Friday, August 28, 2009

Fellow Midwest skier Mike Hornbeck has recently signed with skiing powerhouse Armada as they add to an already amazing pro team. Coming out of Kalamazoo Michigan, Hornbeck has a very unique style he brings to the table. He will be killing it this year on not only their skis but wearing their first ever outerwear line.

Speaking of Armada, if you've been in the shop lately, you might have notice we received our lineup of thier skis. We receiced the AR6, JJ's, the Alpha 2, and the El Ray. If you're not familiar with Armada it's definately a company that you should look into. Their 2010 line is guaranteed to have a ski for all of you freeriders and park rats out there. If you're cruising the whole mountian but especially love to rip in the powder check out the JJ's. With a waist of 115 mm it might look rather limited to powder, but don't be fooled. This ski features the pop rocker--which means it has an early rise in the tip and tail-- but still has traditional camber underfoot. This technology makes this ski a very versatile all-mountian powder ski. To find out more about the rest Armada line stop in to Aspen Ski and Board and see us soon.

While keeping on Armada, Tanner Hall, cofounder and team rider, recently said he was retiring from competition. This spring while filming with Poor Boys Productions, he overshot a jump at Stevens Pass breaking both of his legs-- more specifically his tibial plateaus'. He had surgery and is currently rehabing hoping to get to ski and film in the backcountry this upcoming season.

On March 26, 2009, skiing lost a great in Shane McConkey. Shane was not only a great skier, but an innovator. He worked with K2 in making the Pontoon, which is commonly said to be the best powder ski avaliable. After performing a double back flip, McConkey intended to glide away in his wingsuit, but he struggled to release his skis. By the time he got them off, he'd been free-falling for 12 seconds and was too close to the ground for his wingsuit or parachute to do him any good. His parachute did not malfunction-- it was never deployed. He died on the scene. Shane is survived by his wife Sherry and his three year old daughter Ayla. Due to this horrific accident, K2 will be releasing a limited number of Pontoons with a special topsheet tributing Shane's life and acomplishments. The ski will sell for $699 and all of the money will go toward his family. Our shop was lucky enough to get our hands on some skis. They will not be arriving until mid-October, but are available on pre-order. Check it out here for more details. All proceeds will be donating to Shane's family.

If you've never heard of Level 1 Productions, you have been missing out on some pretty amazing movies for the last ten years. The upcoming film "Refresh" will be the companies tenth film and it looks to be quite the presentation. I recently got to chat with Kyle Decker, the intern gone cinematographer/editor, for the company and asked him a few questions about the company. Decker, who is from the Cleveland area definatetly embraces his midwest roots. Here's what he had to say...

Matt- So lets start by you telling us a little bit about how you got started with Level 1.
Decker-I first met Josh Berman at a Ohio Freestyle premiere for my first local ski movie "Re-Edit" in 2004. Greg McGuire, from Little Mountain Ltd, contacted Josh about joining me in premiering his movie for the Mentor premiere and ended up buying him a plane ticket. The premiere was a blast and since then I was in touch with Berman on and off for the next year or so. Then in 2006 I landed a summer internship with Level 1. I am now a full-time cinematographer/editor for Level 1 Productions along with Berman and Freedle Coty.

Matt- Do you think you being from the midwest gives you a little different take on filming and editing than someone who is from out west?
Decker-Absolutely. Ohio has limited terrain/places you can ski, which has forced my friends and I to become more resourceful with what we had to work with. We were able to team up with Snowtrails for park shoots and also expanded our ridable terrain by exploring the streets of Northern Ohio for handrails. Now that I'm working with a travel budget, professional athletes, and new camera equipment, I still find the skills I picked up in Ohio invaluable. If it wasn't for the Ohio crew, Snowtrails, or the stoke of midwest skiers I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing.

Matt-What was the most fun trip you and the crew went on this season?
Decker-Its really hard to point at one specific trip and say it was my favorite. My more memorable trips were a heli flight into a remote catskiing operation in British Columbia, flying halfway across the world to Helsinki, Finland to shoot handrails, and/or the week of sun in Mammoth for park shoots.

Matt-Why is it that level 1 seems to stay focused on the up and comers as well as the seasoned veterans?
Decker-Its an exciting time to be involved in skiing because the level of skiing is being pushed so hard by the "vets" as well as up-and-coming talent. We definitely try to keep our eyes open for new riders out there that could potentially be the next addition to Level 1, but it's also important to film with our seasoned veterans.
Level 1 is more than a list of athletes in a ski movie. Everyone is good friends and hangs out outside of skiing. Its important for a movie to be a focused around a crew, rather than grabbing a camera and filming "who is hot at the time".

Matt-Who should we look for to have a banger seggy in this falls release, Refresh?
Decker-We'll I think the spotlight is pointed at Tom Wallisch to get that "banger" segment, and he will! I think Phil Casabon is going to be another eye opener since he's kinda been under the radar prior to this season.

Matt-In last seasons movie, Turbo, we saw Will Wesson and his new trick the underslide. Should we expect to see anything else new?
Decker-Yes there are a handful of progressive tricks with some next level style, check out the "Refresh" trailer for a preview.

Matt-I personally know that your quite a good skier yourself. What is some of the gear your riding next year?
Decker-The ironic thing about being a full-time filmer, is it leaves little time for "skiing for fun". This past season I've probably skied without a camera bag less than 10 days, most of these being back in Ohio with my old crew around Christmas. It sounds bad, but I've found a deeper passion for making ski films than skiing itself.

Matt-Level 1 and Jiberish always have some amazing hoodies and crews in a colab clothing line. Should we expect anything more for next year?
Decker-Yessirrr. We'll be doing a few collaborative pieces again this fall. Keep an eye on the Level 1 site for the release.

Matt-If you could describe level 1's mission, what would it be?
Decker-Continue to improve our ski movies with the best talent while progressing our film making on our end.
Kyle Decker
Level 1 Productions

I wanted to say thanks to Kyle for taking the time to answer those questions even though they were working hard to get the movie ready for the release this fall. Heres the teaser so you can get your stoke on!!

Level 1 - Refresh Teaser from Level 1 on Vimeo.

On September 13th the Oakley Rolling O Lab will be in town. If your not familiar with the O Lab I highly recommend you come and check it out, and if you have heard about it, I'm sure that you'll be there. Oakley will be showcasing all the latest and greatest technology when it comes to eyewear. The O Lab is a traveling example of why Oakley doesn't settle for anything but the best. Those in attendance will come and see why Oakley is leading the way when it comes to producing the most advanced eyewear on the market.

Thanks for reading, now come in and chat! Keep it real and I'll see you next week, Matt Argo

1 comment:

brian said...

That was a very nice conversation. I learned a lot from them. I can't wait to see that ski movie. Thank you for sharing and more power.

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