Editing Snowboarding: A Simple 2000 Word Guide

by Tyler Hitchcock

Sup Haters, I’m back to disappoint!

Now that we’ve all become expert filmers, we have some beautiful shots that the world “needs” to see, but how do we go about doing it? Editing! Pick your favorite software and go nuts. I prefer Adobe Premier Pro (APP), but I started on Windows Movie Maker. You have to work with what you got.

Before you start editing the footage you need to organize it, though. Mike Thienes  from Bald E-gal taught me this. He told me that every clip that you’re going to keep needs to be labeled: Rider_Spot_Trick. For example: Clay_CircusRail_Cab270 or Clay_CircusRail_SpittingLifeStyle. On top of that, I like to organize folders as well. Make, Bails and Misc for each rider. This will all come in handy once we get into editing. I will usually do all of this once I get home from filming or the next day so that everything is still in my head and I remember what all happened.

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Once everything is organized I’ll open up my APP to start a new project. I’ll import not only the footage, but all the folders that are holding the footage. Just to keep everything organized. Once it is all loaded up, drag everything (if you’re editing a full video, work with one rider at a time) into the time line. Once in there, you want to organize it even more. Put shots that you think would be good to open up the edit towards the front of the time line and thing you think would work are enders at the end. Put all the other tricks somewhere in the middle. Pretty self explanatory.

What makes a good opener? A heavy bail? An artsy lifestyle shot? Something unrelated to snowboarding? The rider talking (Be careful with this one. If you don’t have proper audio equipment it will probably turn out poorly)? Yes to all of these, but make sure the opener trick is a hammer. Something that get the audience’s attention, something that make them want to see more. Get them stoked to keep their eyes glued to the screen.

What makes for a good ender? Obviously their best trick of the day/weekend/season, whatever your editing, it has to be the best trick. Something that closes it all up. Puts the signature at the bottom of the page and putting a feeling of completeness into the audience’s heads. Don’t end it with a flip off or on to something unless its something that has never been seen before or if it was done with an incredible amount of style. In today’s snowboarding world style is everything.

Editing can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Remember, the Internet is your friend. There are hundreds of different tools that can help you become a better editor. Ultimately, you need to find your own personal editing style. Look at John Stark. He has mastered that VHS look. How did he do it? With hours of research. Playing around with different tools, watching hours of tutorials, grabbing an old VHS camera, using it, and figuring it out. Everyone has their own niche with editing. Your job is to find yours. Google what ever trend you’re looking for, whether it’s adding a lens flair, a film burn, an old film look, or you wanna try adding your own visual effects and go all Hollywood on it. Find tutorials and play around with it.

Once you have it organized it rough placement, watch through it. Do the placements make sense? Figure out what, if anything you want to slow down. DON’T SLOW DOWN EVERYTHING!! Only slow down hammers and stylish things. Preferably you only want to slow portions of tricks, not whole shots. If you have the ability to ramp shots, do it. Ramping shots will gradually slow something down and then gradually speed it back up. You can usually hear the ramp instead of seeing it.


Remember all of those lifestyle shots I told you to get? Those babies are gonna come into play now. A rule of thumb when using lifestyle shots is after every third trick, or so, add in a lifestyle shot. The lifestyle shot should, but doesn’t have to, correlate with either the clip before it or the trick after it. The lifestyle clips add to the audience’s experience. After all, your job is to get the audience to feel some sort of catharsis. (ca·thar·sis /kəˈTHärsis/: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.) You want to make them feel some sort of emotion because of your edit. Whether it is getting them hyped on someone, getting them to want to go snowboarding, or even getting them watch more of your videos.

Make sure you trim the fat.  Only show what you need. If a trick is sloppy and not anything special, get rid of it. The rider will be made fun of for it if it’s in there, so save them the embarrassment and delete it. This also means don’t let the clip run on too long. Did the land the trick? Is the clip still going on? Why? do we need to see them ride away until they stop? No. The only time that is acceptable is if it’s the ender or if he gets hit by a car on the way to the end of the clip. The shorter the edit is the better. People these days have a short attention spans.

Once you’ve got it all organized and in place, its time to add the music. The music can almost be anything. You want it to match the style of the rider. You know the rider. What does he/she listen to? Did they have something in mind already? Is it gonna have a heavy beat to make the riding seem even harder or is it gonna be easy listening and let the riding speak for itself? That is completely up to you and the rider. Music is one of the most important parts about editing. It can either make or break your video. It can make bad editing look amazing, or great riding look like dog piss.

Music has a crazy effect on people. Everyone listens to music. Everyone has their own personal opinion on what is good and what isn’t. You can’t win over everybody, but that’s not your goal. Your goal is to get music that matches the rider. That makes them stoked, that gets your friends stoked. Not only stoked on the edit, but makes them want to go snowboarding. Also, when picking music, don’t forget that you can edit the music. Music is just a series of notes in patterns with lyrics, also in patterns, added to it. All music can be edited down to fit your edit.

