What Is The Next Olympic Action Sport?

5 01 2012

With all the talk of the FIS taking the reins on the Olympic slopestyle qualifications lately, and the fact that Shaun White says his next real focus will be to get skateboarding in the games I have been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of action sports in the world’s largest mainstream sporting event.

What are the chances Shaun succeeds in bringing the shred to the Olympics yet again?  If he does, what will it look like?  And finally what impact will this have on another of the sports we love so much?

To answer the first question, in a word I’d say yes.  I truly believe that thanks to the success of the winter sports as well as the recent addition of BMX to the games there is a very good chance that in the near-ish future we could see skate make an appearance alongside the other Olympic exercises.  The reasons why I believe this are plenty but in the interest of holding your interest I will try keep it to a few.

For starters the Olympics is trying so hard to be cool that there really is no telling what lengths they will go to in order to modernize the games.  With that being said let’s look at some of the criteria in place to get a sport included.

The IOC states that for inclusion “A sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic programme on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission.”

Of those criteria I fail to see one that isn’t already in place, with the obvious exception of it not being recommended to the IOC itself, but that part is relatively easy.

The sport has mass appeal worldwide, has millions of participants and can be done in more locations than nearly any other sport.  Add to that the fact that all you need for a venue in the case of White’s version is a single ramp, able to be constructed in any pre-existing Olympic-ready building.  So I think there is a solid case to be made for it as an easy fit.  As for the other form of the sport…

…On to the next issue.

What form would “Olympic Skateboarding” take, and here is my thought is that.  Any Olympic version of a sport seems to be the least threatening version possible.  By that of course I mean the IOC charter speaks in volume about fair play, sportsmanship and a bunch of other things that make the street skating side of the sport a little scary at first glance.  Halfpipe skating however, has the ability to transform itself into this clean cut account of the sport, where there is no need to be raw, and rough and get kicked out of your “venue” by the cops.  Ramp skating can be seen as Danny Way’s monumental leap in China, or Mitchie Busco, potentially the cutest little nug of a skater ever hucking a 900 and being praised by the elders of the sport.  So I think that if and when skate gets in, halfpipe will be the tip of the sword.

Ending off this rant, I’d just like to talk a little about “What impact this might have on skate, and the other ‘alternative sports’”.  This is where I feel like it gets tricky.  Look at the effect that snowboarding in the Olympics had on the sport as a whole; they decided to put racing in the Olympics years back and the concept of a stiff, ski-style boot still makes some people (including myself) a little nauseous.  Then look at what happened when a snowboarder was caught smoking weed (not inhaling, or whatever) great for the public image of the sport that’s for sure.

Action sports are forced to fight for respect and media attention every day, but in the same breathe I don’t know if altering our image to fit the mold of the perfect aspirational athletes is the way to get it either.

Outside of that, think of the impact it has on people inside the sport, who live it, and don’t want to see something they love taken from them and tainted for the sake of fitting in.  Terje’s Olympic boycott, and the current issues facing slopestyle are shining examples of that, and it is a solid truth that if we don’t send the best in the sport, no one wins.

So what I am saying with all of this is that the chances of skateboarding, and eventually a host of other action sports cracking the list of events in humanity’s oldest sporting festival are pretty good.  But whether or not that is what’s best for the sports themselves, or the athletes who perform them remains to be seen.

As always, thanks for listening,

-t

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Chris Smith For Streetjesus : Dallas Hordichuk Edit

19 10 2011

What started out as a joke turned into the future of action sports, and what started as a hobby turned into a passion.  What started as a part-time job turned into a crash course down a career path, and what started as a few chance meetings has turned into life-long friendships.

Chris Smith and Dallas Hordichuk are two guys who have had an immense impact on this blog and my life in general with their unrivaled stoked on their sport and daily commitment to sharing their enjoyment with whoever they can.

Over the last year Chris spent a ton of time in the mountains honing his craft and becoming a force to be reckoned with in the park.  Dallas was at home for the majority of the year but spent his time playing a massive roll in the growth of snowboarding in Saskatchewan and taking the Offaxis program to a new level.

