501 Parts To See Before You Die - #5 Terje Haakonsen in TB2

#5 of 501

“Everyone buying a snowboard should be made to watch Terje’s TB2 section a thousand times before even getting on the snow, that way we would see real original style and tricks. Epic and timeless.”

So said one of our commenters on a recent WL post. Now, I wouldn’t be that militant about it (I’m picturing some kind of Clockwork Orange type scenario – watch till you puke) but the man’s got a point: this is simply a classic snowboard section.

‘Seminal’ gets bandied about a lot in discussions of video parts, meaning that a rider has somehow laid the blueprint for the future. In this case though, it is fully justified. If Terje Haakonsen today is recognized as a legend of snowboarding – both for his pure talent on a board and for embodying the ‘soul’ of the sport – then this part marks the foundation of that reputation.

It’s all there in just the first few shots: the sense of a natural leader (0.37), the iconic method (0.40), the pipe skills (0.44), the outrageous tweak (0.50) the pure board control (0.52), the spontaneous use of natural terrain (0.58) and the kind of one-foot creativity that’s still in fashion right now (1.18).

This is before the man has even warmed up. OK, so big spins have progressed a hell of a lot since Tezza’s sketchy tucked arm cab 7, but that’s the nature of the beast – it’s rare for a new trick to look smooth, and in 1993 this was truly pushing the envelope.

And yet elsewhere, there’s tricks Terje does in this part I don’t think anyone has bettered since. The switch back 1 shifty on 2.33? The equally boned 360 off a cornice on 4.16? And what about that casual penguin skip thing he busts out on 4.20 – has anyone actually attempted one of these? I mean, does it even have a name?!

It all feels so fresh and improvised, and that’s the key. Witness the powder line on 2.50 that would set the tone for his later career (how many times since have we heard pros talk about freestyle in the backcountry being the ultimate test?), or the numerous times he loses his hat mid air, or the revert on 2.11 (Terje, more than any rider I can think of, has turned recoveries into a fine art).

Yep, this is a vintage section. And it’s all punctuated with the kind of helium inhaling/supermarket football hi-jinks that would seal snowboarding’s rebellious reputation and usher in a golden era. Terje, we salute you.

Click here for more in our series of ’501 Parts to See Before You Die’.

Video parts are an essential component of the people that love snowboarding. As big as contests are in the moment, these are the artifacts that will survive each generation of rider and be passed down to the next as gospel.

From wearing out favourite sections on VHS, taking great pains to keep treasured DVDs scratch free to counting down the minutes to a new online release, everyone has cherished memories of their favourite era.

In keeping with ethos we present to you 501 video parts that define the length, breadth and depth of snowboarding and its special culture. From park to pipe, urban missions to powder explorations, Betamax to Youtube, Sims to Halldor – these are the parts that form the DNA of shred, miss them at your peril.

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