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  • What filming for a ski movie is like

    When I watched ski movies growing up I always thought that it was some kind of magic. I thought that the guys and girls featured in them got magically transported to the sunniest spots with the best snow, a really talented filmer/editor and then stomped everything first time without fear or hesitance. Turns out it's not like that, a lot of luck and hard work have to come together to turn all the effort of getting there and timing it right into a usable shot. Only one thing needs to go wrong with the skiing, filming, snow conditions, timing, weather or light for the shot to be demoted to B roll status, where hopefully something about it will be funny and then it can roll with the credits. I know that this is a bit of a typical rant and I will end it with the sterotypical 'but getting the shot makes it all worthwhile' line, but I guess I'm writing it for people that ever wondered what actually goes on behind the scenes of ski movies, 'cause it can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. So let me tell you a story about the last film trip of the year that I went on, to film for Whiteroom Productions next movie with Raphi Webhofer and filmer Jonas Abenstein.

    Myself and Jonas watching the sunset from the top of the camper, photo by Raphi, check out his athlete page- Raphael Webhofer on facebook

     

    So we were meant to be flying to Norway for a week of touring and a bit of heli time, but just before we were meant to go the weather forecast told us that it was going to be snowing for pretty much every day that we would be there. So last minute we grabbed the Whiteroom Productions camper van and headed over the border to St Moritz and the Engadin Valley. Raphi and I had already been there on separate trips during the season, but since they had had the biggest total snowfall in over 50 years and had mainly sun in the forecast for the next week it was an opportunity not to poke a ski stick at. The photo above is of us checking out the sunset on the first night after scoping some lines, glad that we had made the difficult call not to chase the expensive dragon to Norway. The photo below is the line that we had found and decided to ski together- an exposed shelf finishing in a compulsory air, that turned out to be bigger than it had looked through our binoculars, and with a rockier take-off and landing.

    The intimidating but enticing line down the central shelf

     

    What it looked like from the top in the sunset

     

    Looking back at Raphi to tell him I think it's on

     

    Tight turns in the steep sluff

     

    The long, rocky air out. With a bit of roll in and an ollie I made this, just, but Raphi got unlucky and clipped a rock on landing, tumbled and lost a pole (permanently). It was quite a contrast to the smaller lines we had been skiing earlier that day where I had been kooking it and he had been stomping stylish tricks

     

    I've seen Raphi more stoked than at this moment, the variable snow above the exposure led him to say it was one of the stupidest things he had ever done

     

    So where to from here? I wanted to ski more faces because I'm not as good at tricks as Raphi and he had been getting better shots than me. We met up with local friend Lukas Swieykowski to check out some new zones and I found a line that I have to ski one day, full on life goal. The light had run out by the time I saw it, but it will still be there next year.

    Dream line from the top left shoulder to the central compulsory air, watch out for it next year

     

    Lukas put us up for a couple of days while he was showing us around, thanks buddy! We found this zone with him too, and salivated, all picking different lines off the bat.

    Lukas' line on the right, mine in the middle and Raphi's on the left. The star is where the variable snow caught his edge and the dotted lines are where he tumbled to where he stopped at the circle, and had to cling to a rock for half an hour with a broken hip till the heli could pluck him.

     

    The rescue heli plucking Raphi off the face, you can see him dangling below it in the rotor wash, heavy day.

     

    Thanks Spiderman

     

    After a short heli trip for Raphi and a long drive in the camper for Jonas and I we got to gape at this in the Swiss hospital, check out what's going on with his hip bone in the top left of the x-ray

     

    This is Raphi looking over the other side from the peak before he dropped in, with good times in the minds eye. We didn't know he would be taking a heli home, how could we? I was thinking about that the other day when I posted this pic on the instabook- check it out on @neilwilliman or FB/Neil Williman Skiing Human, and I got a bit carried away with the caption, trying to capture the ups and downs of filming, what we give for skiing, what it gives back and what it takes away. I guess it was a big part of why I took a summer off, instead of going home to NZ for winter, a bit more time to pull my thoughts back to goals and stoke. And write this to try and explain why this photo means what to me. Below is the original captionessay, maybe it will mean a bit more now if you've read this through or at least glanced at the images.

     

    My good ski buddy @raphaelwebhofer on top of a peak we toured near St Moritz in April, and on a better day this caption would've read something cheesy like 'the days we ski for'. We'd been living in a camper for a week looking for lines to film for #whiteroomproductions before finally finding this zone, but the variable snow sent Raphi to hospital with a broken hip after a scary fall. Shaken after helping the medics load him pale but smiling into the heli I was left contemplating what rewards we were looking for in return for these risks, and how I'll feel next time I stand on top of a serious line. Midsummer has been and gone since then without a conclusion reached, other than that the goddess of snow can be a feisty and unreasonable mistress, and it is something in that renders me helpless- unable not to heed her call when she beckons.