I owe a lot to both guys, mostly for continuing to show me that there are people out there who care about the sport and will do whatever it takes to help make it into what it surely can be.  This video is a testament to skill level and insane commitment that both of them have to what they do, and shows that hard work pays off, the learning curve is worth it and passion is something that can’t be faked.

 

Thanks so much to both of you and I can’t wait to see what comes down the pipe!

-t





Andy Wright : The History Of Snowboarding In Pictures

12 10 2011

Snowboarding came from humble beginnings to become the powerhouse Olympic sport that it is today.  One man has pretty much been there to see this raise from its ground level, his name is Andy Wright.  The dude has shot more influential snowboard photos than almost everyone else combined.  Few other people in the industry have been around as many game changing events as he has, and even few have the eye and the talent to capture these moments.  A little while back Videograss told Andy’s story with a pair of segments chronicling Wright’s life and listen to him tell of some of the most memorable moments in snowboard history in his own words.

Andy Wright is clearly a humble dude who changed the face, and the future of the sport we love.  These videos aren’t new, but when it comes to sharing the stoke and getting people ready for winter they definitely do the job.  Check out what he as to say, it’s one hell of a story!





Darrell Mathes + Spy

11 10 2011

Remember a while back when we told you about Spy Google Segment Manager Brent Sandor on Vitamin Water.ca?  Well, in that interview he mentioned the name Darrell Mathes and here is why.

Spy recently announced the release of a signature series of their Zed goggle, inspired by Mathes and his photographic tendencies.  Using imagery from Mathes himself the Zed goggle, which is one of the best cylindrical goggles on the market is designed to rip as good as it looks.  And coming from someone who has ridden this goggle for years, take it from me, it works!

Congrats to Darrell on this release and we look forward to big things from him, as well as Spy this season.  Here is the official release:

CARLSBAD, Calif.

SPY Optic today announced the release of its SPY+ Darrell Mathes Zed snow goggle, an eclectic frame and strap combination crafted through the lens of SPY Professional Snowboarder Darrell Mathes’s Polaroid camera.

         SPY worked very close with me on my goggle this year, says Mathes. I can?t believe how rad my photos look on the strap.  Combine that with the matte black frame and it’s perfect! and SPY put a limited postcard print of one of my photos in a custom envelope with each goggle. It?s kind of amazing.

The SPY + Darrell Mathes Zed goggle comes in a matte black frame with metal detailing and unique SPY patching inspired by Mathes’s land camera body and a black-and-white strap that features his favorite Polaroid shots. Every SPY + Darrell Mathes Zed goggle comes with a randomly-assorted Mathes print in a special envelope.

         There’s no goggle out there that has the style and comfort of the Zed, says Mathes.  It’s the ideal blend of basics and performance and SPY includes a free bonus lens so you always have the right lens for any light conditions.

MSRP for the SPY + Darrell Mathes Zed is $110, available with a bronze with silver mirror lens and free persimmon bonus lens. The SPY + Darrell Mathes Zed goggle features the anti-fog cylindrical dual lens; the SPY-patented Scoop venting system; flexible frame; triple-layer Isotron face foam featuring moisture-wicking Dri-Force fleece; dual-adjustment, silicone-ribbed strap; and 100% UV protection.

         The Zed snow goggle is available in variety of other colorways, including the SPY+ DCP + YES, SPY + Eero Niemela, SB, Occult, Crust, Bright Idea, Unite and solid black frame or solid white frame. Zed? lenses come in a variety of tints to take on any conditions.





Boardworld Girls Magazine : By Girls, For Girls

4 10 2011

Last week the launch of a new girls magazine was announced.  It’s called BWG (Boardworld Girls) and it is based on art, fashion, music, and action sports for the fairer sex.  I was originally drawn to this site, because chicks are awesome and looking at them is fun, then I realized it is one of the most well thought out, well put together sites I have come across in a while.

Everything is done cleanly, tastefully and decidedly feminine, which even if you are a dude, isn’t the worst thing in the world.  I was excited to be watching good videos and reading good content in a format that was soft, easy to follow and didn’t use bro for every second word; don’t expect me to stop doing that anytime soon, bro.  The site has features, videos, photos and blog and style sections that rival ANY lifestyle magazine out there.

