Urban Misadventures

It turns out Tom Wallisch wasn’t lying when he said in Refresh ‘every shot you see takes at least 2 hours to film.’ I’ve been attempting some ‘street skiing’ lately (I say ‘street skiing’ because I don’t feel I’m hardcore enough to just go street skiing) and it’s a lot of work.

Not that it’s bad work. It’s a pretty good feeling knowing that you’ve made something into a feature, manned up and hit it, and gotten photographic and video evidence of how awesome you are.

Since coming back to Morzine, what started as going up to the park to hike a singular box, became building a quarter pipe on an avalanche fence to driving around at night to some secret and not so secret locations involving scary wooden hand rails and jumping off roofs.

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Learning switch lipslides

The first few night time adventures went well; admittedly, I was reluctant to hit the wooden flat bar from my unnatural side, all I could manage was a right side 180 over the top. But it looked pretty good so I didn’t mind. Then we found a pre built roof drop in Avoriaz (whoever built it: thank you!) and our friend James found a metal pipe which he turned into a fun little flat bar and my confidence grew. So all in all, not much work had really been done, but a fair few shots had been gotten. All good, right?

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Rocking to fakie my new Melon sunglasses

But then, it didn’t snow for a long time, so we were forced to travel further afield, to the Grande Terche, a sparsely occupied ski area in the far reaches of the Portes de Soleil, only accessible by car. We spent a long time building a lip for a handrail on a poorly lit set of stairs, which also happened to be near some kind of sewage plant and absolutely stank of poo. We had to reshape it twice, make a creative run in, go for a beer while we waited for it to freeze over again (hard life, I know) and then it was still impossible to get speed for! And again, we’re back to those pesky middle class problems of not being able to afford a bungee and such like…

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Testing out the roof gap

A few days later, I found myself being driven slowly round and around yet another small village looking for features, wearing a balaclava and looking so shifty I’m surprised no one called the police. Especially because there was no snow…

That turned out to be the last trip for a while, we’re still waiting for it to snow… but watch this space…

All blurry video stills were taken from Sam McMahon’s edit, Pre Season Rails. To watch it in full, and see his sleek new website, click here: www.gnarwhalmedia.com

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