Snowboard Life Video Reviews

Empress

Produced by Dana Mackie, Sky Rondenet, and Tiffany Sabol

Snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, surfing, skating … this flick shows women charging hard. This is a tastefully produced all-female film with quality music and great footage. There's big-mountain freeriding in Alaska and Chamonix by Julie Zell, Karleen Jeffery, and Victoria Jealouse mixed with freestyle footage of Tricia Byrnes, Natasza Zurek, Barrett Christy, Tara Dakides, and Nicola Thost. But the other sections are just as sick–women dropping waterfalls in their kayaks, doing backflips on skis, and dropping into huge surf at Mavericks.

–R.H.

The Haakonsen Factor

Cinemaseoane

The much-anticipated return of the Sprocking Cat. Like Star Wars Episode 1, expectations were high and this film could never quench snowboarding's insatiable thirst for Terje. It's been a long dry spell since the last good guzzle–Subjekt: Haakonsen.

Biggest complaint? Too damn short. Twenty or 30 minutes, tops. Should you check it? Definitely. Terje's backcountry lines are worthy of Crom hisself. He breaks down huge, steep, hit-filled backcountry faces like no other, improvising from top to bottom–amazing. Would've loved to see more of the fuse-busting pipe riding that's Terje's calling card.

–Ewan Morrison

North Park

Fall Line Films

“Hello, this is North Park, department of redundancy department North Park speaking.

The title North Park appears to be an inside joke. Nearly 80 percent of the movie was shot in a park at Northstar-at-Tahoe, get it? Noah Salasnek, Aaron Vincent, Roan Rogers, and some other guys make run after run of popping-corn follow-the-leader over four lined up gaps.

North Park is broken up by three voyeuristic side trips to major big-air contests, a few goalpost railslides, some Mt. Hood pipe footage, and a John Sommers part–the movie's most interesting bit. Sommers rides with amazing style, and unfortunately, we really didn't get to see enough of it.

–L.C.

Revival

Kingpin Productions

Chad Otterstrom's part is worth watching–he can ride pipe and hit booters. A two-second Terje segment makes up for the rest of the riders who, if it weren't for big balls, no knee ligaments, and the rebirth of jibbing, wouldn't be snowboarding at all, much less in a video. The freeriding consists of a couple bad turns in springtime snow on the way to another jump. No single shot in Revival lasts for more than five seconds. Cool segues between parts, and Shannon Dunn has good style, but what's up with mid-video commercials?

–K.H.

 

TB8 Infinity

Standard Films

For those of us who like our snowboarding with a heavy dose of freeriding, Standard Films' Totally Board series is the only game in town. Although the film crew didn't score its usual amount of mind-blowing descents in Valdez, they've made up for it with great freeriding and big-mountain footage from other locales. There's plenty of progressive backcountry freestyle riding in TB8 Infinity–huge kickers and technical spins–but luckily for the freeriders of the world, Standard Films still appreciates the beauty of sick backcountry riding.

–E.M.

Technical Difficulties

Mack Dawg Productions

There're enough spins in this video to rival the number of times the Earth has spun around the sun. Given the various axes the spins are hucked on in Technical Difficulties, this gravitational metaphor isn't far from the truth. With today's preeminent rippers upping the ante of technical trickery, this video challenges the most avid video junkies to try to call out the tricks. Rails, cheese-wedges, quarterpipes, halfpipes, and gaps from hell make this piece exciting and inspiring.

–J.C.

This Year's Model

TransWorld SNOWboarding Video Magazine

Twenty four cliff drops, 110 kicker hits, 35 pipe airs, 32 powder turns, seven crashes, four avalanches, two road jumps, one fence jump, one failed snow loop, one snow angel, and one champagne spray in the 27-minute-long video. The total: one action shot every eight seconds, consisting of the Quebec 418 crew; Northwest riding by Andrew Crawford, B.J. Leines, and Jussi Oksanen; Tahoe backcountry with Kevin Jones, Tom Gilles, Dave Downing, and Jim Rippey; and big-mountain riding from Brian Savard and Tom Burt, among many others.

–John Stouffer

Other Videos To Check Out

Clear Cut by Treetop Productions, Diary of a Madman by Bullseye Productions, Goin' For Broke by Peak Productions, Higher on the Mountain by Straight Up Films, 1999 by High Voltage Productions, and Viva Sessions a Sessions Snowboarding/Skateboarding Film.