Each year, I look forward to kicking off my snowboard boots and throwing the newest Too Hard edit on the screen. Mainly to see what some of the top female jib talent has to offer, in part to gawk at the debauchery, and inevitably because there aren’t too many other all-female videos out there.
After a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, my hopes were somewhat elevated. Last year’s film Tres Hard brought together all the Too Hard trademarks: eccentric editing style, raunchy b-roll, and truly hard hitting street riding. Danyale even managed to harness the raw and
chaotic into a cohesive short film.
It’s Lit did not evoke the gritty and unfiltered sort of raw that we’ve come to love (or hate) from Too Hard; instead it felt more like uncooked ground beef, the unfortunate by-product of cramming a bunch of short parts from 13 riders into about 10 minutes. Maybe they would have been better off traveling and filming as a crew, rather than relying too heavily on submitted parts.
With songs ending abruptly, god awful rap, and a lack of any transitions the film assaulted my neurons in a way that A: made my brain hurt a little and B: made it hard to follow the actual riding.
But after a few watches, and some time to process, it became clear that my grievances were less about the riding, and more about the production value. The riders—whether they actually filmed with Too Hard or sent in their shots—seeked out creative jib spots, attacked sketchy handrails, and took their beating in true Too Hard fashion.
The up-and-comers and newer additions to the squad were featured more predominantly, albeit spastically in It’s Lit than in Tres Hard. And many of them held their own with the more seasoned jibbers. But once again somewhere in the madness, the core riders of Too Hard Danyale,
Fancy, Madison, and Corinne reminded us, definitively, that they’re among the best in the biz at what they do.
If you’re having any doubts about getting through the whole film to bear witness to what I’m talking about, just note that somewhere toward the end there is some classic footage of Japanese snow monkeys. Snow monkeys easily add 5 points to any snowboard edit. This is followed up by an excessive amount of baby footage in Maria Thomsen’s part.
Regardless of your feelings on babies, it was hard not to be impressed by Maria Thomsen’s part, truly a highlight of the film. I will bemoan that it was too short, much like every single part in the film. But after seeing her shut down the Too Hard Whistler edit from this summer, I had high expectations—which she lived up to. Maria manages to bring the style and comfort of her park riding to urban hits.
Maria’s part was also a testament to the kind of up-and-coming talent that Too Hard has helped to foster. For a while, Too Hard has been one of the only outlets for female urban riders. It seems like nearly every female rider that has made a name in street riding has wound up
in one of their four films. But Dangy and her posse are no longer the only self starting crews of girls looking to chase snow around the country and throw their bodies at metal.
With new teams in the game like JetPack and Outta The Kitchen competing for talent, the stakes have gone up a little. JetPack showed us with their “Blast Off” edit that you don’t need a whole production team to make a fluid, and hard-hitting street edit, just a passionate bunch of girls on a mission. Too Hard is no longer alone, and they may have to rethink combining their unique flair with a dose of watchability.