Does synchronized snowboarding exist? You could make a compelling argument for the case in the three-part series, Slice ‘n’ Dice. Filmed by Sam McMahon and Ed Bloomfield of Whitelines and OnboardMag, the short film series from last season features riders Lewis Sonvico and Dave Crozier euro-carving their way through Morzine, France and Stubai, Austria. However, describing their snowboarding skills in the series with the term ‘euro-carving’ doesn’t fully do those skills justice. They mix pow slashing, elbow-scraping, and base-on-base taps and ollies and accentuate them in an intense mash-up that at once resembles cat-chase-mouse with the dexterity of two butterflies succinctly floating in harmony. The revolution is in the turn and these two shredders bring back a surf style reminiscent of the origins of the sport–minus the hard boots.
While the grace and fluidity of the surf turn are exhibited in full force in the series it doesn’t necessarily capture the duress and sweat put into the videos; everything from lining up shots to being in-tune with each other’s motions takes time and energy. “Filming carves on piste, compared to a jump or rail is a total bitch,” says filmer Sam McMahon “It’s really hard to communicate exactly where a trick’s going to start or end on such a blank canvas, plus the steady cam rig Ed pulls about for six hours a day isn’t exactly lightweight. For the riders, the main challenge was not smashing into each other or slicing each others’ heads off!” Sonvico and Crozier managed to come out in one piece and a lot of that is due to their understanding of each other’s styles and placement. “I think we have been pretty lucky in that myself and Lewis know each other’s riding abilities very well,” Crozier told me. “The trust is there so most of the stuff we threw together seemed to work out in one or two takes.”
One or two takes can almost literally describe how the whole series started and how two riders that had never ridden together could be so well connected. “We kind of stumbled upon the idea of it all really,” says Crozier. “Sam had seen me do a euro-carve when I was getting photos to put on my snowboard school website and was like, ‘hey, let’s get you on camera doing that.’” A mutual friend of McMahon’s, Lewis Sonvico just happened to be in town and amidst hectic schedules and warm-up laps in Morzine, France, McMahon was able to capture a little bit of footage. He took the limited footage of Sonvico and Crozier riding together, edited it down, and voila, the first of the Slice ‘n’ Dice series. It grew in popularity and attention, spurring Nidecker Snowboards to join in, allowing the riders and filmers to generate more compelling footage and completing the three-part series.
In the film, the riders defy creativity and style but one has to ask, ‘why the carve?’ In recent years there has been a resurgence of boards and riders mimicking the old-school style and Sonvico can sum it up with one word – the ‘feeling.’ If watching the two angling pencil-straight bodies against corduroy snow at Mach speeds or buttering and slashing berms isn’t enough to make one yearn to make a similar turn then perhaps the ‘feeling’ will–it is unlike anything else. Yet for these two snowboarders (who also surf) the inspiration goes back to the roots of it all in bringing the motion of the ocean to the snow. “I love the influence that surfing has on my snowboarding and vice versa,” says Crozier. “The sensations, the feelings and the energy I get from doing a turn, learning something new or putting a smile on a client’s face are why I will never have a full-on office job…snowboarding has it all!” So next time you hit the slopes envision the ocean at your toe tips and the power of the turn in your soul. That’s really what the filmers, and the riders, wanted.