The Red Bulletin December 2019 (UK)

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UK EDITION

WINTER 2019, £3.50

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THE

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EDITOR’S LETTER

CARVE OUT

YOUR DESTINY

In 1999, 11-year-old Sheffield lad Patrick ‘Paddy’

Graham went on a school ski trip. Twenty years

later, here he is on our cover. His journey from

the dry slopes to the wild backcountry (page 34)

is one of breaking boundaries and realising the

potential we all possess. In 2013, Gunner Stahl

(page 56) picked up a friend’s 35mm camera; today,

he’s one of rap’s most celebrated photographers.

For Zambian Sampa Tembo (page 28), being a

celebrated musician in her adopted home of

Australia wasn’t enough – she needed people

to understand where she came from. Adewale

Akinnuoye-Agbaje (page 30) escaped racism at

the hands of supremacist skinheads to become

a director and make a powerful film about his

life. Vastly different stories, all linked by an

urge to reach beyond the limits forced upon

us. Perhaps one day we’ll even see Greenland

(page 66) – a frozen island nation with a one-week

football season – playing in the World Cup.

CONTRIBUTORS

THIS ISSUE

BEN READ

The British photographer

describes his work as

storytelling through details,

portraits and landscapes. He

delivered exactly that when

he returned from Greenland

after covering one of the

world’s most remote football

tournaments. “The one thing

that I’ll always remember is

half-time death metal played

through the PA system,”

Read reveals. Page 66

TOM WIGGINS

The London-based former

editor of Stuff magazine has

been playing video games

since before most of the

competitors at the F1 Esports

Pro Series were even born.

But, upon meeting them for

our story this issue, it was

clear that these gamers had

already put in more hours

of play than him. “They take

it incredibly seriously,”

reports Wiggins. Page 46

Gian Paul Lozza shoots Paddy Graham in Italy, as captured

by our cover-story writer, Hugh Francis Anderson. Page 34

GIAN PAUL LOZZA (COVER)

06 THE RED BULLETIN


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CONTENTS

Winter 2019

66

“Team coach? What team coach?” Football in Greenland is strictly a grassroots affair

BEN READ

10 High water mark: a drone’s-eye

view of kayaking

12 Riding high: BMX hits new peaks

in the mountains of France

13 Dam risky: slacklining gets dark

in Tasmania

14 Deep impact: the aftermath of

a wipeout in French Polynesia

16 Sound of speed: US singer/

guitarist Brittany Howard’s

road-trip playlist

18 Fully loaded: freewheeling with

the van-life movement

20 Star mix: meet the astronaut

who DJed live from the ISS

23 Mech believe: the exo-skeleton

that turns you superhuman

24 Snuffed movies: posters for films

that were never made

28 Sampa the Great

Home truths from Zambia’s

queen of conscious rap

30 Adewale

Akinnuoye-Agbaje

The British actor/director on

rewriting his ‘racist’ past

32 Jordan Belfort

The Wolf of Wall Street on

power, prison and penance

34 Paddy Graham

The tale of a kid from Sheffield

who became freeskiing royalty

46 F1 Esports Pro Series

How virtual racing is changing

the real-life world of motorsports

56 Gunner Stahl

The man who snaps trap

66 Greenlandic football

Inside the Arctic league where

a ‘winter break’ lasts an eternity

81 First-grade kit: the best wireless

headphones, cold-climate boots,

biking tech and more

88 Slope style: all the snow gear

that’s fit to be seen in at ski

resorts this season

100 Ice breaker: The Red Bulletin

joins surfer Kyle Hofseth in

his search for the perfect wave

amid the glaciers of Alaska

105 Get my drift: what Mario Kart

can teach you about yourself

106 One part inspiration, nine parts

perspiration: ultrarunning ace

Christian Schiester has a secret

training weapon – the sauna

109 Events that are not to be missed

110 Winter highlights on Red Bull TV

134 Skate of grace: kickflipping

in the USA

THE RED BULLETIN 09


LITTLE WHITE SALMON

RIVER, WASHINGTON

In full flow

“Drones have changed the world of photography

and film by allowing people to document and

create images from places they could not

physically get to.” So says Karim Iliya, the

Hawaii-based filmmaker and photographer

behind this incredible aerial shot, taken

in slow exposure by drone as kayakers Knox

Hammack and Adrian Mattern held their

place in an eddy. “You now have a threedimensional

space where the only limitations

are your imagination and your ability to

operate the drone,” Iliya adds.

Instagram: @karimiliya

11


AIGUILLE ROUGE,

LES ARCS, FRANCE

Riding

high

BMX star Matthias Dandois steps

into his skis after completing

a world first in his sport, riding

flatland at an altitude of 3,226m

atop the snow and ice of Aiguille

Rouge, France. Photographer

Andy Parant captured not only this

moment but the entire adventure,

creating an amazing edit of Dandois’

ride above the clouds. “With a

temperature of -23°C, 62 per cent

of the oxygen you get at sea level,

and a slippery, frozen platform, it

was definitely the most challenging

shoot of my life,” says Dandois.

“But we pulled it off and I’m stoked

about the results!”

Instagram: @andy_parant


GORDON DAM,

TASMANIA

Giant

steps

It’s easy to miss Preston Bruce

Alden in this night-time shot: the

slackliner is just a small red dot

against the vast, dark backdrop

of Tasmania’s Gordon Dam. This

image of the American walking his

line 450m above the ground

earned local adventure filmmaker

and photographer Simon Bischoff

a place in the semi-final of Red

Bull Illume’s monthly Best of

Instagram competition.

Instagram: @simonbischoff

13


TEAHUPO‘O,

FRENCH POLYNESIA

Shock

wave

We’re used to seeing what happens

when surfing goes right, but what

about when it goes wrong? Here,

photographer Ben Thouard captures

a terrifying moment in March this

year when Hawaiian surfer Ryan G

had to fight against the tide

underwater following a serious

wipeout. “Things don’t always

go as planned,” said Thouard in

the accompanying caption on

Instagram. “@bigizlandryan

escaping the washing machine!”

Instagram: @benthouard


15


BRITTANY HOWARD

“As a

driver,

I’m 60%

offensive”

A drive across the US inspired

the Alabama Shakes singer’s

solo debut album. Here, she

shares four road-trip classics

Brittany Howard has been the

lead singer/guitarist of rootsrockers

Alabama Shakes since

2009. Formed at high school in

Athens, Alabama, the band went

on to record two UK Top 10

albums and win four Grammys.

