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As winter approaches, you’re probably looking for a film to scratch that snowboarding itch. Look no further than Dark Matter, the latest collaboration between iconic snowboarder Travis Rice and director Curt Morgan. It’s 27-minutes of pure, unadulterated, big mountain shredding set to a ripping soundtrack that’ll surely get your stoke up.
Snowboard films have tended to be globetrotting affairs—snowboarding travelogues of sorts—in search of the deepest powder and sickest terrain. Dark Matter bucks the trend by staying put, deep in the heart of Alaska, exploiting the legendary Tordrillo Range for all its worth. By staying put, Travis and fellow pro Elias Elhardt are able to access lines that are scarcely ridden due to weather or snow conditions.
While heli-boarding may give off strong Succession vibes, this is surely Travis’s “cheapest” and most focused snowboard film, and Dark Matter is better off because of it. With a scant intro, effective filler, and very little in the way of interstitials—and almost no slow motion, a previous Rice/Morgan staple—Dark Matter simply offers two of the world’s best shredding these Alaskan lines, one after another.
Dark Matter leaves you breathless after each extended segment with the only break—and filler—being beautiful twilight landscape and starscape imagery. The awesome cinematography looks as if it could be lifted from an Attenborough documentary, giving you a quick respite before diving back into Travis and Elias’s shredding. The landscape photography coupled with the gargantuan mountains underpin Dark Matter’s running theme of cosmic insignificance and the power of nature. It’s a compelling message to be sure, but slightly out of sync with the premise of professional snowboarders having nearly unlimited resources to conquer the terrain. Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of thought required to enjoy the anxiety-inducing footage on hand— and GoPro clips give a glimpse at just how large and terrifying these lines are.
Ultimately, the question is, “What makes Dark Matter special?” Well, Travis Rice can ride anywhere in the world and choose who he does it with. His bonafides are beyond question. And for Dark Matter he chose the Tordrillos and he chose Elias Elhardt. Trust us, that’s reason enough to give half an hour of viewing attention.