  • Introducing the new NZ Surfanic skier Ollie Hunt!

    Missing the club fields right now, and this was soul smoothing stuff to watch. I'm always trying to explain how hard the NZ kids shred whether it's hard pack or Ja-pow, but right now I'm gonna let Ollie Hunts season do the talking. I used to coach this kid, now I'm proud to call him my Surfanic clothing teamate, recognize the jacket?

    That landing isn't that soft
  • Welcome... Neff Sunglasses

     

    Neff Sunglasses

     

    Surfanic are excited to announce the latest brand to hit our website and selected stores, welcome... Neff. This California based sunglasses and accessories brand was launched by Shaun and Joe Neff in 2002.  Neff is an active youth accessory brand specialising in core snow and skate headwear and is supported by some of the biggest action sports athletes in the world.

    Neff is committed to having fun and bringing new vibes to the world, evident from this quote from co-founder Shaun Neff - 

    “We are like a gumball machine; spitting out endless flavors for the world to consume." 

    Neff Sunglasses at Surfanic

    Not only have Neff collaborated with massive celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5 and Scarlett Johansson, but they also organise a yearly charity initiative "Neff Hope" to raise awareness and funds to support cancer research.

    Their range of fun, colourful, high-quality, on-trend and affordable sunglasses are now available to buy online and in selected Surfanic stores.

  • Focus On... Surfanic Luggage

    Surfanic, Luggage, Roller Bag, SuitcaseAre you off on holiday this summer? Firstly, can I go too? Secondly, are you looking for some stylish and practical luggage to take with you?

    I think it's time to introduce you to one of Surfanic's bestsellers... The Roller Bag.

    Made from the same fabrics as our ski jackets, these roller bags are durable with a waterproof coating and are surprisingly light weight. In fact, our 107 litre roller bags weigh in at just 3kg! Perfect for dealing with those pesky airport weight restrictions. It's simple, cut back on the weight of the suitcase and you can pack more shoes!

    Each 107l roller bag has a fully retractable handle which can be locked at two different heights and 4-way compression straps so that you can adjust the depth of your luggage.

    Surfanic Roller Bag

    My personal favourite feature is the 'Split Level Construction' which basically means that the roller bag is divided in to two halves with separate zip compartments. Making it much easier to organise your clothes, whether it's his and hers, damp and dry, evening and day, whatever takes your fancy. Not to mention how much time it saves when you're looking for something in a hurry. 

    Surfanic Kyber Roller Bag Luggage

    This year, for the first time, Surfanic have introduced a mini roller bag, the 40 litre Kyber Carry On! This sleek and compact bag has been specially designed to meet the size restrictions of aeroplane carry ons (20x40x50cm) even budget airlines! It is a perfect size for a weekend away and the front travel document pocket and integrated laptop sleeve make it ideal for business trips.

    Our full range of roller bags have hard-wearing poly-urethane wheels and both side and top grab handles, a feature that really comes in handy when collecting your luggage off the airport conveyor belts.

    Surfanic Kyber Roller Bag Luggage

    Whether you're jetting off on a two week luxury beach holiday to Barbados (some people have all the luck) or travelling by train for a business trip to London, Surfanic have a roller bag suitable for your needs, and available in a range of designs to suit your tastes. Also did I mention that all Surfanic roller bags are now half price? No? Well just see for yourself - link. But I'd be quick as they are flying off the shelves (Hehe geddit? Flying...sorry I couln't help myself).

    Our full range of luggage can be found both in stores and on our website now.

  • Break The Safe - Win £20,000 at Xscape Milton Keynes!

     

    Break The Safe Competition Xscape Milton Keynes

    I don't think I have ever met someone who would say "£20,000? No thank you I'm fine." That would be crazy.

    Xscape in Milton Keynes are giving their customers the chance to win an amazing £20,000 which is currently locked up in a giant safe at the entertainment complex, which houses an indoor ski slope, bars, restaurants, a gym, a cinema, plenty of shops and even a body flying tunnel!

    Break The Safe Competition Xscape Milton Keynes

    All you have to do is make a purchase at any of the on-site stores between the 2nd and 27th June and visit the safe to guess the code. If you guess correctly, the £20,000 is yours! There is nothing to lose and a hell of a lot to win!

    So, if you're a regular shopper at our Milton Keynes Surfanic branch, make sure you stop by the safe. You have to be in it to win it as they say....