Last year, following severe

writer’s block, Howard decided

to move to California and launch

a solo career. The songs on

Jaime – her debut album, on

which she displays a soft spot for

psychedelic funk and hip-hop

loops – were conceived during

a road trip from the Pacific

Northwest to Los Angeles via

Nashville. Here are four songs

that inspire the 31-year-old when

she’s behind the wheel…

Brittany Howard’s album Jaime

is out now; brittanyhoward.com

Mal Waldron

All Alone (1966)

“I really enjoy listening to this

track by [jazz pianist] Mal

Waldron when I’m in the car,

because it’s so dreamy. My

mind can just kind of float off

and wonder and think, and

that’s always nice. When

driving, I like to listen to music

that doesn’t have any words –

it’s nice to focus on just the

music and the arrangement.”

Nina Simone

Lilac Wine (1966)

“This song is so sad, but really

beautiful, too. There’s this

little [tom-tom drum] played

throughout the track that I’m

absolutely in love with. It’s

only a tiny detail, but I’m like,

‘Wow, I feel like I’m in a jungle

at dusk somewhere and

I’m depressed.’ I just love it.

I wouldn’t put it on in the Los

Angeles traffic, though.”

Betty Davis

They Say I’m Different (1974)

“I would say that as a driver I’m

60 per cent offensive, 40 per

cent defensive. In LA, you’ve

got to be, right? Sometimes

you’ve got to be an animal out

there. And you need something

kind of upbeat, so that you feel

better about sitting in traffic.

In those situations, I would

listen to this [funk] classic.

It’s a good one.”

IDLES

Danny Nedelko (2018)

“My moods change and sometimes,

when I’m feeling like a badass,

I’ll listen to some metal music.

I really like AC/DC and that English

band IDLES. I love Danny Nedelko,

because it’s perfect for our

interstates. OK, so [the law] says

you have to drive at 70 [mph], but

really you can go 80. It’s like an

unspoken [agreement], and if we

do go 80, they can’t stop us all.”

BRANTLEY GUTIERREZ MARCEL ANDERS

16 THE RED BULLETIN


this girl who told me she was

buying a van, turning it into a

house and spending the entire

summer rock-climbing, and it

blew my mind. So I got my own

used van for around $10,000

[just over £8,000] that I could

both lie down and stand up in,

and I converted it in about five

months. Most of the conversion

I did myself with my ex-boyfriend

by copying YouTube videos.”

Here, Lindsay shares five

tips on how to convert your

own adventure vehicle and live

the van life, too.

onechicktravels.com

Ventilate and seal your

van properly

“Rust and mould are the two

most damaging and difficult

things to catch and fix in a van.

Be really careful about how

you seal your vehicle when

you ventilate it.”

VAN LIFE

The road to

freedom

Surf, jam, live in a van – rock climber and

blogger Kaya Lindsay offers tips on how to

lead a vagabond adventure lifestyle…

Would you ever consider

selling your house, giving away

your belongings to charity and

starting a new life on the open

road? This is the philosophy

of ‘van life’, a movement in which

people liberate themselves from

daily constraints by converting a

vehicle into a moving home and

driving into the sunset in search

of adventure, with the aim of

living and working off-grid.

Rock climber and blogger

Kaya Lindsay has lived the

majority of the past three years

in her 2006 Mercedes-Benz

Dodge Sprinter van after giving

up her flat in California and

going freelance. Visitors to her

YouTube channel will find not

only van-conversion tips – her

time-lapse video of a full build

has had more than 1.6 million

views – but profiles of fellow

female van-lifers, too.

Of her own conversion to the

lifestyle, Lindsay recalls, “I met

Read Marie Kondo’s

book The Life-Changing

Magic of Tidying Up

“Get very specific on what

you want to bring with you.

I got rid of everything except

for three drawers of clothes

and some toiletries.”

Be flexible

“You have to be able to absorb

any catastrophe. Being resilient

and able to cope with things

going wrong unexpectedly is

an essential quality when living

in a van.”

Be respectful of the

space around you

“I see people dumping coffee

grounds in parking lots, or

spitting their toothpaste onto

the ground. You need to be

mindful of where you are and

what’s appropriate.”

Find something that

you love to do and make

that your journey

There’s a perception that

van life is always romantic.

To be happy, however, you need

a reason to be on the road;

something powerful enough

to keep you there.”

LOU BOYD

18 THE RED BULLETIN


PROTEST.EU


INTERSTELLAR TUNES

Super star DJ

This summer, 400km above the earth, the International

Space Station treated partygoers to a historic set

“Got any Orbital?” Luca Parmitano rocks the boat in Ibiza from

the International Bass – sorry, Space – Station

Usually, when a DJ set is

described as being ‘out of this

world’, it’s in reference to the

selection of tunes or the mixing

skills of the person behind the

decks. The phrase was given

new meaning this August,

however, when Italian

astronaut Luca Parmitano

became the first person ever

to DJ live from space.

The 43-year-old worked

with well-known German DJ

Le Shuuk to create the historic

set, using specialised software

loaded onto a tablet in the

International Space Station.

Then, on the big day, Parmitano

was projected live onto a huge

screen watched by 3,000

clubbers on board a party ship

moored in the Balearic Islands.

“I’d like to welcome you on

board the Columbus module,

the European lab on board the

International Space Station,”

he said, introducing the set.

The most amazing cooperation

of space agencies in the world.”

This groundbreaking event

was a collaboration between

the European Space Agency

and German-based nightlife

brand BigCityBeats, whose

floating electronic music

festival in Ibiza – World Club

Dome Cruise Edition – received

Parmitano’s broadcast.

“I had tears in my eyes and

goosebumps when I saw Luca

raise the World Club Dome flag

on the Space Station,” said

BigCityBeats CEO Bernd Breiter

after the performance. “When

the music started to play during

the broadcast from space,

I can’t even begin to describe

my feelings in that moment.

“This has been my dream

for many years: to create the

first club in space and, on a

much broader scale, to connect

science and music. I hope it will

inspire generations to come.”

bigcitybeats.tv

BIG CITY BEATS LOU BOYD

20 THE RED BULLETIN


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Skeleton crew: with

a pilot at the helm,

Prosthesis can hit

speeds of 30kph

SAM CARTER, JONATHAN TIPPETT LOU BOYD

This 3.5 tonne, 4m-tall, fourlegged

monster might look like

a robotic villain straight out

of a Michael Bay movie, but in

reality it’s not a robot at all.

