Blog - Professional Snowboarder Brock Butterfield

Urban Attack - Rail to Wall Redirect - Brock Butterfield

Salt Lake City Urban Snowboarding - Rail to Wall Redirect

As we all know this season has started out to be really slow. Hardly any snow in the mountains and no snow in Salt Lake City for any urban snowboarding. With the weak little storm we got that put about 1/2 inch on the ground I decided that I'd take matters into my own hands and make something happen no matter the amount of time I would have to put into it.

Crazy Cody and I had time to kill one Saturday so we went to scope a location I had spotted from the freeway. It was north facing so it still had plenty of snow around to scoop and build up for the take off and landing. The feature was a loading dock handrail going up at a mellow angle into the wall with a drop out on the side. The idea I'd had was to 5050 to fakie wall redirect.

I shot some messages to a few photographers and Ross Downard hit me back. He was tired of waiting for snow also and was down to come make something happen. He mentioned he could make some magic happen for an evening shoot so I decided to go back to see if we would have everything we needed for a night shoot. The original location for a night shoot ended up having a lot of obstacles we'd have to overcome and on the way home while trying to put the pieces together I spotted something else to look at. Although the feature I spotted wouldn't work I stumbled onto an even better setup for the rail to wall redirect.


I scoped the spot and noticed that snow had been plowed into big piles close by so we could move the snow to where we needed. It was in an industrial area with no traffic so the bust factor was looking good. A lot more work involved but a much better feature with a longer rail. I jammed home and began thinking about how to make everything work with as little work as possible.


Next morning I got up and was headed out of the garage to meet up with Nick for a few runs at Snowbird when my tire bumped my drop in ramp and damn near fell on my truck. That's when the idea hit me. Becasue we had the winch to pull into for speed I could use the drop in ramp as the actual jump onto the rail and cut down on the time to build a massive kicker. I kept thinking about how to make it work while I made a couple laps at Snowbird and then headed home to get ready.


A quick stop into Lowe's for some lights and a call to Crazy Cody to secure a generator and things were lining up. At home Mike and I took apart some pallets and build a custom stand for the drop in ramp to bring it down to the correct level for the rail. We loaded everything up, grabbed four Little Ceasar pizzas and headed to the urban spot on the outer limits of Salt Lake City, UT.


We rolled up to the spot and started to unload the truck loads of gear. Once the truck was empty we made our way to the big snow bank piles and started loading up. Crazy Cody, Mike, Harlee, Ross and I loaded four pickup loads of snow over to the spot and began to distribute it where we needed it. I custom cut the legs of the drop in ramp to match the curb and height of the rail and used a tie down strap to secure it. We then used a few pieces of plywood to act as foundation sides to get a good packed layer. I then used a blow torch to melt and ice over the jump. I learned this trick from The People Crew.

Mike and Cody unloading the gear.

Cody and Harlee unloading the first truck load.

Custom cutting the legs to adjust for the curb and height.

My construction skills came in handy for making this setup quick.

The drop in ramp used as the kicker.

The landing pad.

Mike Germaine - The original creator of the winch. This guy changed urban riding for everyone.


photo: Ross Downard


After everything was setup we pulled the rope from the winch spool out and gave the speed a test run. The winch was pulling me into the featur super slow and Mike signaled something was wrong. After we got looking into it we realized one of the gears on the winch had worn out completely due to it being plastic. With nowhere to pick up the parts on a Sunday night, Ross shared a few ideas for a truck pull into the feature. Only problem was we didn't have any rope and couldn't use the rope from the winch. Nick and Harlee made a quick trip to Home Depot where they arrived at 7:01. One minute after the closed. Nick pried the doors open and explained to the lady that they had an "emergency" and all they needed was some rope. She let them grab 300 feet of rope and they made their way back to the spot.


We decided to use the ball hitch of Ross' truck to angle the rope pulled by the other truck. We got setup and tried the speed once and I adjusted for more speed the next time as I came in too slow. Only problem was I had too much speed and locked onto the rail at about 20 mph and slammed the wall at full force. My palms of my hands and wrists took the brute of the force and they continued to give me some trouble with gripping things the rest of the night. After numerous pulls into the rail and adjusting the speed of the truck and where I would let go of the rope I finally got the right speed and locked in for a smooth 5050 to fakie wall redirect. After banging out that shot I decided I wanted to experiment a bit and try a 5050 to frontside 180 into the wall redirect. This time with speed dialed I was able to bang it out in a few trys and Ross bagged some sick shots.

Ross Downard captures the magic. This is a b-roll shot of many shots he bagged.


Another b-roll shot from Ross Downard.


