• Say Anything: Arbor's Brad Farmer on double movie premiere in Venice Beach

    Brad Farmer seems to be everywhere and anywhere at the same time. We are suspicious that he has figured out how to teleport, but we're still looking into it. He has his hands involved in multiple projects, such as working as the athlete and marketing adviser at snowboard and skateboard brand Arbor and the youth marketing consultant at Southern California winter resort Mountain High. And he attends endless events, parties, and contests, such as the double movie premiere of Think Thank's "Mind the Video, Man" and Mountain High's "Los Angeles" at the Arbor headquarters in Venice, California. Here's what he had to say about the event.

    Photo: Arbor, Matt Smith

    This isn't Arbor's first rodeo hosting a premiere party. How do you guys decide which films will be shown each year?
    Yeah, this is actually our fourth year of hosting premieres in Westside Los Angeles and in Santa Barbara. We pick movies that our riders were a part of and that the brand backs 100 percent. We have had a large involvement with Think Thank for several years with three riders in "Mind The Video, Man" this year, including Brandon Hammid with the opening party, Sean Black up in the middle, and Curtis Woodman with the closing part. With Mountain High's "Los Angeles" it also came down to riders with Nick Visconti on the team and having a full part along with new regional rider Trever Haas and cameos from several riders including Scotty Vine, Erik Leon, Ian Sams, and more. This year we also played Nick Visconti's full part that was released on Transworld and Scotty Vine's yet-to-be released new part. Here are the links to the movies:

    Think Thank: http://youtu.be/BpyqN8j8a8s
    Mountain High: https://vimeo.com/50942308

    How did the premiere compare to past years?
    Each year they seem to get a little better and bigger, although the place can't hold more people, so if they get bigger, we are in trouble, ha! It's just a really good time and never fails to be just that.

    What were the top moments of the premiere/party?

    The best thing about this particular premiere for me was that we had the entire Arbor team in town for annual meetings. It's just such an amazing group of riders and it's real fun to spend time with them, and I think it's cool for the Arbor customers and fans to be able to come out and meet them all. Here's a list of who we sponsor: http://www.arborcollective.com/snow/riders/. The raffle is always a hit and it benefits Protect Our Winters, which is always a great cause. The movies and parts all went off, and of course DJ Jokzilla.

    Photo: Arbor, Matt Smith
    How do you feel about movie premieres by the beach versus in the mountains?
    They are great in the mountains for sure, but I have to say after having successful premieres in downtown Los Angeles and Westside Los Angeles in the last couple of weeks, it's damn cool to see SoCal coming out to support and get into snowboarding.

    What does Arbor have in store for the snow world this season?
    Probably the next big thing is the release of Scotty Vine's full part, which I'm sure will be posted right here on GrindTV. His part last year picked up almost 150,000 views, so the follow-up to that is pretty huge. Aside from that I feel like our team is really dialed in and thus I'd expect a lot of great content coming to the streets, parks, and backcountry. We also have an amazing new line of snowboards in stores right now. I think it's the most complete and solid line yet. Here's a link to it: http://arborcollective.com/snow/boards/
    Channels: SnowFilm
  • First snow of the season hits California

    First Snow in California of 2012-13 season
    Despite the Indian summer that invaded California this year, Old Man Winter somehow found his way back to the West Coast to share a few flakes and ease our worries over the threat of another lackluster season. Early Thursday morning, soft white specks began to fall and cover the ground, trees, and roofs in Mammoth Lakes, California. The social media sites blew up instantly and the snow continued to fall until about noon. Then, Mountain High, Tahoe, and Bear Mountain began posting photos and updates on the first snow of the season in their areas and have continued to do so through today.

    Mammoth has already said their opening date will be Nov. 8, with the rest of the mountains yet to announce when their lifts will begin turning.

    So, the question remains ... does another piss-poor winter await us? Or will the rumors, er, hopes of another La Nina season come true? We can only wait. Check out the pictures from the various California resorts displaying their brief encounter with winter by clicking the photo above.
    Channels: SnowOutdoor
  • Teasin' Season: Top Shred Edits of the Week

    The first snowflakes have officially touched the ground across the U.S. and with that comes more releases of full video parts and the more anticipated snowboard movies of the year. It's time to get your hands on the full-length films, people, and this week Standard Films, O'Neill rider Sebastien Toutant, and Nitro Snowboards got us amped for the winter that is slowly but surely showing its face.

