NITS (Nothing In To Something)
The allure of documenting snowboarding in the urban environment is the endless possibility of locating unique spots around every corner, along with the creative photo and filming opportunities that come with it. The city is the canvas, the terrain is the paint, and the riders are the brush.
Start with an idea, take the bricks, metal, concrete, stairs or walls, use the snow and turn what was never intended for snowboarding (the nothing) and flip it to a beautiful display of shredding (the something). It’s a process not easily understood by the common man, but it comes naturally to a snowboarder seeking it.
During snowboarding’s infancy of riding in the streets, natural speed was your best friend, followed by the drop-in ramp or a whip-in by your fellow riders; with the bungee and car tow-in shortly thereafter. With the advent of the portable motorized winch, riders can now generate enough run-in speed to tackle just about any obstacle they dream up, as long as you can get a grip on what sometimes can be moving massive amounts of snow.
While these formative years of figuring out what works best for speed were taking place, so was the evolution of preparing spots: where to take snow from, how to move it, creating transitions, landings and lips, keeping the snow in place and which tools work best for the job. One big evolutionary process that’s allowed any trick on a snowboard to be performed at any location thanks to the open-mindedness of snowboarders and their desire to experiment and make shit happen.
Of course, none of this is possible without your crew and their dedication in finding spots, preparing an obstacle and sticking with a dude until he comes riding away clean. This is no eight-hour workday; this is The Grind that doesn’t come with a set schedule of start to finish. The Grind is getting to a city, scoping until a location is chosen, moving snow to ready the set, preparing cameras, lights and flashes, getting a shot, then putting it all back away and repeating the process until the riders can no longer move their legs.
There’s a special stoke that comes along with turning Nothing In To Something, perhaps it’s the feeling of accomplishment or just a good ‘ol “I can’t believe we pulled that off” type of thing. Whatever it may be, the urban environment is a great companion to the many facets of snowboarding. Blotto
All photos by Blotto ©Dean Blotto Gray / Blotto Photto
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