Photo: Maxi Kniewasser

I am an online video addict.  The commoditization of high-end POV cameras and 1080p HD capabilities on SLRs has ushered in a new era of extreme sports documentary.  The viewer can now truly be brought into the experience of the athletes.

The other fascinating thing about this shift is the fact that many companies are now stepping behind their athletes and enabling them to create extremely high-quality videography to be released completely free over the Internet.  We no longer need to wait for months in suspense until a particular video project is done.  We get our fix immediately via the powerful driving force of social media.

Things are certainly changing around in the videography space, but regardless of the effects that it may have on some artists, it’s all gravy for us armchair viewers.  I can honestly say that I am amazed and inspired by something that I see online almost everyday.

Here is a short list of a few of my 2011 favorites:

1) All.I.Can Ski Movie- JP Auclair Street Segment

JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

This segment blows my mind!  I love the climaxing nature of the music, the little artsy touches with the hidden skier going through the frame in the first few shots, and the incorporation of all kinds of urban settings and props.  The one thing that I love the most about it is the grungy feeling that pervades.  This is not some pristine Alaskan powder slope that can only be accessed by helicopter.  It is sub-prime conditions in an average BC town.  Absolutely amazing… a work of art.

2) From the Inside Out Trailer

From the Inside Out Trailer from SecondBase Films on Vimeo.

The Coastal Crew.  If you are a mountain biker, you know who these boys are.  Semenuk, Norbraten, Smith… these guys all have their own unique styles whether it be World Cup race domination or building and sending unique and innovative features in the woods.  From the Inside Out looks to be an unreal video, and I am always happy to hit play whenever I see one of their online vids come across!

3) GoPro 2 Montage

This one gets my best montage video award!  It features unreal and super creative shots from around the world of the best athletes expressing themselves in their own ways.  Just watch.

4) Rider of the Year II Preview

Rider of the Year II PREVIEW from Tribe Alliance on Vimeo.

Gotta throw one in there from my own sport right??  In spite of the much smaller budget figures in the sport of kayaking, the Tribe Rider faction is consistently producing jaw-dropping footage and organizing the best kayaking events on the planet.  Check out this video for a look into the future of paddlesports.

5) Danny Hart’s World Championships Run

I mentioned it in a previous blog post, and I’ll stand by it.  This is one of my all-time favorite extreme sports videos.  The focus, commitment, and willingness to put it on the edge in the worst of conditions is truly inspiring, and I think that we can all learn something from it.

Well, there you have it… that’s my highlight real of 2011 must-sees.  I can’t wait to see what kinds of media 2012 produces.  Now with those videos in mind, get out there and do what brings you passion in your own lives!