    "2112" from Standard Films:
    Simply put, for 21 years Standard Films has been a platform for the biggest and the best snowboarding around. Consistently capturing jaw dropping images and footage, they continue to put together an all-star big mountain riding cast that delivers every single season. With "2112," they remain on this progressive and award-winning path with a movie that features the snowboarding of Xavier De Le Rue, Tim Humphreys, Kimmy Fasani, Frederik Kalbermatten, Ethan Morgan, Chas Guldemond, Victor De Le Rue, Nils Ardvisson, Anne-Flore Marxer, Gulli Gudmundsson, and Mathieu Crepel. Daunting lines, massive wind lips, and tons of backcountry booters--the talent has expectedly gained momentum and is as impressive as ever. The full-length film is now available on www.standardfilms.com as well as on DVD and Blu-Ray. Coming to iTunes in November.

    Seb Toots' 2012 Full Part: Can I get a pizza with everything on it? Yes, everything. This is what Seb Toots' 2012 video part got us thinking about. The 19-year-old Canadian appears super human with the unlimited amount of snowboarding he can accomplish. Throw this kid in the park and he's going bigger and spinning farther than anyone else around. Drop him off in the streets and he looks like he's a natural urban jibber. Shove him out of a helicopter into the backcountry and he's right there with the best of them, making deep and steep turns. Seb Toots full part from the past season shows him at his best and also demonstrates how well rounded and unstoppable he is. Either get inspired or feel like a massive wuss after watching the edit below.

    "Hyped!: Austria Full Part" from Nitro Snowboards: Every rider featured in this edit epitomizes the title. Every turn and hit is full of hype, joy, and the determination to have fun. Swedish filmmaker Per Hampus put this edit together and highlights the shredding of Austin Smith, Bryan Fox, Mark Swoboda, Marcus Keller, and more. The crew gets buried many a time in Austrian pow while sending it down pillow lines, tight tree lines, and jumps off the beaten path. You won't be anything but hyped after watching the guys power through the endless pow.

    Channels: SnowFilm
    Tags: None
  • Meet and Greet: Scottish snowboarder Marty Robertson

    Martin Robertson has been in the snowboard scene for quite some time--over sixteen years to be exact. Hailing from a small island off the coast of Scotland, one might not expect the drive to be a pro snowboarder to be in his blood. However, Robertson made sure that his future would entail a great deal of riding, no matter what it took.

    Photo courtesy of Marty Robertson
    Marty first got involved in serious snowboarding while he was back on his home turf in Scotland, where he nabbed his first shop sponsor. After traveling to the small resort of Bear Mountain, California, he gained more recognition and his career took off from there. He now resides in Mammoth Lakes, California, where he is looking to amp up his game in a fresh new season and excel more than ever. He has big plans to immerse himself more so in the backcountry versus the park to change things up a bit. He'll also be filming and shooting with local filmmakers and photographers. We caught up with the transplant to see what he has in store for the upcoming year and get some details on his past.

    Where did you grow up riding and how did you get into it?
    I grew up riding homemade snowboards when I was 12 or 13 years old. It started with a couple of my friends back home on the Island of Skye, Scotland. We all used to skate and when winter rolled around we took the wheels and trucks off our boards, sanded the bases and nailed in cut-up bike inner tubes as bindings. Our parents would drop us off at the base of this mountain and we would hike to the top and just point our decks to the bottom. It was super fun. You couldn't turn them or anything. We would build kickers and rails and tried to ollie over sheep. Good times!

    It wasn't until a few years later my parents took me on a ski holiday to Andorra, where I had my first proper snowboard lesson. I never looked back after that. I hassled my parents to buy me a real snowboard for a year or so until I finally got one. I think it slept in bed with me for about a year after that!

    What was it like growing up in a small fishing village?

    Growing up on a small Island off the northwest coast of Scotland was definitely awesome, just not for snowboarding! Skye is a magical place and I couldn't have imagined being born and raised up in a better place. The town I grew up in, Portree, is the capital and the nearest mountain with ski lifts was a 30 minute ferry crossing and 3-hour drive away...saying that, our winters are very different to anywhere else. We would be lucky if we got two weeks of snow and good weather. It usually is super windy and wet. Snowboarding in 60 mph horizontal rain on a one foot or lower base of snow isn't that great. But it definitely makes you appreciate the good snow and weather everywhere else and you know how to withstand the elements after growing up in such harsh conditions.

    Photo courtesy of Ashley Pearce Photography
    How did you score your first sponsor and who are your sponsors now?
    My first sponsor was a shop in Scotland called Granite Reef and they hooked me up with a board and clothing sponsor shortly after. It wasn't until I did my first season in Big Bear ('06/'07) when I got hooked up with Active Ride Shop, Drop Gloves, and Smith Optics, who I'm still with today. I also ride for Butta, ForceField, and Mammoth Seasonaires.

    What are your top three must haves for a road trip?
    Plenty of good music! That is a must so anything from Skrillex to Ben Howard. Also some Redbull and Candy! Those three are always in the car for sure.

