Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rome Snowboards' Londonderry Pop Festival

and " Any Means" Snowboard Film Premiere Party

Ever go to a rail jam when the thermometer said 95 degrees?

We did. That's me and the other 297 or so people who went to Rome Snowboards Londonderry Pop Festival August 25, 2007 at former ski slope and now occasional private party spot Timber Ridge, on the back side of Magic Mountain, close to Londonderry, in Windham, VT.

The snow did not arrive as planned. The hockey rinks just weren't scraping nearby. So fish ice cubes saved the day for the rail jammers. That's ice cubes, like the kind that come out of an ice machine in a hotel corridor. Small smooth ice cubes that you could put in a glass of soda. The run-in and run-out were spread with the cubes. After the jam started, we asked rider Will Bateman how the conditions were. "Icy" was his answer.

But this gnarly bunch of chomping-at-the-bit rail riders ate it up. The jam lasted 60 or 90 minutes, but riders kept at the long straight blue rail and the box until dark. We might be onto something with those ice cubes because they held up for 4 hours in the heat. These Vermont riders have their pre-season jibs already in their bag of tricks, and it's not even September.

When all was said and done, Forest Bailey took top honors for the males, and Monique Hyman, for the females. Also notable and always stylish were Will Batemen, and brothers Zack and Ben Harmon. After the awards ceremony, action moved to the beautiful smooth skate halfpipe from Waterville Valley, where Forest Bailey, dressed in a smashing forest green tie dye ensemble took his turns and ripped up the dry ramp too.

Musical accompaniment was provided by the Hostiles, a young but experienced 3-piece rock band who have studied their music history and who play originals flavored with Sex Pistols, Clash, Misfits, Ramones, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and more. This band got me dancing, and the lead singer/guitarist Joey Russo and bass player Steve Shanahan entertained with their stage antics. Ryan Rice was resplendent in his turquoise pegged jeans and held the songs together with his driving beats.

Their helpers and moms sold cool screen printed Hostilez t-shirts and the band's 4 song demo, as Joey urged people to buy from his spot on the stage. They played original songs like "Memory Loss," "Unity" and "Don't Make Me Go to School" which had its hooks in me so hard I was still singing it 3 days later. Remember you heard about the Hostiles here first. You will undoubtedly hear of them again. And did I mention these guys are all of 15 years old! Plenty of upside here!

Lightning flashed continously all over the sky as it got dark. Rome's snowboard movie "By
Any Means" started up on the big screen outdoors, drive-in style but without the cars, and the natural lightning, and fireworks from the Hayes Brothers tent competed for attention. Finally the lightning teamed up with gusty wind and a brief downpour, just to show who was boss. Brave souls sat it out and the movie continued as the rain cleared and the temperature became PERFECT nighttime t-shirt and shorts weather.

The movie "By Any Means" seemed much better than the average snowboard movie. I might have been influenced since I was seeing it at an epic party, but in reading about how the team got together and made the movie on the road without a lot of money, you can see there is real heart here. Can you say "flop house?"

I rarely utter "OMG!" while watching a snowboard movie. But LNP (Laurent-Nicolas Paquin) from Quebec rode the top of chain link fences, and then (OMG!) jumped from his board onto a picnic table seat, slid the seat, and then jumped back onto his board. LNP doesn't compete so you probably haven't seen him except live or on film. When this guy rides handrails it's like he's got a high power magnet in his board, he is that solid. Transworld Snowboarding says in the September 2007 issue that "This movie might have arguably the best rail riding of any movie this year." I believe it.

After the movie, The Hayes Brothers band played, respelendent and Devo-like in their matching white rain sacks. Then after the formal entertainment, beer became the main event. Leave too many snowboarders for too long with nothing to do but drink beer on somewhat empty stomachs, and trouble can ensue (as our wise friend Kevin C. once said.) We cut out as people started to push each other around for fun. We heard some stuff went into the bonfire that shouldn't have, including a human or two. And by early morn the New Hampshire vs. Vermont faction wanted to fight. Camping was available on site.

The party site was littered with bottles and paper after the party, but by noon the next day the site was immaculate. Props to Chris and the crew at Timber Ridge, for taking such good care. And the guys from Essex with the sauna. And Aaron and the crew from Drastic t-shirts. And Rome Snowboards for throwing a great party on a perfect night.

Do You Like Snowboard Film Premiere Parties?
Don't miss "The Blur Tour" -
"Blurred, showcasing the latest greatest East Coast Talent.
3-stop tour.
Oct. 19 New Paltz, NY with Sacred Snowboard Shop
Oct. 25 PARTY OF THE SEASON! nyc -
fashion show, dancing, auction, goody bags, athletes, more!
Nov. 2 Framingham/Natick, MA with Eastern Boarder.
Details here
Presented by and Snowboard & Skate Wrist Guards.

Snowboard Movie Review - The Empire: White Knuckle Extreme

The Empire: White Knuckle Extreme by Xodus Productions and Torey Piro

It’s all about progression, and if you want to see how far snowboarding has progressed, rent this old skool gem from 2001, apparently the year the 720 degree spin was invented.

Rahm Klampert starts out the film. See him spin, and work the nunchucks.
See Danny Kass as a 17-year old in a small part. So long ago it was before he became a fashion icon; he wears a simple gray hoodie. Back then Grenade was just a glove company on the sponsor list, instead of a clothing empire.

Andreas Wiig has a part, back before he won gold at the X Games and generally blew up. The cast of almost hundreds includes parts by: Boris Benedek, Kyle Clancy, Matt Hammer, Lance Pitman, Bobi Rey, Aleksi Vanninen, DCP (David Carrier-Porcheron, James Ledford, Scotty Arnold, John Jackson, Tommy Czeschin, Mark Reilly, Floe Mausser (catch his 100 foot cliff jump, where he seems to jump UP the cliff!) Aaron Bishop, Marius Sommer, Travis Robison, David Scaffiti.

There is a gap jump over a river where riders are towed up by a speeding car on the adjacent road. You’ll see it again and again in the film, everybody takes a shot at it. The blooper reel has shots of the gap attempts, naturally. (The missed trick footy is NOT at the end where you might expect it in this film.)

Guy Deschenes throws a big air in the pipe, and was that an early 1080 he just did? Matt Downey, Darin Short Chris Nelson, Danny Wheeler. Matt Kass has a 5 second part, back when he spent more time on the slopes than behind the Grenbade desk. Eddie Wall has the starring role and final part, and he rode with distinction and style even back in 2000.

There are a few others whose names were too long for me to catch. Keir Dillon, Abe Teter, and Travis Rice showed up in the credits but had untitled parts way back then or ended up on the cutting room floor. All 3 have gone bigtime onto great competition results since then. And so many of the names listed above have seemingly disappeared. Extensive music credits are properly given.

This light-hearted low-budget (compared to today) sunny romp is a fun way to see some of today’s most famous snowboarders, before they were all that! You can rent it from Netflix.

Need an idea for a good movie to rent? For you or the family?

Check out our snowboard and other fave movie reviews here. We've reviewed "Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi"m and "MXP: Most Extreme Primate" to name just a couple.

Visit for good reading, photos of your fave riders, and FUN!!