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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Dumont's cube: A Poor Boyz preview

By John Symms
ESPN.com

On Friday, Poor Boyz Productions premieres "The Grand Bizarre" at the King Cat Theater in Seattle, Wash. On the list of highlights for this film is the full segment from Simon Dumont's cubed pipe project, which was teased online earlier this year. We caught up with Dumont to chat about his segment in Poor Boyz' new film and his experience in the cubed pipe.

With PBP's new film coming out, people are buzzing about the cubed pipe. What else are we going to see from you in "The Grand Bizarre?"
At the beginning of the season, I'd intended to get a diverse segment with Poor Boyz like the ones I've had in some of their previous movies, but the way things panned out, I only had two weeks to dedicate to filming during this winter. So this year's segment is going to focus on the cubed pipe project that I did with Red Bull last spring. I had a few other jump shots from the year that I really liked, but they were tough to fit in with what we had from Squaw, so they ended up getting left out.

I heard you're pretty stoked on the song. What's it going to be?
I am. It's "Heart of the City," by Jay-Z and I think it's the first time a Jay-Z song has been licensed for use in an action sports movie. Cody Carter at Poor Boyz told me that both Jay-Z and Kanye West had to sign off on it, since Kanye made the beat for the song. So I feel like that's pretty cool.

You're no stranger to, shall we say, dangerous custom features. How would you say the cubed pipe measures up to something like your world record quarter pipe hit?
I would say that it is right up there with the quarter pipe record. On both of them, I went in with the attitude that they were going to be fairly easy. But then you show up, and you don't have anybody else to ski with. There's this huge feature that a lot of people have put a lot of time and money into — I mean, the whole Snow Park Technology staff had worked for six full days on the cubed pipe by the time the feature was ready, and then it's up to me to throw down so their time wasn't wasted. It's a whole lot of pressure to feel, to be honest. And it makes me really psyched when it's over and we actually have something to show for it.

How big did you have to go just to clear the gaps?
Each gap had to be 25 feet wide to get a cat through it. Once the channels were cut, you had to drop in and go 15 to 18 feet out on your very first hit of the day. That was the hardest part of the whole thing. After the cubes were made, there were no more warm up runs, just full speed every time.

First time you drop in, what's going through your head?
I speed checked it twice, and then I was like, 'Why am I doing this?' And then I just said, 'Screw it,' and went for it. The snow was way faster the day we filmed than it had been the day that we set the line. I ended up going way bigger than I expected on my first hit, clipped the deck on the way in, but skied through it and got that first hit over with.

Now that pipe skiing is an Olympic sport, will you continue to film in the coming years?
Definitely. I've actually been talking with a few athletes that I respect a great deal and a couple of excellent cinematographers about collaborating on my own movie for next winter. We've already got some ideas that we're stoked on. I wish more details were officially in place so I could talk about it more.