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The season has started, the snow is falling and Christmas is almost here. For skiers and snowboarders it is that time of year where we are either looking forward to our next trip or in the middle of planning it.
To help out the snow addicts out there I have put together a list of iconic ski and snowboard clips that will help you drift off into a world of snow related fun, and to offer some much needed pre-Christmas procrastination. With literally hundreds of ski and snowboard films out there and more available each season the list is an eclectic mix of old school, fun and down right insane films. If you haven't seen the full length videos than get yourself to you local ski shop, iTunes or YouTube and watch them in full - once you're at home of course!
This happens to be my favourite all time snowboard film. It has an awesome sound track, some incredible riding and a real feel that the Robot Food guys are having a great time hanging out with their friends on the mountain. To me this sums up snowboarding.
That's It, That's All
That's It, That's All is one of the most impressive snowboard films of all time. It was one of the first mainstream HD films and rumour has it Quiksilver blew the equivalent of a year's marketing budget on it. Travis Rice is proving why he's the world's best snowboarder and the riding and the locations in That's It, That's All can only be described as epic.
Anomaly is from the guys at Teton Gravity research, who this year bought us the first 3D ski film Light The Wick and Jeremy Jones' incredible documentary film Deeper. My favourite section is with Candide Thovex combining huge kickers with his tight knit skills.
Steep may be one of the older films on offer here yet it still boasts some of skiing's biggest legends and combines them with some incredible lines. The film was more of a documentary and includes the godfather of heli-skiing, Doug Coombs, at his best.
The TB series from Standard Films is possibly the most influential and renowned out there. Every film is incredible though Jussi Oksanen's section and the big mountain riding in TB8 make it the standout film of the series.
The guys from Absinthe films took the place of Robot Food and make snowboard films that combine fun, great music and incredible riders. Pop, Futureproof, More, Neverland and this year's film Now Here are all worth a watch (and purchasing) yet Optimistic stands out to me. Mikey Le Blanc's section is daft yet brilliant and who said there was no snow in 2007?
Blizzard of Ahhhs
The Blizzards of Ahhhs is a truly old school ski film, but it proves Glen Plake has been one of the world's top skiers for a very long time. For the fans of moguls, '80s outfits and Chamonix this is a real treat.
Over the past couple of seasons brands have started making online series and podcasts instead of full length movies. Salomon's FreeskiTV has been a great success with some awesome skiing on offer, the Mica Heli-skiing episode (#6) is definitely a highlight with five minutes of mouth-watering powder on offer.
Draw The Line
Mack Dawg Productions (MDP) have always been among the forefront of the snow film scene. Draw the Line is one of my favourites and the Trapped in Chile section is amazing. Imagine being trapped in a resort with too-much snow to even get up the mountain, then throw in some Dolly Parton and you've got an all time great.
91 Words For Snow
Apparently the Inuits have 91 Words for snow, and this documentary-style film is one of the best around. Put together by Dave Benedek this film has some all time inspirational sections, including Mike Basich's epic trip to Valdez in Alaska. It's a change from Benedek's Robot Food films but it equally as enjoyable to watch.
Hopefully there are a few of your favourites in there and this has got you in the mood for this winter. The snow may be reaping havoc in UK airports, on public transport and on streets up and down the country but just think how good the mountains are right now. If you haven't got your 2011 trip booked up, maybe it's time to start thinking about it.
This week has been a mixed bag for British skiers and snowboarders. Resorts are enjoying incredible December conditions and holiday prices over the Christmas period are being slashed, which is the good news. The bad news for our professional athletes is UK Sport has cut all funding for skiing and snowboarding. This means the likes of Chemmy Alcott and Jamie Nicholls will have to find another way of funding the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The last few weeks have been a real disappointment for Chemmy, she started the season well with her new sponsors Atomic on board and some decent results. Hoping to build on a positive 2009/10 season Chemmy looked in good shape. Then it all went wrong... she broke her leg training with the Canadian ski team in Lake Louise and her funding took a hit.
Jamie Nicholls has made a superb start to the winter. So far he has enjoyed top ten finishes in two TTR events, the Burton NZ Open and the Freeze Festival. His sponsors, Nike, look to be pushing him after a good showing at the D-Pad sessions. If Sochi 2014 are to add slopestyle to the program surely Jamie Nicholls has the potential to win medals.
Last night a few of our top winter sports athletes were interviewed by Chappers on 5 Live including Chemmy, Amy Williams, Jenny Jones and Dan Wakeham. Graham Bell was also on the show to add his two pennies worth, and to remind us he apparently skied back in 85. The show, for those who missed it, was very interesting and hearing how the sports rely on the funding from UK Sport was an eye opener.
