Sports in the Extreme

The biggest lesson is to like what you do and do it because you want to do it – do it for yourself.”

While that advice might apply to almost any undertaking, Wade Hoyt is speaking specifically about his career – making films about extreme sports.

Hoyt’s company, Standard Films, has specialized in producing snowboard films for over two decades. Its newest release, The Storming, will be featured this Friday at the Yukon Arts Centre as part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s 2011 Radical Reels World Tour.

Every year, the tour brings together the best high-adrenaline films entered in the Banff festival. This year’s offerings cover mountain biking, skiing, climbing, snowboarding, skateboarding, kayaking, and one sport – cross country snowboarding – that has to be seen to be believed.

The Canadian, American and French filmmakers behind this plethora of extreme sports footage travelled the globe to put their films together and obviously had a lot of fun doing it.

Adam Brodie and Dave Derewlany are the masterminds behind the short film, Cross Country Snowboarding.

In an animated phone conversation recently, they explained how their love of “outsider sports” drew them to discover and document the weird world of cross country snowboarding.

“I challenge anyone to take us off our throne as the world’s leading experts on extreme outsider sports,” Brodie boasts.

Derewlany and Brodie have spent years documenting fringe sports through their Unreel Sports series on Fuel TV.

“Strangely enough, it always seems to be two guys taking part in these sports,” Derewlany explains. “And they always have an eerie resemblance to Adam and myself.”

“Maybe that makes it easier for these outsiders to open up to us and share their passions with the camera,” Brodie adds.

The dynamic duo has captured a huge range of these extreme sports for a more mainstream audience.

“A few of our favourite sports to feature have been danger swimming [swimming in a pool with hazards such as flaming barrels, paint and spiky pool noodles], crawbling [hip hop and skateboard-inspired tricks with walkers and canes], and pool pool [billiards in a swimming pool],” Brodie says.

“But the new sport of cross country snowboarding really captured our interest.”

“It’s good for your health and your cool factor,” Derewlany chimes in.

As he speaks about the gamut of outsider sports his work has led him to document, Brodie waxes philosophical.

“Sometimes you have to look into yourself to find your own adventure.”

“Sometimes you have to look into a mirror to see your own reflection,” Derewlany adds wryly.

Hoyt is excited for Whitehorse audiences to experience his film.

“The Storming has the full spectrum of action – from freestyle to free ride to big mountain – and is peopled with some of the top male and female riders from across the globe,” he says.

“We captured the first ever triple cork air [three successive sideways or upside down 540s in a row, totalling 1620 degrees of rotation] landed in snowboarding for the film,” he adds. “You will be praying for snow by the time the credits roll.”

For their part, Derewlany and Brodie challenge Whitehorse audiences to view their film and its protagonists with an open mind.

“If I can give one message to the people of Whitehorse it would be: people of Whitehorse put down your gavels,” says Brodie.

“I would add: people of Whitehorse why do you have so many gavels?” Derewlany quips, before adding, “Remember that cross country snowboarding is the perfect sport for Whitehorse residents. With enough determination you could make it all the way to the North Pole.”

Information about screening times and tickets for the Radical Reels show on September 23 is available from Coast Mountain Sports, 667-4074, or email[email protected].

Amber Church is a painter, writer and sports enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected].

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