31/12/2013 | by Chris Moran | 7 comments
We’re finishing off this list (which, remember is incomplete – we still want your suggestions for parts that deserve to be added!) by jumping back to the mid-90s. Almost a decade before Nicolas and Gigi set out to make backcountry freestyle parts that would stand the test of time, a young Swedish rider by the name of Johan Olofsson was taken to Alaska for the first time by Standard Films – and recorded a backcountry freestyle part that people are still talking about to this day.
It was widely expected that the young rookie, better known for his freestyle, might struggle with the scale of the terrain. Or at least, be slightly over-awed by it, and by the more experienced riders around him. Certainly no-one expected what happened next.
Showing the kind of disregard for his own safety that can only have come with youth (and, let’s face it, being two sandwiches short) Johan attacked the terrain, riding everything at breakneck speed and throwing freestyle tricks into the gnarliest lines. As British freerider James Stentiford put when we interviewed him about the part a couple of years back: “He rode without any fear, because he was so young.”
Whatever the reasoning behind it, Johan’s approach to the terrain, his skill and his sheer ballsiness were so far removed from anything that anyone had seen before that this part almost instantly passed into legend. And while the occasional lack of a grab and the metal soundtrack (awesome as it is) instantly dates it, a lot of the big mountain riding in this section still stands up to scrutiny today.
I mean come on, “3000 feet, 50 degrees, 35 seconds?” It doesn’t get much more mental than that does it?
Which parts have we missed out? Which more modern classics deserve to be listed alongside these?
Please share your suggestions, so we can publish a definitive Best Video Parts of All Time in the near future!