Bode Merrill
Elena Height

Elena Height

Roope

Roope

There is something about the setting of a park shoot that just adds to the stoke. The Canadian Rockies around Banff are one of these places where the landscape looms, ready to compliment the riders in every image and at times, upstage them with their stoic grandeur. On the site visit to Sunshine Village, the terrain I saw engrained in me the idea that a tabletop jump crosscourt over a quarterpipe was feasible. Australian cutter Charles Beckinsale put his PistenBully Park Pro 400 through the paces on this push and proof of concept was achieved and then some. As for Lake Louise, well, the same vistas that inspired SNOWBOARDER to first erect a hip under Tunnel Mountain over a decade ago maintain their compelling place. Bryan Kroker, Jeff Patterson and the rest of the Lake Louise staff labored long and hard to create a steep-sided structure with the simple purpose of sending riders into the sky. To that end, they didn’t disappoint. SNOWBOARDER would like to thank everyone whose efforts made the SFD Banff shoot a success, including Ski Big 3, Travel Alberta, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, PistenBully, Oakcreek, John Glockhamer, Jeff Lancaster, Charles Beckinsale, David Seidel, Ben Suurallik, Kendra Scurfield, Don Beaulieu, Luke Suderman, Dave Riley, Jeff Patterson, Bryan Kroker, Rocket Miller, Dan Markham, Brenna Spademan, Alan Reed, Pete Woods, Sarah Pearson, Jessica Harcombe Fleming, Jenevieve LeBlanc, Jonny Bierman, Kymberley Hill and Andrew Hardingham.

- Pat Bridges

Bode Merrill

Hans Mindnich

Bode Merrill

Roope

Bode Merrill

Dustin Craven

Elena Height

Nils Mindnich

Roope

Hans Mindnich

My final trip shooting for SFD was in Banff, at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. I’d never been to the Canadian Rockies and boy let me tell ya that the land of toques and poutine does not disappoint. It’s postcard country. Even compared to the Swiss Alps I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. We ended up riding this crazy gap jump at Sunshine. It got pretty wild for our last few days there. Heavy tricks were being thrown down. I think Hans got some sort of NBD almost every day, so that was cool. I think at one point we did a sunset shoot, then sunrise the next morning followed by a sunset again later that day. By the end I think everyone was confident that we got some good shit. The second part of the trip was spent hitting a hip a Lake Louise. The park staff at both places really did a great job keeping them shits together. The hip took a little while for me to warm up on but everyone was ripping. Matt Ladley and Jake Blauvelt were shutting down the right side with some timeless methods and I think Hans did roughly a thousand Michalchuks. Elena Height did a sick Michalchuk as well, and Roope was doing doubles. It was pretty wild. I was just glad to be there and not get broke off, haha. But that wrapped up the season and I was alive! I also had some great times with cool people.

- Nils Mindnich

Bode Merrill

Hans Mindnich and Roope

Bode Merrill

Dustin Craven

Elena Height

Roope

Roope

Nils

In late April, Nils and I flew out to Canada from Salt Lake where we met up with the media boys in the airport. From there we headed to Sunshine Village where we had a jump shoot. We ended up there for a few days and on the last two we had a sunrise shoot (4:30 wake-up while I had gotten sick the night before) then a sunset shoot that night, followed by another sunrise shoot the next day. After Sunshine Village we hopped in the vans and headed over to Lake Louise where they had a hip built for us. We ended up having a blast for a few days while shredding. Every evening consisted of getting a few tricks and drinking a few beers. This was my last shebang for the movie so we tried to go big and have fun in the process.

- Hans Mindnich