Vintage Video Reviews
Ahh, the job of the video store clerk. A TV lovers dream job, one which encourages, if
not requires the viewing of quality feature films. Yes, its a wonderful job, made
even better by the fine selection of snowboard videos, including two classics, Snowboard
Meltdown and Snow Shredders. The sport of snowboarding sure has come a long way in the
last 10 years, which is reiterated by watching a ski video from the same era, in
accordance with a ski video from today. The only difference there is the neon pink suits
that everyone wore. Snowboarding, on the other hand, is barely even recognizable as the
same sport, impressive in such a short span of time. Does this great change in the sport
make these vintage videos any less amusing? Not at all, infact they kept me more
entertained than the monotony of todays videos.
1987-All Night Productions
Right from the opening sequence, this video screams quality. It starts out with a crash section, just like the one in Stomping Grounds, and well, every other video. My favorite part of this video, however, is the soundtrack. Im sure it encouraged all the kids to go out and purchase Muzak versions of their favorite Flashdance hits. The tricks in this video are so very reminiscent of a sponsor me video- backflips, methods, etc. It was not unheard of to go off and jump and just flail around in the air a little bit before butt checking and riding away. This is what makes me such a fan of this video, its not about portraying the sickest tricks and the cleanest landings, but rather some guys in tight pants having a good time.
Although, as I was watching this video, thinking how much better it is than say, TB7, I
suddenly realized that they had been doing pow turns for the last 20 minutes. This, right
here, obtains my disapproval, as pow turns shouldnt be included in such a great
portion of any video. Its hard to be objective on such a video as this one, since in
1987 I was six years old, and just getting the hang of my skis, I really cant say
where snowboarding was, but Im giving it a mixed review. It made me feel good about
snowboarding, but it needed to be abut 30 minutes long, instead of an hour, because it ran
out of steam somewhere after I saw some guy pull a "Rippey Flip."
In one year, the evolution of snowboarding is already apparent. Somewhere between 87 and 88, snowboarding became cool. The word dude is overused so heavily in this video its sickening. The actually purpose of this video was to sell Sims snowboards, but it did so much more for me. This video is all about dropping names. It features Sims team riders, Shawn Palmer, Tom Sims blah blah. I think that Snow Shredders is the roots of everything wrong with snowboarding today, and for that reason, I found it much more entertaining than the previous. This video actually had a soundtrack, and one of the songs just happened to be Coolidge, by the Descendents. There was also jibbing, victory airs, and some phat 360s.
Now comes the part I dont understand. G.S. This must have been cool in 1988, it certainly had a long enough section, so I want to know, what happened? When did racing slip into the oblivion of having no fans, and no recognition? Granted, this section might have prompted me to hit the fast forward button, Im a product of the jib era, and someone must still care about hard boots?
Then comes the best section, some pipe competition from Colorado. I could hardly
contain myself when I saw the pipe. It was two long piles of snow, and from
the listening to the commentator, it wasnt even good by their standards. Basically,
every run consisted of a method, and then some sort of diving header into the next wall.
When they showed the clear winner's run I was a little confused as to how it
differed from anyone elses, but I guess I wasnt the judge, so what do I know.
Then the video flashes back to some guy sitting on a couch calling each other dude, and
its over. My opinion of this video is good, it had all the elements of a good video,
and while it might have bored me to death, if I wasnt cynical of everything, I
probably would have enjoyed it.
This video isn't exactly vintage by the previous two's standards, but snowboarding had evolved so much in the last few years, blah blah blah, I figured I could sneak it in here. I love this video, and I still watch it as often as any of the new ones, and last night I finally figured out why. The riding in this video is by today's standards, nothing special, stuff you see every day on the hill, but it's eveything else that makes this one shine. From the flipped over car, to the toy trains that knock stuff off the track, I'm constantly entertained.
I think when I got this video four years ago, I knew even less about snowboarding than
I pretend to know now, and the fact that it was the only video I'd even seen, made me
think it was the be all end all of snowboard videos. I probably watched it 5 times a day,
but I never noticed that the best trick was a hucked around 720. This might also have to
do with the fact that this was the best trick anyone was doing at the time, and for me
wtaching it, I was overly impressed, but frankly, I don't remember.
What watching this video now really does for me, is shows who's washed up. What ever happened to Brian Hartman and Jamie Heinrich (prove me wrong if these guys are still around, I don't know)? I also, however, was informed that Brian Thien was around previous to rail slides being on the cover of every magazine. Parks were better in 1994 than the crappy excuses for jumps lawsuits have created now, at least the parks that were in this film. Another great thing about this video, is that pipe's weren't nearly as cool as they are now, so there were only 3 or so pipe runs in the whole thing.
This video wins, just for being cool. How could it not be, if it was put out by the
coolest company, Volcom, and all the riders have Volcom stickers on their board, and
there's a drawing of an alien in the beginning. The best thing about this video though, is
that Jim Rippey's part starts out with him rolling down a mountain and hitting trees.
Never fails to make me laugh.
So I got to watch some roots footage of snowboarding, and Im a better person for it. But what did I really learn from this? Snowboard vidoegraphy hasnt really changed its thinking at all in ten years. The first two videos may as well have been Decade (Snow Shredders) and TB7 (Snowboard Meltdown). Now I know why I hate snowboard videos. -Brooke Geery
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