    What made you move to Mammoth Lakes?
    I first came to Mammoth in 2005 for six weeks and fell in love with the mountain and town. I'm not sure why it took me nearly six years to return, but I'm here now for good and hyped!

    When you're riding what do you have blasting in your headphones?
    Last season was the first season I actually rode with music. It's definitely fun and gets you pumped although I still can't wear them when I'm hitting big booters. I like to hear what's happening around me and half the fun when you're in the air is the whole silence for those few short moments. My music taste is very eclectic. Just whatever compliments the moment I guess?

    Do you have a go-to trick or favorite trick to land?
    Backside 5s are always fun, but my warm-up/go-to trick is for sure a Back 180. It's one of the nicest feeling tricks ever!

    What/who inspires you?

    Many things inspire me, but in terms of riding, Iikka Backstrom has been the biggest inspiration for many years and still is to this day. He's got super good style, is a positive/funny guy, and a well-rounded rider. Julian Wilson (a pro surfer) is another one. He has the best work ethic and style on a surfboard and is another top guy!

    What is your favorite thing to do after a long day riding?
    The natural hot springs here in Mammoth with a few cold beers and friends is always good.

    What are your plans/goals for the upcoming season?

    Plans are to bag as many days riding as possible and get as much footage/shots as I can. I want to get more stuff done outside of the park and try find some new zones. Now that I'm living in Mammoth this will actually be my first full winter season here riding, so I just want to stay injury free and progress as much as I can. To keep track, I have a blog where you can follow what I'm up to www.martyrobertson.com
    Channels: Snow
  • Too Close For Comfort: Pro skier Chris Benchetler

    Growing up with Bishop, California, as his stomping grounds, pro skier Chris Benchetler was destined to take his first turns at Mammoth Mountain, the resort a mere 40 minutes away. Those initial years tearing up the slopes of the Eastern Sierra got Benchetler hooked, and he began skiing every weekend, joined the race team, and got into traveling while still going to school. His high school years introduced him to the freeride scene, where he met fellow skier Pep Fujas, who helped him score his first sponsor, K2. It was a whirlwind from then on.

    Photo courtesy ChrisBenchetler.com

    Chris got involved in the contest scene as most pro riders will; however, once he began filming with Poorboyz Productions, his heart was set on riding deep powder and big mountains and transforming this into his career. Now at 26, he continues to film with Poorboyz, has multiple pro models with Atomic Skis, and was named one of Skiing Magazine's 2010 Skiers of the Year. He remains close to his roots and lives in Mammoth Lakes with his wife, Kimmy Fasani, a top pro rider in women's snowboarding. We got a hold of the powder hound and picked his brain a bit. Here's what he had to say.

    What is one of your favorite trips and why? (ski trip or not...doesn't matter)

    Ski trip would have to be Japan. The culture, the people, the food, and the powder are unlike anything you experience as a Westerner. Non-ski would be Nicaragua. Warm water, surf eight hours a day, cheap living, and offshore winds 300 days a year.

    Do you have any bad habits that we should know about?

    I actually don't think I do. I'm so in love with keeping myself outside and active, I don't really have time to acquire any bad habits.

    What is one of your earliest memories skiing?
    Tumbling down Monument (a run off the top of Mammoth) in a red one-piece, crying, and my dad making me go back up to ski it again.

    Photo courtesy of ChrisBenchetler.com

    How did you propose to your pro rider wife, Kimmy Fasani?
    She had been rehabbing a slight knee injury, so I convinced her to go on a mellow hike that we usually do all the time, but this time with a pack, food, etc. That way I was able to have a backpack without being conspicuous. I also told her we should bring our beacons so I could practice before I went to Chile, saying I felt a little rusty. Then, once we got to Skeleton Lake (in Mammoth), I made her hike up the hill while I set up an avalanche scenario so we could practice. Once I was alone I set up a dozen roses (that I snuck in the pack) in the shape of a heart, avalanche beacon in the middle, ring on top, right on the beach. Her search led her right to it, and the rest is history.

    If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    It's a toss up between sushi and Thai curry.

    Best and worst part about your life as a pro skier?

    The best part is definitely the active and healthy life it has given me and allows me to continue to live. Worst part would be the mental and physical challenges of dealing with injuries.

    What is one of your go-to tricks or your favorite trick to stomp?
    Favorite tick to stomp is natural butter spins off cliffs, anywhere from 5s to 9s...

    What are three of your top movies of all time?
    "Avatar," "Gladiator," and "Anchorman."

    If you could spray any fellow rider in the face...who would it be?

    Anyone in the Nimbus crew.

    Any words you live by?
    Stay active. Live healthy. Ride hard.
    Channels: Snow
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