Monday, October 25, 2010

Purgatory: A Brief Guide to Videos, Since You Probably Can't Ride Yet

No, not the formerly-known-as ski resort. I'm talking about when you can see the goods, but can't get in. As in, this time of year. It's snowing. The weather outside is shitty, but still you can't snowboard. It might be another couple weeks, even by the resort's most optimistic forecast. How the hell is a pusher of p-tex supposed to stay sane? Watch a ton of videos, that's how. The following is a brief 'what's what' of the few videos I've watched this season. No one can tell you what to watch, but I can lay out the info as objectively as possible. Pick out the one that most suits your taste and it'll keep you from going cuckoo for snow snow puffs until you can finally get out there.

In a land...
Title: Jeremy Jones' Deeper

Crew: Teton Gravity Research

Riders: Jeremy Jones, Travis Rice, Xavier De Le Rue, Josh Dirksen, Ryland Bell, Jonaven Moore, Forrest Shearer, Johan Olofsson, Lucas Debari, and Tom Burt

What It's Got: backcountry, documentary style, big lines, long trips, hikes to every drop, huge mountains, Alaska, Chamonix, Sierras, Antarctica, a few backcountry booters, that epic feeling

What It's Not: parks, rails, anything urban

My Opinion: If it doesn't make you want to shred, it will make you want to get better.

A fresh one-footer over a foot of fresh powder
Title:  Right Brain, Left Brain (disclaimer: I only saw the Right Brain)

Crew: Think Thank

Riders: Jesse Burtner, Matt Edgers, Scott Stevens, Sean Genovese, Gus Engle, Pat Milbery, Nick Visconti, Tim Eddy, Mark Thompson, Jason Robinson, Chris Beresford, Austin Hironaka, Blair Habenicht, Chris Larson, Ben Bogart, Sam Hulbert, Austen Granger, Andre Spinelli, Chris Brewster, Jess Kimura (no wonder they 'needed' two discs)

What It's Got: lots of jibs, some park, some backcountry, crazy one-footed stylings, crazier 'kickflips' and other no-footed shenanigans, some big spins off of big jumps, fun feeling, fast pace

What It's Not: that self-serious feeling that so many videos get these days

My Opinion: It will make you look at snowboarding (and your snowboard) differently and that's a good thing.

Yes it was
Title: In Color

Crew: Transworld Snowbording

Riders: Chris Bradshaw, Devun Walsh, Iikka Backstrom, Jake Olson Elm, Jussi Oksanen, Keegan Valaika, Mark Sollors, Mikkel Bang, Phil Jacques

What It's Got: shred porn, good mix of urban and backcountry (maybe leans more toward urban), giant glacier-maw gap, old-school and new-school riders, solid

What's It's Not: big mountain lines, lacking

My Opinion: Plenty of amazing riding, so why was I feeling a little 'meh' at the end? Was that just me?

Minibike himself showing love at his hometown screening of 9191.
Title: 9191

Crew: Volcom

Riders: Gigi Rüf, Nicolas Müller, Austin Smith, Curtis Cizek, Wille Yli-Luoma, Wolle Nyvelt, Jake Blauvelt, Blair Habenicht, Luke Mitrani, Bryan Iguchi

What It's Got: Gigi-centric without actually feeling Gigi-centric, custom-made soundtrack (Slayer's drummer performs a drum solo), extraordinarily creative backcountry, enough of said backcountry to make you want to spring for a heli this year (as if you didn't already)

What It's Not: urban, bad

My Opinion: This one really made me want to ride. Add a little more documentary and it's up there with the best ever.

No, it's not censored in the actual movie
Title: Fuck It

Crew: Forum

Riders: John Jackson, Stevie Bell, Nic Sauve, Niko Cioffi, Austen Sweetin, Jake Welch, Cameron Pierce, Pat Moore, Andreas Wiig

What It's Got: funny intro sequences, urban, big park jumps, John Jackson getting gnar in the backcountry, some others get a little in the backcountry

What It's Not: Peter Line, Daniel Ek

My Opinion: I was bored with all the rail and park porn. Then John Jackson came on and I got stoked.

Hopefully this list will help you get a grip on some of the videos out there this year. As usual, you have dozens of choices and they're all different. Mostly different. The few I've listed are but mere flakes on the grand mountain of shred celluloid. Fortunately, unlike Indy's choice in The Last Crusade, you can't really go wrong. And with iTunes out there, you can put a couple bucks away toward your season pass, too. If you're lucky, you have friends who like shred flicks, too and you can borrow some. Trade back and forth and get a little library thing going. Which makes me think, why isn't there any place out there where you can rent these videos? Would anyone else partake in this? I know I would. While I'm mini-ranting, does anyone else feel like it's giving away the ending when people who preview videos tell you who had the ender? I do. That shit has got to stop!

Deeper and 9191 are the two from this list that I'll buy. Their re-watching potential is sooo high. I'll also probably buy Absinthe's NowHere (though maybe on iTunes) because I know, instinctively, that it's going to be good. I might have to get Right Brain, Left Brain, too, if only to see the other half.

No matter how close the season is, it will always feel like an eternity. With the right exercise and stretching routine to get you in shape (you know, so you can actually ride without feeling like every bit of soft tissue in your knee is going to explode on every landing) and a couple movies to keep the kid in you alive you'll be on that first chair in no time. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find someone to convert my old, twisted Mack Dawg tapes to DVD.


  1. I saw Deeper over the weekend at the TC Ski and Snowboard Expo. Can I say wow? Because I did. Several times. This will be my first snowboarding movie purchase.

  2. Money well-spent, Shanna. Let me know about the special features.


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