FUGNAR UPDATE: Kamloops

Words: John Cavan, Rome film director and team manager

“15 minutes”……There were a lot of bets rolling around the van as to just how long Lazz would last once Marius arrived before he got his ass kicked by the Norwegian Hellstorm. I had figured about three hours would be the breaking point, I think Rob had chosen about five to six. The French Canadians had said he’d make it till the next day in Revelstoke, and I believe our BC rep Derek said something like “Oh don’t worry he’ll be fine, they’ll get along great.” Well, we were all wrong because it took Marius a grand total of 15 minutes of sitting on the van before he jumped over a seat and kicked Lazz’s ass. They seem to be getting along fine now so perhaps Marius was just asserting his dominance over the young lad, but either way it was funny, and the Hyena (what we’ve taken to calling Lazz) has been a little more mellow with Marius around.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. We awoke early on Day 3 in Vancouver, packed the van, and set out on the five hour drive to Kamloops, BC. After about a half an hour, the entire team was asleep in the van and I was left to pilot the hurling beast through the rolling hills and sketchy mountain passes of the Canadian Highway. We arrived in Kamloops and hooked up with Coach and Tye from the local shop Oronge. They showed us some cool street spots, we assessed the snow and drop in situations, built some run-ins and landings, left them good to go for the following day, and then made the 45-minute drive up to Sun Peak, a local resort that was hosting us for the night.

Sun Peaks was rad. We may not have had a chance to ride the resort, but we more than made up for it by riding with the locals at a backyard party. A local shred house heard we may be coming and planned a big party in their backyard for us. They built a super fun snake run, had a cool box set up, built a big bonfire, were hurling fireworks around the place like it was the 4th of July, had about a billion beers, and invited what seemed like the entire local shred scene. Will, Yan, Justin, and Lazz rode with all of the crew. Everyone sessioned all of the obstacles together and had a blast, but the crowd favorite and workhorse award by far went to Max who rode the place until the very end. Even when the party was in full mode, he was the only person riding by himself and was trying to teach himself a new trick—something that a bunch of the kids were super stoked to see. One thing that was pretty cool that we kept hearing about was that another team had advertised they were coming a couple weeks back, and when they arrived it was only regional ams, so the locals were a little skeptical to say the least when they heard we were coming. So when Max, Yan, Will and the guys showed up at the party, everyone was super stoked to see the team. The fireworks and bonfire were a real added bonus. I mean, who doesn’t like fire? And Lazz made several new friends there, including two twins.

“The Bell”—After the party, everyone spilled into the local bar, where a rowdy group of mountain locals, shredders, and loose tourists were on a tear. One of the funniest things I’ve seen go down in a bar transpired there, I hope I do the story justice, so here goes. At this locals’ spot they have a bell hanging from the ceiling and basically they have a house rule that if anyone hits the bell they have to buy a round for waiting for a drink (basically anyone touching the bar). It’s a locals’ game designed to weed the tourists out and drink off them for the night. One of the kids from the party had told me about it, and Max and I were determined to catch Yan with it. We lined him up later in the night and as we were talking about it, all the locals in earshot ran to the bar to be there when Yan hit the bell. Well, Yan either didn’t understand us or just didn’t care and walked away, but Lazz who had managed to sneak his way in looked right at the bartender and tapped the bell. Instantly the place went insane—people were screaming, patting him on the back, and he had no idea what he had just done. The poor kid turned white as a ghost when he realized he had to pay for probably 60 shots. Meanwhile Max, Will, Derek, and myself slipped the bartender the money and told him to be unmerciful on Lazz, so in front of the entire bar the bartender berated Lazz about needing to pay for the drinks and he wasn’t getting out of the bar alive until he made good. It was all time. Finally we told him the bill was paid, and the whole place went crazy again laughing. Lazz was the most popular person in that place, hands down…..especially with those twins.

The next morning we played Van Jenga with packing the beast, and then said our good-byes to Sun Peaks and headed to a down ledge with a big drop we had set up the day before. It was good to get a good session going on a big feature, and Will and Lazz walked away with some really cool stuff. I have to admit not to sound like a nerd or anything but it was pretty epic to get to shoot a street feature with Rob Mathis, someone whose photos have inspired me for years (in case you don’t know he’s a long time photographer who has shot photos for movies like “The Resistance” and “True Life”). Needless to say we are so stoked to have him along on this trip.

Just as we were finishing up shooting the ledge, Marius got dropped off by a cab straight off an around-the-world flight that had him snowboarding in Iran. We loaded up and headed to Revelstoke, crammed in the van listening to Marius’ stories of Iran. It was interesting to hear how nice he says the people were there, how good the snowboarding was, and how the US perception of Iran may not be entirely true. Definitely food for thought. The guys also crowded around a computer and watched “Mind Field” the new Alien Workshop video for like the tenth time.

Check back in a day or so for the next update as we return to our home away from home from last season; Revelstoke. We’re looking forward to seeing our friend Karl from Society, hanging at the Regent, seeing our friends at “Stokers”, although we hear it has a new name now. And we look forward to hanging with all of the other friends who are with crews that have posted up in Revy this year.

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