I haven't posted in a while, for a number of reasons. First and foremost I was on a break from school for the holidays so was back at home stuffing my face with a variety of culinary delights. To be honest blogging was the last thing on my mind. Snowboarding however, is never the last thing on my mind, and that is the second reason I have not posted. It is still dry as a bone here in Toronto and although we have had a few light snowfalls, the hills are in dire straights and the conditions are complete shit. I only made it out a few times over the break, as my local resort wasn't even open most of the time and I was too broke to road trip anywhere that actually had a decent base. That being said, I found myself consciously trying to avoid snowboard media. At the beginning of this drought videos and magazines were the only thing getting me through as I anticipated the eventual snowfall. As I am coming to terms however, with the reality that this eventual snowfall might not actually happen this season, the more I watch other people snowboard the more bitter and disgruntled I get with my own situation.
That being said however, I am back in school and the Real Snow competition video parts dropped today so I figured what better time to get back on the proverbial blogging bus. I normally wouldn't concern myself with anything to do with ESPN, especially in regards to skateboarding or snowboarding, but in all honesty this competition is actually pretty legit. I am definitely not a fan of competitions in skateboarding or snowboarding and don't really back them. I can completely understand from a financial standpoint why someone would find it necessary to compete in them, but as fan of snowboarding, they are normally something I pay no attention to. The Real Snow competition however is unique and interesting in it's own right. Unlike the traditional snowboarding competition formula, which is consistently regimented, stale and repetitive, Real Snow breaks away from that and does not pit the snowboarders directly in competition with each other in some sanitized resort setting. Rather Real Street requires that the selected snowboarders only film a short video part, on which they will be judged. This format allows for a far greater degree of originality and increased potential for progressive snowboarding in a contest setting. The videos are voted on by the public and the snowboarder with the most votes rightly wins the comp and 50k. This is a competition however and much like any competition there can be only one winner. Competing this year were Dan Brisse, Bode Merrill, Scotty Stevens, Pat Moore, Louis Felix Paradis, Halldor Helgason and Jed Anderson.
I'm sure a lot of you expect me to back either Louis or Jed by default based on their Canuck heritage, but alas I am an objective journalist and this plays no bearing on who I voted for. Plus Louis is French Canadian and Jed wears a helmet, vote for them? I think not.
In my opinion the best part comes courtesy of Atchaboy, Scotty Steves wabowwww!! This dude rips and I've been a big fan of him for a while now. I truly believe that a lot of snowboarding and a lot of the people within it take themselves far too seriously. I think this level of seriousness and lack of clarity is detrimental to the culture as a whole and it is fundamental that snowboarding has sub sects that counter this unnecessary seriousness. Scotty Stevens is one of these snowboarders who snowboards because it is fun and helps keep the movement grounded in the roots that let it flourish. The proof of this is in the pudding of this competition. While everyone else used super serious folky or rocky songs in their parts, Scotty kept it lighthearted and within the snowboard world by using Canadian snowboarder turned musician Trevor/Trouble Andrews to shred to. This is insignificant I know, but it is the details like this that keep snowboarding fun and will keep snowboarding fun, from a fan's perspective.
People's opinions of his riding are quite divided with a lot of hate getting thrown at all the one foot, finger flip, shuvit stuff he puts out. I don't get this though. In my opinion snowboarding is all about originality and progression and Scotty is doing this in every bit of coverage he puts out. This part is no different. He blew my mind with the fingerflip hippy jump, bs 50 power box gap to nosepress the power box front flip out, 50 to one foot layback slide on the picnic table, front flip handplant on the pole, one foot step hop on the pole, sw noseblunt tap to fakie front board to regular, the 5050 on the crazy close kinked rail and the back flip onto 5050 the power box. In regards to every other part in this competition, it is not to say they aren't amazing, and that every rider in there isn't fuckin gnarly as shit, but the thing is that the majority of the other riders tricks could be interchanged in any of the other parts seamlessly. This is definitely not the case with Scott Stevens, as his snowboarding and his video parts are unmistakeably Scott Stevens. Here's to win, I can only imagine what he would do with a 50k prize.