Saturday, December 10, 2011

T'is the season...

It's that time of year. The motivation to go out and ride in cold weather is pretty hard to come by. However, at this time of year, there's also the inevitable "What would you like for Christmas?" question from friends/relatives. A solution for these two problems is at hand in the form of the BMX DVD. Although web edits are the most common form of video out there now, there's still nothing quite like getting a cool new DVD, getting it up on TV and chilling out and watching. The following are two videos that will definitely get you wanting to ride again...

Props Owned

I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Owned - I mean, Props videos are usually pretty awesome so I sort of assumed this one would be, but with a line-up of riders I wasn't particularly familiar with and no real idea of what the format was going to be like, I was a little apprehensive. Fortunately, Alex Magallan has the opening section and it is all kinds of awesome.

I've seen a few web-videos of him in the past and had him pegged as one of the 'alternative' riders, but this section just ruled. Weird setups, interesting lines, creative tricks and a large amount of pedalling make it a beast of a section, and sets the tone for the rest of the video pretty well.

Tom Villareal is another rider I hadn't really seen much of in the past, and his section has a bunch of different moves in there. There's a pretty big range of spots and lines in his section, which to me seems to be the by-product of filming for a DVD section - web-videos are cool and all, but when riders have to commit to a long-term project and go on a bunch of trips to film for it, the level of riding is going to get pushed, and the visual interest of seeing new spots throughout a section is only going to increase.

Jason Phelan needs no introduction, and his "Behind the scenes" edits show that he's taken more than a few brutal slams to film his section. Big, fast, trick-filled riding is what you'd expect and is also what you get.

Dan Foley follows up Jason's section, and rides a good mix of park and street. This mixture of riding is pretty consistent throughout the whole video - the emphasis is more on street overall, but there's still enough other forms of riding to keep everyone interested (although I guess you flatland and pure trails dudes might disagree...). His overall style is rad too, so definitely one to keep an eye out for!

The ender section goes to Drew Bezanson, who does all the ridiculous computer-game-style tricks you'd expect. His level of riding is pretty out of hand and it really helps bring the DVD to a good close. Some of the slams he takes for his section are insane too - there are a few things in there which you'd just sort of hope/assume would be done first try, but they took a couple of hits to get pulled.

Stew Johnson and the guys involved are all known for their top quality work, and that theme is continued through the whole video. The editing is super tight, there's a good selection of tracks (pretty nice to hear BMX set to something other than horrifically poor 'rap' - yes, I'm looking at you, the Internet), the filming's all really good and the level of riding is definitely way up there. There's a reasonable amount of Extras on there too (as well as a bunch of stuff online), so overall you get a pretty good chunk of rad video for your money. I have a feeling that this video's going to take over the mantle of 'Pre ride motivation video' for me from now on - there's not really much more of a higher recommendation than that that I can give. Get this video!

The Hunt

So - The Hunt. I'd heard a lot about this "project" online, but hadn't really checked it out too much until I saw the above trailer which piqued my interest. The overall premise of The Hunt was to hold a filming competition for some of the top riders and filmers around. A selection were chosen to feature in the final DVD, the sections were scored to see who was 'best', and a 'Best Line' prize was given out too. Ultimately, Chad Kerley - owner of the ender of the DVD - took away the prize for best section and for best line. Once you see his section this will all make sense - the only word that really comes close to describing his lines is relentless. They just keep going, and that's with super hard tricks throughout them rather than some filler tricks to lead up to a more tech combo.

His recent web-videos have show-cased some of this nuts c-c-c-combo riding that he's becoming more known for, but this video is the best example of it yet. That's not to say there's not a lot of massive riding in there too because there definitely is, but the difficulty and consistency throughout his riding is what really stands out. The other notable thing in his section is the fact that he usually seems to be smiling wherever he's riding. I'm aware that's a pretty weird comment to come out with, but he does seem to genuinely enjoy riding and that's something that you don't often see when most videos feature riders looking all serious business.

I'm aware that I've just spent a while talking about one rider's section, but worry ye not - the rest of the riders in this video help make it a well-rounded production overall. There's full-on park destruction from guys like Kyle Baldock, tech park stuff from Anthony Pearson, mental street combos from guys like Stevie Churchill, Dylan Stark and Dillon Lloyd, grind techery from Tony Neyer and Grant Castelluzzo, some big lines from Zack Warden, creative lines and tricks from Russel Wadlin, as well as a whole host of UK dudes riding a variety of lines in Mike King's mix section. Much like with Owned there's pretty much something there for everyone, and with how good a lot of the sections are in this DVD it's also another strong contender for your DVD collection.

Like I said before, DVDs are just fundamentally good, and now's a pretty ideal time of year to be getting hold of them. Get to it!

P.S. The Albion is also in stock at the shop, and not only is the magazine itself super good, but the United Downtime DVD that comes with it is a banger too. That's all free too, so go get one of those DVDs above and basically get another one for free too. You can't really lose...

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