Two of the greatest park skiers on record uniting forces to head up an outstanding backcountry ski film? Who would have thought? Not me, but often times the greatest outcomes stem from surprises. Trekking out to some of the most iconic ski locations across the world, Torin Yater-Wallace, Jossi Wells and a slew of elite riders showcase their talents in “Deviate.” Composed with a true sense of artistic direction, this film gives a great look at the lifestyle these snow hounds live—and it’s enough to make any sane skier want to toss their savings to the wind, buy a sled, round up the pals and head for the open road.
Locations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Cooke City, Montana, and Aspen, Colorado, give way to incredible pillow lines and carefully crafted jumps. Along with Jossi and Torin, the camera also captures Bobby Brown, McRae Williams, Alex Ferreira and Banks Gilberti getting in unbeatable conditions. Overseas, in Hokkaido, Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun gives plentifully with its bottomless bounty. Bringing grand maneuvers and fantastic energy, Yoshiya “Bull” Urata is someone to keep an eye on—he’s one of the finest riders on the island. Then, in the land Down Under, Wanaka, New Zealand, more pals are introduced. Beau-James and Jackson Wells, Jossi’s brothers, both certified snow samurais, slash’n burn the beautiful blanket of snow that coats Wanaka’s high mountainous regions; the views are nearly fictional, with the blue water caught in the frame down below as the brothers lace up tricks above. Aside from the mind-twisting aerials, the team elegantly surfs lines reminiscent of British Columbia, like Parker White did in the Level 1 classic, Partly Cloudy.
While the world-class locations and riders are enough to make this flick a winner, it’s the overwhelming community aspect which is evident throughout that warms my heart; skiing is a fundamentally communal activity, after all. Everyone enjoys solo resort ripping from time to time, but the undeniable ecstatic energy that radiates from a good group of friends putting in the work and reaping the rewards is breathtaking. It pushes those who watch and who are around you to strive for their highest potential while having the most fun. “Deviate” seems to encourage everyone to veer from their path and go out of their way in search of the people, places and activities that make us love life to the max. Who can argue with that?