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Global Storming
by Matchstick Productions


Jeremy Nobis
Skier: Jeremy Nobis
Photo: Joe McBride
Courtesy of MSP
In the latest film by Matchstick Productions, Global Storming, Steve Winter and Murray Wais remind us that the last winter of the millennium was "bigger than we ever imagined." So, befitting is the title, though it doesn't only refer to the weather — as new school skiing also emerged like a storm in 1999. And it's all captured here, with the hottest skiers charging all over the globe during the biggest winter of the century.

Global Storming reaches today's core by portraying a cross-section of current styles, from big mountain skiing to freestyle (jumping off big kickers). But the real pull has to be the talent: Dean Cummings, Chris Davenport, Seth Morrison, Wendy Fisher, J.T. Holmes, Shane McConkey and J.F. Cusson are among the world's best. And though old and new school styles co-exist, the difference isn't in black and white. In Global Storming, there are almost as many backflips and 360s being thrown in the backcountry as there are in the terrain parks.

The film first takes you to Chamonix, France, where Davenport and Cummings manage to stay safe even though Chamonix saw some of the worst avalanches of the century last season. These guys ski on the edge of reality and Cummings sticks his first-ever attempt at a backflip. As two of the best in the world, their confidence comes from experience: Cummings won the World Extreme Skiing Championships in '95 and Davenport won it in '96.

From France, Global Storming moves to Alaska, where the shots aren't just of the long, steep and deep descents. Well, sort of, but there's more. Like McConkey straight-lining top-to-bottom chutes, making World Cup GSer Hermann "The Herminator" Maier look like part of the control group in a science lab speed experiment. Much of the big mountain skiing in this film is Nobis-style speed with minimal, or no, turns.

My favorite segment features Richie Schley carving gracefully to DJ Rap and pulling big air and technical lines in Whistler. The lighting is exquisite, and shots from multiple camera angles are spliced together with perfect timing. It's a killer sequence in the beautiful BC backcountry.

And lest you forget about the other side of Whistler, the new school center of the universe, Shane Szocs, Josh Loubek and Phillippe Poirier gap jump every which way they can, spinning upside-down, sideways and diagonally. Watching it made me want to pop some Dramamine to combat the motion sickness. I can't think of a better way to spend time on the couch, waiting for the snow to fall.

And Wendy Fisher (step aside boys) paints brave lines through the mountains in Champery, Switzerland and Valdez, AK. It would have been cool to see more girl turns in this movie as Wendy and Jamie Burge generate the only girl power, but their segments keep the energy high nevertheless.

Even though Saucer Boy didn't make an appearance this year, it was good to see McConkey back in action. He skis, skydives, basejumps, skis on dirt, plays golf, throws backflips and switch backflips, and basically does any damn thing he wants better than anyone else.

In Revelstoke, BC, Morrison and J.T. Holmes hit jumps on snowmobiles with the help of a tow rope. Morrison out-skis most avalanches in the film, except for one in which he loses his gear — a small price to pay for being swept over a cliff by a tsunami of snow.

And there's a lot to watch besides skiing: Brad Holmes in his singing debut (look out Dr. Dre); a peek at Fisher in a bubble bath (sans braids); dirt biking (road gaps...uphill); the longest cliff drop on a snowmobile; and, McConkey (see Saucer Boy paragraph above).

Other appearances by Shawn Nesbit, Evan Raps, Mike Douglas, Gordy Peifer and Aaron McGovern, among others, make this eye candy a piece I'll gnaw on until the snow starts to fall this winter.

Michelle Quigley, staff

Global Storming Videos fill those long, painful months when the sunshine has gone away and it has not yet been replaced by any white stuff. In fact, this video might just be the only thing that gets you through the fall. Think of it this way: you can either watch videos every day until the snow falls, and then go run around in the rain, or you can spent the whole day inside, jumping around your bedroom with your board(s) strapped to you feet. The second option presents a very high rug-burn potential. Don't do something you'll regret. Check out this vid.

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