A round of high fives and peeping the footage and we cleaned up the site while having a few coldies. After all the snow had been cleaned up we jammed out. An Ibuprofen 800 for the swollen palms and wrists with a beer at home and my tired achy body was fast asleep shortly after. A six hour session and we got it done. It goes to show that you can get anything done with a lot of hard work and a little bit of snow. Many thanks to Cody, Mike, Nick, Harlee, Natalie and Ross for helping out and making it happen.

Story Behind the Shot - Parking Garage - Brock Butterfield

One of my favorite things to learn about when watching snowboard clips is what went into the shot or the little story that you don't learn about from just watching the film. Absinthe Films had the feature where if you saw a certain icon during their films you could hit the enter button and get a little info on what it took to get the shot. I guess you could say this is kind of my version of that.

For this first one of who knows how many, I decided to start with the parking garage feature I hit last year. Here's a quick recap of the video I posted a few days after I bagged the shot.


Now for the story behind it. My number one ace homie Nick called me up and let me know he had scoped this feature while on his UPS delivery route. (Having a homie who shreds and drives for UPS is awesome for learning about new spots. This cat has an eye for sick features.) We took a cruise over one night to scope it out for myself and see what I thought. We pulled up to this parking garage that was three levels with the top level being open and exposed to the elements. The snow removal crew had just finished plowing the top level and pushed all the snow over the edges. With one of the first big dumps of the season there was a lot of snow that had been plowed over the edge making an almost perfect landing.

Nick and I decided to put a plan together to try and get a night shot due to the high traffic area it was in. It was about 8PM and we headed to my house to grab shred gear, drop in ramp, shovels, lights and extension cords. We knew we were gonna need some snow to place back on the top level for the run in so we unloaded the drop in ramp and headed across the road to a large parking lot that had just been plowed. After two Tundra loads of snow Nick and I had enough snow up top for a run in.

Earlier I had made a call to a local photographer and let him know what we had in store. He wanted to come shoot and said he could be there in a few hours after he got off work. I called up TROCK and asked if he had time to come run the video camera and bring a few more extension chords for some lighting. He was down and headed our way. When he got there Nick and I were starting on the landing. It was pretty much shaped but we figured we should bring it out a bit from the wall to adjust for the speed I'd have coming off the top bomb drop. After putting the finishing touches on the landing I put the drop in ramp together and tested the speed and distance for the run in.

Here Nick puts the finishing touches on the landing. The cops drove by and didn't even bat an eye. They must have figured we were a snow removal crew...


The home made drop in ramp. Could use a few tweaks but not bad for the initial design.




After testing the drop in and making sure we were all set with the landing we decided to give the photographer a call and see what his ETA was. No answer. After waiting an hour and giving him a call again I get a text that says he's not going to make it. I had to take a moment and not let my self get stressed out. We had already spent all this time and energy into this feature and I was just gonna have to pull it together and focus on getting the shot. Luckily TROCK had brought his camera so I setup the tripod for the video camera and put TROCK in charge of trying to bag a shot without external flashes.

I made my way to the top of the drop in ramp and visualized the trick to landing. I needed to drop in with decent speed, oillie onto the cement ledge and 5050 for about 10 feet and then pop off and into a 90 degree turn for my landing that was 3 stories below. I dropped in and 5050'd the ledge way farther then I was supposed to and dropped all the way to flat completely missing the landing.


We adjusted the landing and the drop in to try and adjust for me over shooting. I also noticed with the lack in external flashes I needed to throw on some color. After resetting everything and borrowing some salt from the highschool kids working night crew and shoveling the sidewalks, I gave it a few more tries. One of the tries I got hung up on the cement ledge and came crashing down right on the tree and snapped the top off. Lucky I didn't snap my neck.


I had to take a breather after that and really try to get into my zone. It was getting late, I was becoming fatigued and yet I was closer to landing the trick. I pushed through with a couple more under and over shoots before finally bagging the trick around 3AM.


It was the greatest feeling riding away smooth from the landing. We gathered up the shovels, drop in ramp, lights, extension cords, cameras and headed home for the night. Total of over 8 hours from the time we scoped to the actual banger. A simple reminder that it takes a lot of hard work and some solid homies to help make it all happen. Many thanks to Nick and TROCK!

Shit Skiers Say

Found this video the other day. Cracked me up. Got me thinking about a "Shit Snowboarders Say" video...

B-Roll Footage - Webisode 1 - Brock Butterfield

B-ROCK's B-Roll Footage - Webisode 1

With the snow pack in Utah at an all time low I decided to dig through some of the footage from last year that didn't make the cut for my 2010-2011 season edit. Here's a clip of a floaty backside 180 in the Utah backcountry with TROCK.


Wolfcreek Pass Touring Video - Brock Butterfield

Here's the quick video edit from a few weeks ago when Brandon Reid, Mike Hood and myself went in search for powder on Wolfcreek Pass. Peep game on Mike's sick double line in the Hourglass Chute.

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