Prosthesis, created by luxury

electronics brand Furrion, is an

entirely human-powered exobionic

skeleton that amplifies

the strength and speed of the

person inside it. “It is an ‘antirobot’,”

says its creator, Furrion

CTO Jonathan Tippett. “It is a

suit – it’s an extension of the

pilot’s body and relies 100 per

cent on their movements for

every move it makes.”

This innovative machine,

or ‘mech’, was inspired by

Tippett’s passion for action

sports. “Growing up, I derived

great satisfaction from mountain

biking, snowboarding, martial

arts and riding sport bikes,”

he says. “Much like these sports,

piloting a mech is a celebration

of physical mastery and human

skill. In this case, it takes the

form of controlling an 8500lb

FURRION

Power dresser

The world’s first exo-skeleton racing machine puts humans in the driving seat

[3,600kg], 200hp, giant fourlegged

exo-skeleton.”

The company is currently

working on the next generation

of the mech, and hopes to launch

its own X1-Mech Racing League

for a “whole new breed of

athlete” to compete in trials and

races inside the machines. “Any

moderately fit person can pilot

a mech,” says Tippett. “How

much power and strength it

takes depends on how fast and

hard you want to go. If you can

ride blue runs or pop an ollie, with

practice you could strap into one

of these beasts, tame the power

and make it do your bidding.”

furrion.com

THE RED BULLETIN 23


LOST MOVIE ART

As not seen

on screen

Illustrator Fernando Reza has an unusual passion:

he designs posters for films that don’t exist

Tim Burton’s Superman Lives,

Alfred Hitchcock’s Kaleidoscope,

Quentin Tarantino’s prequel to

Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs

– what do these three films have

in common? They don’t exist.

Cast but never made, they’re

among the forgotten movies that

didn’t make it to the big screen.

Illustrator Fernando Reza has

now created a series of posters

that imagine what some of these

lost features would have looked

like if they’d been released. “I

recall hearing rumours about all

these unfinished movies and

finding it super-intriguing,” he

says. “It was the early days of the

internet, so there was very little

information out there – a quick

line or maybe just the title – but

it sparked my imagination. I

thought it would be cool to delve

into the production history of the

films and put an image to them.”

Reza’s posters are available

online as numbered art prints,

each with a historically authentic

replica cinema ticket, and the

release of a book is planned.

The good thing is that there

is such an interest in unmade

films,” Reza says. “There are

documentaries about Superman

Lives and Jodorowsky’s Dune,

and a book about Kubrick’s

Napoleon. There’s so much

curiosity about the ‘what ifs’ of

cinema history. I’m putting an

image to what could have been.”

frodesignco.com

Clockwise from top left: Tarantino’s

The Vega Brothers (shelved in

2007); Kaleidoscope (1967); Orson

Welles’ Heart Of Darkness (1939);

Superman Lives (1998)

LOU BOYD

24 THE RED BULLETIN


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Sampa The Great

Homecoming

queen

Born in Zambia and based in Australia, the

rising star of conscious rap explains how

returning home can shape your future

Words FLORIAN OBKIRCHER Photography BARUN CHATTERJEE

In March last year, Sampa Tembo,

better known as Sampa the Great,

won the Australian Music Prize for

her mixtape Birds And The BEE9.

Winning the accolade – which,

much like the UK’s Mercury Prize,

is awarded for creative excellence

rather than album sales – is a

prestigious achievement for any

musician Down Under. The thing is,

Tembo isn’t Australian; she moved

there from her home country of

Zambia in 2014 to study audio

production. However, when the

rapper’s first release, 2015’s The

Great Mixtape, began gaining

positive attention, many Australian

magazines conveniently named her

one of their own. The topic of home

runs throughout the 19 tracks on

her official debut album, The Return,

released on UK label Ninja Tune.

Here, the 26-year-old explains why

she shot the video for her single

Final Form in Zambia, and how she

overcame her insecurities…

the red bulletin: What inspired

you shoot the Final Form video

in Zambia and feature your friends

and parents in it?

sampa the great: I’m based in

Australia and started my professional

career there, but at the same time

I’d never performed at home, never

had a song on radio [in Zambia].

All of a sudden, I’m being played on

the radio in Australia, doing live

shows there, and people are calling

me Australian. And Zambians

are like, “How come she never

performed here in front of us?”

How did it feel going back?

It was like coming full circle, that the

place I grew up in could eventually

experience me as an artist. I have

no qualms about people saying I’m

Australia-based, but it’s only half

the truth. My friends at home are

like, “We know where you’re from,”

and I say, “I’m not controlling this!”

So it felt important for me to tell

people the story of who I am, rather

than having other people create this

narrative for me.

What does returning home

mean to you? Does it make you

feel more grounded?

The way we were raised, there was

no space to be big-headed. As soon

as it happened, my parents were

like, “Cut that down.” Going home

reassures your growth. It’s like, this

is where you came from and this is

what you’re doing. That’s important,

because sometimes we forget to look

back and see how much we’ve grown.

How have you grown in the

past few years?

The assurance within myself has

grown a lot. I’m doing what I know

I was born to do. In the beginning

there was so much doubt, because

no one in my family had attempted

a career in music. Now that I’m

doing it – and enjoying it – there’s

a bigger sense of assurance. Within

the process, confidence and self-love

have grown as well. And also the

willingness to learn and work on my

weaknesses, instead of just being

like, “Yeah, nah!”

How did you overcome any doubts

you had?

Definitely though conversations with

people. The one thing that creates

insecurity is the feeling that you’re

going through something alone.

Whoever I meet, I always want

to converse with them about life,

because it helps you to appreciate

that we all share many fears and

insecurities. When you see these

are common things that people

struggle with, you know that it’s

OK to feel that way and to seek

knowledge to get better.

You once said a good student

not only tries to master the things

they’re good at, but also the things

they’re really bad at. What have

you attempted to master while

working on The Return?

So many things. For time’s sake, I’d

say perspective. With The Return, it

was like, “Oh, I can’t get to go home,

because of this and that.” I was

consumed by it, until I met people

in situations where they couldn’t go

back home so they had to create

a new one for themselves. I had to

step back and see that the small

discomfort and displacement I was

feeling was nothing compared with

theirs. My perspective of how I’m

blessed was definitely challenged.

Did you take any action as a result

of that realisation?

