It was Tim Warwood and Adam Gendle of Lockdown Productions who hit the nail on the head when they called their 2006 movie Showoffs. To sit down and watch the snowboard films of the past two decades is to browse through the history of riding fashion.
It all started with the neon, 80s look favoured by Regis Roland and Damien Sanders, and progressed through to the early 90s grunge phase – when earthy colours, lumberjack shirts and baggy pants with black knee and arse-patches were in. The whole point was to look as unlike a skier as possible, see? Then people gradually started realising that you got more shots in magazines if you didn’t blend in with the rocks and trees, so brighter outerwear crept back in.
Meanwhile, rich white kids from nice Mormon families were dressing XXXL like gangsters and sliding down handrails to rap music, before someone had the frankly terrible idea to follow the skateboarders and don skinny jeans for their urban rail assaults, sliding down handrails to a postmodern mix of rock music – a move so controversial that the snowboarding world remains split. All except Terje Haakonsen of course, who wears the same ‘relaxed fit’ trousers and tight beanies he always has. He’s the snowboarding equivalent of Jeremy Clarkson.
And where was the riding in all of this? Who cares? It’s all about knowing whether your pants should hang over the back of your high backs or be tucked inside. (Oh and for the record, current thinking has one leg out, one leg in – so you can tell if you’re riding switch.)