Friday, December 14, 2007
Summer of Fit DVD review.
I could probably leave this review purely at that, and it would get across the point quite nicely. However, this isn't a perfect world, so I won't...
Let's just cover some of the bare facts here regarding Summer of Fit.
1. Dakota Roche.
2. Mike Aitken.
3. Chase Dehart.
4. Chase Hawk.
5. Tom White.
8. Eddie Cleveland.
9. Van Homan.
10. Everyone else on Fit.
I am well aware that I have basically just listed the majority of the Fit pro team, and that's the point I'm trying to get across. These people are the movers and shakers of the BMX world. These are the people who set the trends that everyone else follows. As a result, any new footage from any one of these people (except for two) is always a good thing. When it's "So new, you saw photos of that session 2 weeks ago online", you know it's fresh.
The video starts off in what struck me as a stereotypically Fit way. Mike Aitken blasts a substantial gap at a picturesque school from a bank over 498 rails (Count 'em), followed by Dakota Roche doing a sweet tech bank line, and Van Homan doing a bars over a rail. This pretty much sets the tone for the video: The Fit team doing what we know they do best.
Van Homan, Dakota Roche and Mike Aitken own this video. Chase Dehart gets an honourable mention purely because of just how good his little section is in there, but those three names in bold at the start of this paragraph basically sum it all up. On a post-it note attached to my copy of the DVD, there was a scrawled note that simply said "Dak's 5! Awesome!", and until you see the video you're just going to have to take our word for it. I think I actually shouted "WHAT" when he dropped it. Someone probably wept. Either way, it's that good. Van Homan destroys the majority of the rails in the entire US continent. Up-rail to opp whip off? Massive gap to second stage ice followed by the same line, but to manual down the rail? He's just an animal. And of course Mike Aitken is Mike Aitken - taking footplant trickery to a new level, and doing probably the best Ruben parody since Grounded got released to end the video.
The other riders on the trip also shine through with the sort of quality you'd expect from any Fit team member, although unfortunately Chase Hawk appeared to be nursing a wrist injury meaning no "to the moon!" boosts off 3" high curb-cuts in this video.
So, with the riders and riding covered, what about the editing 'n' stuff?
Well, the music selection, I'd say, is better than Fitlife (apart from the one song that seems fully out of place, but you'll see what I mean when you buy your copy of it. *ahem*). There's a good mix here from modern hip-hop to the standard old school selection, up to modern rock type stuff. I should be a CD reviewer. Either way, there's a good mix that really help change the pace of the video nicely. The only downside is that at times it feels very much like a mixtape, with the music suddenly ending as the spot changes, and so on. This isn't all that bad though, as I'll get to next. Unlike previous videos I've seen (Macneil's DVD being the key example of this), I didn't once feel the need to mute the video, and I did actively try and find the names of one or two of the songs after. For me, that's good music choice.
"But Mark, what did you mean with "This isn't all that bad?"?" Well, the editing on this video isn't amazing. We're definitely not talking (love it or loathe it) Grounded quality, but bearing in mind this was - as the name suggests - filmed over one long summer, largely in the form of a beasting roadtrip, it still stands up well by itself. Equally, this video really, really made me want to go out on my little bike, which is again the sign of a good video in my books. There were about a million things that it made me want to try (again, Dak's 5), and this is a good thing. This really is one of the most progressive BMX teams around now, and this video is a great snapshot of their talent at this point in time, subtley reminding you that right now, while you're reading this review, somewhere in the world Mike Aitken is going to be fastplanting a rail, Dak is probably going to be doing a sweet hop whip, Chase D is going to be throwing the official Nicest Barspins in BMX, and the Rascats will probably be the Rascats.
This is the perfect "Before you ride" fodder, which, in this harsh winter, is just what you/I/we need. As a result, I can't really recommend it highly enough.
For more of Mike Aitken, check out the new web-vid further down the page or on FitBikeCo.com