I asked myself the question: “What

do you do with this privilege?” For

me it’s like, if I have an opportunity

to go home, I’m going to share what

I know. If I have the opportunity,

I’d like to teach Zambians who’ve

never been there about our home

and culture. It’s that perspective of

knowing that you have something

someone else doesn’t, that they

would [gain] value from. It feels like

a duty to the diaspora, being able to

teach these things.

Sampa The Great’s debut album,

The Return, is out now on Ninja Tune;

sampathegreat.com

28 THE RED BULLETIN


“It felt

important to

tell people

the story of

who I am”

THE RED BULLETIN 29


There’s

always hope

if you never

give up”


Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

AUSTIN HARGRAVE/AUGUST

Second

skin

Life was hell for the British actor/director

as a self-hating teen in a racist gang. But he

found the strength to rewrite his story

Words JESS HOLLAND

How does a black kid growing up in

1980s Essex become a member of a

white supremacist skinhead gang?

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje provides

an answer in his big-screen directorial

debut, Farming. The film tells the

story of the actor/director’s own

upbringing as a kid fostered – or

“farmed out”, hence the title – by

Nigerian parents to a white family in

a rough port town where brutal racist

violence was rife. Ignored and unloved

at home and targeted on the streets,

Akinnuoye-Agbaje was forced by his

foster father to fight back against

his attackers, and this earned him

a measure of recognition from his

oppressors for being unafraid to

fight. This tiny taste of validation

was enough reward for him to join

the gang, who alternated quasitoleration

with abuse.

With some luck, hard work,

and the intervention of educators,

Akinnuoye-Agbaje escaped the

hopeless path he was on and earned

a law degree. He then underwent

further transformations, moving to

LA to become an actor and appearing

on TV shows such as Oz, Lost and

Game of Thrones while figuring out

how to tell his own story. Few people

get the chance to write and direct a

feature film of their own life, but then,

as Farming shows, few people are

like Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Here, he tells

The Red Bulletin how he overcame

the self-loathing instilled in him and

learnt to believe in his own future.

the red bulletin: Farming

shows how powerful a sense

of belonging can be, even when

it’s found in a dangerous and

degrading environment…

adewale akinnuoye-agbaje: In

this story, young black children

are placed in an environment that’s

alien to them, where they are the

only black children there. Their

exposure to African culture really

came through the media, whether

it was Tarzan, Alf Garnett or Jim

Davidson – these people regularly

spewing racial slurs. When you’re

constantly being exposed to that

kind of language and then you’re

physically abused on the street

as well, and you don’t have any

positive cultural references or role

models, you begin to identify with

the derogatory images.

When my own father sent me

out to stand up against the bullies,

when I took that advice and started

to fight back, I suddenly started

to get noticed for something other

than my colour. And that became

a lifeline, because all of a sudden

people were actually calling me

by my name. It gave me a sense of

validation. Don’t get me wrong,

I was by no means accepted in the

gang: you were always considered

a tool, an asset that was useful in a

fight against other gangs, and you

were quickly made aware of who

you are and what you were. But,

still, it allowed you to be able to

at least walk a little more freely

on the street. That’s how you end

up in that situation.

How did you alter this path?

The pivotal point was the passing

of my first exam. It wasn’t a great

grade – a C or C-minus – but it was

the fact that when I applied myself

I could achieve something; I’d always

been told that I couldn’t do that. It

was an epiphany for me. But it took

time, coming out of that environment

and being in a more multicultural

environment; having my first

girlfriend of colour was huge as well.

It was a torturous and arduous

process, because there was so much

self-hatred, self-doubt and low selfesteem.

Once, I was trying to solve

this legal problem and I just couldn’t

do it. I would smash up the furniture

because it was so frustrating and I

felt helpless and incapable. A friend

gave me this pill that he used to take

to stay up late, so I took it and we

stayed up all night and solved the

problem. At the end, I asked what it

was, and he said it was just a vitamin

tablet and [the remedy] was all in my

mind. Little lessons like that started

to help me see my own ability.

Do you have advice for anyone

who feels trapped?

The only thing I can say is that

there’s always hope if you never give

up. You have to believe in yourself

and trust that if you survive that far

you can always keep going.

There are other transitions you’ve

made since: from lawyer to actor

to writer and director…

And from self-hatred to self-love.

It’s all about empowering yourself

through your own accomplishments,

not seeking out validation, but

validating yourself.

Your story shows an extraordinary

ability to adapt and survive…

My upbringing in Tilbury [Essex]

has given me a fearlessness about

life and [the sense] that nothing’s

impossible. You just get on with it.

I’d never written a screenplay before,

but it became award-winning. I’d

never directed before; it became

award-winning. The key is just to be

fearless and go and do it, because

you never know unless you try.

Farming is on limited release at

cinemas across the UK;

hanwayfilms.com/farming-1

THE RED BULLETIN 31


Jordan Belfort

Soul

trader

How the Wolf of Wall Street

realised that an old dog can

learn new tricks

Words TOM GUISE

What changed you?

The first epiphany was when I got

sober, in ’97. I’m not saying I’ve never

done a drug or had a drink since – I’m

no saint – but I don’t abuse anything

any more. The next was when I got

indicted. The biggest epiphany

wasn’t jail – it was writing my book.

I had to examine all the things I’d

done. It allowed me to become the

man my parents had first sent into

the world. I was always a good kid –

I just took a left turn at Albuquerque.

In September 1998, Jordan Belfort

was arrested by the FBI for moneylaundering

and securities fraud. You

know the story. Maybe you’ve read it

in his 2007 autobiography, The Wolf

of Wall Street, adapted into a feature

film by director Martin Scorsese and

starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort.

It’s a vigorous account of the pitfalls of

excessive greed and vice; a cautionary

tale or a glorification, depending on

who you ask. “‘Glamorises’ is a better

word,” says Belfort himself. “Because

let’s not mince words: it’s glamorous.

But that doesn’t make it right.”

In the early ’90s, Belfort’s New York

brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont,

fleeced investors of hundreds of

millions of dollars in a penny stocks

‘pump and dump’ scheme. He spent

22 months in prison and had to pay

restitution. “My only regret is that

I lost people money,” he says today.

“Everything else, that’s my life.”

At 57, Belfort is now peddling a

different stock – motivation – and

making comparable dough (“$20,000

for a one-hour speech”). “When

I was young, I didn’t use that power

responsibly. As an older – hopefully

wiser – man, it’s important that my

message, grounded in ethics and

integrity, brings value to people.

