Monday, April 07, 2008

Destination Åre.

Before leaving Luleå I went to see some jazz band play at the "Culture House", the venue is pretty sweet. The jazz was ok.

On Saturday morning I woke up to 3o cm of powder.., I thought it was spring, not January.

A lot of my swedish snowboarding friends were/are heading towards Åre (one of Sweden´s biggest resorts, maybe biggest?).
I´ve never boarded here before. I hiked to the top about two years ago in the fall and I filmed here at the infamous Tab X-Tra halfpipe contest in 1996, or was in 1997?

Soon to be another Malm bed at Ikea.

The road to Åre was pretty sketchy at times. I for one have no idea why the speed signs aren´t switched out in the wintertime on the inland roads.
Aren´t there unemployed people who can swap out the signs when the snow comes in December?
I mean there are hundreds of thousands of people without work and our government wants to reach zero deaths in traffic
and they allow people to drive 110 on these roads... but when I go 100 on a 90 road by the coast that´s twice as wide and there´s no snow I get a 300$ ticket cause I´m a traffic hazard.., makes sense.

This looks like a good road to drive 65mph on right?

About 70 kilometers outside Östersund (and two hours from Åre) my car decided to sound like a lawn mower... not awesome at all.
So I called a tow truck and hitchhiked to Östersund to make the train to Åre. Got a ride with a military guy. He was super nice and we chatted it up about war, snowboarding, peace, drafts, Bush, Nato and stuff.

Train views.

I made the train to Åre and my friend Anders who runs the swedish mag Transition picked me up and gave me shelter for the night.

Room views.

Hotel carpet.

The evening was then spend at the Jon Olsson Super Session awards. Jon is a really talented skier (understatement) from Sweden who have been doing events here in Åre for a while and this year he had an interesting event that I wanted to see the outcome of.

He invited some skiers to come and shred some cool features he had built. They spend something like 7-10 days doing d-spins and switch japan grabs (and no, you can´t ski switch on skis, or tweak out a japan air). But that wasn´t why I had come to witness. I wanted to see the video clips and photos that the skier had produced during these days. I was totally disappointed in the old school department of tricks though.., would it hurt to do daffy´s and cossacks? Remember Hot Dog - The Movie, Better of Dead and Aspen X-Treme?

See each skier invited one photographer and one filmer to document his skills and then put together a clip and slide show that were to be judged.
This is a really cool formula I think. I would love to see something similar in snowboarding. I´d love to spend a week with a snowboarder (or skater) and a photographer and put together a two minute clip of that week.
There used to be a photography contest like this in snowboarding called the Crystal Awards and it was really cool too, but for some reason they couldn´t keep doing it for more than two years.
But photography has changed a bit since the Crystal Awards. Instead of slides projected to whatever music the photographer can now make a slide show on their computer within hours (maybe even minutes) from actually shooting. This in my opinion makes for a more entertaining visual presentation, especially for a huge crowd like the one that were here for Jon´s event.
And since you can make video clips really fast these days too and the skiers/riders livelyhood is basically based around filming and taking pictures anyway this contest format is really appealing to me.

Here are some clips from the event:

I hope snowboarding can learn from skiing (god, did I just say that?!) and make a similar event.
I know I´d be stoked to enter. Parker, are you with me?

Here are some sweet pics of Travis Parker and his part from Afterbang.
This video part was a serious treat to put together.

Anywho.. the event was great and I want Jon and everyone else out there to know that he did an great job of putting this together. He even had Cadillac CTS´s and Escalades´s driving the skiers around. And everyone knows I´m a sucker for Cadiallacs.

The night was spend drinking and of course there was booze a la plenty. Jon even had two 15 liter (around 4 gallon) bottles of bubbly at the table for everyone to share (most of it ended up in the air or on people).
I wouldn´t expect any less in Åre on a Saturday.

Lots of people from Stockholm with "backslicked" hair and Canadian Goose down jackets frequent Åre.

Swedish sized coffee to go.

Sunday I went boarding with Jakob who´s a local here (not in the bars though:) and it was sunny and slushy. Since I was limping most of last week and in great pain due to the sciatic nerve acting up on me I took it easy, cause I´m usually a really aggressive boarder otherwise, not.

People drinking bubbly at the town plaza.

Town plaza the day after. Full on winter again.

Today, Monday, it stared to snow a lot. Looks like it will snow for a while. Tomorrow is supposed to be decent at best.

I´m mooching off the crew who have condo here. I´m looking forward to see them get rad here this week.
They just released their teaser!

Other news:
Here´s the second beer commercial that my friends David and Ted did. It was also shot in Skellefteå and features some of Skellefteå´s hidden hockey talents.


Anonymous said...

Hey Pierre,
Where do you get your cool striped shirts from?

Gavin Hope said...

Hey Pierre,

have you heard of the Oakley Jib Vid contest?

It used to be the Protest jib-vid I think.

It's a pretty cool competition. I was at the one in Tignes back in 2006 (not competing!). They throw a party and stuff afterwards and everyone's around while the judging of the films takes place...