There’s nothing quite like being there live when the action is going down, not just for the front row seats, but also for the suspense of not knowing how it’s going to turn out. Can you imagine watching Jeremy Jones gapping to that monster Northstar rail, witnessing a first-attempt at a road gap, or a sketchy descent in Alaska? Yikes. We asked this crew of Canadians what sort of riveting drama they’ve spectated.-A.F.
What’s the most gripping thing you’ve seen go down on a snowboard?
Sponsors: Ride Snowboards, Oakley, Empire, Whistler/Blackcomb, Ifound, DaKine
“Almost every time we build a jump or get ready to hit a cliff for the first time, you always want to watch. I find that really thrilling … then you find out if the speed or the snow was good. One of the most gripping things, though, would go to Martin Gallant in the Whistler backcountry. Martin didn’t ride all day and then at sunset he says, “I’m going to hit this double line.” He hiked, and then he rode this double line like he was Tom Burt. Totally epic-still to this days this is one of the sickest things I’ve seen out there!”
Sponsors: Westbeach, DaKine, ThirtyTwo, Smith, Eesa, Whistler/Blackcomb
“One of the most memorable shred events would have been sledding into Rutherford (Whistler backcountry) one morning with Jonaven Moore and Dave Basterrechea, and hearing Jonaven say, “Holy shit-check that thing out. You could air here, ride there, shooosh over there, and then hit that 60-foot rock ride.” I thought he was joking, and then I thought he was lying when he said he was going to check it out.
“I don’t remember who went first, but the line had a twenty-to 25-foot mandatory at the top, a 40 to 50 face for a turn or two, and then last but not least, the rock ride. The whole thing took about fifteen seconds top to bottom. No warm-ups, no hesitation, just straight mofo balls-all at 8:00 a.m. They later called it Poppa Jordan, and as far as I know, no one has done it again. Those guys have got the mental game dialed. I was so freaked watching that, all I wanted to do afterwards was build a nice powder-landing jump.”
Sponsors: Nitro, L1, Raiden bindings, Dragon, Ifound, Box Fresh, Vestal, DLX
“First tries are dramatic for sure! In my book there’s nothing more exciting than a fresh track in the backcountry. It’s a real art where knowledge, confidence, and mind-set have everything to do with the outcome. I don’t think kids realize that ’cause they don’t have the chance to get out there like we do. It’s the one thing that inspires me the most in snowboarding. Landvik, Mà…eller, Devun, Fredi K., and Rice are the names that stand out in my mind when I think of successful first-try attempts! Obviously, big-mountain Jeremy Jones is in a different league too.
“Even if it’s not a first try, seeing something live is always better than any camera angle-no pause, no slow motion, and no replay-just pure presence and feel for the moment. I think seeing Devun and Tadashi off of The Perfect Jump along with Fredi K. off Hollywood Cliff are on top of my list of all-time favorite live flawless snowboarding.”