Used benignly, it’s a wonderful thing.”

the red bulletin: You founded

Stratton Oakmont at 27. What was

the world like to you at that time?

jordan belfort: Smaller, a preinternet

age – you only knew what

you saw on the news. I wasn’t born

rich; I thought I should act the way

characters in movies did. ‘Rich’ was

Dallas, Dynasty, Gordon Gekko…

It’s different to what kids value now

– everything’s Instagram.

At Stratton Oakmont’s peak, how

much money were you making?

A day? About a quarter million

dollars, $30,000 an hour, $5,000

a minute. It wasn’t just me, it was

everybody. I had all these kids that

had no business earning more than

minimum wage, all making a million

dollars a year. It was a free-for-all.

Moral judgement aside, you clearly

possess a talent. What is it?

Not being scared to be wrong. I act

on my ideas, sometimes to my own

detriment. When you’re looking for

niches, you see the world in a

different way. It’s like a muscle you

develop. Most people have the ability

to come up with amazing ideas, but

they don’t let them blossom, because

they know they’ll never act on them.

DiCaprio likened your speeches at

Stratton Oakmont to Braveheart…

I was blessed with the ability to be

a motivator. But if you just say to

people, “You’re capable of greatness,

go out there,” it’s probably bullshit.

Most people don’t have a natural

ability to do extreme things; I found

a system that made them master

communicators. I’d say, “I don’t care

what you did in the past, or if you’re

a loser… I’ll show you how to be

infinitely more effective as humans.”

Could you have done things

differently?

Many times. When I first took

a bag of money, I rationalised that

everyone was doing it. The biggest

mistake was smuggling money into

Switzerland. I thought, “It’s not

going to end well.” That’s when the

drugs started to cloud my judgement.

I lost control somewhere around ’93.

You wrote it in prison, right?

It was more teaching myself. I ripped

up the pages and rewrote the whole

thing when I got out. My cellmate was

Tommy Chong, from [stoner comedy

duo] Cheech and Chong. I’d never

have done this if it wasn’t for him. He

gave me one piece of advice: if you’re

going to write about your life, choose

the craziest and the saddest parts – no

one wants to read about the mundane.

Now they’ve made an immersive

show of your story…

Like when I lost control of Stratton,

the story has grown beyond me. I’m

glad people can look at my life and

find enjoyment and empowerment.

I’m not involved in the show – I sold

the rights and I wish them well – but

I’m doing a deal on Broadway that

would be a different take, a musical.

We imagine you’re effective at

negotiating royalties…

I’m pretty good. But most important

is having a great product – if it sucks,

you’re not going to make any money.

As a different kind of speaker

today, give us a pep talk…

I’ll give you three tidbits. One, delay

your gratification – good things take

time. Two, you can’t be half-pregnant

when it comes to integrity; either

you’re ethical or not, because your

line starts to move. And three, learn

to communicate and influence; it’s

a skill that will change your life.

Will you be going to heaven or hell?

I’m going to heaven. I’m very proud

of the way I live today. I think I’ve

paid off my debt, but things probably

don’t work that way.

The Wolf of Wall Street immersive

show is on now; immersivewolf.com

JULIEN MIGNOT/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES

32 THE RED BULLETIN


“I was making

$30,000 an

hour, $5,000

a minute”

THE RED BULLETIN 33


King of the wild frontier

How a city kid from Britain’s industrial north helped

shape the future of backcountry skiing

Words HUGH FRANCIS ANDERSON

Photography GIAN PAUL LOZZA

34


Stelvio glacier, Italy, 2019:

Paddy Graham in his element

– the mountain air


Paddy Graham

“I learnt to ski on

dry slopes, which

is a lot different

to growing up on

snow like most of

my competition”

On Japan’s

north island of

Hokkaido lies

Mount Kariba.

In winter, its 1,520m peak becomes

blanketed in dense snow. This is

Shimamaki snowcat country, so-called

because only these big-tracked

snowmobiles can take skiers to the peak

for some of the world’s deepest powder

skiing. If you had journeyed to the top

in January, you would have witnessed a

mesmerising sight: skiers exploding from

the thick drifts, launching through giant

balls of pow nested in the trees, and

blowing cold smoke in their wake as they

carved, buttered and jumped through this

untouched backcountry, all sporting the

same unmistakable blue-and-orange skis.

These guys are ski-film collective

Legs of Steel, and you can marvel at

this majestic moment in their latest

production, 121, named after the

revolutionary ski they’re all using. One

of the film’s stars, Italian Markus Eder,

wore the ski to become this year’s

Freeride World Tour champion. It seems

like destiny – his Red Bull profile page

reads: “Like every little kid from the

smallest town in the mountains, he

learnt to ski right after learning to walk.”

For another of the film’s protagonists,

it wasn’t quite so preordained…

“I learnt to ski on dry slopes, which is

a lot different from growing up on snow

like most of my competition,” says Paddy

Graham in his gentle, fading Sheffield

accent. “Coming from a nation that

doesn’t have skiing in the back garden

was a struggle at first,” the born-and-bred

Yorkshireman readily admits. But Graham

has demonstrably proven otherwise. Over

the past decade, he has ascended to the

pinnacle of his sport, becoming Britain’s

number-one freeskier and co-founding

Legs of Steel. Today, Graham shreds

mountains with the best of them.

It’s October and the snow season is still

months away, but Graham has been

shooting The Red Bulletin’s cover story at

Prinoth X Camp, a year-round ski resort

3,450m up the Stelvio glacier in northern

Italy. He fires up his old Land Rover

Defender and, as the afternoon light and

deep mountain shadows filter through

the windscreen, we descend the highest

road in the Eastern Alps, the Stelvio Pass.

Moustachioed, with tufts of dark hair

emerging from beneath his sun-faded

Red Bull cap, Graham’s face wears a

cheeky, ever-present smirk.

“My girlfriend gave me that cat,”

he says, pointing to a small figurine on

the dashboard. “And that’s Chad,” he

chuckles, this time pointing to a miniature

36 THE RED BULLETIN


Snow patrol: Paddy

Graham, an adrenalinchasing

multiple

champion, is Britain's

top freeskier


Game-changer: Paddy’s

Revolt 121 skis have been

developed by the skiers

with the R&D team at Völkl


Paddy Graham

plastic lifeguard doing a pull-up on his

rear-view mirror. “They’re my mascots.”

Paddy Graham’s life, as we’ll discover,

has been filled with mascots.