My philosophy with music is to make the music fit your edit, not make an edit to fit the music. Songs can be shortened pretty easily. You just need to figure out the pattern of the song, or if the song has a part that goes quiet, you can easily put a cut right there, find another spot in the song that goes from quiet to loud, cut there, delete the space between, and put the two leftover parts together. In Justin Henigin’s season edit  I did that with the song. That way when the song ended, so did the edit. It gives the audience a sense of closure.

One thing that helps integrate the song into your edit is to make the cuts between shots happen on a beat, or have a trick landed on the beat. This helps the edit flow better with the song, and helps it feel complete. Mike Monzoori is a skate editor, and on Ride Channel’s In Focus  he did an episode on integrating music to edits. He basically reiterates what I have been saying, and shows you a few insider tricks to make it all easier to do.

Make sure that you turn the sound from the footage down so that the music is easier to hear. For the most part, though, you want to have some of the sound from the clips still there. In the biz we call that Nat Sound, or natural sound. People like to hear somebody landing on the rail, stomping the trick, getting hype from buddies, or people yelling at us telling us, “Get off my property or I will call the cops.”


So you’ve got the music in there and you think it already to go, don’t you? Well you’re wrong. It’s time to do some color grading. This is what sets apart the amateurs from the pros. Color grading and color correction (which you’ve probably heard of) are two different things. Color correction is done in camera with white balance, iris, and ND filters. Where as, color grading is done in editor. Most editors have the ability to adjust colors. Its usually under “Video Effects.” I will usually play around with “Levels” and “Brightness and Contrast” until I get something that is pleasing to look at. If you have a low quality of footage you won’t be able to do room much editing to the color, but a little will go a long ways. With higher quality footage you get a little more playing room. Ideally you want to have a consistent look between all shots.

Now that you have your clips color graded you’re done, right? Wrong again! Lastly you need to put titles in there. Now this is optional. If its a season edit the title of the edit will probably have the name of the rider in it. If is not though, you’ll probably want them in there so that the audience knows who the riders are. Plus, people like seeing their names on the internet. (Why do you think I’m writing this? To help you out? No, I wanted to see my name on Yobeat.) Keep them simple. If people can’t read it, what’s the point? Get them to enter at the beginning of the clip and either fade them out or cut them once the clip cuts. If you want them to move, you’ll need to put a motion blur on them. This makes the movement look more natural and not so forced.

You have got the titles in now, you go to the beginning and watch the edit through. Looks good right? Ready to be uploaded for the world to see! Just kidding. You aren’t done yet. Once you have all of the above done, take a break. Go do something. Poop, eat, call your girl/guy (no judgement here on Yobeat. We covered that last week), go hang out with friends, watch TV, or whatever. Just step away for a little while. Once you’re done doing whatever you just did, go back to your computer and watch it again. Taking a break when you think it’s all said and done is my number one rule! Taking that time off gets your mind off of the video and gets you focused on other things. This is key. Watch the video now that you’ve had some time to clear your head. You’ll be amazed at how much it seems to have changed. Little things you missed. The shot is too dark, or that clip doesn’t end on the beat exactly, that shot went on for a little too long, or you accidentally left a clip in there that you thought you deleted. Once you fixed that you are done.

You’re ready to export your video. Exporting is different across every platform. Just google “How to export HQ with ‘from your editing software’” and you’ll find out exactly what to do.

Once you have it all edited and exported, before you upload it to Youtube or Vimeo, watch it one more time to make sure you didn’t miss anything that is wrong with the video. If you think it is worthy, send it to Yobeat, or you can just upload it and if its sick enough people will inevitably find it. Just don’t be mad or discouraged if it doesn’t get posted. Thousands of edits are sent in on the daily. Not everything can be posted. Just keep doing what you’re doing, keep having fun, keep snowboarding cause eventually, with a lot of hard work and perseverance, through struggles and mistakes, things will happen. As long as you’re having fun, who cares if your video makes it to Internet fame?

  • I am dog, do not understand comptuer.

  • Skilmer

    Fuckin gahhhhbage

  • “THE BIZ”

    WHY ARE YOU USING 4 DIFFERENT VIDEO TRACKS FOR YOUR ACTION SHOTS? Organize your shit!! Put it all down on V1, and organize that audio. Rookie move Tyler.

    You should be embarrassed by that sequence screen shot. EMBARRASSSSED!

    • Shredit

      You don’t need to have all of your audio on one track. If you’re doing anything more than a really simple edit it can become a pain in the ass to keep all your audio or clips on one track. There’s a lot of times when you need to overlap stuff for compositing, transitions, blending audio from one clip to the next, etc. and you’ll end up with audio and video tracks all over the place. You just need to perform an Audio Mixdown before exporting your final sequence like Filmer D said.

      There’s a ton of audio tracks on his sequence and I say his movie turned out alright. Haha!

    • Shredit

      Actually, Filmer D added a lot of good info on his comment. Once you finish Color Grading your edit and you’ve been staring at it on the same screen and think it’s perfect you’ll watch it on a different computer, monitor, TV, etc. and it’ll look completely different. Don’t let it discourage you. Most people don’t calibrate their monitors so everything kind of looks like shit. The Gamma will be different, saturation to high, etc. Calibrate your monitor the best you can then check it on other random computers TV’s etc if you can.

