The other day I was reading an article on Jenkem Mag, a skateboarding website, about the 10 best opening lines in skate video parts. I always find it interesting to read what people have to say about a certain trick or a certain part in a movie, and this is what inspired me to do a top 10 about my favorite urban ski segments. Urban is by far my favorite aspect of skiing to watch. As someone from the East Coast, I really can relate to it, much more than watching some Red Bull athlete having his own private mega park built for him.
As full urban segments is something pretty new to skiing, there's a few segments in there that have an equal amount of backcountry or park skiing, but it's really the urban that stood out in each of these parts. Without further ado, here are my 10 favorite urban segments, along with 5 honorable mentions.
*English is not my first language, I tried my best to use proper grammar.
Wild Stallions - opening urban segment
I don't know if a lot of people remember that one, but this segment from Wild Stallions with Andy Parry, LJ Strenio and Will Wesson is one technical urban segment. It could have made my top 10, but as I wanted to focus on individual parts, it made the honorable mentions.
Go watch Wild Stallions to see that part!
JF Houle - Afterdark
JF Houle's been killing it for a long time, and he killed Quebec city with that segment, showing us a ton of new spots or new ways to hit old ones. With tricks like butter 270s on a steep quad kink, or that switch 270 on to a massive wall to tranny, and a guest appereance by Charles Gagnier, this is one banger segment with two pioneers of urban skiing.
Ahmet Dadali - Eye Trip
Ahmet Dadali shows us that he's a great all-around skier with this segment, but to me, it's really in the streets that he pushes it the most. He's one of the most creative guys out there and his style is so damn smooth. His last trick, an s-rail to transfer onto another s-rail, could probably still end a segment in 2014.
Go watch Eye Trip to see his part!
Clayton Vila - Network
This is Clayton's first part ever, and it's insane. That last 270on on the quad-kink might be one of the best one ever done, along with Wallisch's opening one in Refresh.
Real Skifi - episode 9
Even if this is a webisode and not an actual segment, I had to put my favorite Real Skifi episode in there, as these guys are in a league of their own.
10. Phil Casabon - Refresh
I'm not afraid to say that I liked the old Casabon better. In this part, he makes everything look so easy, and the stuff he does isn't easy at all. My personnal favorite is the switch up to shiffty blind 2out on the quad-kink.
I prefer the song and the editing of his Refresh part but you can still enjoy his skiing with his New Era remix.
9. Sean Jordan - Mutiny
Sean Jordan has a solid bag of tricks and he executes them with flawless style. It's his best segment yet, and it's filled with bangers. My personal favorites are definitely the back swap pretzel 2 on the double kink, which I'm still trying to figure out how he can pretzel that quick, and his ender, an unnatural 450 on a gap to down rail over a fence. It's debatable whether it's unnatural or not, since he usually does his 450s on to the right but his natural side on jumps is to the left, but one thing is sure, it's a great trick to end a segment.
8. Shea Flynn - Mutiny
Is a ski segment a piece of art? Well Shea Flynn's segment in Mutiny sure is. There isn't much else to say about this part, it speaks for itself.
7. Cam Riley - Network
Cam Riley had no sponsors when he filmed that part, and he showed everyone that he's the rawest urban skier out there. The rails he was hitting were way gnarlier than anything we've ever seen before. Clayton best described Cam's skiing in Stept's documentary Never the Same by saying this: "Anyone could slide this flat rail, but can you slide it with a gun to your head... It's like... don't screw up."
6. Sandy Boville - Act Natural
This segment introduced me to Sandy Boville. I've heard his name before, I've seen him in some edits, but I was pretty shocked when I saw his closing segment in Act Natural for the first time at IF3. He has 5min of banger footage, and I'm pretty sure he only filmed it in two months. With a great song choice to top it all off (Little Black Submarines by The Back Keys), Sandy Boville really put himself on the map with this part.
His Superunknown has all his best footage, but the actual part as a whole is just better.
5. Tim McChesney - Beggin' for Change
Tim McChesney goes stupidly big, and defined himself as one of the gnarliest skier in the game with that part. The editing and the song (One Mic by Nas) made it the perfect mix for a closing segment to remember.
4. LJ Strenio - The Grand Bizarre
LJ is insanely good at rails. He's tech, he goes big, and does a lot of stuff that's never been done before. I'm sure everyone who's seen this part remembers the double switch up transfer or the crazy quad kink with two elbows at the end with LJ saying "Let's go get some Krispy Kream!".
If you go to 8min, you can see the best urban footage he had that year in his part and also some footage with Meatheads.
3. Tom Wallisch - Eye Trip
While The Wallisch Project is Tom's best and most well-rounded segment, his part from Eye Trip is pretty short but filled with hammers, which makes it my favorite segment from him. He gets crazy tech on handrails, with tricks like a front swap to back 3 swap on a quad-kink, unnatural 450 on back 2out and of course, the one that everyone remembers: the 450 on pretzel 270 out on the double-kink that he 270ed on pretzel 270 out in Turbo. If you have Eye Trip, I suggest to go rewatch that one.
2. Clayton Vila - Mutiny
I think everyone can agree that this is Clayton's best segment to date, and IMO, it's the best urban segment ever made. This part shows how diverse Clayton is, with some tech stuff, some really gnarly stuff, all done with his signature style. He really gave it his all for that part, and I wonder if it's possible for him to top that, as he pretty much murdered everything.
1. Will Wesson - Partly Cloudy
Will Wesson's my favorite skier, and this segment gets me hyped to go ski. It's probably the most technical and creative urban segment to date, filled with a couple of NBD tricks. Even if Will's not your favorite skier, you have to admit that this segment pushes the boundaries of technical rail skiing, and that he has one of the deepest bag of tricks. His opening line shows how ambidextrous he is, with both ways switch tails 270s on and 270s on, and his ender is something only him could pull off. If you haven't seen this part, go buy Partly Cloudy.
At 1min53 you can see 3 tricks from his part, but just go watch Partly Cloudy and enjoy his whole segment.
There's plenty of other segments out there that deserve credit that I haven't mentioned, let me know in the comments what are some of you guys' favorite parts!