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Talking Points

The Art of Carving

There are few things in snowboarding that get me more worked up than when the words ‘carve up the slopes’ drift into my auditory canal.

For some reason, those four innocent words trigger an autonomous nervous reaction that has me reaching for my own neck, death-grip style.

Let’s set the record straight here; ‘carving’ is not just some generic term that can be tossed around like a cheap hooker and used as a substitute for every style of snowboarding from sideslipping to powder turns. By definition, it is impossible to carve in deep powder snow.

Carving dates back to the early days of snowboarding and involves setting an edge in the snow and letting your snowboard’s sidecut do the rest of the work. If you’re carving properly, your track will be a razor-sharp line with no skidding.

‘carving’ is not just some generic term that can be tossed around like a cheap hooker

Riding in hardboots and laying out a solid carve was all the rage back in the day, but in the last few years, the humble carved turn has been making a fighting comeback. We couldn’t be more hyped really: it’s fun, it looks rad and it’s a super efficient way of getting down the hill.

Click through to check out eight sick as hell examples of carving – from the originators in the 80s right through to the cutting edge jib kids who are bringing the art back into the forefront of snowboarding. If you didn’t get the memo, carving is trendy now:

Peter Bauer and Jean Nerva

Let’s start it off with something old school. This little eurocarving nugget of awesomeness is from Burton’s 1992 movie ‘Scream of Consciousness’ and features legendary pro rider (and now head honcho of Amplid snowboards) Peter Bauer, alongside French hardboot boss Jean Nerva. These two (among others) were holding down the carve in Europe while the freestyle side of snowboarding was developing over in the US, and were all about going fast.

In between racing slalom, these two would go freeriding – which in those days apparently meant laying out the fattest Vitelli turns in their hard boots and race boards (thankfully, minus the lycra).

Extreme Russian Eurocarving

During the late 90′s and 2000′s, while freestyle snowboarders were blowing up in the US and making mad money like Usher and Nelly, the hardboot scene over in Europe continued to plow on with some momentum, but also eventually succumbed to the growing trend towards freestyle. Today, the true Eurocarvers represent a pretty tiny proportion of snowboarders, and have largely retreated to places like Russia, and France.

In 2014, extreme eurocarving has basically branched out as its own separate division of snowboarding and is all about getting as laid-out as possible. The old school dudes were doing it on their toeside edges back in the day but to be able to do it equally well heelside has taken it to a whole new level.

The limbo/slalom/eurocarve video above pretty much blew us away when we first saw it last year. Yes, Russian dudes, yes!

You’ll be glad to hear that there’s a lot more of where that came from too:

Extreme Russian Eurocarving – AT NIGHT

In this one, our hardbooting heroes  – and you guessed it, they’re still Russian – get all dark and mysterious; waiting for a full moon (well, kinda) and using lights to get some dramatic laid-out Vitellis under the stars. We like..?

Extreme Russian Eurocarving – ART OF FLIGHT STYLE

When That’s It That’s All and The Art of Flight burst onto our screens a few years back, Brain Farm unintentionally created their own niche of over-produced, epic, action sports cinematography – with more super high-def, slow mo sweeping shots than the final big battle scene in 300. This camera-porn style production has since been imitated, with varying degrees of success, in all corners of action sports – including this extreme eurocarving one.

It’s got every cliche in the book, yet is pretty entertaining for it nonetheless: from handcrafting the boards at the beginning to the excessive use of slow-mo, powder sprays and perhaps the most blatant giveaway – using an Art of Flight song. The only thing that could make this more entertaining would be if Travis and co. were the ones getting rad on the groomers.

The Art of Carving with Terje Haakonsen

Bringing the carved turn back to modern-day snowboarding, Burton dropped this edit a few weeks back featuring Terje Haakonsen making a pretty bold statement alongside relative rookie Ben Ferguson.

The artsy black and white edit shows the pair blasting around on some groomers, setting some edges, pulling some methods and locking into tripods. It’s a modern homage to the fun that you can have on natural terrain around the resort and moreover, shows that turning – and carving in particular – is still super fun.

The Yawgoons

But while some may call out guys like Terje for being ‘past it’ or ‘not that relevant anymore’, the carved-turn has been making a legitimate comeback in a whole load of edits that the cool kids are down with as well. We’re talking guys like Scott Stevens, the Warp Wave dudes and the Yawgoons – the latter perhaps being the best example.

Dylan Gamache has been blowing everyone and their dog’s minds this season with some next level stunt boarding on crazy DIY set ups which more often than not features some powerful carving. Check him out in Yawgoons above from 1.42 onwards for an amazing full circle carve, a revert to switch carve and more – all on a pretty intense looking Spring Break x Capita snowboard.

Gus Warbington One-Foot Toeside Carve

Check out the insane one-foot toeside carve at the end of this edit from High Cascade, it may not look like all that much, but that shit is pretty damn hard to do with just one foot in!

Yearning for Turning

We had to update this list to include Korua Shapes and their most excellent Yearning for Turning edits. These boys like nothing more than getting low, bro, and have over the past few winters pumped out some truly epic examples of ground-based edge mastery. This, their fourth instalment, is the latest.

Josh Dirksen Carving at Bachelor

In this edit, Josh Dirksen strips it back to basics and lays out a few serious carves. We don’t know about you guys, but this made us want to strap in and ride way more than seeing a textbook triple cork go down on an icy kicker!

Have you seen any amazing examples of modern day carving? Drop the links to the vids in the comments section below and if we like them we’ll add them to the article. 

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