Last night was my first visit to the Oakley headquarters in Foothill Ranch, CA, where Misschief Productions was premiering their latest video, Ro Sham Bo. On the drive up, Transworld SNOWboarding Senior Editor Annie Fast described the Oakley facilities as being, “like the set of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. She wasn’t joking. The building’s entryway looks like some sort of Hollywoodized nuclear compound, and the surrounding building comes complete with giant spikes sticking out of the walls, but I guess you really wouldn’t expect anything else from one of the world’s largest extreme eyewear superpowers.
I half expected the security guards to be wandering around carrying Uzis and speaking in thick Austrian accents, but I was instead greeted with DJ’s, disco-style lighting, and all-you-can-drink Vodka Redbulls. There was, however, a row of weird chairs along one wall that looked suspiciously like futuristic torture devices. The pre-party lasted a solid two and a half hours, and was a veritable whose-who in the snowboard world, with everyone from JP Walker to a slew of Finns with unpronounceable names in attendance. Finally around 9:30, the music faded, and we were all ushered into the theater in the back of the building to watch the video.
Holy shit. It’s unbelievable how much the girls have improved since last year. You know how when you watch The Meltdown Project and Decade one right after the other, it kind of blows your mind at how much snowboarding progressed in just a few years? Well that’s how you’ll feel about ... As If and Ro Sham Bo. It’s incredible how much bigger everything is this year. The jumps, handrails, cliffs, everything is f--king huge. Annie Boulanger hits a couple of cliffs that most of the guys I know wouldn’t hit, Hana Beaman spins off of park kickers that would make me nervous just looking at them, and Erin Comstock remains one of the most dynamic female jibbers in snowboarding. Also making an appearance is Tara Dakides, who after years at the top of women’s snowboarding proves she’s still “got it. Natasza Zurek has the last part, and it always amazes me how someone who is so little and quiet can snowboard like she’s the biggest, meanest girl on the mountain.
Most of the parts are split, which gives the video a montage-like feel throughout. It’s one of those things that some people will love, and others will hate. Personally, I liked it, but you can decide for yourself. Besides the unconventional layout, the editing was tight, the locations were pristine, and the soundtrack is one of the best I’ve ever heard. All right, I’m going to stop raving now and go see if I can get my hands on an early copy of the DVD. I suggest you do the same.