Sochi is the first Winter Olympics to include ‘slopestyle’ as an event, the closest thing yet to heading down to your local skatepark (albeit if you live in somewhere like Winnipeg). Ironically, although the Summer Olympics have been heavily backing Beach Volleyball for some time, actual skateboarding and bike tricks (BMX) have yet to get the stamp of approval, despite the campaigning of the likes of Shaun White and Tony Hawk. The IOC’s response in many cases is that there is not a unified governing body of the sport, unlike slopestyle, apparently.
Well, there was a time when many of these featured Winter Olympic events were far on the outside of the Olympic ideal, and there are even more extreme versions that remain. If you can’t get enough of what NBC Sports is giving you on your TV and mobile, or perhaps you’ve just seen Adam Yauch’s snowboard shredding in the Beastie Boys’ Awsome, I … Shot That! (2006), FilmOn’s VOD service has numerous vintage and recent ski films to view, often via the Ski Channel. Here are are some of the best I checked out.
License To Thrill (1989):
No better place to kick off than mega-mohawked and USA-emblazoned-snowjacketed Glen Plake interviewed by Bryant Gumbel on the TODAY Show…this is Greg Stump’s follow-up to his ground-breaking Blizzard of AHHHH’s (1988), featuring further footage of pioneer extreme skier/promoters Plake, Scot Schmidt and Mike Hattrup performing outrageous stunts to a vintage electro/hip-hop playlist.
Groove Requiem In The Key of Ski (1991):
Stump gets a even a little more stream of consciousness, and the music more trance-y in Groove Requiem In The Key of Ski (1991), which throws in random yet appropriate quotations, clips and interviews.
Summer Skiing The Ring of Fire: An Epic Journey To the Pacific Northwest Volcanoes (1994):
This is a fascinating ski tour of the Cascade Range volcanoes about 15 years after the eruption of Mt St. Helens.
The Unbearable Lightness of Skiing (2008):
Greg Hill made this short film documenting his backcountry skiing adventures with a running monologue. Between the monologue, and the fantastic visuals, the running time is just about right.
Blind Skier’s Edge (2009):
In it’s own way, this is about as extreme as you can get. Blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer amazes in this short.
In Deep: The Skiing Experience (2009):
This seems to reflect the shift toward full-corporate Red Bull-style sponsorship, as the visuals are increasingly high-tech, and even the title sequence, scored appropriately to Ennio Morricone’s “For A Few Dollars More,” has animation on the level of Persepolis (2007) or Waltz With Bashir (2008). Not to say it’s any less enthralling. And the tale of the late ‘ski-baser’ Shane McConkey, who late got his own Red Bull-made biodoc McConkey, underscores the real physical boundaries that are being challenged.
P-Tex, Lies and Duct Tape (1994):
More strange stream-of-conscious slope action from Greg Stump.
Watch non-stop vintage ski action on the Ski Channel via FilmOn:
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