning the best surf breaks with the locals as I had asked them. The guys at Heliski Romania showed me the extensive backcountry terrain the Carpathians have to offer, from Țarcu to Făgăraș and I was blown away. There is so much opportunity here for great riding, whether it’s on a bike or a board in the mountains or on the sea, human powered or wind and wave powered.

Moldoveanu 2021

Every rider I’ve spent time with here is perpetually stoked to be out in nature doing something they love, and it’s easy to see why. The surroundings are gorgeous and the natural terrain is world-class. It’s like visiting Colorado or Wyoming just after the Lewis and Clark Expedition promoted the westward expansion and new settlers started moving into that region of the US. There is unlimited potential for the world of action sports and those who love to pursue adventure here.

Iulius Miklos, Surf Fest Neversea Beach 2021

Unfortunately, there is little to no comprehensive infrastructure that permits progression and growth of these sports, let alone encourages it. The ability to ride the terrain here to its fullest potential should occur regularly by Romania’s best riders and it be showcased to the world, but it takes a lot of training and support infrastructure to make it to that level of riding and it doesn’t exist. There are no trampoline and foam pit facilities for athletes to safely learn aerials and air awareness, and the snowpark features across the country are sub-par at best and regularly unsafe to attempt more than the simplest of airs, spins and inverts. Trail infrastructure for mountain biking is slowly being worked on. There’s only a couple of places to rent a board to learn how to surf at best, even though the mellow waves and sandy bottom beaches of the Black Sea without tides or dangerous sea creatures would be a perfect place to learn. Don’t even get me started on skateparks.

Țarcu 2022

In our modern world, anyone anywhere with the ability to connect to the internet can see what’s possible in the action sports world. They can see what professional video edits look like, the snowparks and mountain bike trails of the west, or east when speaking of Japan, large skateparks professionally developed and funded by their own local government for the benefit of the local youth, and everyone here can also see that they have none of those things available to them within their own country, even with world-class terrain. That is, unless someone steps in to push change and progression and bring the level of actions sports facilities, and through that the level of action sports athletes, up to international competition standards. That is why we started this company and that is what we are constantly working to achieve. Humans are tribal, and our tribe is made up of riders and supporters who shares our goals. That is who we are seeking to collaborate with and welcome into the tribe, so if that is you, please let us know and join us in this endeavor! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and can’t wait to see you out there. And so it begins…