First Descent (2005, 110 minutes plus bonus footage, PG-13) is a DVD that both entertains and educates. Shawn Farmer, Nick Perata, Terje Haakonsen, Hannah Teter and the Flying Tomato himself, Shaun White, get together to ride some big mountains in Alaska. Travis Rice also makes a cameo appearance. That’s the entertaining part.
The education comes in interspersed scenes that hit the high points of snowboarding history, from its backcountry origins based on surf-style in the snow, to its current incarnation as a worldwide phenomenon that emphasizes skateboards tricks and big moves. Jake Burton, Tom Sims, and a few other snowboarding legends talk about the progression, very cool homage to the originators.
Decent music to boot.
For a small taste, check out the trailer:
We watched this with our kids and, while it is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and a momentary drug reference, there is nothing overt that would upset most parents. After watching this, every single one of our kids wanted to grab a snowboard and get outside to give it a go. Too bad there is no snow and it was 7 o’clock at night, dark. They’ll get their chance in a few months when we go to Breckenridge, unless we hit some local hills here in the Midwest first.
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