Review: “In Deep”

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Depending on where you live, you’re either getting some early turns on the slopes or waiting for snow. (If you’re lucky enough to be in British Columbia you may already have double digit days on your powder skis, you lucky dog.) But there’s always room for stoke, and Matchstick Productions’ new film “In Deep” delivers.

The movie starts off strong with 16-year-old Sean Pettit. No stranger to the camera, after making his first appearance in Tanner Hall’s “WSKI106” five years ago, Petit slays huge AK lines and navigates tight B.C. minigolf lines (those being the super technical faces that require each turn — and cliff/rock launch — to be surgically precise). He does all this with ease as The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” plays in the background. Teenage Wasteland? Indeed.

Mark Abma, in typical fashion, kills everything he touches, whether it’s backcountry pow, AK heli lines or park jumps. He gets my vote for the most solid all-around performance in the film.

While the majority of the film consists of backcountry and heli shots, there is a nice segment of polished park jumps at Squaw being destroyed by Colby West, Sammy Carlson, TJ Schiller, Jacob Wester and others. And it’s the opposite of Level 1’s “Refresh” — there’s not a handrail to be found in the whole, hour-plus film.

Other highlights include: Eric Hjorleifson showing his big mountain prowess with solid lines, big drops and one of the sickest straightlines I’ve ever seen. MSP newbie Henrik Harlaut annihilates huge park jumps with every combination of spins and double flips. (Henrik is still the only person I’ve ever seen capable of making a switch 1440 look stylish.)

While this film is absolutely stacked with great athletes, the most memorable section is the final few minutes –- a tribute to Shane McConkey, the skiing legend who inspired countless people over the years. MSP’s lump-in-the-throat inducing tribute honors Shane by showing vintage clips of McConkey ranging from naked backflips in powder to AK lines on waterskis and ridiculous base jumps (ahem. . . Mandalay Bay). A noticeably choked-up JT Holmes gives a very touching description of his friend and the fateful day that they parted ways.

The movie is still on tour across the globe. Check it out on the big screen if possible. And if you do, don’t be surprised to see a couple of Saucer Boys in attendance — most screenings feature a few fans showing their respect to McConkey’s goofy alter ego.

Or pick up a copy. DVDs are $27.95 and include a year subscription to Powder magazine. www.skimovie.com

—Stephen Krcmar lives in Mammoth, Calif. Portions of this review originally appeared on Mammoth Mountain’s blog, Live Vibe.

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