The Heli-Ski Blog

Vintage Ski Movie: The First Snowboard on Film?

Posted by Mark Piquette on Apr 5, 2011 8:00:00 AM

I am not 100% sure on this...but I think this is the first, if not one of the first, snowboard segments caught on film.  

This is a segment from the Dick Barrymore movie Canadian Mountain Odyssey that Dick shot for Hans in the early 80's.  It features Dick's son Blake, AKA Ted Shred, on a very early Burton Snowboard.

From an interview Dick Barrymore did in 2000: "They brought a collection of snow props to the Monashees in British Columbia and Blake decided to try a new Burton snowboard they had bought at an instructor's discount of $40.

The Burton board had little fins on the back. It's nothing like a snowboard today. It had a rope on the front that you held onto with a handle on it," Barrymore explains. Blake took out his Sorels, jumped on that board and took off. "He never had a bad turn on it," says Barrymore.

There is a lot of history in this segment but two things stand out for me.

One, you can see how the snowboard, even this early version, allowed the rider completely different experience from the skiers. I am a skier. I have snowboarded three times in my life. It was fun but I like skiing a lot more. That said, I am thankful for the push that snowboarding gave to skiing.   I think about the line-up of K2 Skis we have now and I can see the progression from this early segment to today.

The second thing that sticks out- you can already see the snowboarding vs.skiing thing beginning.  Check out Ted flying down through the tracks and blowing right by the skiers. For the most part this rivalry has been put to rest...although I see it flare occasionally at a lodge. If you are now in your 40's you have pretty much been around snowboarding most of your skiing life so it really is not an issue. Plus, per the first point above, skis have progressed so much they are now as good, if not better (especially if there is a traverse involved), tool in the hel-ski world.

Hope you enjoy a little history.


Topics: ski film, vintage, Monashees, Snowboarding