Well the winter is well underway and the team is scattered around the globe as they tend to be in mid-February. Reports are coming in from all over that everyone is working hard and the riding has been stepped up a big notch over last year.

“It is amazing to see how much the level of riding has gone up since this time last year, guys are just going huge and thinking of the consequences after”, stated Defective Films Director Sean Johnson when asked how the film season has been going so far. Defective is producing “Promo Copy”, which will be released in August and will feature Forum riders Travis Kennedy, Lauri Heiskari, and Joni Malmi, as well as Jeenyus riders Andreas Wiig and Eddie Wall. “Promo Copy” will be sponsored by Forum and Jeenyus. To see a sneak preview of “Promo Copy”, go to http://defectivefilms.com.

“The past month people have been filming everyday,” comments Matt Davis, producer of next year’s Whiteout Films release “Positron”. “Everyone is on track to have great parts for the movie, Devun is taking things to the next level in the backcountry” adds Davis, who is filming Devun Walsh, Bjorn Leines, Peter Line, as well as Jeenyus am Morten Vigeland and Forum am Hans Ahlund for their release which is slated for August 2004. “Positron” is sponsored by Forum Snowboards. The teaser is available at http://www.whiteout-films.com.

JP Walker has been busy filming for MDP’s upcoming release “Chulk Smack” in locations around the US and Canada. He has been riding his new 148 on rails nationwide and is now focusing on backcountry. Back in November, JP and his girlfriend Roberta fell victim to an icy pass in Utah and wound up flipping his truck into a small ravine in Cottonwood Canyon. Luckily no one was seriously hurt and they walked out OK. JP is headed to Japan in 2 weeks for a promotional tour and for the Slopestyle 2004 contest.

Travis Kennedy has been on a mission this winter, traveling from his home in Mammoth to Las Vegas for the High Roller Rail Jam, and then on to Whistler where he has been for the last 2 weeks filming “Promo Copy”. After an interior BC rail trip, Travis and crew have been sledding in the Whistler backcountry everyday getting shots. Travis is headed on an overseas rail trip on Friday fro a week and a half before leaving for Japan with JP, Devun, Joni, Lauri, and Bjorn.

Devun Walsh has been hitting Whistler since the end of November and is getting some great footage. Check out the “Positron” teaser for a few sneak peeks. Devun had a little scare a few days ago trying to launch a huge double cliff line, but he was back on the horse later that day. Devun has been getting some good rail shots as well, and has also been taking some photos documenting the year that we should see in mags next season.

Lauri Heiskari and Joni Malmi have been in their hometown of Helsinki this season filming some of the most insane handrails on earth. Lauri was ready to hit a rail in Helsinki when Sean and Ian who were filming him would’nt let him hit a rail because it looked too dangerous. A few days later, Lauri took his own filmer back and decided to do it anyway. After stomping it a couple of times, Sean and Ian’s fears were realized and Lauri knocked himself out for a couple of hours. After waking up in the hospital, the events of the day slowly came back into his head and he only had a slight concussion. The two just arrived stateside and are driving up to Whistler together to film for the next 2 weeks before heading off to the Slopestyle event in Japan. Joni also got second place at the Nokia Air and Style in Austria in December.

Bjorn Leines has been in Tahoe for the past week and a half filming with Kevin Jones. “Kevin has been doing some insane lines back there.” was the report from Ian Ruhter, who was telling stories of several life or death lines through chutes throughout the Tahoe backcountry. Kevin is filming for an upcoming Billabong movie and Bjorn is filming for “Positron”. Bjorn was also at e Hard Rock High Rollers Rail Jam in Vegas where he threw down some tech maneuvers in the contest and then continued to film some even more technical tricks after he was out of the event. Talk about dedication.

For everyone who has been awake at least one hour in the past week, Tara Dakides has been all over the news, radio, and TV. It all started when Tara was scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman. A scaffolding jump was built in the middle of NYC outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater for Tara to jump, pretty standard procedure. After stomping two straight airs it was time for the cameras to roll. Tara got the intro from Dave and the two exchanged some jabs, with Dave adding, “Should’nt you be wearing a helmet?” and Tara replying “Yeah, probably.” Tara dropped into the jump and caught a piece of the subframe of the jump, causing her to launch off the side of the jump and into the middle of the as usual unpadded pavement of 53rd Street. Tara was knocked out and scores of people rushed to her side. Dave Letterman himself was one of the first on the scene and he decided that the taping of the show would stop and they would run a rerun that night. Tara’s face was plastered all over the news nationwide as well as on Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and every local news station in America. Tara only had a minor concussion and was out of the hospital within 24 hours. Dave invited her in for Monday where she stole the show from Dr. Phil and afterwards she headed to the Carson Daly Show. Wednesday morning she was the featured guest on the Howard Stern radio show where she plugged Jeenyus heavily and was asked several more than personal questions. Overall, she came away good in the interview. Look for more from Tara in the upcoming Billabong video as well as at upcoming Triple Crown events which she has been riding well in all season.

