Why Depth Perception is the most important snowboard movie in the last 10 years

As I write this I have the vision of the close follow-cam drone footage of Austen Sweetin ripping up a mellow banked powder field dotting with trees as he catches some sweet airs and cuts through the clouds of fluffy powder as he slashes his way to pure joy. That was an epic vision.

So lets take a step back. I’m an avid snowboarder. I’ve made a career of teaching others and I watch a lot of the movies and follow a lot of the key players on social media. I greatly enjoy the spectacle that snowboarding has become. Guys landing quads like they’re doubles, doing backflips in between buildings and guys with axes climbing to hit mega ice covered faces in wherever.

“As I watched this years current crop of movies on a number of occasions I was left with my mouth open. What the f### was that guy thinking.”

As I watched this years current crop of movies on a number of occasions I was left with my mouth open. What the f### was that guy thinking. Thats insane what he just did. Its amazing to watch. The progression is unreal. There is just one problem, I cannot relate my snowboarding to the vast majority of the movies. Its just too damn crazy. I’ve become detached from it and I think most riders are the same. It does not get me stoked to go ride my local dome or book a holiday. Who wants to book a holiday to Quebec and go a hit handrails. Nah screw that.

So what get me stoked to ride?

Great tunes that I can steal and add to my riding playlist so when I hear that tune it transports me to the movie and gets me pumped to ride. Fun entertainment that has nothing to do with the riding but makes me laugh (Dex from Shredbots). Riding that I connect with i.e stuff I could do or want to do. That way I can be inspired to progress. I’m better than the average Jo, but I’m no pro.

When I revisit some key movies that get me stoked in the past it was things like the opening of BYNDXMDLS Vacation Forever. Great tunes, great powder and travel shots with a cool rhythm kicker setup that if I have a big enough team we could do ourselves. Its looks cool and really fun.

The first section in Perceptions. The guys drop this wicked pyramid covered in fresh powder in Japan to a chilled backing track. They then start tearing up some classic Japanese powder. Wow. Its epic. It’s the kind of riding I can relate to and want to do even though I may not ever shred Japan I might get the chance to re-create those feelings in a European resort.

 

This brings me to Depth Perception. I did not know what to expect from this movie. For me I considered it might just be another movie to chuck on in the background.

The opener brings in a typical backcountry booter with a classic Travis double and a 720. The narrator gives us some highbrow chat that makes me think I’m in for another Red Bull arthouse flick with minimal shred and maximum number of heli’s shots, but no. He’s like “It’s not that kind of movie” and it truly isn’t. The shred takes place in one spot. Galena BC and boy does it look good. If you wanted to raise the profile of this place this is the movie. I literally want to go there right now. It looks totally awesome.

“As I watch this movie it starts to resonate with me more a more. Without realising it, this is the riding I really enjoy watching and on a smaller scale this is the type of riding I like to do.”

As I watch this movie it starts to resonate with me more a more. Without realising it, this is the riding I really enjoy watching and on a smaller scale this is the type of riding I like to do. Shredding powder in the winter with my clients. Choosing tricky yet fun lines, playing with the terrain, adding in the occasional spin, yet keeping it grounded and real. No playstation bullshit.

I’m sure if I was chilling at the top of some of those faces I’d be like, f### that, get me to the chopper I’m outta here, but the vast majority is totally doable and its epic. Plus the camera angles are wild. The new Shredbots movie came close near the end with the drone filming, but this stuff is on another level. You’re there with them. Connected. You feel like your following and could add in your own lines. Wow.

“It’s the essence and the end game that all riders talk about. Shredding pow and creating wonderful shapes in the snow.”

There’s no handrails, no two day kicker builds, no pain and anguish when someone does not land a triple. Its just natural flowing fun. A group of 4 riders (Travis RiceRobin Van GynBryan Fox and Austen Sweetin) playing around and loving what the terrain has to offer. It’s the essence and the end game that all riders talk about. Shredding pow and creating wonderful shapes in the snow.

Sure the narration is a bit cheesy and it is a long movie so you might want a double helping, but it all works and the end credits with Travis’s comments really hit home.

“This project was a labour of love and a testament to what can happen when you disregard the safeguards of “making business sense” and align with like minded indivduals and companies that deep down believe that intent and substance come before the convenience of a perfectly packaged marketing campaign” Travis Rice

If you like the natural beauty of the mountains and shredding pillow lines, tree runs and admire guys hitting some big faces then you need to spend £9.99 and buy this puppy. It’s a real and genuine piece of art that is full of the type of riding that from my experience the vast majority of snowboarders today either aspire to or want to do.

Enjoy.


James Streater is the head coach and owner of Maverix Snow Ltd, providing year round snowboard instruction, coaching and personal development. He is part of a select group of professionals who hold the worlds highest snowsport qualification ISTD. Follow him on Instagram @maverixsnow