Hemsedal Part 2
Hemsedal Part 2
Into the History Books
When the dust settled, it was revealed Mads’ leap had measured a full 187 feet from take-off to landing, setting a new world record.
With Hemsedal’s reputation for monster park kickers now secured, the question was: how could things get any bigger? The answer was provided by the aptly-named Norwegian rider Mads ‘Big Nads’ Jonsson. As a local to Hemsedal, Mads was good friends with its legendary cat driver/park shaper Lars Eriksen, and in May 2005 the pair concocted a plan to construct the biggest straight jump yet. Burton’s staff photographer Jeff Curtes was invited to document the event.
“I hadn’t seen the table before going up that evening when the conditions seemed right, so upon arrival it was shock,” recalls Curtes. The table-top that so surprised him measured a solid 130 feet from the take-off to the knuckle – or the equivalent of four double-decker buses. Although the whole ‘world record’ headline would later be shouted throughout the snowboard media, Curtes insists that the atmosphere was low key: “There was no hype, no expectations – nothing to detract from Mads’ personal focus to jump the thing.”
With everything in place, Mads made his way to the top of the phenomenally long run-in and strapped in. “Things happened fast,” says Curtes. “I stood where I stood, without really any planning or visualization of the shot, but I knew that Mads’ would waste no time. Two speed checks, one shaky backside 180 and then BAM! This beauty of a massive frontside 360, landed perfectly. Over the following few jumps Mads banged his hand really hard on the landing, so just like that it was over. We went down for dinner quietly, everyone stoked on what they had just been a part of, but no one really claiming anything. It was simple, quiet – only the riding spoke.”
When the dust settled, it was revealed Mads’ leap had measured a full 187 feet from take-off to landing, setting a new world record. Somewhere in the inevitable hype which followed, the humble atmosphere of the event was lost, and a few of Mads’ fellow riders suggested it was a somewhat pointless and dangerous jump which, in trick terms, had done little to progress freestyle. This is a little unfair on Mads, who had put his body on the line to show just how far a snowboarder could travel, but in one sense the critics were right. Until now, park booter progression had been all about going bigger, higher, further. Perhaps this kicker’s ultimate legacy is that it provided a full stop for this branch of snowboarding evolution. In a nutshell, Mads took conventional jumps as far they could go.