As you would expect from Ski Sunday presenter and former British number one skier, Graham Bell definitely wanted to voice his opinion. As he put it the way the funding cuts have been made and how the money has been pushed into other sports (namely curling, skeleton and London 2012) UK Sports have decided to take the easy option. To be a successful World Cup, TTR and Olympic skier or snowboarder takes a huge amount of talent and an incredible level of dedication. What Graham argues is that UK Sport has decided to support sports that would be easier to win medals in, opposed to prestigious sports where the talent is there, it just needs support and nurturing.
No one can disagree that after her Olympic Gold Amy Williams deserves support and she has definitely raised the profile of Skeleton. As Amy pointed out last night, there is no commercial sponsorship in her specialty and neither her or the team benefit from financial backing from commercial backing the way other athletes do - though she did thank BMW for kindly giving her a car. Where I support helping our proven winners develop the rise in funding of £1.3 million seems steep, especially when skiing and snowboarding only previously received £620,000 between them. How can we ignore the talent we have on the slopes then up Women's Bob sleigh from £500,000 to £2.4m?
Okay so I have to admit I am a little biased, but as Chemmy put it skiing is 'an exciting sport, it's a blue ribbon event' and according to NBC Shaun White was the most watched individual in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Ski Sunday has been around for 32 years because skiing and snowboarding are entertaining, the boarder-cross and skier-cross in last years games were a hug hit, yet Zoe Gillings (who finished 8th) now has to rely on her one finance and sponsors to compete. Britain has always loved an underdog but how can we expect athletes who have the talent (Zoe, Jamie and Chemmy) to win the medals we crave without support and how can we expect other younger skiers and snowboarders to come through the ranks.
Thanks to the success of riders like Jenny Jones and Tyler Chorlton there is money from sponsors to help these kids make a living, but in the end sponsors are paying them to do a job for them, and will only support select riders that suit there image. Chemmy, our number one skier has to train with Canada's ski team and is barley surviving after her crash, when Snowsports GB went under last year it cost her £20,000.
Yes support the winners we have but also support our elite athletes and those with the potential to rival the Lindsay Vonns and Shaun Whites of this world and don't expect someone else to do it. There is more chance of Jenny Jones winning a medal than the England football team at the moment!
First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in last nights event. Thanks to everyone who turned up, bought raffle tickets and took part. Thank you to everyone who sent us prizes or donations. Thank you to Tim Warwood for a very entertaining evening. Thank you to the Kings Arms for letting us take over their pub and hosting us. Because of all these people we have managed to raise a staggering £1200 for Snow-Camp.
So, for those of you who missed last night, it was a hugely successful night. 15 teams of friends, colleagues and fans of the charity turned up ready for an evening of fun, and helped make for a cracking night.
The quiz kicked off a little later than expected, though this did help us sell a few more raffle tickets and the extra beers drank helped the excitement build. Tim arrived with his usual humour and charm and started with the Brummie banter pretty quickly. There were a couple of hiccups at the start with the mic not working but we quickly found Tim's ability to project his voice added to the entertainment.
We started off with a potato sculpting round, giving everyone a spud, a knife and some cocktails stick, where they had to produce a themed scene by the end of the evening. The quiz questions were maybe a little more difficult then anticipated but this didn't cause too many issues, as easy quizzes can be boring and Tim was selling answers at £1 a go - topping up the night's fundraising.
The music round went down a treat and included some great movie tracks, from Velvet Underground in Juno, to Happy Gilmore. After two hours of questions, music and guess the celebrity faces it was time to judge the potato round. Now the content of this round wouldn't make it past the Iglu firewall, so just imagine what a room full of adults, in good spirits after a drink or two can come up with.
The quiz had been a good laugh and it was time to give away the prizes in the raffle. We started off with the T-shirts from Ski Big Three, some CD's from Virgin Records and some DVD's from Whitelines, building up the anticipation of the main prizes. Next we had the Oakley goggles to give away, the jackets donated by Metrosnow.co.uk and to finish off the skis from Ski Big Three. Having tickets in two colours caused some comedy confusion. We had a few comedy cases of people screaming and shouting in excitement at winning a prize only to find out the ticket was the other colour!
All in all the evening was a hit, we've raised money for Snow-Camp, entertained our crowd and have already had requests for the next one. A few weeks of hard work have paid off and it was more than worth it. Once again than you to everyone.
We will put the evening's photos onto the Igluski Facebook page shortly and if you would like to donate head to our Just Giving page.
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