Girls are beautiful, talented and creative which gives them at least one leg up on us hairy, sailor-mouthed, talented and creative dudes.  So do yourself a favor and check out BWGMAG.COM and show some love to the ladies pushing the envelope in our industry.  You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Oh yeah, and they are Canadian!

-t





Forum Exodus : Is Pat Moore Next?

3 10 2011

From what I know, and what I have read courtesy of Pete Andersen the lifecycle of a pro snowboarder is pretty simple and usually goes something like: Flow, Pro, Dough; followed by capitalizing on the dough, then getting old and hurt and actually having to work for your paycheck.

From what I can tell so far in the career of Pat Moore he is teetering on the edge of the dough part.  Having compiled numerous accolades as an Am and recently as a Pro with the Forum team Pat is now in the eye and loving hearts of the snowboard community and is surely on the walls of a few shops and basements.

That being said, Pat Moore is still a backcountry ripper who for some reason is on a Forum snowboard.  Hold on a second before you assume what the rest of this post looks like.  It is NOT going to be a hate-fest directed at Forum or their products, or the people who ride them.  It is simple going to be a (slightly) educated guess that when it comes to Moore, The Program is no longer the right fit “Forum”.

Let’s have a look at a few reasons why this may be true.  Exhibit A:  Jake Blauvelt.  Jake was enjoying a successful career as a pro shred hitting jumps and jibs and traveling the world on the funnest (I know, not a word) snowboard team in the game.

However, not long after he got a taste of fresh pow in his face, and sled exhaust in his lungs, Jake bolted for that area above the alpine with the likes of TRice, Muller and DCP.  After doing this for a season or so under The Program umbrella Blauvelt realized that the steezed out jib styling of Forum, Four Square and Special Blend were not what he needed to properly slay untouched pillow lines.

Exhibit B…Any guesses…raise your hands…that’s right John Jackson.  In a move that was announced just this past weekend, Jackson parted ways with his long time helpers out and now belongs to the Burton family, who have a much more established big mountain game, and will undoubtedly see him getting really sendy the next time Brain Farm makes a movie.

What I am saying with all of this, is not to take anything away from Forum, 4Sq, or Blend, but is once again to simply guess that the separation of segments within the snow industry is continuing to grow.  Did anyone see Familia 2?  Ok, and how wack did it look to see someone dropping massive ledges in Tech Nine outerwear.  Cool, I proved my point.  Again, not that their stuff isn’t great it’s just the same reason why companies make boards in the 150s up to the high 160s for the same guy (or girl).  Forum continues to push out some of the best street and park riders in the game (see Nic Sauve) that is what they have done since their inception, and it’s not stopping any time soon.

All I want is to be able to smile and nod when in a season or 2 a move is announced and I can quote the date of this article.  Alright now everybody group hug before I go watch “Vacation”.

-t





Streetjesus Gets Ambitious

1 10 2011

Even though as of right now the “Team” has hit a bump in the road, that definitely doesn’t mean that the followers for all things shred aren’t out there killing it as per usual.  Our boys Austin and Mitch aren’t just assassins on the rolly boards, but they do pretty good on the wheel-less boards too.

They both proudly rip for Ambition Snowskates, a real sponsor and they were busy stacking footy all season for the latest product entitled “Skrill Clinton”.  Snowskating has always had a place in the heart of Jesus, because it’s really cool and definitely not as easy as it looks.  I have tried a few times, and if I’m an 8 out of 10 on the shitty skater scale, I am an 11 on the snowskate side.

On the plus side, there are these kids, who make me feel like the world is a better place when I watch them do their thing.  Congrats to Alex, Nick, David Engerer, Zack Alworden, Chancellor Huguey, Justin Majeczky, Dom Blanchette, Roby Provost, Steven Socknaki, S-P Goulet, Nick Stefani, Taras Ryabokon, Josh Seguin, Bjorn R-G, COSD, Phil Moreau, Mitch Serbu, Austin Welter, Phil Smage and Alan Gerlach on an amazing video.  Here is to another great year in 2012.

Check them out at Ambition Snowskates








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