It wasn’t until the age of 11, and a

school trip to the USA, that the notion

of skiing first presented itself to him. “I

wanted to go because I’d seen pictures of

my dad skiing when he was younger, but

obviously I had to go and learn,” Graham

recalls. “I was always active as a kid, but

was never into playing football. Every

summer, my parents would send me and

my brother to sports camps to keep us off

the streets, but I never had that one thing

that I really liked, so my parents took me

to the dry ski slope to see if I actually

liked it.” That was the famed Sheffield Ski

Village, one of Europe’s largest artificial

ski slopes, which included a freestyle park

equipped with a half pipe, quarter pipe,

kicker, hip jump and grind rails before

it burned down in 2012. “I saw people

doing airs and tricks and I was like,

‘This is sick, I want to do this.’” By the

end of the three-day beginner course,

he was hooked.

Graham dedicated himself to

practising on the dry slopes; slight

and sure-footed, he took to park

skiing quickly. By 13, he’d attracted his

first sponsor, US manufacturer Line Skis,

and joined a local team of fellow British

skiers – a feat made more impressive by

the fact that at this point Graham had

only ever skied snow on that US school

trip and a summer holiday at France’s

Tignes glacier. “I was tiny and just skiing

around. I didn’t have any race training.

The others, who’d all done racing, were

like, ‘Oh God, we need to teach you how

to ski.’ We called ourselves the Kneesall

Massive, after the [Nottinghamshire]

town that one of the guys, Andy Bennett,

now a coach on the British team, came

from,” Graham laughs. “My coaching

came from skiing with these guys.”

“I was tiny and

just skiing around.

I didn’t have any

race training”

Airs and graces: Graham

caught the skiing bug early

THE RED BULLETIN 39


Up in the air:

“Freeskiing is all about

enjoying the mountain,”

says Graham

40 THE RED BULLETIN


Paddy Graham

There are no rules

and no one can tell

you what to do or

how to do it”

With these comrades, who Graham

affectionately names Bungle, Noddy and

Slave Monkey, a community was born.

Another trip to Tignes ensued and, once

he hit 16 and his GCSEs were done and

dusted, a season in the French ski resort

of Serre Chevalier beckoned. “My

learning curve accelerated, since snow’s

easier and more forgiving than plastic

matting. I learnt how to jump on 20m

kickers rather than 5m ones, doing cork

720s, 900s and the half pipe,” he says.

“As I got older, I started powder skiing

rather than cheeky runs next to the slope,

so I had to really concentrate on my style

and technique.” Meanwhile, back home

during summers, he was making ends

meet collecting trolleys at Asda and

landscape gardening in a local caravan

park. “I strived to outgrow the UK scene.

People took me more seriously when I

came second in slopestyle at the Austrian

Open – it was one of the biggest events at

the time and the whole scene was there

watching, so that made some noise.”

At this time, Graham appeared on

Christian Stevenson’s Channel 5

show RAD and Discovery’s Snow

Patrol; it was the perfect moment for him

to start making films himself. “When I

started spending more time on snow, my

friends and I would always go filming. To

get standout shots, you have to venture

further than the terrain park,” he says.

“We’d always ski powder, small lines, in

the streets and urban spots. I realised the

park had boundaries that the rest of the

mountain did not – taking tricks into

powder and hitting natural features

created a new challenge.”

He wasn’t the only one coming to

this realisation; it was a moment of huge

change in the skiing community. With

the development of powder skis – wider

and more capable of tackling deep

backcountry snow – a new discipline was

born. “Freeskiing is all about enjoying the

mountain,” says Graham. “There are no

rules and no one can tell you what to do

or how to do it.”

Graham’s newfound freedom on the

slopes demanded a lifestyle to match – he

THE RED BULLETIN 41


Paddy Graham

REVOLT 121

SKIS

“When you see

the ski being

made, it’s like

a big puzzle:

all these layers

of material go

into a big press

that bakes

them together”

Paddy Graham

MULTILAYER

WOOD CORE

Durable, hard beech

at boot area; lighter

poplar surround

TIGHT RADIUS

AT CENTRE

For short,

aggressive turns

ARCHED FOR

POP AND GRIP

Underfoot camber

adds edge-hold

when carving

TOUGH CASING

Core is wrapped in

a composite and

fibreglass sheath

WIDE-RADIUS

TIP AND TAIL

For long arching

turns at high speed

needed to find bigger sponsorship to go

full-time. “We always had a photographer

with us on trips; brands liked this as we

could create content for them,” he says.

“When I was 18, I got picked up by Völkl

and never looked back.”

With the German ski manufacturer’s

support, in 2009 Graham moved to the

Austrian town of Innsbruck and, with

fellow skiers Bene Mayr, Thomas

Hlawitschka and Tobi Reindl, co-founded

Legs of Steel. “We were filming for

another European movie at the time, but

wanted to do our own thing so we could

go on the trips we wanted and have the

music we wanted.” Their first film, The

Pilot, was released in time for the 2010-

2011 season. “There was a lot of powder

skiing and backcountry, then we

organised our own crazy park jump to do

something special, which has become our

trademark,” says Graham. Numerous films

followed, including 2015’s multi-awardwinning

Passenger. But it was 2017’s Same

Difference that left a particular impact on

Graham. “I just wanted to make a jump

where I was in the air for longer than four

seconds,” he says, matter-of-factly, of his

attempt to achieve the longest-ever air

time off a freestyle jump.

It’s May 12, 2017, and Graham is

staring down the face of his creation.

First conceived on a piece of paper the

year before, the monolithic mountain of

snow before him in Livigno, Italy, is twice

the size he originally envisioned – the

largest freestyle ski jump ever built.

Working 24/7 over four weeks, a fleet

of diggers and snowcats moved some

100,000 cubic metres of snow into

position; so much snow, in fact, that the

locals called the police, fearing it would

slide down and destroy the village.

With conditions perfect and speed

checks complete, Graham rockets towards

the jump at a blistering 117kph, landing a

tantalising 3.8 seconds later. He attempts

it again, this time launching too fast.

After 4.5 seconds of air, he falls almost

30m to the ground. “I ruptured my ACL

and meniscus, and broke my ankle on the

other foot,” he recalls.

