For snowboarders, September and October are what they call “Video Premiere Season.” People from all over the world go to their local spots or drive back to their hometowns to reunite with old friends, grab some grub and cocktails, sit back and watch the newest films in the snowboard industry.
For years, St. Cloud has been a gathering spot for locals to connect with one another while watching snowboard and skateboard videos.
So, after the locally-grown national snowboard film company from St. Cloud, Bald E-Gal Productions–owned and operated by co-owner of The Youth Shelter Supply, Mike Thienes–closed their doors last winter to move on to new endeavors, some were hoping that someone would come onto the scene to fill their boots with footage from the winter sports world.
Derek Combs, with the new company Cryptic Films, was given that opportunity. One of the main videographers for the previous Bald E-Gal Productions crew, and former SCSU student, Combs, has released the newest snowboard film in the Midwest region.
The film features all of the top riders from Minnesota, and some from other states as well, including Shane Ruprecht, Benny Milam, Cody Beiersdorf, Drew Poganski, Jeffy Gabrick, Krister Ralles and Joey Peterson – all have ridden for Bald E-Gal Productions over the past decade.
On Saturday night, the world premiere of Cryptic Films’ first flick “Decoded” was shown to the masses. People from all over slowly gathered around Pioneer Place downtown St. Cloud about an hour before the film premiered, grabbing drinks at the bar, catching up with friends on the balconies and enjoying the sunny, warm afternoon.
“People’s hype is what keeps projects like these going,” Combs said. “It helps push myself and everyone else involved to work harder to create content that others will enjoy.”
The video premiered at 5 p.m., with two other snowboard films being shown immediately following: Deja Vu’s “Encore” and Videograss’ “Videogracias.” The two films featured professional snowboarders riding all over the world on multiple continents.
“It’s always awesome to have your friends in the same spot to watch something that you all put together over the year,” said Cryptic Films snowboarder Shane Ruprecht. “All of the hard work that was put into making these films, it’s just the best to enjoy it all together.”
The theatre was packed with barely any seats left to squeeze into, and the crowd’s cheering was even louder than the videos themselves, when certain riders’ names would appear on screen. Many of the riders film segments that are becoming commonly known as “street riding,” where the videographers and riders will drive around looking for handrails, ledges — really anything they can be creative with and hit on their snowboard to make the shot.
“The best time filming would have to be our last trip of the season,” Combs said. “We drove to Marquette, [Michigan] to film until they lost almost all of their snow and then crewed up with some more people, and tripped up to Canada for a week. I found it shocking that news that we were in town spread around, and some people actually drove around looking for us.”