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Indoor Adventure

A new crop of ski and snowboard DVDs offers inspiration and vicarious thrills

Yearbook Matchstick Productions, $28

With its crisp cinematography, Matchstick Productions sets the standard in the for-fanatics-only genre known as ski porn, and this season's 70-minute Yearbook is no disappointment. In one of the coolest shots, freeskier Chris Davenport uses a helmet camera to show the viewer what he sees as he barrels down a chute barely wider than his shoulders. Shane McConkey's and JT Holmes's heliski adventure lands them on the peak of the 13,025-foot Eiger. They ski for less than a minute before they ditch their poles and soar off the cliff, pulling parachutes on the way down. Rating: A

Chulk Smack Mack Dawg, $30

This 30-minute snowboarding DVD has plenty of sick images, starting with Seth Huot's opening segment. With mind-boggling resilience, Huot demonstrates all the ways in which a rider can eat it off a rail. The pro rider falls off a railing again and again, landing on his back, his rear, his face and his stomach, and then takes the bar right between his legs. His spectacular failures give the viewer an appreciation for the spectacular feat Jeremy Jones performs as he careers down the railing outside a two-story building at 40 mph. Rating: B+

X=Ten Poor Boyz Productions, $28

A good ski-porn flick requires not only gnarly footage but also appropriate music. X=Ten is amped with 45 minutes of sweet tunes, ranging from the classic (the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive) to the hip-hop soul beat of AWOL's Rythm. Plus, you can't beat watching Canadian freeskier Dave Crichton walk into a laundromat to stuff himself into a dryer and tumble-dry on low. Rating: A--

Soul Purpose Teton Gravity Research, $28

This hourlong ski and snowboard DVD makes up for its slow start with footage of Marc Andre Belliveau and Jamie Pierre skiing up and over giant ice cones at the Bansko ski resort in Bulgaria. Then there's snowboarding daredevil Jeremy Jones, who takes heliskiing to a new extreme. Attached to a rope that dangles 100 feet below the chopper, Jones is airlifted to the top of a knife-edge ridge. Says Jones, "We have a guy in the backseat with a knife, and if something goes wrong with the helicopter, we're cutting that rope." Rating: B

DC Super Mega Mini Snow DC Shoes, N/A

This 20-minute snowboarding mini-DVD comes free when you buy DC's gear. The gear makes you look like a genuine jibber, while on the DVD pro riders like Travis Rice show you how to perform like one, with tips on how to land tricks like a backside 540. "It's pretty much the same mechanics [as] a backside [360]," Rice explains. "Except you need to wind up a little more and pop off your toes at the jump." Rice then effortlessly stomps the trick. Park riding has never looked so easy. Rating: B+




Belliveau enjoys a Bulgarian high point in the hourlong Soul Purpose.