ROCKERS FOR

DEEP SNOW

Tip and tail contact

points float

through powder

“We organised our own

crazy park jump to do

something special. It’s

become our trademark”

42 THE RED BULLETIN


FEELING

GREAT

FROM

THE

INSIDE

OUT

#ZEROEXCUSES

odlo.com


Paddy Graham

It puts Graham out for the rest of the

season. “I’m going to get back up and I’m

going to get back out there, no matter

what,” he said at the time. “With skiing

and everything in life, you want to do it

the biggest and best you can.”

Today, Graham is at the peak of physical

fitness. His 1.85m frame is slight, save for

robust tattooed thighs, primed for the

upcoming season – the result of a summer

spent cycling through the Tyrol mountains

that surround his home. “You’re always

your fittest at the beginning of the season,”

he says as we cross the border into

Switzerland. The scent of winter lingers in

the air, the chime from a cow’s bell drifts

on the crisp breeze and the setting sun

paints the mountains mauve. Graham

smiles. “Just look at these mountains.

I’ve never seen them like this before.”

Still on the rise:

at 31, Graham

believes he’s at

his physical peak

“I hope I’ll still be

skiing when I’m 80,

but I’ve got a lot more

to do before then”

A short while later, Graham’s Land Rover

pulls up outside the house of Jean-Claude

Pedrolini, product and team manager

of Völkl and a man Graham fondly calls

Schinkä (Swiss German for ham).

Graham is here to collect a van to drive

the team to 121’s premiere at the Leo

Kino Cinematograph in Innsbruck. The

two immediately embrace and Schinkä

welcomes him into his home, where

Graham hugs his wife and children.

Paddy is almost part of the family –

for 13 years, since he was a teenager, he’s

been with this team. They’ve grown up

together, and now they’ve created a child.

This season, Graham and his teammates

have produced a revolutionary new ski

with Völkl: the Revolt 121.

“Schinkä said, ‘What we want to do

is make a new powder ski for the riders,

and who’s going to design it? The riders

themselves,’” recalls Graham. The idea

was to build a single ski that would work

across multiple disciplines; the result (see

explanation on page 42) is the evolution

of a mode of human transportation that’s

existed for about 6,000 years. “It handles

big mountain freeride, deep powder,

backcountry freestyle jumps, ski touring

and also slope skiing,” he explains. “It’s

a game-changer.”

With teammates Markus Eder,

Fabio Studer, Colter Hinchliffe,

Ahmet Dadali, Tanner Rainville,

Sam Smoothy, Tom Ritsch and Völkl’s

lead engineer Lucas Romain, Graham

rode numerous iterations of the ski last

season before the final version was

perfected. “We tested it in so many

different conditions, we knew it was going

to be good,” he says. “These skis make me

feel happy when I look down at them.”

The film is more than merely a

celebration of a product. At its premiere,

hordes of ecstatic beanie-wearing

freeskiers watch on as Graham and his

teammates traverse the globe finding the

best lines, all with Revolt 121s affixed to

their boots. The movie, like the ski, like

Paddy Graham himself, is the culmination

of not just one person’s passion, but the

dedication and continual refinement of a

brilliantly talented team. Graham would

humbly agree. “At the premiere of Same

Difference, my parents came over to watch

and got all dressed up. They could see

where I’d come from – the little kid who

they took to the ski slope, now hosting

this big event. That was really nice.”

While filming 121, Graham turned 31,

something he ruminates on. “Everyone’s

saying, ‘Oh, it’s downhill from here.’ I was

like, ‘No way.’ I went out with a chip on

my shoulder to show people that I’m still

an athlete. The performance I was able

to put down this year was one of the best

feelings. I hope I’ll still be skiing when

I’m 80, but I’ve got a lot more to do before

then. Skiing has let me see the world

while doing something I love,

accompanied by my best friends.

There’s so much more exploration

to be done.”

121 is available to stream for free from

November 18 at voelkl.com/watchtogether

44 THE RED BULLETIN


RIDER: PADDY GRAHAM

PHOTO: GRANT GUNDERSON

BUILT

TOGETHER

THE NEW REVOLT 121 - INCREDIBLY VERSATILE

LENGTH (RADIUS): 177 (17.4), 184 (19.2), 191 (21.7) SIDECUT: 143_121_135

VOELKL.COM/EN/BUILTTOGETHER

»BUILT TOGETHER« results from the impassioned

teamwork of our best athletes, skilled engineers,

renowned artists and product management team.

»Incredibly versatile« - that‘s one of the most

often heard comments from people riding the

Revolt 121. This is made possible due to the 3

radius construction and a specially shaped tip that

works great for nose butters and drift turns in soft

snow. The Multi Layer Woodcore makes the ski

strong enough to go where dedicated freeskiers

dare to go.


Two-time F1 Esports world

champion Brendon Leigh at this

year’s first event in London

CHASING

DREAMS

Welcome to the Formula One of

esports: actual racing teams going

head-to-head in state-of-the-art

simulations. The prize money may

be only a fraction of the $30

million won at the Fortnite World

Cup, but for these competitors

the stakes are higher: the chance

to shape the motorsport itself

and realise their goal of becoming

a real-life racing car driver

Words TOM WIGGINS

Photography JANE STOCKDALE

47


F1 Esports Pro Series

The link between

sim racing and

real life is without

question”

he Baku City Circuit is renowned in

the world of Formula One for a number

of reasons. It takes an F1 car roughly

one minute, 41 seconds to traverse

its length – a 6km loop around the

Azerbaijan capital’s most famous sights

– at a top speed of 360kph, making the

street circuit one of the world’s fastest

and most chaotic. It was here, in 2017,

that Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel infamously

side-swiped Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton

for brake-checking him. The following

year, Red Bull Racing teammates Daniel

Ricciardo and Max Verstappen collided,

eliminating themselves from the race.

Then, this year, Haas F1 Team driver

Floris Wijers locked his brakes on turn 15,

losing his rear end and launching off a

high kerb, flying into a wall.

If this last story seems unfamiliar, it’s

because the crash didn’t take place on the

actual streets of Baku, but on a computer

simulation, streamed live to the world.

Wijers is very much a driver for Haas,

however, competing against human

counterparts from the other F1 teams,

strapped into racing rigs and battling it

out for a shared bounty of $500,000. This

was a heat in the F1 Esports Pro Series –

the motorsport digitally recreated in all

its drama, heartbreak and triumph. And

it all took place at the Fulham Broadway

Retail Centre in southwest London.

