Words: T. Bird Photos: Huggy
The first time I heard of Torstein Horgmo was about six years ago when my good friend Ben Fee, who was the Senior Editor of SNOWBOARDER at the time, returned home from a trip to Iceland with photographer Espen Lystad. Along with Ben and Espen was a young kid from Norway who Ben had claimed is, “the next big thing in snowboarding.” Seeing as that phrase was being thrown around in snowboarding more than double corks are now, I shrugged it off while we clicked through photos of this Horgmo kid.
Fast-forward to 2012, and I have to give Ben credit (coupled with the fact that he can also lay claim to saying a similar sentiment about these two brothers Eiki and Halldór). In six short years, Torstein has changed snowboarding. Simply put, Horgmo has accomplished more in half-a-decade than most pros could in two full careers, and due to his innate skillset Torstein has nearly introduced a new type of pro snowboarder: one who can film a mind-blowing ender part and compete in over a dozen events in a single winter. It’s not necessarily that this hasn’t been done in the past, but it’s certainly never been as evident that after a few seasons of doing just that, he’s currently leading the charge both in the competitive and video part realms.
Last night at the Oakley world headquarters, a gathering of media, industry-ites, and snowboard flick fans amassed in the gigantic auditorium at the O for the premiere of Torstein’s two-year project “Horgasm: A Love Story.” Torstein took the stage and quipped a few quick thank yous before the lights went dim and the credits began to roll.
Needless to say, the riding is incredible. The film is a mock-u-mentary style offering that follows Torstein around the globe, from the Tahoe backcountry to the Beijing Air & Style and the streets of Oslo. Because of the way that the film is edited, the range of Torstein’s talent has never been more evident due to the variety in venues as he continuously goes from contest to concrete to kickers. That’s what I found to be most impressive throughout the film. The guy can transition seamlessly from a triple kink street rail to a stadium jump surrounded by 40,000 people and then a gargantuan cheese wedge in the backcountry. Not many snowboarders can successfully do that, but Torstein has made that his M.O., and it’s truly remarkable.
Aside from his obvious ability on a snowboard, Torstein possesses an amazing ability to laugh at himself. At times, the film takes a more self-deprecating tone, as Torstein pokes fun at the “fame” that accompanies snowboarding. The part that made me laugh the hardest was during a segue segment featuring X Games audience members’ testimonials. One person says, “I love him. I just can’t get enough of him,” while another exclaims, “He works so hard and loves what he does,” and while the audience soon finds out that they’re talking about everyone’s favorite red-headed pipe purveyor Shaun White, the fans are then asked about Torstein, to which they all reply that they have no idea who he is.
I would say that’s my favorite part of the film. Torstein’s movie is jam-packed with incredible snowboarding, but the tone is also less serious than any movie I’ve watched in a long time. It’s a good balance between great riding and humor (Dex, Torstein’s “agent” has a bunch of parts in the movie that poke fun at the whole “agent entitlement” ideology that made me laugh as well), and overall, I really enjoyed the film…and I think you will too.
Words: T. Bird Photos: Huggy
Words: Pat Bridges Photos: Mike Yoshida
Three’s the charm for Winter X Games 16 Big Air. On the evening of January 25th, 2012 the Rocky Mountains once again played host to the best Big Air punters in the game today as the unyielding tide of the triple cork swept over Aspen. Though only ten riders were chosen to chuck themselves for the masses, there was no shortage of talent, trickery or drama on tap.
In the lead up to competition it was the SPT builders who were focused on the tweaking as the speed afforded to the riders wasn’t commensurate to the size of the launch. After ample adjustments were made, the contenders were presented with a somewhat smaller, yet still formidable booter that matched up perfectly from lip to landing. Unfortunately the decline in pop and travel meant that any riders looking to truly push their repertoire needed to exaggerate their hang time by taking their tricks deep into the landing, which is never ideal. These strategic machinations were subtle ones as the riders rose to the occasion and consistently threw down all evening.
Though they didn’t make the finals, Ståle Sandbech and Halldór Helgason hucked with boucoup style, with the latter nearly landing his backside twelve double cork chicken wing, dubbed “The Lobster Roll.” On a side note, using a brand’s trademark in the name of a trick is some next level marketing shit. Chalk another one up for the unlikely genius that is Iceland’s Halldór Helgason.
The non-stop jam format finals began with an array of double corks and four-digit flat spins by Eric Willett, Seppe Smits, and Sebastién Toutant. A third of the way into the heat, Torstein Horgmo manned up to the maneuver that he pioneered: the triple cork. Though Torstein sat on his attempt, the seal was broken and Mark McMorris tripled up his cork agenda as well. At roughly the halfway point, the regular footer from Regina, Seskatchewan rode away from a backside 1440 triple cork and instantly, snowboarding in the X Games officially entered a new era. With the clock running out it looked as though McMorris was a lock for first place until defending X Games Big Air champion Torstein Horgmo dropped in for one final attempt at his version of the backside 1440 triple cork, for which he earned a perfect score of 50, one point better than McMorris. Yet having the best single score of the night wouldn’t be enough for Torstein to top McMorris’s consistency and the 18 year-old Canadian received his first X Games Gold, but surely not his last.