Hemsedal Part 3
Hemsedal Part 3
Mads Goes Into Orbit
To generate extra speed, Mads was even getting a towed by snowmobile down the run-in.
If the snowboard world was in agreement that Mads’ World Record had hit the limits of jump length, no one was quite so sure about where the ceiling lay in terms of height. After all, Ingemar Backman’s iconic air, which stood in the record books for so long, had been pulled over a decidedly average quarterpipe. Surely a better-constructed transition would open up new levels of airtime?
That is exactly what Mads Jonsson – already well known for going massive on hip-style jumps – set out to find out in the spring of 2006, again collaborating with shaper Lars Eriksen in his Norwegian backyard. This time, despite Mads’ attempts to downplay everything, expectations were higher. Burton were filming for a feature-length film, For Right or Wrong, and there were microphones, cameramen, snowmobiles – even a helicopter circling the enormous jump. “Instant chaos,” describes Jeff Curtes. “It was like Hollywood,” comments fellow photographer Eric Bergeri. “The filmers were quite stressed – they told us to stay away for a while to let the heli film some follow cams and panoramic shots. And we [the photographers] were all dressed up in black so we didn’t stand out.”
To make matters worse, Mads was less than 100% fit. He’d hurt his ankle and, having tested the hip with some mellow airs, spent the evening before D-Day icing it up. Nevertheless, when the lights went up on the main event he got straight down to work. “Mads went quite high on the very first jump,” recalls Bergeri, “Then went higher and higher. Sometimes super high but without perfect style, sometimes less high but with a perfect style. And all the time the heli was circling closer and closer to him.” To generate extra speed, he was even getting a towed by snowmobile down the run-in. It was an intense solo session with the simple aim of raising the bar – the snowboarding equivalent of Danny Way jumping the Great Wall of China on a skateboard, or Laird Hamilton surfing monsters in Tahiti. What with the stunning frozen lake backdrop, it made for some memorable shots.
“Shooting Mads in Hemsedal is just about as cool as it gets,” sums up Jeff Curtes. “On a par with heli riding with Terje in New Zealand, or Shaun White at a private pipe. It’s THAT good. Perfect harmony of rider and terrain, and – almost always – the results are epic.”