Here's part 2 of our reviews of all this year's major video releases. There might be a part 3. or a part 2.5. Or just a review of the DC MTN Lab 1.5 when we get our hands on one.
Words: Marko Grgas.
40% Urban Rails 30% Backcountry 30% Park
So this is what Defective Films and Stepchild were working on for almost two years! It was worth the wait. This video, along with a couple others this season, tries to distance itself from the traditional snowboard video structures and presentation. For one it doesn’t really have really clear-cut rider sections; they’re all kinda mixed up in there somewhere. Second, what we thought was a really cool gesture is that you have buddies riding with the Stepchild team such as Tom Burt and Mark Sollors. Another highlight is definitely the blast-from-the-past riding of the aforementioned Burt and none other than the man Terry Kidwell. His handplants are epic! One gets to see the birth of our modern day butters, as Terry wheelies past some dumbfounded skiers. It’s awesome! What else is there to say? Joe Sexton: Bs 3 to 5-0, Koski: Fs 1080/Sw Fs 1080, Scott Vine: Toe edge Fs 1080, Simon Chamberlain: Still the smoothest rail riding pretzel out master, Fredu Sirvio: Insanely styled Nosepresses, Chris Wimbles’ tweaks and a killer rail section from the new kid Risto Ruokola! Done, out!
Blank Paper Studio
1% Urban Rails 80% Backcountry 19% Park
I hated David Benedek from day one! How can you not hate him! He’s nice, he’s polite, he’s extremely professional, he’s a killer rider, he’s still in his prime and as of late he’s also a filmmaker (a pretty f__king good one at that)! ‘91 words for Snow’ was original and then he whacks me over the head with ‘In Short’. The guidelines from ‘How to make a snowboard flick for dummies’ gets chucked out the window and you are left with 5 short films which progressively get longer. From how a snowboard gets made to Sani Alibabic have a blast with mini shredding and bigger shredding later; to the surreal dry slopes of England and its new prodigy Jamie Nichols; then switching gears to Mikey LeBlanc and Eric Messier, with fearless Japanese kamikazes ploughing through pillows on their home turf; to some ‘ordinary’ quarter pipe, halfpipe and kicker shots; finally culminating in David, Christoph Weber and Mike Basich’s Alaskan vacation. The idea to camp out on a glacier is GENIUS. It definitely gave the film this pioneer-type feeling, which, let’s face it, these three are! The cool thing is that you, as the viewer, get to feel like you’re part of this trio of friends’ camping trip; on top of a mountain peak waiting for the smile of the sun to beam down on them on the next morning on this amazing earth! Truly inspiring!
Ahhhh, this video was so refreshing! It brought back hazy memories of the good ol’ times when ‘Boozy the Clown’ was out and about chasing sheep! The ‘Whiskey’ boozy spirit is definitely omnipresent in this vid, from drunken stupors, to drunken acrobatics, to drunken shit talking, to drunken naked dudes in saunas. It’s all there! Other than the hilarious scenes after midnight, the flick has also got some very legit shredding! Backcountry kickers, rails or anything rideable; watch out! Devun is soooooo smooth, Tadashi is insane, young gun Matt Dano is a tank, and the rest of the beasts are just straight out pow or rail slayers! It’s about the fun and not taking yourself too seriously. C’mon people we’re partly on this planet to enjoy this wonderful life that we have been given. A word of caution to the underage! Do not try this at home and drink responsibly……….sometimes.
35% Rails 30% Backcountry 35% Park
Ze Germans are coming, and are killing it! After watching the flick, I really was motivated to go shred, which says a lot considering that European snowboard videos are sprouting up more and more regularly these days. The filming is very much up to par with major productions and includes some cool crane shots, which always look all floaty and nice. It takes inspiration from Mack Dawg’s ‘From ___ with Love’ regarding the option of watching the video by means of the riders parts, or travel destinations. Even though it’s been done before, it’s always a very cool alternative in my humble opinion. Coming to the riding of the boys involved; from Chris Patch’s killer opener part, to Christophe Schmidt’s super smooth styled Alley Oops, to the old Master Xaver (who tweaks the shit out of everything). Andre Kuhlmann has one of the nicest Cab 9’s to be seen in a video this season while Michi Zirngibl’s rail magic is mental, and Marco Smolla’s closing part rocks and once again shows that this young man can just about do anything on a snowboard that crosses his (supposedly) genius mind. In fact all of the parts are very solid and the boys are definitely upping the ante every year. I am very keen to see what kind of footy they come up with from the forthcoming season. I’m not worried about them one bit though. Very creative and very good. Period!