  • mennnybilam

    justin hennigin is a cool guy

  • With regard to color grading, USE YOUR SCOPES. They look intimidating but are the most accurate way to color balance and get the exact color tone that you’re looking for. It also helps to you to understand how adjustments in the 3-way CC affect your color information.

    Also, mixing down your audio is an important last step that this guide did not mention. It is important to make sure that your song is not peaking out. It is not as simple as “turning down the riding” as it is usually a good idea to keyframe your audio to cut out any distracting sounds from your shots. A proper audio mixdown should be part of your edit workflow and should be one of the last steps before an export for the web.

    After your export, make sure to watch the footage on a different screen to make sure your corrections have held up.

    Lastly, eye match is one of the most important elements to making a good edit that flows well. If a rider ends on the lower left portion of the frame, the next shot should at least have the rider coming from the left side of the frame. Or make sure that you give your viewer time to find the rider if you are going to cut the rider into a different portion of the frame. Try your best not to confuse your viewer.

    Anyone seriously interested in learning more about editing should pick up this book. – http://www.amazon.com/Blink-Eye-Revised-2nd-Edition/dp/1879505622

  • fuck all of this

    did mack dawg follow a “how-to” guide? does videograss use someone elses “filming and editing tutorial”? make your own shit and be proud of it god dammit

  • a


  • Everyone has their own ways of editing. Don’t hate cause your work flow is different.
    Good tips man!


  • Jeff

    this guy is a fucking mark

  • HDJ

    Do people read guides on how to do a nose press? No. you go out get on your snowboard and try to do a fucking nosepress untill you land it. You’re not going to learn how to make a cool snowboarding video by reading about how to make one. You need to go out film your friends and just do it, fuck these guides. The last thing we need is edits that look like “Bald E-Gal Production” vids. PS Cool Saga and Never Summer bro

    • I am not sure if this was intended or not to look like a post from me so sorry to the HDJ up above if it was not but I would never post some hate on a kid who is trying to help other people out. He might not be spot on with all the info in this post but he is providing some decent tips that people starting out could find useful. Everyone has their own style and workflow when it comes to editing so there is no right or wrong way.

      I read and watch guides all the time. YouTube How to videos are digital gold for me these days. From After Effects tutorials to replacing a clutch basket in a motorcycle. All the info we could ever wish for is at our finger tips.

  • dan

    this guy reminds me of someone who went to college for video production but actually just wanted to film his friends snowboard. along the way he wasted money to learn skills that didn’t really apply to filming snowboarding and still has no real filming/editing style.
    no offense to this dude, but if you have some solid ideas you can make some awesome edits with google and less money than the cost of adobe classroom in a book.

  • “THE BIZ”

    I feel bad about being mean earlier. But this doesn’t mean I didn’t mean what I meant.

  • Bruce

    Jon Stark did not master the VHS thing. He’s good at it, but didn’t master it. I way prefer jake durham’s VHS editing

    • Yo Tyler

      not gonna lie, for someone who sounds like they know it all, your edit was pretty shitty. Looked like you filmed it with 8 different cameras..

  • MidWestistheBest

    If you don’t think Mac Dawg and VG didn’t and don’t use any outside info to help them edit and expand there editing and filming capabilities your a dumb ass. The truth is we draw on inspiration from those around us and the resources we have at our disposal. Thats not to say that this or any how to guide is going to make anyone an expert but they are a great resource to help you along the way. Shooting and editing video takes lots of creativity and much of it can not be taught thats for sure, but if you think you can do it without any help or tips of any kind your retarded.

    Dont be a dumb ass, take this article with a grain of salt for sure, but dont hate.

    • tits

      You should draw some inspiration from english class and learn to use the right their and you’re.

    • grammar douchbag

      I think YOU’RE the asshole here D;

  • Take That

    That shot was too yellow. Bahahaha.

  • dont listen kids

    Have your own style of editing! Get to know your editing software. Fuck around with it make some edits and progress your way up. Nobody amazing at editing/ filming when they start, its all a learning curve. Dont simply just copy what you see in someone elses videos. And have fun with it, dont take it like its incredibly serious with more broll then fucking riding, im watching the video to see the riding not some face shots or hero shot of your friends. And once again have your own style, please….

  • Too narrow-minded

    Many things I’d like to argue with, but I’ll stick to one. The opener should be good/interesting, but not too good! Otherwise I lose interest, because the level drops too much. Put something catchy, but make sure it doesn’t make the rest look like shit. Better to have an upward curve during the vid, not just sick opener and ender with irrelevant shit in the middle.

  • Simple & Clean

    Cotdamn! All yall really need is just windows movie maker, put a gucci and/or ross song in it and you are done.

  • JC

    What was that track from the first clip?

  • Excellent work, a lot of truly valid suggestions! I appreciate you writing this page and the rest of your internet site is terrific!