So you and your crew are finally ready to take your park skills to the streets but you're not exactly sure what to do to get your urban game rolling? Well here's the official Newschoolers guide to urban skiing.
The first step is to scope. Use the spring, summer and fall to scope spots for the winter. Travel to neighboring towns and cities and search high and low for hit-able rails. Take pictures from multiple angles so you can figure out the best way to hit a feature, where to build a tranny, etc. Also make sure you write down the address and directions for the spots. Using google maps and street view are great ways to scope for spots that might be too far to make a trip to.
Credit: NS member Cultrara
Now that you have all your spots found and have waited months for the snow to return, it's time to get out in the streets and stacking shots!
Here are the essentials.
LOTS OF WATER. Bring more than you think you need. You will need the water to freeze the lip and inrun and you wont want to have to waste time to get more water if you run out. Urban skiing is also exhausting and you'll want to stay hydrated. I suggest bringing a few gallons or even a water cooler bottle. It is always better to have more than not enough.
SHOVELS. Every person in your crew should have a shovel when setting up a spot. Many hands make light work. You'll get set up faster and everything will be easier with more people around.
DROP IN / BUNGEE. You're gonna need speed for some of the features you want to hit. Not all of them will have a natural slope leading into the rail or drop. You're going to want to build a drop in or invest in a bungee. Pallets are great for making drop ins if you don't need a ton of speed for the spot. Although majority of the time you will need a bungee to get enough speed. I highly suggest investing in one.
www.bansheebungee.com video // level 1
LIGHTS. The majority of the time you're going to need lights to be able to see. Especially if you're filming. My suggestion is to go your local hardware store and pick up 2 or 3 sets of halogen work lights. They're pretty inexpensive and work absolutely great. Only downside is that they need power, so you're going to want to stock up on extension cords to make use of a power source close to the feature or invest in a generator. Generators create noise and will draw attention so keep that in mind when using one.
Don't turn the lights on until you're absolutely ready to start the session.
Skier: Kellan Baker // Photo: Tanner Sinclair
FILMING. For filming urban the best case scenario is to have two or more cameras. You'll want multiple angles of the shot if you're taking it seriously. This day in age iphone's can be a great second camera if your crew only has one video camera. Make sure the spot is well lit so you are able to see everything in the shot.
POLICE. If police or security bust you be polite and do not get in their face. In my experience with shooting urban we have never had any serious issues with police busting our spot. The times they have came they just told us to clean up after ourselves and be careful. If the cops aren't that chill about it, just pack up your shit and go. You can always come back later for the shot.
Skier: Joey Van Der Meer // Photo: Matthew Sklar
MOTIVATION. Urban skiing is a lot different than park skiing. There's usually no warm up to hitting a burly feature so you gotta make sure you bring your cajones with you and sack up to hit the rail. Friends help a lot too, sometimes even strangers will try and get you hyped up and give you pointers. For example, Coach Jamal. Meet people like Coach Jamal.
Now that you're ready to take your park skills to the streets, all there's left to do is get out there and start scoping, building and stacking shots!