Snowboarders Who Cheated Death - Intro
There's always been a warped sense of danger in snowboarding. Each person perceives danger differently and finds something that someone might consider suicidal, actually an acceptable risk for themselves.
There's a quote by G.K Chesterton on courage: "...a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die". Whilst this might seem like an odd, or even slightly misplaced quote, to us it helps us to understand progression a little more.
Each step in snowboarding stems from a rider's innate wish to progress their riding. The feeling of stomping something that's never been done outweighs the risk. The result outweighs the consequences...it's as simple as that.
In that vein, here are 10 snowboarders that embody that willingness to go balls to the wall.
(Hit the left and right arrow keys to scroll through)
Travis Rice - Chad's Gap
There are heaps of moments where Travis Rice hasn’t so much as knocked on death’s door, as he has smashed the fucker down with a battering ram. This is definitely one of those moments.
Some of you might have seen the video of one of our two planked brethren taking it to the ankles in one of the gnarliest bail vids out there. It's safe to say that the stakes were pretty high when Travis rolled up to Chad's gap for Absinthe’s 'Pop' in 2004.
Mike Basich – 120ft Heli Drop
We all remember ‘that’ shot from the Art of Flight teaser with Travis Rice, clutching onto the skids of a Red Bull chopper before dropping into a burly mountain line. Safe to say a fair amount of the 14 million+ views on the teaser for it are due to that.
But the honour of having the first helicopter acid drop goes to selfie enthusiast Mike Basich, who wanted to create a photo that didn’t look real. Naturally the first thing he thought of was a 120 ft drop into a line. Mike has man balloons the size of Africa basically.
Mads Jonsson – 57m Hemsedal Kicker
It’s funny in snowboarding how different riders find certain things easy. You might have a rider that can send triple 1440’s to the marina trench, but ask them to do a hardway 270 onto a rail and they’ll look at you like you’re an alien.
Some riders just find going big isn’t a big thing for them…it’s just how it works. This is the only reason we can think of that might explain Mads’ 57m jump in Hemsedal. Maybe he just can’t ride rails?
Halldor Helgason – Never Not Roofgap
There’s no specific trick that really earns Halldor Helgason a place in our death defying list of riders, more his existence full stop. However, this is an absolute mind warper of a stunt to take on.
Whether it's the mattresses placed almost as an afterthought onto the wall of the building he gaps to, or the fact he throws a backside 360 after he lands - it's one of the most hefty urban spots we've seen.
That's not all though; Halldor has reams of urban double cork 1080s, step up rodeos, beer tosses and THAT slam, to cement his place as a swindler of Death's scythe.
Bode Merrill – One Foot Pyramid Gap
Less than a decade after snowboarders first tackled the Pyramid gap with two feet, Bode Merrill stepped up both figuratively and literally to take it on one-footed. The sheer amount of risk is just too high to ever comprehend. Fuck that.
Mikey LeBlanc - Ollie to Flat
In a complete disregard for his cartilage, menisci and ligaments; Mikey LeBlanc took a lead out of the skaters handbook, and decided to ollie to flat a 48 step handrail. What possessed him to do it, we'll never know. Maybe he had really good health insurance he wanted to get the most of?
We're glad it ended well though, otherwise it could of resulted in another in a lot of perforated eardrums...
Dylan Thompson - Frontblunt 270 Roof Drop
Dylan Thompson is a notorious urban crusher, infamous for his ability to take bone splintering landings like they're nothing. His ender for X Games Real Snow 2014 was on a whole new level of risky biscuits.
Frontblunt 270 on a rail that has a protruding post on the end of it, which if he dead man clicks on, he'll either land on a concrete wall or a shipping container. Man plums the size of watermelons in our opinion.
Dan Brisse - Roof Gap
Whilst Eero Ettala or Heikki Sorsa, might have pipped Dan Brisse to the post - you've got to hand it to Brisse for his blatant disregard for his own safety. Heck there's even a whole instagram account dedicated to hisinsane spot choices.
We'd also like to commend whoever it is driving the truck that towed him in, because it doesn't look like you'd be able to stop too quickly up there either.
Nick Ennen - 80ft+ Cliff Drop
Nick Ennen's cliff drop my not be the most visually impressive cliff drop out there, but it's the low flying proximity to stone-cold stone that contributes to his inclusion to snowboarders knocking on death's door.
Your average slopsetyle course kicker has around a 25m table, so Nick's effectively cliff dropped a kicker. Absolutely whoppertron.
Jeremy Jones - Lifetime Membership
Jeremy Jones has been in the game for longer than the game itself. Whilst many riders of his generation have thrown in the proverbial towel, Jezza J's been ploughing on like a stallion at harvest. Recently we found out that Jezza's been dropped from Burton, but luckily Pat Moore's stepped up to keep him in the limelight.
Jezza J gets a lifetime membership to this club for the years of knee shattering madness he's served. Here's to you Jeremy.