We have managed to pick our jaws off the floor after watching all the entries for this year's Real Snow, and have decided that with everyone else telling you who to vote for we'd throw our hat into the ring and tell you whose box we ticked and why.
8 guys were selected to film a 60-second video part and the edits get paired off - head-to-head style - and it's up to you, the public, to vote for the sickest to make it through to the next round. If you haven't had your mind blown yet, you can watch them all here.
It's only Eero flying the flag for the old continent - surely Halldor Helgason, Gulli Gudmundsson, Teo Konttinen or one of the other talented Euro-jibbers have to get a call-up soon - but while we can bemoan this blindspot all we want it is, after all, a US TV spectacular and, more importantly, all the edits from the guys who got the nod are so damn heavy that it'd it'd be disrespectful to whinge too much when the guys they did pick stepped up and fully crushed it. Seriously, all of these edits are just full of bionic, superhuman street shredding.
But some dudes must stand, and some must fall. The internet is abuzz with riders, brands, friends and fans screaming 'VOTE FOR XXX!!!' (with the exception of gentleman snowboarder Dan Brisse who just said "Everyone's part is so incredibly good. Go and vote for your favourites!" - and for this we hope he wins), but with the riders putting their bodies on the line to film these it would be a shame if this is decided by who has the best social networking skills. Who are we kidding, though. Course it will.
Regardless, we're throwing our hat in the ring and will tell you who we voted for and why. To our mind you've got to look at the whole package - the heaviness of the riding, the consequences of the spot, the filming, the editing, the tune and the overall vibe. So that's what we thinking while deciding who we think is the sickest. If you don't agree with our opinions you're clearly wrong and know nothing about snowboarding and we will fight you like the drunk octopus. Alternatively you can just tell us your thoughts on how we've blown it in the comments...
Ethan certainly stepped up to bat with his part and it's full burly rails and heavy transfers of doom. The kid's got the sack and the style for sure, but we're gonna have to go for our homie Eero on this one. The spots are all sick, the gaps he nails heavy, and we were just feeling the vibe of the edit a bit more too. Plus when was the last time you saw a switch double back in a skatepark? Or a nosepress frontflip downtown for that matter? Our call: Eero Ettala.
Jeremy's like 100 years old and yet still he's progressing. It's insane. How his knees don't crumble on some of those redirects we have no idea (maybe why he takes to doing them off bouncy old fences - rad) and the wall to tree transfer had us hyped. But literally everything Frank April does in his part scared us or amazed us - usually both at once - and the faux boardslide on that giant building this at the end is just so nuts. The tune and the edit work super well with Frank's riding too. Our call: Frank April.
How both of these guys are still alive, let alone walking, after filming these parts is a minor miracle, and it's kind of a shame they had to face off so early. We thought Frank April scared us but these two... jeez. Brisse's wallrides and rail to drops just seem to be an order of magnitude bigger than almost anyone out there, there's one oversized 'rail' that made us swear, and he even Malmis a dumpster gap. But we preferred the edit of Bode's part, and he certainly locked hammers: the round the corner rail is so heavy, he can one-foot backflip off buildings and ends his part with a Brisse-sized rail to drop WITH NO TAIL? Stupid. So hard to call this one, but after a repeated re-watching we'll give the nod to Brisse as every damn shot is fucking huge and fucking nuts. Our call: Dan Brisse.
Louif's got so much control over his board and body it's frightening. Pulling madness down monster rails and bringing it back to regs is no biggie for this dude. His handplant slide is our favourite trick of all the edits and the wallride barrel roll wraps it all up nicely. Pat's part is a bit more hell for leather, being predominantly enormous wall rides, transfers, gaps and drops, but still some heavy railing made the cut, including a killer redirect to boardslide. We were umming and ahhing the virtues of technical mastery vs fully sending it when we realised we liked the editing of Pat's part more and voted for him. Our call: Pat Moore.
So there you have it. That's our tuppence worth. Now drop your virtual ballot papers on the Real Snow page. What do you guys reckon, and who will you vote for?