Okay, to start off this is very hard to write about. If you are a park kid that gets his stoke on watching double corks, super smooth bs 5 crail grabs or ridiculous rail and box annihilation you will be bored. Trust me. If your interest in snowboarding has a broader horizon and you are keen on learning about it and getting knowledgeable then it’s going to hit the spot. It’s not an educational video in the sense of going through all different aspects of snowboarding, rather it focuses on a specific topic of snowboarding: big mountain riding in Alaska. In any interview with a half decent freestyle pro who knows his way around the backcountry, you will read about them wanting to go to Alaska, the last frontier. And it is! There’s a clear differentiation to be made between knowing with what speed you have to hit a kicker. It’s easy just look at where all the other dudes are hitting it from. In Alaska you are alone in front of something you have never ridden! It’s just a whole different level. You need to have hit kickers for years to know how to go off a wind lip here! If you mess up on a kicker you’ll sketch out and maybe get a bruise. If you mess up in Alaska the consequences might be very dark. Like, eternally dark! The overwhelmingly positive aspect in Alaska is that the terrain there is like no other in the world allowing you almost infinite creative possibilities, and as is explained by almost all the riders in the video, if you get that one line that you wanted and you come down in one piece, the rush is indescribable and pure and true fulfilment creeps into every cell in you body. One learns that filming big mountain riding in Alaska is also the toughest compared to anything else and is comparable with the stars having to be aligned to get the shot. So many factors have to be perfect; the rider stomping it, the filmer getting the shot, the weather, the snow conditions etc...In our modern day snowboarding competition is usually the driving force of many. Over in Alaska it’s the camaraderie knowing that if something goes wrong you will have to rely on your buddies to save your ass, which is very humbling in a way. The last bonus is that you get to listen to the silent legends and contemporary legends and share their knowledge with you.
10% Urban Rails 50% Backcountry Freestyle 40% Park
We here at the office are pretty much over snowboard video intro’s because they are always similar if not the same. A bunch of shots of falling snowflakes, then some mountain peaks, somewhere in between you get the roster of generous sponsors who made the whole shebang possible. Cut, to a little action section of some parts of the flick, which are usually edited in such a way that you never see any of the landings, making you want to watch the video. BORING, been there, done that………like a million times. Unexpectedly MMP’s Green comes at you with the best intro of all video releases of this year, actually in my opinion it’s got the coolest concept of a storyboard too. Really creative, funny and it never gets dull (the ‘Yeah Right’-inspired invisible board bit is pretty funny). The riding is solid, but nothing out of this world, which one can attribute to the really shitty winter last season. Before I forget, even though they had so little snow, the crazy Swiss still managed to build one of the biggest step-up kickers I have ever seen. I mean, the beast is like a four story house. High way to hell! Even though they did get some, well deserved, pow in the vast wilderness of mythical Japan. Happy times. A really cool and refreshing vid which will do the trick regarding the riding stoke.
Walk the Plank
Pirate Movie Production
20% Urban Rails 60% Backcountry Freestyle 20% Park Kickers
Every year the Pirates progress a little further when it comes to professionalism. This year is no different. They are constantly working on the quality of film (remember ‘Shoot your Friends’ filmed in 8 mm?), on their riding, editing, and on their kicker constructions, which are some of the most creative ones of the season. Hans Ålund, the new blood in the crew, has the honour of the opener, which is nothing short of banging. The steeze and technicality of his rail riding is just insane. Also something to watch out for is his pillow line consisting of a tree stump to little cliff drop. Luggi Goller proves that, like red wine, riders do get better with age! His part and architectural skills show what you can shovel out of snow and how creative you can be with it. A plea to the industry; keep supporting older riders. It’s well worth it! One of my favourite parts is that of Martin Sandberg, because you can notice the progression from his last year’s video part. He stomps one of the nicest most tweaked out Cab 9’s into pow of last season. Gigi needs no intro and is just from another planet. I don’t get how he can film with two different crews and still bag two amazing parts. Sooooo good! And then finally, as in last year’s flick, Marco Feichtner rounds things up with first try 9s into pow, or 7s off cliffs into tree runs somewhere in Russia. A very very solid video, with a solid crew of riders and filmers, which are a force and will hopefully become much more so in the future.
Up in the Sky
40% Urban Rails 40% Park 20% Backcountry Freestyle
Why are these damn Scandi’s so good. Purely judged on a technical level this vid is insane! It’s pure kicker and rail destruction at its finest. It’s those damn snowboard schools that they have up there, where the pupils are probably forced to sleep with their boots on and hold their board Indy the whole night long. Eiki Helgason, the Icelandic wunderkind very fittingly opens up the slaughter madness, who could challenge anyone in rail riding on this planet and come out on top. It doesn’t stop there; he also is no novice on kickers and hucks off of some proper monsters with an amazing fluid style. Little Ståle Sandbech will embarrass anyone older than 15 that can’t stomp 9’s and 7’s or do Danishes out. I was a little disturbed. Watch out for that kid! Then comes a lineup of names ending in ‘son’, ‘gard’, ‘en’ or ‘und’ who unleash fury till you come to a young dude who’s name ends with an ‘o’. Slowly that little ‘o’ turns into a roaring ‘OOOOOOHHHHH’. Young Torstein Horgmo spins everything that your minds eye can imagine with amazing style including 1260’s and SW BS 10’s. But, the thing that caught my attention was his afterbang. Hands down, best one in the bizz. He just flies and flies and then all of a sudden, boyaaakasha. BOOM! Doesn’t get much better than that. The only thing that make the video suffer a bit is the editing. It’s very predictable with one rider part after another. A little bit more editing effort and creativity and this crew will definitely be one to be reckoned with in the near future.