    For more information check out the Xscape website here - link.

    **Please note that Surfanic are not responsible for the running of this competition and any questions or queries should be directed to Xscape Milton Keynes.**

    Photos courtesy of Xscape Milton Keynes

  • English Slopestyle Championships 2014

     

    Last weekend saw the arrival of the English Slopestyle Championships 2014 at Chill Factore in Manchester, and some awesome performances from Surfanic sponsored team riders Thea Fenwick, Sam Annis, Tom Annis and Callum Wareing!

    The unstoppable Thea Fenwick stole the gold at the under 14s and came 4th overall! And big congratulations to Sam Annis for taking home a bronze medal in the under 12s and to Tom Annis for coming in 5th!

    Check out these photos from the day...

    Thea Fenwick English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by David Allen Thea Fenwick English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by David Allen
    Callum Wareing English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by David Allen Callum Wareing English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by David Allen
    Tom Annis English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by David Allen Tom Annis English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by David Allen
    Tom Annis English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by Craig Robinson Tom Annis English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by Craig Robinson
    Sam Annis English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by Craig Robinson Sam Annis English Slopestyle Championships 2014 photo by Craig Robinson
    English Slopestyle Championships 2014 - Surfanic Team Riders photo by Sarah Fenwick English Slopestyle Championships 2014 - The Surfanic Team Riders - photo by Sarah Fenwick
  • Ski modello

    So I got to shoot some pics of my favourite Surfanic Hunter Jacket with pro photographer Alex Schmidt just before I left Innsbruck last month, here's the results. Check out AlexSchmidt.de for more
    Ski jacket in a city
    Felt a bit more at home with a jacket on here

     

    Hard to keep a straight face

     

     

    Arty one to finish it off
  • Bet Our Flag Is Bigger Than Your Flag...

      

    Surfanic World Cup Football England Flag

     

    Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure you will have noticed that the World Cup has finally arrived. We at Surfanic just couldn't wait to show our enthusiasm and support. Check out the very subtle flag now adorning the roof of our Head Office! It's near impossible to miss, and I'm sure it will be a nice welcome home reminder for those returning from their holidays and landing at London Southend Airport down the road.

    We may not have won our first game but our hopes are still sky-high!

    C'mon England!

     

    Surfanic England Flag World Cup

  • Saltrock - The Devon Based Surfing Brand We Know You'll Love!

    SALTROCK Surfing Brand

    The story behind the brand Saltrock is incredibly inspiring. Two brothers from South Africa travelling and surfing around the world arrived in the UK back in the eighties. Falling in love with the surf and atmosphere of Cornwall they eventually started a business print-screening their own designs on to tshirts and selling them out the back of their car. Their distinctive and original designs were an instant hit with the local surfing community and business began to flourish.

    Moving on to Devon, the brand only became more succesful. These days Saltrock are known both nationally and internationally as the Devon based surf brand that has inspired passionate loyalty from surfers all over the world. Expanding from their original stock of tshirts, Saltrock now design and sell a huge range of hoodies, shorts, shirts, backpacks, phone cases, mugs and even skateboards!

    Saltrock Summer Surfwear Tshirts and Hoodies

    We at Surfanic, are extremely excited to have teamed up with such an extraordinary brand and Saltrock stock is now available to buy in all our stores and online! Catering for men, women and children there really is something for everyone.

  • Looking For Love On The Slopes?

    Singles Night Skiing Lesson Soar Braehead GlasgowShe's really cute and funny, he's smart and handsome...but you just don't have anything in common. Sound familiar? We know that in some cases opposites attract but it really does help to have some shared interests with your 'better half.'

    Well Snow Factor at Soar Intu in Braehead is trying to solve that very problem with their new Singles Night based at their indoor snow slope. Every Wednesday evening until 25th June 2014, they are hosting their 'Discover Snow Sports' event for singles. With guidance from an expert ski instructor, a slope pass and equipment hire included, it's the perfect chance to learn how to ski or snowboard and meet some interesting new people.

    Who knows you might just meet Mr/Mrs Right and by the time the new ski season starts you could be flying off on a romantic getaway in the mountains. And if not, at least you've got yourself a fun new hobby (one of the best hobbies in the world might I add! Although we may be a bit biased about that).

    Singles Night Soar Braehead Glasgow Skiing

    Snow Factor is even recommended as one of the top dating destinations by eHarmony!

    So if you live in the Glasgow area and you're bored of trying to pick up people in your local pub, pop along on a Wednesday evening to Soar. For only £30pp it's a real bargain too!

    For more information and details on how to book click here.

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