Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Salvation in Limbo

The Kentucky Winter in Toronto continues and my weariness and frustration only grows stronger by the day. I can't remember the last season I rode so little, even when I was a little kid and finding a ride to the hill was like finding a hooker with a bank account. Even though there isn't any snow it is still wet as fuck, and skating is also an impossibility. In this current Canadian climate I have once again been reduced to living vicariously through the video stars whom I have watched admirably through the years. Although I've admired and even obsessed over these video parts in the past, I have never depended on them; until now. Watching snowboarding is the only form of snowboarding going on in my life right now, and thank fuck there is something. That being said, I came across a part last night that I haven't seen in a while, and I forgot how fucking steezey and proper this dude is. He doesn't get crazy tech, doing ballerina routines on rails, nor is he within the realms of the gnarly and legendary back country riders we have come to worship in this culture, but the fact of the matter is that Justin Bennee is a fucking good snowboarder who does stylish tricks at gnarly spots. Glad I got a reminder of this shit last night!!

The Mobb Deep clip at the beginning obviously sets the stage for what is to be expected in this video part, and much like Mobb, it takes a lot for Bennee to get shook. There is undeniably a huge divide in snowboarding, between two dominant styles. It's silly and who really cares, but the divide is there. A lot of people would place Justin directly in one category, referencing his clothing and song choices as evidence of his gangsta influenced, baggy pants, wigger style. The whole word wigger is sooooo ridiculous and it pains me to use it, but that is the word I most commonly hear used to describe this faction of snowboarding. I personally disagree with those people who are quick to place Bennee within this category. I can see the comparisons and it's not a far stretch, but I'm far more a believer that in this cookie cutter industry, Bennee truly stands alone. He is a mixed bag and his style is equally as such. Justin Bennee does not fit into one single category, other than snowboarder. That is what he is; a snowboarder, and any other judgment calls about the dude are for the birds. He's talked openly about his injury and subsequent addiction to pain killers from which he quit cold turkey, dealing with the terror of withdrawal like a beast. It's inspiring to know he's come back from that to keep moving forward with one of my favorite styles in snowboarding. Watch the part, watch the tricks, watch the style. Dude has shit on lock!

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