Kontakt Video Spotlight #02:
Remembering the Down Low
April 15th, 2021 – A big part of my film journey was spending countless hours on the slopes filming snowboarding. I started skiing at 5 and later in high school fell in love filming my friends and local riders at our home hill Snow Valley. I don’t know why but seeing my friends risk injury for a few seconds of airtime and those flashes of style made me want to capture them on film. In 2007 we began filming a snowboard video called Paint the Town Red and that’s when I met Kyle Taylor who rode and worked for Quiksilver Ontario.
Every spring, Quiksilver would host a contest called the Down Low that I started to film annually. What began as a local grassroots session at a road gap in Midhurst became one of the best days on the hill hosted by Mount St.Louis Moonstone featuring a stepped up version of their Outback park. Greg Goulter from Quiksilver was one of the founders and was instrumental in organizing the event annually with help from other local shops and sponsors. It quickly became the funnest event and day on the hill each year with unique features, lots of fans and friends, beers, a BBQ and great music.
In 2009, we included the DownLow as part of 6 Months 2 Live (our web series for West 49 and Quiksilver) in the March episode (starting at 6:05). The tree feature, half pipe gap and Kyle’s hardcore band playing on the snow stage were some of the highlights from that year:
Mount St.Louis Moonstone is known for having one of the best parks in the East every year, and the genius behind the design and flow is Craig Burley. Every year for the Down Low, Craig would cut a massive gap out of the jumps or pipe and come up with some new and weird features like the close out deck rail and goal post rail over the water seen in 2011:
Kontakt teamed up with Push.ca to capture the 2012 Down Low and fellow snowboard cinematographer Trevor Harris helped with 2nd Camera duties which really helped me with coverage. My good friend and frequent collaborator Kevin Scriver was crowned the Overall Champion as well which made that year extra special:
A big part of the Down Low was the music and seeing bands you’d normally see playing city venues on the hill was really cool. Each year local snowboard legend and rap artist Shane ‘LS’ Dennis played and MC’ed the event and also Ontario bands played the snow stage for a midday set. The bands over the years featured acts such as Baptized in Blood, The Snips, and my friends The Socials who played in 2014:
2014 marked the end of an era as Greg moved out of Toronto leaving Quiksilver and Kyle started working with Nixon. Kyle kept the flame alive one final time for the 2015 Down Low with support from Nixon and Snowboard Canada Magazine. As usual, there was a fun and friendly vibe in the air and the massive hip built by Burley provided opportunity for some serious airtime:
There was something special about the Down Low – spring riding combined with a community of friends always made it the best contest of the year in Ontario without the usual competitive spirit. It gave a lot of local up and coming riders their moment of glory and a chance to be seen. Though I haven’t filmed much snowboarding in the past 5 years it will always be a big part of my career.
I want to thank all the other local sponsors and people that made this event a huge success over the years – you know who you are. I made a lot of great friends and memories over the years while shooting on the hills and every spring I grow older and miss the Down Low more and more.
Look for more Kontakt Video Spotlights in the coming months