Peter Line has been riding in Washington and is filming and helping with the creative direction of “Positron”. Pete has been stoked on his new Division series which is out for the 2004-2005 season. Peter just had the cover of the latest Transworld Snowboarding which features an interview and a retrospective of his 10 years as a pro snowboarder.

Eddie Wall is officially back from his knee injury. After tying for first place at the Hard Rock Rail Jam, Eddie headed up to Whistler to film for “Promo Copy” with Travis Kennedy. Eddie has got some great rail shots and has been concentrating on backcountry for the past couple of weeks until him and Travis head overseas to film some rails at the end of the week. “Eddie is one of the strongest riders on the crew” comments Sean Johnson, “the kid just is’nt scared and is doing the most technical stuff down huge rails” Eddie is headed to Japan at the end of the month as well for the Slopestyle and some promotional events.

Andreas Wiig has come over from Norway and has been in Tahoe for the past 3 weeks filming with Defective Films. Andreas is currently on a road trip to Utah to continue filming for the next couple of weeks with other riders on the Defective crew. Andreas has had some good showings at the Vans Triple Crown events including a second at Breckenridge as well as The Session in Vail where he got 5th and the X Games where he got a Bronze in Slopestyle. Andreas also got a Wildcard invitation from Terje to The Arctic Challenge in Norway this winter.

The Forum Youngblood team has been busy as well traveling to events all across the nation. Pat Moore, Louie Vito, and Jake Blauvelt hit up the Triple Crown in Breckenridge where Jake got 4th in Slopestyle as well as the Grand Prix in Mountain Creek, NJ this past weekend where Jake and Pat both finished top three. In addition to all of his events, Pat is also filming for the new Grenade video which is due out in August. Jed Anderson has been traveling as well as filming with his brother Jared around Alberta. Jed’s mom got a little worried when the guys were sessioning a rail outside a juvenile detention center and some of the kids that were being detained were not too stoked on them being there. There was a brief incident, but Jed and Jared’s people skills prevailed and they came out with a couple of new thug friends. Holla.

New Jeenyus am Joe Eddy has been on the contest trail as well. He has been hitting up the Triple Crown’s and is also one of only 25 riders invited to Snowboarder’s Guiness Book of World Records Highest Air contest on February 25th. This should be a good event for Joe to be at if you have ever seen him ride pipe. Jeenyus and Special Blend rookie Cheryl Maas finished 6th at her first pro contest in Breckenridge in December in Slopestyle. She then headed to the X Games for the women’s slopestyle and then got a second in the Vans Triple Crown in Mammoth. Cheryl has headed back to Holland and is traveling throughout Europe to several resorts before returning to the US in March.

Also, the Forum Youngblood series is in full swing with the entire tour culminating into the Forum Youngblood World Final March 20th at Big Bear Mountain, California. Over 20 of the worlds top unsponsored ams will throw down in from of celebrity judges to determine who is the top Amateur rider in the nation. The finals will be held during the day with the top 5 riders battling it out under the lights in a sudden death Jib Off in “The Scene”, Big Bear’s rail garden at the base of the lift. 5 Time World Champion DJ A TRAK will be hosting as the finals go down. This will be an event you will not want to miss. Check out forumsnowboards.com fro more details. outside a juvenile detention center and some of the kids that were being detained were not too stoked on them being there. There was a brief incident, but Jed and Jared’s people skills prevailed and they came out with a couple of new thug friends. Holla.

New Jeenyus am Joe Eddy has been on the contest trail as well. He has been hitting up the Triple Crown’s and is also one of only 25 riders invited to Snowboarder’s Guiness Book of World Records Highest Air contest on February 25th. This should be a good event for Joe to be at if you have ever seen him ride pipe. Jeenyus and Special Blend rookie Cheryl Maas finished 6th at her first pro contest in Breckenridge in December in Slopestyle. She then headed to the X Games for the women’s slopestyle and then got a second in the Vans Triple Crown in Mammoth. Cheryl has headed back to Holland and is traveling throughout Europe to several resorts before returning to the US in March.

Also, the Forum Youngblood series is in full swing with the entire tour culminating into the Forum Youngblood World Final March 20th at Big Bear Mountain, California. Over 20 of the worlds top unsponsored ams will throw down in from of celebrity judges to determine who is the top Amateur rider in the nation. The finals will be held during the day with the top 5 riders battling it out under the lights in a sudden death Jib Off in “The Scene”, Big Bear’s rail garden at the base of the lift. 5 Time World Champion DJ A TRAK will be hosting as the finals go down. This will be an event you will not want to miss. Check out forumsnowboards.com fro more details.