|ESPN.com: Snowboarding||[Print without images]|
|Thursday: Burton movie premiere. Saturday: Queensryche. Yes.|
Burton promo girls dressed as flight attendants were passing out sick bags ("in case of sick airness") last night in Denver at the world premiere of the Burton team video "Standing Sideways," and for good reason: Kazu Kokubo's opener had screaming passengers at the Ogden Theater reaching for those bags just minutes into the movie.
Kokubo's part includes the huge halfpipe and hip hits he's best known for, as well as some of the best backcountry riding in the film. It's been a banger year for the Japanese rider, who won the Burton U.S. Open in March and is featured on the cover of this month's Snowboarder Magazine.
"I'm stoked because this is my first time getting a full part and my part has some of everything, with backcountry, big-mountain lines, halfpipe, park jumps... I'm really happy with it," Kokubo told ESPN.com. In almost any other team video his part might have been the ender, but, as Kokubo humbly puts it, "The Burton team just has too many good riders."
Between the bookender parts are sick bag-worthy spins from Mark Sollors, Jeremy Jones, Alex Andrews, Zak Hale, Ethan Deiss, Mikey Rencz, Danny Davis, Jack Mitrani, Mikkel Bank, Seppe Smits, Charles Reid, Mark McMorris, Terje Haakonson, and Keegan Valaika (plus post-credits appearances from Stephan Maurer and Nicolas MŁeller), but the last-part props went to Jussi Oksanen, a veteran closer who says he's honored to have the distinction with so many younger riders coming up fast.
|Kokubo and Davis ... smile? ... for the cameras.|
"I've been filming now for 14 years and I really enjoy the whole mission of it: Starting from nothing, getting shots, and building towards a video part you're stoked to show people," Oksanen says. "There are a couple shots I'm really happy with in this film and it was a great season. I was finally able to get a lot of stuff I'd been looking forward to filming. Every year you have to have some angle, something in your mind you're going to go after, something to keep driving to, and I enjoy that whole process all winter, just being out there snowboarding, having fun, going after it, and seeing what happens."
Fun is the operative word in Standing Sideways, with a big-budget rock soundtrack (think Queen & David Bowie, Boston, The Kinks, Joy Division, and The Stooges), hilarious interstitial titles for each rider, and some of the classic goofs we've come to expect from the likes of Danny Davis.
"When you lose the fun you lose the spirit," says Davis. "If you're having fun, your style's loose, and you're smiling and having a good time, it really shows in the style of your riding. The style for me is to just take it easy and have as much fun as I can. Luckily I've got a bunch of friends out there snowboarding and it's pretty easy for me to have a good time."
Davis, finally back in action after a year in recovery from a back injury, says he's thrilled to be getting some tricks back and feeling "one hundred percent more stompable" on his board, and says he feels grateful to be standing sideways again at all.
"I'm grateful just to be starting the season walking on my own two limbs and feeling healthy, to be honest, much less to have a part in Standing Sideways," says Davis. "It's quite a different movie than Burton's ever done, with full-on parts from everybody, where in the past it was always more focused on trips with the whole team. This year everybody who worked hard gets their own chance to shine, and I'm stoked to have a moment in that spotlight."