Words: T. Bird
Photos: Laura Austin
Forum did it again. Last night in Huntington Beach, just north of the pier. In front of hundreds of people. Yep, they did it again, and I'm now starting to wonder how they do it to me every year.
If you're wondering what "it" is, then let me explain. Last night, Forum hosted the world premiere of their new release “Vacation”. Now, to preface this, I've got to say that 2011 is the best year for snowboard filmmaking in a very long time. Videograss made two flicks. Standard celebrated its twentieth year with an aptly-titled release. Travis Rice is touring the most talked-about snowboard film of all-time. CAPiTA came out with a killer team video. So on and so forth. From independent and low-budget to extravagant and over-the-top, the range in variety in the snowboard movie realm this fall is unparalleled, and this year is the best time to be a snowboarder, ever, in terms of movie making.
And then you've got Forum, an iconic brand within our industry who has staked their claim in snowboarding by making films, rather than relying on their roster to podium at major contests all winter long. Long ago, the original 8 made it clear that when a Forum movie premiered, it was going to be a hard-hitting documentation of a winter's worth of hard work and extraordinary editing. Well, Forum held true to that mantra with “Vacation” as–in my opinion–it's the best film they've put out since “True Life”, which–in my opinion–is one of the top three movies of all-time.
Jake Welch, if you're reading this, you put together one of my favorite video parts of the year. Jake's opener was what I've been waiting for from him, filled to the brim with insane urban riding and badass backcountry boarding. Handplants on pillow tops, a plethora of double corks and double kinks, and what I consider to be one of the best nosepress frontside 180s I've ever seen (that was my favorite trick). Jake put out an anchor part in “Vacation”, and finally showed the world that he can head up a crew and make shit happen.
Nic Sauve follows up with one of the most spectacular street riding segments that I've ever seen. Sauve has grown up since his days as a Quebecois rookie, and he's grown into the team, finding his place in the all-star line-up by stepping to and settling massive urban features. Gap-up rails, handplants on lightpoles, gargantuan gap-out 270s and more litter the screen in a ridiculous display of riding. Sauve had one of my favorite parts of the film; his section is unbelievable.
Alek Oestreng and Daniel Ek share the film's third part and they both show that there's a reason that they're on Forum. Though they're both in the shadows of Andreas Wiig, Pat Moore, Jake Welch, and the like, the young Euros hold their own in the backcountry. Oestreng has a fine mix of street shit and backcountry, and Ek explodes off-piste, destroying cheese wedges and pow landings for a few minutes. Their part was fun, funny, and exactly what I wanted to see from them.
Cam Pierce's opener sets the stage for his part. I truly was laughing out loud at his escapades in Cabo but it turned serious pretty quick once his footage started. Cam filmed some pretty crazy shit last winter, and he's got a very innate, fluid style that I enjoy watching very much. I loved his part.
Niko Cioffi, Austen Sweetin, Stevie Bell, and Andreas Wiig are the meat of the movie, and the four of them all have hammers. For as mellow as Niko may seem, he's a beast in the street, and last winter he logged some of the best rail shots he's ever gotten. Sweetin's park jumping ability shines in his part, but he also ventured into the urban environment as well, and his natural ability to adapt to all terrain plays a pivotal role in understanding how hard this kid kills it. Out of all the riders, Stevie Bell stoked me out the most. Aside from having two of my favorite tricks in the film (an inverted front five tree bonk and a switch backside double cork), Stevie got himself in the air this year and showed “Vacation”'s viewers that he's not just a jibber. Ring the Bell. Stevie can jump. Very well.
Speaking of jumping, the second-to-last part is none other than Andreas Wiig, and the amount of double corking that he throws down in his segment is ridiculous. Andreas clearly understands that in order to stay as dominant as he has for as long as he has, he's got to push his personal level of progression, and his part is an ode to Andreas's unbelievability. He's still sick. More so now than ever.
Surprise, surprise. Pat Moore has the ender, and I fear that if I talk about it too much it'll take away from the sheer spectacle of what Pat produced. Pat's part is one of the best, most well-rounded video parts that I've ever seen. He really does have it all, and the two-song ender that wraps up “Vacation” is the video part of the year so far, save for Travis Rice's full-length movie (which Pat also filmed for). Pat Moore is the best all-around snowboarder in the world right now, and I'm sure you'll agree after you see his closer. It's so fucked up.
What Forum does so well in their team videos is that they make them fun to watch, from all sides. On one hand, they create a lighthearted and fun-loving atmosphere with their intros while incorporating the heaviest snowboard footage of the year…every year…for so many years. Their films are always amazing, but Vacation's got something more, and–like I said–that puts it in a “True Life”-esque category. It's a trip. It's my favorite film of the year so far, and I think that you will absolutely love watching it. Go buy it on iTunes or find a premiere near you. You've worked hard these past few months, and I think you need a Vacation. I certainly did.