Snow porn: Best 2016-17 snowboard films from Absinthe Films, The Wildcats, Think Thank and more | VailDaily.com

Snow porn: Best 2016-17 snowboard films from Absinthe Films, The Wildcats, Think Thank and more

Compiled by Phil Lindeman
plindeman@summitdaily.com

Editor's note: This is part one of a two-part series on 2016 ski and snowboard films from across the world. Read on for this year's ski videos from Warren Miller, Level 1, Sweetgrass and more.

It's been years since I got this excited for a slate of new snowboard edits.

Not that the past few years have been dogmeat — the opposite, actually. It feels like every season brings a new batch of up-and-comers into the limelight, while old pros continue to push the boundaries of what's possible in the backcountry, on the streets and even in the park. Yes, park riding is relevant again — just watch anything from Danny Davis and Co. at the Peace Park in Grand Targhee, or check out photos from the monster quarterpipe thing at Woodward Copper last season.

But this fall is different. Sure, Travis Rice has a new opus, the impressive full-length film "The Fourth Phase," and video houses like Absinthe Films, Think Thank and Airblaster are documenting every level of the sport.

Those are all well and good, but for the first time since 2003's "Nine Lives," the fabled Canadian-American snowboard crew, The Wildcats, are back with a new team edit. Any rider of any age should know who Devun Walsh is, but what about JF Pelchat, Eero Niemela and DCP? Consider The Wildcats' new edit, "Wildcats Never Die," your introduction. Enjoy.

"AfterForever" | Absinthe Films

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Athletes: Mark Sollors, Kimmy Fasani, Ethan Deiss, Austen Sweetin, Garrett Warnick, Brandon Cocard and more

Nutshell: The 17th video from Absinthe, the Reno-based production house with a slew of progressive riders charging everything from backcounty booters and spines in Alaska to urban rails, drops and ledges in Quebec City.

Breakdown: The crew at Absinthe knows what they're doing after a whopping 16 years on the scene and "AfterForever" is no exception. The one-hour films isn't overtly cinematic or purposely grimy — it's just solid, progressive, jaw-dropping riding from a mish-mash crew with Capita, DC Shoes, Coal and Burton.

Keep an eye out for Summit local Brendan Gerard — brother of 15-year-old phenom Red Gerard — who spent most of late March and early April filming on urban features in Quebec City.

"For me, snowboarding was always about inspiring the people around you to snowboard… my peers and I communicate through our riding and not our words," Brendan Gerard told the Summit Daily while filming for "AfterForever." "There's no need to talk about how 'sick' a trick is or isn't — you just try and take what someone else did and tweak it to make it your own. That's what I mean by 'inspire.'"

Watch it: The Breckenridge premiere came and went on Oct. 9. Available through iTunes ($4.99 rent, $9.99 buy) and Amazon ($5.99 rent, $9.99 buy).

"The Weather Outside is Weather" | Think Thank

Athletes: Ted Borland, Brandon Reis, Max Warbington, Jesse Burtner, Ruan Paul, Sammy Spiteri and more

Nutshell: Another wild-and-crazy edit from Think Thank, the inventive urban masters known for riding (and annihilating) jungle gyms, staircases, rocks, frozen lakes — just about anything they find.

Breakdown: Think Thank follows up 2015's "Methods of Prediction" with 2016's "The Weather Outside Is Weather," a 44-minute urban edit with a bit of pow and log riding thrown in for good measure. The name says it all: while some riders are busy tracking the next big storm and slaving over snowpack, guys like Ted Borland, Jesse Burtner and Max Warbington are getting it done at the playground down the street, or the brick-lined schoolhouse next door. They prove the one-foot trend isn't played out yet and even managed to out-do the master himself, Bode Merrill.

Watch it: Available on iTunes ($4.99 rent, $12.99 buy) and Amazon ($4.99 rent, $9.99 buy, $27.95 DVD).

"Wildcats Never Die" | The Wildcats and Whiteout Films

Athletes: Devun Walsh, JF Pelchat, Mikey Rencz, Eero Niemela, Kale Stephens, Chris Dufficy and more

Nutshell: The first video from The Wildcats in nearly 15 years, made in and around the crew's stomping grounds of British Columbia.

Breakdown: The first time I saw The Wildcats in action was "Stand and Deliver," the 2001 Mack Dawg film with segments from Devun Walsh and JF Pelchat. Pelchat's edit was cut to "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead — another first for me — and I was instantly hooked on his riding and attitude.

The Wildcats have been partying, riding and partying some more since 1999, and from the retro-fied looks of the "Wildcats Never Die" trailer, they haven't slowed down since then. This 56-minute video takes them to the backcountry in B.C., Japan and Chile, where Walsh throws signature backside 180s and Kale Stephens slashes like he never left the sport. Just don't expect absurd superhero antics — these guys still kill, but they kill it in a realistic way. It's the kind of riding that makes you want to go out and have fun again on a snowboard. Enough said.

Watch it: Available on iTunes ($9.99).

"Day Wild" | Airblaster

Athletes: Tim Eddy, Tucker Andrews, Jesse Gouveia, Jackson Fowler, Hannah Eddy, Max Tokunaga and Madison Blackley

Nutshell: A short-and-sweet edit following a day in the lives of several team riders, shot at Squaw Valley in the California sunshine

Breakdown: At just under six minutes, the latest offering from Airblaster is almost shorter than the trailer for "The Fourth Phase." But producer Gray Thompson wasn't looking for a cinematic tour de force; instead, he wanted to show snowboarders doing what they do best — snowboard — on terrain they know like the back of their hands. Featured riders Tim Eddy, Hannah Eddy and Colorado boy Tucker Andrews ride the park in the morning, hit the pipe in the afternoon, head to the skatepark at dusk and end with a friends-only campfire, all from the back of a vintage truck camper. It's the ultimate ode to the local's life, and anyone who's spent a full day exploring the mountains in winter should feel right at home.

Watch it: Online for free on the Airblaster Vimeo page or right below.