509 Volume 12 Film Review
509 Volume 12 wastes no time getting right amongst the action. The film opens with a creative title sequence that outlines the athletes showcased in the film. As usual, the film is packed with an A-list of top riders from Canada and the US, including: Brett Turcotte, Chris Burandt, Cody Borchers, Riley Suhan, Nadine Overwater, Reagan Sieg, Rob Kincaid, David McClure, Jay Mentaberry, Dan Adams, Sahen Skinner and several more incredibly talented riders. There is also an appearance by everyone’s favourite dirtbag—no, not Larry Enticer, but the original himself—Turkey Reinheardt.
Beyond the title sequence, there is no intro at all. Without further ado, the film rolls straight into its regular format which is segmented by athlete. And so shall this review!
509 Volume 12 Film Review
The opening segment goes to Jay Mentaberry, where he shows off his versatility as a rider. Most of the segment consists of a spring sunshine jump session, with matching upbeat track. For a hillclimber, this dude can really jump and whip his sled. Some intermittent deep pow shots from what look like earlier in the season are mixed in, as well as a beauty cliff drop and some uphill action to make for a well-rounded part.
Riley Suhan’s segment starts out with a hoonigan-style goon section in which Suhan jibs his way around a crusty, post-ski-season Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in his hometown, Golden BC. It’s a fun segment that tells us two things: 1) Suhan is a creative sledder who can find ways to push it on unusual features 2) He’s a pretty b-list actor.
Worked into the segment are some monster backcountry booter hits, of the sort on which Suhan built his name in the snowmobile world. Some of his most exciting riding is the way that he tackles natural features out there, including a cliff drop thrown in there just because he can.
Burandt Busts Balls
Chris Burandt alters the mood with a more serious note…or so you you might think. He talks about being criticized for over-use of the “hop-over” move in his film parts, then proceeds directly to take the piss out of viewers with a three minute-long hop-over/sidehill/tree segment. You gotta appreciate the balls on this guy. He’s the best at what he does in the thick trees, he knows it, and he doesn’t care what you think. Respect.
He hammers the point home with the second part of his segment, on location at Grizzly Lodge in BC. Burandt rides the snot out of the terrain there and shows that he’s not afraid to log some air miles.
The Silver Fox aka Cody Borchers looooves soaring over the peaks. He hits drops, hips and windlips with equal aplomb. It’s awesome to see some freestyle elements thrown in the backcountry with such style. Despite a number of injuries last season, Borchairs managed to put together a short-but-sweet segment, which included a couple of days of ridiculously deep pow shredding earlier on.
Konnichi wa Sensei Rob and Dave-san
For the McClure/Kincaid segment of Volume 12, the duo heads overseas to Japan. Volume 12 doesn’t get the chance to dive headlong into the Japanese culture, but we get it—it’s not the right vehicle for such a story. Which is a shame, because Japan is an incredibly interesting place to visit, the people are among the friendliest you will ever meet and they get a TON of snow there. Par for the course, you get the usual McClure/Kincaid jocularity, tandem riding and bromance, only set in a different location halfway around the world.
Hey 509, if you’re listening, we’d love to see you up the ante and produce a dedicated sled feature that delves deeper into the culture of the place and the experience of riding overseas. Plus we want to see more of Rob mocking Dave every time he gets stuck.
Turkey gets a new Pussy Cat
In Volume 12, Turkey gets himself a new (to him) Mountain Cat. “No brake, no problem,” he says. Maybe so. For most that would probably be an issue, but not Turkey. Clearly, it takes true talent to ride old iron so well, yet with such bad style. Anyone else would likely snap their neck landing jumps like that. Turkey has a natural ability that’s only held back by his craptastic gear, handlebar ‘stache and lack of Instagram account. Wait, scratch that. He has one and it’s got over 10,000 followers.
Okay, what’s with the target shooting in Sahen Skinner’s segment? In restrospect, the whole assault-guns-in-sled-films feels inappropriate given recent events. Whether you agree or not, it’s certainly played out in sled films either way. We’re here to see sledding, not dudes doing target practice. Moving on. Sahen hits the trees in this short segment. He’s certainly a talented rider, but we really don’t get see his full “arsenal” here. We’d love to see what he can do in some open terrain.
Snow bikes, worth the wait
You’ll have to wait 48 minutes before you see the first snow bike, but if that’s what you’re in it for, you won’t be disappointed. You get Reagan Sieg launching his bike huge off everything in sight. Sieg makes it all look easy and fun, from carving up open slopes to slashing deep winddrifts and even straight down a tight chute at top speed. Whether you have preference for sleds or snow bikes, it doesn’t matter—his is the best segment in Volume 12 by a large margin.
Newcomer David England really gets after it with a segment dedicated to backcountry freestyle. He executes some big, impressive seat-grabby, superman-y kind of tricks that probably have names, and one really gnarly backflip attempt that doesn’t end well.
Nadine Overwater is quietly the most legit and genuine shredder out there. In Volume 12, she takes drops and airs hips into steep and consequential terrain like it ain’t no thing. You’ll also get a dose of deep powder shredding that her hometown Revelstoke is well known for. Good stuff.
Hey, I could do that!…No, no I couldn’t
Volume 12 wraps with a two-fold Brett Turcotte segment. The first half is an accessible, everyman segment. Turcotte rips off a bunch of pow carves, downhill descents and tree lines that look like the kind of thing we can all strive to achieve. He just does it all buttery-smooth, and it’s fun to watch, thinking, “Hey, I could do that!”
But just in case you weren’t sure, just watch the second half for a reminder…yep there it is, the stuff you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of pulling off. It’s the riding we have learned to expect to out of Turcotte: big, trick airs with incredible style. How about a perfectly executed backcountry backflip to close out the film? Yep, that fits.
509 Volume 12 does it again
The soundtrack is a great mix of rap, retro-soul, new age, alt-rock and indie. It’s a broad range of genres, but it’s all really good, and more importantly, fits the tone of each segment well.
The cinematography is excellent. The primary shooters are Mike Reeve and David McKinney, but their shots are supplemented by a handful of other talented contributors. There is enough drone footage without overdoing it. There’s very little GoPro footage. In general, the colour looks very good. And they guys know what they’re doing in the editing studio. This is a collection of talented riders and skilled filmmakers doing their thing.
Smartphone footage that rolls through the credits is a fun little bonus that adds some behind-the-scenes flavour and highlights some of the characters that we’ve seen on screen.
All in, Volume 12 is a great addition to the library. The riding is excellent. It looks good. A bumping soundtrack keeps things moving along. There are a couple of segments (Japan, KHMR) that keep things interesting by departing from the normal format. We only wish there was more time to showcase some of the personalities of the athletes who put such exceptional riding on display in the film! And we’d love to see more about the exotic shooting locations that the crews visit. We’ll keep our fingers crossed while we look forward to Vol 13.