Snowboarding: The Art of Flight

A few months ago I watched a great documentary movie. It was called “The Art of Flight” and it followed a group of professional snowboarders (starring Travis Rice) who travelled the world in search of the best, and most extreme, snowboarding spots.

I never been the hugest snowboarding fan, I’ve usually preferred skateboarding, but the movie was excellently filmed and produced. It really captured what snowboarding meant to these guys. While part of the attraction is just having a lot of fun hanging out with your buddies and doing something you all enjoy, there is something deeper and fulfilling about pursuing your talents and pushing yourself to become the best you can possibly be.

It’s a great movie and I would recommend watching it. You can order it here.
Below is a preview, have a watch:

The sport of snowboarding was actually inspired by skateboarding, and it was only recently (1998) introduced into the Winter Olympics. The sport is renowned for its danger element which seems to appeal to the adrenalin seekers; Dave Barry once said “Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough.”

Similar to skateboarding, there are four main styles of snowboarding:

Free-riding (also known as all-mountain snowboarding)
This is the most common style, and the one used in The Art of Flight. It entails riding down a hill and doing aerial tricks (ramping) along the way.

Free-carve (also known as alpine snowboarding)
Not a common form of snowboarding, more popular with the skiers. The free-carve is similar to skiing, in that it is like a slalom race down a hill on a groomed run (so not as ‘natural’ as free-riding). This is one is more about speed, and not about tricks.

The same as skateboarding, this version is all about the tricks; snowboarders build objects such as rails, jumps and boxes to use for their tricks.

Click to see some other extreme sports videos.

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