Words| Taylor Boyd
Photos| Mike Yoshida and Mark Clavin
A snowboard movie's instrumental purpose is to make people want to go snowboarding. Thus, the mark of a good one is that which leaves the viewer itching to strap in. And if there was a single collective sentiment held as TransWorld's seventh feature film, Arcadia, ended and the packed La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, California, spilled onto the sidewalk, it was a burning desire to get to the mountains. People left wanting to snowboard. As he exited the theater, I overheard one particular attendee inquire to his friend as to whether there was anywhere in California holding a rideable patch of snow.
Several hours earlier a crowd of snowboarders in attendance from around the state, country, and even world, began to trickle into a brewery down the street from the La Paloma for a collaborative art show between TransWorld SNOWboarding and Mike Gonsalves, better known as Zeach Man. Gonsalves manipulated photographs shot during the filming of Arcadia, turning A-grade action imagery into tactile psychedelia with hypersaturated color palettes and the occasional addition of fur, or faux fur, rather. It was the ideal scenario for attendees to catch up over a beer and get familiar with what they were soon to witness on-screen.
And as the sun set over the ocean a few blocks away, the crowd made its way down the street and onto the red carpet leading into La Paloma, some pausing for a photo at the step-and-repeat on the way in. Only one person pulled their nuts out for the camera, however, and that was Tor Lundstrom. After the lights dimmed and TransWorld SNOWboarding staff took the stage with the Arcadia cast to make the compulsory introductions, the theater roared as Jesse Paul floated onto the screen and opened the film with flawless rail trickery.
Observing audience reactions to clips in a film is an interesting litmus test as to what is most inspiring to us as snowboarders. Rusty Ockenden's massive one-footer drew loud applause during The Manboys heavy backcountry segment, while the crowd also lit up to a backside wallride from Jordan Small, whose part is the type that will especially entertain those who value subtle perfection in rail riding. A thundering exclamation during BYND x MDLS' part provided audible affirmation that a well-executed and drawn out method will always be one of our favorite things to watch. The barrage of cheers for Victor De Le Rue as dropped into the type of hairball ice ride he's become well-known for was a reminder that magnificent big mountain riding is the epitome of gnarly. But perhaps the loudest ovation was for Halldór Helgason as he performed a sort of flip-to-front roll combo you have to see to understand. It's not the biggest trick in the film or the most technical, but it is proof that the quirky inventive aspect of snowboarding is what so many of us gravitate to. We like it weird.
When the masses moved toward The Saloon to keep the party going, talk of winter plans seemed a universal topic of discussion on this particular September night. There is no denying that Arcadia is a film that will make any snowboarder anxious to imitate some facet of the many that it displays. As Chris Rasman explained over a 2 am taco, "It's just a straight-up really good snowboard movie." And good snowboard movies make you want to snowboard.