Snowboarders Chris Corning, Chase Blackwell dish on new film, ‘Teal’
SILVERTHORNE — While driving south earlier this week for some wakeboarding in Texas followed by some dirt biking in Missouri, Summit County pro snowboarder Chris Corning chatted about his new snowboard film, “Teal.”
For Corning, a 2018 Olympian and multi-time International Ski & Snowboard Federation Crystal Globe season champion, it’s the 20-year-old big air and slopestyle rider’s debut movie effort.
Corning, who’s the producer and director of the movie, said last year he decided he wanted to make his first snowboard film. So he recruited friends such as street specialist Sam Klein, daredevil Windham “Lawndart” Miller, U.S. pro team halfpipe rider Chase Blackwell and others to collaborate with him for several months of filming this past winter. He enlisted filmmaker Alex Havey to shoot and edit the footage.
Corning said the movie is currently being edited and he hopes to release it in the fall. He said he decided on “Teal” as the name because the color reminds him of the kind of riders featured in the movie who, he said, may not be the biggest, most obvious names, but he feels are some of the world’s best snowboarders.
“Teal is kind of the color that has its own path,” Corning said. “It doesn’t follow too much. It’s its own color. The movie is about people who have their own path. And since we are not the mainstream riders, we want to show we are still some of the best.
“We want to show we have what it takes, the same riding potential, and can put together as good a movie as others can with the little bit of backing we have,” the 2018 X Games Norway bronze medalist added.
Corning said the movie’s crew began filming in December up in Duluth, Minnesota, where he, Klein and Miller stayed out for 11 days during the same month Corning stole the show with his four-rotation, five-inversion quad-cork 1800 trick in the Visa Big Air World Cup event in Atlanta. From there, Klein and some young riders featured in the movie stayed in the Midwest and filmed more street riding in Wisconsin.
“We hit a couple of really gnarly rails, tall, off some bridges and stuff,” Corning said. “We hit a basketball hoop. That was pretty fun. We just tried to, basically, whatever we had to hit be on par with every other movie we’ve seen up in the top categories we watched last year.”
Corning singled out a down-flat-down-rail he rode that was two-and-a-half stories long. On the first four tries he had to bail on the rail and ride down the adjacent stairs before he rode it through on the fifth try.
Using the basketball hoop’s cement stanchion as a ramp was his idea, something he spotted when the crew was driving around. So they built a ramp and landing, used a winch to tow riders in for the speed necessary to ride over the hoop’s backboard before landing in the court area. Corning himself executed a 180-degree spin on the hoop while rotating to his board’s backside.
Filming eventually brought the crew out to Jackson Hole in Wyoming in March, where Blackwell joined his fellow Never Summer rider Corning and the rest of the squad.
After his most successful international halfpipe season yet as a pro, Dillon resident Blackwell said the film’s backcountry riding near Togwotee Pass in Jackson Hole was a special experience outside of contest riding for him.
“We did hit this one jump off of a rock that almost looked like a kicker, and that was probably one of my favorite sessions,” Blackwell said. “Just everything about that whole session was very spontaneous. When a lot of people see that, I think they will be electrified with how crazy that feature looks. It was more of a natural feature, not anything we had to build or shape out.”
Inspired to film riding like much of Travis Rice’s shoots in Wyoming, Corning and the gang looked for their own spots in the hilly terrain. It was a 60-foot-long jump the crew built that stands out to Corning from the Wyoming backcountry session, as he landed four tricks that will be featured in the movie.
“My favorite part of that trip was being able to land so many tricks on a single jump in the same day,” Corning said. “That doesn’t usually happen on a powder jump. I think it will be different for people to watch. … We were doing definitely some of the hardest tricks I’ve ever done in the backcountry, some of the hardest tricks that have ever been done in snowboard powder.”
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Oregon’s Laurenne Ross and New Castle’s Alice McKennis Duran both announced their retirement in recent days and celebrated together during Saturday’s downhill. McKennis Duran is a local namesake who grew up skiing at Sunlight in Glenwood and formerly trained with the AVSC.