ALMA BOARDING | MARJORIE COUTURIER IN KAZAKHSTAN
Marjorie Couturier collects tricks and stacks culture in the unlikely epicentre of snowboarding’s next frontier. Kazakhstan! Riding by Marjo Couturier. Shot in...
Groundbreaking. Trailblazing. Trendsetting. Game-changing. All irrelevant terms in regards to this article. The mission was stupidly simple. The great people at Timebomb Trading, in association with Thirty Two, Dragon, Stance, and Sandbox, decided to fill a couple rigs with a few team riders and head from Vancouver into the Rockies. The plan: hit Sunshine Village to join the Westbury Brothers (Finn and JJ), SRD and Snowboy Productions for the Dawn of the Village event, then destroy the streets of Calgary. We loaded up a 10-man crew consisting of Derek Molinski, Bryan Bowler, Martyn Vachon, Colter Heard, Nick Elliot, Matt Butel, TJ Koskela, Brodey Wolfe and hit the road. We weren’t reinventing the wheel, but we knew with the crew of hitters and filmers, we could get a nice little edit and have a great time.
Words | Matt Heneghan Photos | Liam Glass
DAYS AT THE DAWN
The first day of the event was hectic. We had pulled a long morning commute from some way overpriced roach motel in Revy, and showed up in Sunshine midday. By the time we got there, it was like fight club. Everyone was angry. The first thing I saw was the homie Aidan from Put It In The Bowl absolutely servicing himself on the down rail, and from that sighting on I knew this was gonna be one hell of a session. The rest of the day followed suit with freaks pumping with rage and attacking every feature in sight. Surprisingly, though, and a good analogy for the trip, the double-gate ollie was one of the most fun and sessioned features amongst a slew of insanely well-built snow-and-steel constructions. Our crew, although a bit slow from the road, started to go in. Bowler was putting it down on everything in sight, Derek ‘D Mo’ Molinski was putting down some crazy hand drags on the dragon box setup (if that’s a thing), and Nick Elliot was planting the seeds for what would become known as Lucifer’s Launch. All in all, it was a great first day and it most certainly deserved excessive celebration in the form of copious brown liquor. The Insane Crown Posse assembled with lightning speed and those little purple bottles started springing leaks throughout the Airbnb.
The second and third days were more of the same. With the great Colter Heard manning the camera lens and our boy Liam Glass on the photo tip, we just set out to do what we were there to do—get clips and pump vibes with the Dewalt stereo. A session went down on the upper features with TJ linking some dope butter-to-rail combos, and some clean airs being launched by Brodey over the volcano bowl. Martyn Vachon was being a real good boy, and like an obedient chocolate lab, retrieved himself a hectic gap to lipslide on the opening rail. More madness ensued with some boosty airs occurring on the hip and then some combo action on the power box-to- bonk feature. After the hill, we made our way to the back of the parking lot and found some props to mess around on. Nick hit a rail that was on the side of a garbage bin (the demons beam) and Marty and Bryan got a couple other little setups happening.
After feeling fulfilled with our time spent at the event, the squad made way to the great city of Calgary to get into some street action. We were deep with both filmers and riders so now we just had to put the pieces together. When you roll deep getting footage it can prove difficult, so instead of trying to find newer spots that might only serve one or two guys, we decided to focus on party spots where everyone could get something. We started midday after leaving Banff at a classic down flat down that has seen some heavy action throughout the years. Bowler and Vachon got busy gaping into the rail with some technical moves but Nick, looking to fulfil his stunt urges after bunting on Lucifer’s Launch, took it up a notch by literally going up the kinked rail. We put the winch to max speed and Nick was able to launch a boardie pretzel up the beast! A great first day done as we headed back to the Airbnb for a solid feed on Indian food. On the second day, the boys were hungry for action. At this point, our American comrade Blake Geis joined the ranks and we set out on another big day. We started the sesh at the infamous Arbor Lake rail where everyone was able to get something done. D Mo put down a heavy Frontside 270 Switch Boardslide, Vachon and Bowler got some nice combos, and I was able to get some moves down as well. Nick was still out for blood and tried to gap over the fence out of the park which proved unsmart. I often found myself wondering what, if anything, was working in his brain. Brodey went in on the power box to stage left and the first portion of the day was complete. After that, we went to another staple location at Shouldice Stadium where we hit the famous rail to roof ride. Butel put down a savage Switch Backside Nosepress Pop-Over and Bowler continued his reign of terror. TJ put down the smooth Switch Tail 270 and D Mo went Switch Frontboard Pretzel. The day was stacking. At around 5 p.m., Blake had spotted a down rail closeout across the street that he went to work on with a heavy Cab 270. Brodey put down the big Frontside 3 over the whole pig and that concluded what was one of the craziest days in the streets I have ever been a part of. We were 10 riders deep, and everyone got at least one clip and a photo. Unheard of. We decided to celebrate that night with more brown liquor and Tyler decided he wanted in on the clip stack. He took his board into the rafters and boosted fatty to flatty into the backyard of the spot. Vachon lost his mind and bottled himself and the night continued in hilarious fashion.
When the dust settled. the whirlwind trip couldn’t have gone better. Big crew, big laughs and a big folder of photos and footage. It doesn’t always have to be a helicopter-assisted covert mission to the mountainside of Kosovo to create great content. This was just a loose destination with dummies, shovels, cameras and Crown Royal. Simple