Advertisement

Best of 2009, Stunts: Danny Harf’s Snow Gap

October 23, 2009
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

It’s not easy to wakeboard on snow. Danny Harf and Billabong team manager Chris Heffner were most likely aware of that basic truth before setting up a 30-foot snow gap in the foothills of Mammoth Lakes, California, just before New Year’s. If not, they were convinced of it by stunt’s end. Before Harf could even tackle the tricky transition from water to snow, Mammoth Mountain snow park manager Michael Gregory had to bring in four truckloads of powder to construct the gap’s kicker and down ramp. And John and Debbie Eilts had to clear an approach path from their frozen private lake, breaking through 4 inches of ice with a front-end loader. Harf spent more than an hour waist-deep in freezing water clearing weeds for the PWC that would tow him into the gap. Such pains would seem strange if the stunt weren’t part of Billabong’s new boundary-pushing wakeboarding video. After all, while snowy ramps and a frozen lake are weird environments for wakeboarding, they are right at home in Out of the Pond, whose very title indicates Team Billabong’s intention to test wakeboarding’s limits. Along with wall riding a 40-foot-long tour bus, hunting spillways by helicopter and towing into crushing Tahiti surf, Harf’s snow stunt is just another example of the otherworldliness to expect when Out of the Pond releases this month. — Luke Woodling

Harf on: Riding snow

“It’s definitely not easy to wakeboard in the snow. It was pretty tricky dialing in the transition from water to snow because it’s two different speeds. It was easy to catch an edge going up the ramp, so you had to be on it the whole time. I took a couple good bails where I either caught an edge or came up short on the landing. It was pretty fun to be cartwheeling through the snow.”

Advertisement

Harf on: The setup

“It was tricky because we couldn’t move the takeoff or landing, so we had to just guess the right distance. It ended up being too small of a gap to do any spins or anything like that, so I tried a couple backside 180s, a method tweak and a couple other grabbed airs. But the distance ended up being perfect for the rail. We’ve hit metal rails before, so that’s where I felt most comfortable, and the back lip and nose press on the rail were probably the best moves of the whole thing.”

Harf on: Staying warm

Advertisement

“I took a couple good diggers in the snow, but it was actually surprisingly warm. I wore a Billabong 5/4/3 wetsuit with booties and gloves and stayed warm the whole time. I was even cruising around in the lake, clearing weeds for the PWC for about an hour.”

Harf on: His part in Out of the Pond

“The movie’s all about discovering different things to do on a wakeboard besides riding behind the boat or at a cable park, so my section’s going to have some stuff you’ve never seen before — some clips from this stunt and some cool spillway stuff. Plus, I’ve been working hard to get some big moves off the double-up. I’m trying some 1260s and different 1080s, and I did a wrapped corked backside 7 with a nose grab on our final trip in Australia.”

Advertisement

Photos: I.J. Valenzuela and Peter Morning

Advertisement

More Uncategorized

Advertisement
Advertisement