Snowboard History

Best Ever – Method Words: Ed Leigh

The method is linked with some of the greatest landmarks in our sport’s short history. In the beginning, in the hands of pioneers like Craig Kelly and Terry Kidwell, it was one of the first freestyle moves that awoke skaters to the potential of snowboarding: A wildly tweaked grab only possible with the kind of airtime afforded by snowboarding’s speed and bindings.

In ’96, the method graced the front cover of no less than 7 international magazines when the Swedish rider Ingemar Backman lofted a 23 and a half-foot air out of a quarter pipe in Riksgransen. many people understandably hail it as the Best Method Ever, but there are a few arguments to refute this:

1. While the still shots of Ingemar’s method are incredible, the most important thing about it was the height of the air itself, rather than the trick.
2. If you watch the video footage you can see that while he tweaks the fuck out of the grab at the apex, he also flails the fuck out of it on the way down.
3. While Ingemar was undoubtedly quite handy with a method it wasn’t something he hung his reputation on (that, for the record, belonged to his switch repertoire).

In 2002, Heikki Sorsa took up ingermar’s mantel and busted a 27 ft leviathan at the Arctic Challenge. But this air wasn’t even as clean as Ingemar’s so suffers the same fate. Instead, The example that I eventually settled upon, and which you see in the sequence above, was one of those wonderfully spontaneous moments. It was also performed by one of the most stylish men ever to step on a snowboard: Jamie Lynn.

If you haven’t heard of Jamie Lynn before then consider yourself introduced to a legend of freestyle snowboarding. To begin with, He was one of the first riders to make a wide stance both functional and stylish. He believes that fingers are a key to style, and if he can help it will never wear gloves. Off the hill he is equally individual: a talented surfer, skater, artist and musician, his artwork adorns much of the Lib Tech range. He spends most of his money souping up American muscle cars, and his fashion sense and tattoos are heartbreakingly cool. This all round style was never more evident than when Jamie was floating through a method. You can watch Project 6, RPM, The Garden, Stomping Grounds or any of the early TB videos to see evidence of Jamie Lynn’s riding talent, But the method we have singled out here is taken from TB6: Carpe Diem. In short, a whopper of a wind lip and the king of methods meet at pretty high speed. What follows is not technical insanity, just the kind of snowboarding we all wish we could do. Realising that he’s got more time than he originally thought, Jamie takes things slow. he extends his back leg and then sits there holding the grab. As he passes the apex, his leg looks as if it’s being retracted in preparation for landing. Instead it is slowly pushed back out passed the precious tweak, his free arm bent round in classic palm air style. Then, as your jaw is dropping, he neatly packs it all away, touchesdown and sets off down the rest of this huge Alaskan face. Methods just don’t get any better than this.

This article is meant as a starting point for debate and discussion. We are not quite arrogant enough to believe that our word is law, so if you want to have it out with us why not email the editor on [email protected]? ■


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