HIP JUMPS

Tabletops are a dime a dozen, Halfpipes make their appearance on a regular basis, while the Hip Jump has always been a rarity. It’s not without good reason, they’re difficult to build, require tedious daily maintenance and are notorious for the low margin of error when snowboarding on these beasts.

A hip jump shares that same characteristic as a half pipe wall where you leave the lip, elevate, then hope your trajectory brings you back down into the transition smoothly. Anything else is a harsh landing on the deck, the flat bottom or possibly the deck and the flat bottom.

Charles - Mammoth Sequence. Blotto

The snowcat has the ability to groom a tabletop unassisted every evening; the same goes with a halfpipe. Grooming a hip jump requires a massive amount of hand shoveling, from its inception to the preparation for every session. Yes, the snowcat provides the initial base of snow and approximate shape, but it’s up to the hand shovel to make it proper. I’m guessing this is a major contributor to their lack of presence in public and private park settings.

Grouplife. Mammoth. Blotto

Grouplife. Mammoth. Blotto

Environment. Mammoth. Blotto

Environment. Mammoth. Blotto

Environment. Mammoth. Blotto.

Filefjell. Blotto

Snowcat. Filefjell. Blotto

Filefjell. Blotto

Filefjell. Blotto

Kazu. Filefjell. Blotto

However, when they do make their appearance at photo shoots, all in attendance use every waking second to maintain, session and get shots. This has always been my experience during the Hemsedal glory years (early 2000’s) to modern times at Filefjell and most recently at Mammoth Mountain in June of 2011.

Frederik & Nicolas. Hemsedal. Blotto

Mads. Hemsedal. Blotto

Keegan. Filefjell. Blotto

Danny Davis. Mammoth. Blotto.

Kazu. Mammoth. Blotto.

Kazu. Mammoth. Blotto.

The beast of manmade obstacles never fails to deliver snowboarding madness, while the documentation aspect will never leave the photographer without images. Blotto 

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Dean Blotto Gray

About Dean Blotto Gray

Snowboarding becomes a culture only when the experience is shared and Dean Blotto Gray is a photographer dedicated to sharing the snowboard experience. For over 250 days each year, for the past 13 years, Gray has been documenting the snowboarding life. In doing so, he has become one of the most inexhaustible photographers the young sport has yet seen. 
Indeed, the volume and quality of the images he produces go beyond mere documentation to become expressions of thematic motifs in this youth culture movement. At once emotive, artistic and journalistic, his images create a natural bridge between the subject and the viewer. His work has not only elevated and influenced how snowboarding is viewed, but also how it is documented by others in the field. As the Principal Photographer for Burton Snowboards, he is among the sport’s most prolific, most widely published, and most keenly aware of snowboarding’s cultural significance. Somehow, Gray also finds time to aim his camera at other subjects with the natural curiosity of the artist and technical precision. Gray continues to expand the scope of his work by bringing his well-trained eye to cycling, landscapes, architecture, travel, and beyond.