Wabistics: Underground Snowboard Film Captures Gritty Side Of Colorado Riding
Travis Farmer makes his living driving a stripper to work.
“The girl lives in a mansion,” he says. “It sounds cool, but my girlfriend is like, “UUUUggg.'”
It’s a fast money gig for Farmer, who is a snowboarder with a serious jones to ride. And once it starts to snow, he’ll ditch the gig to go ride with his good friend, Chad Grant.
Farmer and Grant are two of the warped masterminds behind Wabistics, a garage-band movie that they’ve just released on DVD.
Wabistics is a grassroots effort. There are no pro riders and local bands provided the soundtrack. The DVD actually includes a music CD featuring said tunes.
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It’s a funky, organic compilation of snowboarding at it’s best. And it’s made even better by the antics of the Clear Creek scene.
Clear Creek is the odd side of Interstate 70. If you live in Summit or Eagle Counties, you’d never think of hanging out in Georgetown, Idaho Springs or Empire. But these towns, on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, are home to a thriving ski and snowboard scene. The riding is complemented by a lower cost of living and a redneck vibe with plenty of gasoline and engines.
It’s here that Farmer and Grant made their home base last year. Working out of Clear Creek, the duo spent the winter traveling across Colorado to shoot and film in an old RV.
“We had gold passes,” recalls Farmer of the 2002-03 season. “We planned it for six months. It was a really awesome experience, living in Aspen, Steamboat and Crested Butte. Really getting to see the state was incredible.”
But while the travel seasoned Farmer and Grant, it wasn’t until the RV broke down, and they spent two months living in Clear Creek Country and riding at Loveland, Copper and in the backcountry surrounding the Continental Divide that the Wabistics project developed its unique flavor.
“The atmosphere of Clear Creek Country has treated us really well,” says Farmer. “There’s a good band scene and you wouldn’t expect that. It’s also really easy to work in the area. Loveland is totally laid back.”
The grassroots, hardcore nature of the eastern side of the divide is perfectly captured by the amateur riders and gritty production of Wabistics.
“The riders are pretty much a group of friends who met at Beau Joes Pizza,” says Farmer. “Some of us got ambitious and we started filming. Anyone who wanted to throw together a part and has footage, well we’d include it”
While Farmer describes the project as, “Semi-kick ass amateur video, without trying to be all hardcore and pro,” you’d have to consider Wabistics more of a documentary. Its footage hearkens back to the early days of snowboarding, when people rode for passion and desire, not for money, and the scene was underground.
With their first effort under their belts, what does the future hold for Farmer and Grant?
“Really just having fun with life is our main motivation,” admits Farmer. “We’re trying to avoid the 9-to-5 and want to live the American dream, and make money doing what we love. We enjoy the sport as it is and want see if we can pull it off, we won’t have an opportunity like this in our lives too often.”
For more information or to order a copy of Wabistics, call Travis Farmer at (720) 313-1186.
Tom Winter is freelance writer based in Vail.