So the North wind has been howling and surfing the internet has been the closest i've got to any kind of surfing this week. I did get a couple of cool things through the post. It's always an exciting moment when a new Surfers Journal drops through the letterbox and if youve never read it, i'd heartily reccomend subscribing. It's not cheap but it is well worth it in my humble opinion!
I also got hold of a copy of Thomas Campbells "slide your brains out" I'm most definately a sucker for a nice coffee table book and i'm a fan of all of Tmoe's output whether still, movie or paint based so loving this was a sure thing. There are some great photo's all with Thomas lo-fi pulled back style, some you will have seen and some new ones, all captioned by Thomas with his characteristic wit. A good stormy day timewaster!
I'm still in a snowy mood though so i thought i'd post this......
Back when i started snowboarding it was a much simpler more rudimentary affair. The kit was still very basic and it inhabited a space right at the fringes of snowsports, some resorts still banned the killer craze and middle class skiers still happily referred to riders as "gays on trays"... to your face.
Freestyle tricks were developing rapidly but a backside 360 with a grab was still considered tech enough to put into a video part and kickers were still small. In short, watching an early film, like the original TB films, it still seemed achievable to us, not too much of a stretch from what we could build and do. We felt part of things.
Today things are very different. Snowboarding is firmly in the mainstream (dare i say it freestyle skiing seems a bit cooler to the local kids in euro resorts?!) riders train like athletes and have sponsorship deals to match. Watching one of the more recent snow videos, like the Art of Flight for example, is jaw dropping. The balls and technical standard of the riding is awesome BUT it now seems so removed from most peoples frames of reference it's easy to lose interest or somehow not feel like your involved in the same passtime.
It's incredibly refreshing then to watch something like the short piece above with it's general absence of huge lines, kickers and technicality. It's far closer to our own experience of snowboarding fun, blasting around a resort chasing face shots, tree runs and piste side hits, grinning and whooping like fools in white out conditions. Most of it is shot at Mount Baker in Washington which gets ridiculous amounts of snow and is one of the few mountains i'd love to ride but have yet to get the chance to.
The film is made by two ex-pro snowboarders, Byan Fox and Scotty Wittlake. Scotty (with the broken front tooth!) is perhaps the embodiment of what snowboarding (& skateboarding) used to be, donating much of his sponsor related income to charity and walking away from a lucrative pro career at the height of his powers to find his love for riding again. Away rom the ever encroaching tendrils of the mainstream, corporate big business, ski companies and energy drink money.
He worked as a fisherman in Alaska and a bike messenger in Portland to fund his simple lifestyle and ride without the pressure of cameras. His views are forthright and pretty punk (check his rant on the olympics) and you might not agree with him but he is still a great snowboarder and someone i always enjoyed watching.