With the snow just about starting to settle on what looks to be a monumental snowboarding season, it’s that time of year when the YouTube snowboarding vaults start racking up the views. Perhaps you’re a snowboard geek trying to pin down the minutia of nailing your next trick, or you’re looking for a full-length video to watch as you wax your snowboard and raise those stokes levels even higher.
I don’t know what you want to see in a snowboarding video, but I can guarantee it doesn’t come from AI. While I’m still wary of the capabilities of our future computer overlords — it’s making cocktails and helping improve sports performance — and cautious of being too dismissive of it, just in case it reads this when it eventually takes over, I have to say, it hasn’t got the hang of snowboarding yet.
Sure, AI can render a clean image, but only humans can make snowboarding look like poetry in motion. Not convinced that it can be that bad? Check it out below.
If there’s one good thing I can say about this video — and I had to dig deep to find it — it’s the fact that no matter how bad my action camera footage looks next season, I always have a counterargument lined up to anyone who claims I have filmed ‘the worst snowboarding video ever.’
My first impressions weren’t even that bad; I thought this looked a little like a new-age SSX Tricky concept video, which hit me with a beautiful wave of nostalgia for my video gaming days. Then I watched a little more and had to ensure the batteries were still working in my carbon monoxide alarm and that I wasn’t hallucinating.
This video is like a snowboarding fever dream — the sort that induces dizzy spells and makes you feel nauseous. Snowboarders appear out of nowhere, then multiply instantly or merge into one giant snowboarder that towers over the resort buildings. At one point, a snowboarder has two snowboards — one at around knee height, which even the most inventive step-on binding inventors would struggle to create — and at another, a board splits into two, allowing them to snowboard off in two directions at once.
All of this — plus the insane reverse rocker and obscenely directional boards featured in the video — can be forgiven. However, what got me the most was that AI doesn’t seem to have understood the purest fundamental of snowboarding: you ride sideways. What’s with all these snowboarders riding frontside or backside down the mountain? And if I tried to land a jump like that, I’d eat it.
Of course, this is all a lighthearted jab at a pretty groundbreaking piece of technology. It’s reassuring that AI doesn’t currently threaten the world of snowboard videography and that our pro-riders can continue to get sendy in the knowledge that their footage will inspire shredders rather than laughter. If I could ollie and send air like the riders in this video, I’m pretty sure I could snap up a pro-deal in no time.
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