For the second Winter Mission in New Zealand we turned things up to level 100. After a month long spell of average snowfall, Mother Nature graced NZ with some of the best spring snow conditions they’ve had in years. Game On.
Without any hesitation, we locked in the first available Helicopter and headed to Mount Cook to chase and film Carolos Garcia Knight and JJ Rayward down steep lines and spines. Carlos Garcia Knight is currently filming for his newest film “RUCKUS III” and for the mission we give you a behind the scenes look into what goes on whilst filming for a snowboard video.
With Carlos and JJ locked in to ride, the film crew to capture the magic was Marcus Skin and photographer Troy Tanner. The four of these crew together make for a dream team, coupled with dream conditions. This was one of, if not the best Winter Missions to date.
The location is Mt. Cook, which is located within the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. It’s the highest mountain in New Zealand sitting at 3,724 metres and is located in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand. Huge shoutout to the Hermitage Hotel for putting the crew up in their incredible accommodation perfectly located to access Mount Cook.
Carlos Garcia Knight is one New Zealand’s best snowboarders, with an international legacy. He’s a pro snowboarder for Monster Energy, Burton and Oakley and once chased the Olympic dream…competing in the slopestyle event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in 2018 where he made the finals. Since then, Carlos has made a strong transition into the more freeride world of snowboarding. Instead of travelling around the world competing, he’s travelling around the world filming and shooting and taking on new terrain in the backcountry. His main focus is his personal film project called “RUCKUS” and he’s on a mission to stack clips this winter.
Carlos calls JJ Rayward the most underrated snowboarder ever. Boasting an incredible style, trick selection and all round good vibe attitude…JJ is always out filming with Carlos during the winters and features prominently in his films. As you can see the by the mission…JJ fucking rips.
The raddest thing about the badass boarding duo, is that their in a band together called ‘The Cloobs’ which is the track your hearing in the video. When they’re not boarding, filming for ‘RUCKUS’ or partying up a storm, they’re getting creative in the recording room and playing local gigs around NZ…and partying up a storm.
With lockdown, shitty mid season conditions and not a lot of days under the crews belt filming for ‘RUCKUS’, this day was the day of days. Put it all on the line, to come back with clips to showcase to the entire snowboarding world…how sick NZ is and its riders!
Once the crew got to the heli pad, it was straight up and away. Marcus and Troy worked with Carlos and JJ to make a plan for the day – best lines to ride, ideal tricks to film, best angles and places to setup. There’s a lot that goes into “nailing the shot” especially when you’re on a tight timeline and have helicopter waiting for you.
JJ & Carlos kicked into beast mode and got after it. Line after line, trick after trick, they were pushing the limits in some of the best conditions they’ve ever had in NZ! Once they had a few clips under their belt, it was time for lunch…right next to the helicopter. It’s a hard life these pro-snowboarders lead.
The YETI pack stashed in the back compartment of the chopper…the crew enjoyed lunch on New Zealand’s highest mountain with some of the best views in the world. Sandwiches, water and the running thought of rewarding beer at the end of the day.
With only a few more hours of heli time left, the crew got straight back into. Carlos and JJ were going one for one, feeding of each others energy and going bigger each run! Incredible how much you can tick off when you have an entire zone and mode of transport to yourself.
With the sun starting to drop, it was time to call it a day, a day for the books! The crew packed up and headed back to the Heli pad where the Ford Ranger was elegantly waiting down the bottom for them with ice cold Pirate Life Beers to enjoy some après and reminisce on the madness that just went down!
Huge shoutout to all our partners for making these Winter Missions possible! So rad to work with brands we love, and have them support what we love. Thanks to Ford Australia for the wheels, GoPro for all the camera, YETI for all the gear, Allpress Espresso for the caffeine, The North Face for all the outerwear and kit, Pirate Life for the beer, Oakley for the prime vision and G-Shock for the time keepers! Also a big thanks to The Hermitage Hotel and Mount Cook Heli for putting up the crew!