Drew Yurko is showcased in Persinger’s latest film, Where?

Bruce Persinger has been involved with the Southern snowboard scene for the last 20 years, first as a rider, then as a team manager. Now, he’s producing ski flicks from the Mid-Atlantic that people actually want to watch. Persinger, who lives at the base of Timberline Resort in West Virginia, documented the record-breaking snow season two years ago with Right Coast, Right Time, and just released a full-length video from last season that showcases who he thinks is the best boarder in our region, Drew Yurko. The film, just released, is called Where? BRO asked Persinger to dish about filming snow flicks in the South, trespassing, and getting older.

On filming ski porn in the South

The biggest challenge, obviously, with shooting snowboarding films in the Mid-Atlantic is the conditions. You can’t just pick your days. You have to be available to shoot powder when it snows. Then you have to shoot the park scenes when it’s 35 and sunny. I missed a few storms, but if there’s six inches on the ground, chances are I’m out there riding and filming.

On local talent

There’s always been an assumption that there’s no way anyone from our region will turn pro. But I had Tom Wallisch on a team I managed here and he’s one of the biggest skiers in the country now. We’re starting to get athletes of national caliber talent, which is why we named this latest film Where? We film with Drew Yurko, who won the Eastern Snowboard Championships at Seven Springs last season. It was the biggest, best park contest of the year in the Mid-Atlantic. He’s an amazing athlete. In 2008, he was the Maryland State Running Back of the year and he comes from a gymnastics background. Filming with Drew is like playing a video game. We’re out there in the park and I tell him to hit a jump a certain way, and he just does it.

On equipment

Where? just went up today. It’s a 10-minute road trip video from last year. I think it’s some of our best work. It’s not just park riding. There’s some decent powder in there too. The Go Pro really opened up what we could film. I’m willing to put that little camera into a lot of places that I’m just not willing to put the $4,000 camera. This winter, I’m excited about doing some 3D film of some of the area’s best runs. I can get out there with the ski patrol before they open the lifts and get these runs in their pure state.

On powder days

The best powder shot I got in Where? was actually two weeks after the resort was closed. We hiked up the entire mountain. It’s a good hike to the top, at least 45 minutes. But then you’ve got two feet of snow in every direction, and it’s all pristine, no tracks. I went halfway down and shot one of the boarders coming all the way down a nice, clean run. Timberline is a small, family-run mountain. It’s no frills, but we can hike up it in the spring without getting slapped with trespassing. There were days well into May that we were setting up shots and hits on our own in the park.

On riding backcountry

This year, my plan is to get more into the backcountry. I’ve ordered split boards, which a lot of people are getting into around here. I’m hoping to do some filming at Whitegrass and some of the pipelines. There are three new pipelines on my list right now. They’re similar to the pipeline coming off of Weiss Knob [above Canaan Valley], but they aren’t as grown up. They’ve been freshly cleared, as wide as a two-lane road with rolling grass. There’s even a gas line that runs straight down the mountain where I live, on the side of Timberline that most locals have never ridden.

On the importance of video

One of my projects this year is to shoot the film that will help Drew Yurko get to the Dew Tour next year. The film means so much to boarders and sponsors and fans. That’s how Tom Wallisch became known. He won the Level1 Super Unknown video contest with a film he shot and edited himself. That’s how he got his name.

On getting older

I’m 36 now. I was a first generation park rat. I can’t take the beating anymore. I no longer bounce. I just splat. These kids I’m filming surpassed my level of riding when they were 16 years old. A Frontside Rodeo 540 (see below) is as far as I’ll ever go. Now, I’m more interested in the backcountry and powder.

A Front What?

Don’t speak snowboard? A Front Rodeo 540 is when a snowboarder launches from a jump, performing a backward flip while spinning with a 540-degree rotation. It’s impressive, no matter how humble Persinger sounds. But what’s the hardest snowboard trick? It could be the Double McTwist 1260, a half-pipe trick that Shaun White debuted for the world during the 2010 Olympics that includes three twists and two flips before landing.