The shopping mall might not look or

sound like a place where dreams come

true, although it can boast branches

of Nando’s and Boots, and it’s located

above a Tube station. Sharing space with

the cinema on the upper levels of the

building is the Gfinity Arena, the UK’s

first dedicated esports venue, where,

this July, 18-year-old Lucas Blakeley is

struggling to hold back tears as his dream

of driving for an Formula One team

comes true. Tonight is the series’ Pro

Draft. By the end of the day, 30 finalists

will be whittled down to 10, each

representing a proper F1 team.

48 THE RED BULLETIN


Clockwise from above: the wheel and pedals used – the Fanatec CSL Elite F1

Set – allow the driver to adjust their car set-up on the fly, and some did this

on almost every corner of every lap; Haas F1 Team’s Floris Wijers; Gfinity

Arena’s aesthetic is The X Factor meets Sky Sports News

THE RED BULLETIN 49


Anyone can apply for a place in the

draft: all you need is a copy of F1 2018

– the video game by Codemasters – and

a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or PC to play

it on. More than 100,000 entrants

attempted to qualify online for this year’s

competition by firing up the game at

home and driving lap after lap on the

designated tracks. Two months later, the

fastest have assembled in a studio that

comes across like an ambitious hybrid of

The X Factor and Sky Sports News – all

illuminated perspex, giant touchscreens

and a trio of pundits, including current

McLaren driver and esports advocate

Lando Norris, perched behind a desk,

ready to break the news to the lucky few.

The domino effect

This year’s Pro Draft wasn’t Blakeley’s

first attempt to make it into the F1

Esports Pro Series – he qualified

in 2018, too, but was left disappointed.

“Being in the draft last year was the

50 THE RED BULLETIN


F1 Esports Pro Series

Anyone can

apply: all you

need is a copy

of F1 2018 and

a console or PC

teammates online, only meeting up at

headquarters a few days before each

Pro Series event. All are supplied with

kit from official F1 Esports hardware

supplier Fanatec: a steering wheel with

realistic feedback that allows the drivers

to feel how the car’s behaving, and a set

of pedals with a pressure-sensitive loadcell

brake – these are so precise, the drivers

race in their socks.

Just as in actual Formula One itself,

Mercedes has dominated the Esports Pro

Series in recent years – its 20-year-old

British driver Brendon Leigh won both

the 2017 and 2018 championships – but

this has nothing to do with any technical

superiority. Teams are allowed to tweak

elements such as suspension set-up, brake

bias and aerodynamic settings, but

performance-wise the cars are identical.

All that sets them apart are the liveries.

“People who love Formula One as a

sport are crying out for something that’s

a bit more even, and that’s exactly where

F1 Esports fits in,” says Paul Jeal, F1

franchise director for Codemasters. “We

can make sure that all the equipment

and machinery is exactly the same, so

it’s literally a ‘Who is the best driver?’

competition.” The use of advanced

simulator controls doesn’t only deliver

a higher degree of precision, it makes

the sport instantly relatable, even to

those unfamiliar with esports.

And that’s what sets the F1 Esports

Pro Series – and racing esports in general

– apart from games such as Fortnite or

FIFA. Those two may offer larger prize

funds and draw the biggest crowds –

both in arenas and online – but watch

someone play FIFA competitively and

you won’t see the same patterns or

rhythms as the football you experience

with the Premier League. Likewise,

only the chemically enhanced would

recognise Fortnite’s technicolour world

as being anything like real life. But

watching these guys play F1 2018 is

remarkably close to the authentic

motor-racing experience, albeit with

only 25 per cent of the race distance

and none of the danger.

“You can’t compare MsDossary, the

world's best FIFA player, with Lionel

Messi,” says Matt Huxley, a former

professional Counter-Strike player and

Gfinity esports manager, and now a

lecturer at Staffordshire University's

Digital Institute London. “One is using

a controller, the other’s actually kicking

the ball. The advantage with racing

catalyst for getting to this point,” he

explains a few weeks later as he prepares

for Pro Series 1, the first event in the F1

Esports calendar. “I know it sounds weird

to most people, but I was treating esports

like a proper job – always practising and

doing league races at the highest level.”

Life has changed significantly for the

young Scot since his selection by the

SportPesa Racing Point team. Blakeley

has left home for a start, so rather than

spending five hours on the game every

night after school, his days are devoted to

practising with his two teammates. “You

wake up and it’s straight on the sim,” he

says. “Everything is about improving as

much as we can. We bounce off each

other like a domino effect of progress.”

This year’s F1 Esports Pro Series is the

first to feature all 10 Formula One teams

– débutantes Ferrari Driver Academy were

the last to join – but not all of them set up

their drivers under one roof; others

remain at home and practise with their

Clockwise from far left: the

Williams Esports team hang

out; the drivers rev their

engines in the shiny-floored

Gfinity Arena; Williams Esports’

Isaac Price in race mode

THE RED BULLETIN 51


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F1 Esports Pro Series

titles is that they emulate the inputs that

a professional driver is giving.”

It’s for this reason that a high

proportion of drivers on the esports grid

have a background in racing karts. Like

many others, Blakeley had to quit karting

due to spiralling costs, but he credits his

experience on the track for his success

in esports. “It has absolutely helped me,”

he says, citing general racecraft and a

knowledge of how to drive in wet weather

as two advantages he has over those

without a real-life racing background.

The link between sim racing and real

life is without question. Every F1 team

has a simulator – how much further do

you need to look than that?”

Game-changers

Isaac Price was 15 when he had his

accident. A successful kart racer at

national level, the Brit would spend his

summer holidays travelling the country

to race. Then, one day, during a practice

lap, the steering column of his kart

shattered, pinning the throttle open

and sending him hurtling helplessly into

the wall at high speed. “It took 10-15

minutes to untangle me, because my

ankle got wrapped on the spring of the

brake,” he recalls. “I was airlifted to

hospital and they took a few hours to

put me back together.”

During his recovery from a broken

ankle, Price passed the time by taking

part in online races on the PC game

Live for Speed. That was 10 years ago,

and after competing at a high level

on leading motorsports simulation

iRacing and winning the game’s GT

World Championship in 2017, Price went

full-time, existing on savings from a job

in data entry and any winnings he could

bank from his victories online.

That same year saw the launch of

the F1 Esports Pro Series – a real gamechanger

for Price. “I wasn’t really playing

the [Codemasters] games at the time,

but if Formula One was getting behind

esports, it was inevitable that it would

become the pinnacle of sim racing,”

explains the 25-year-old. “That made my

decision for me.”

After making it to the finals of

McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer

competition in 2017, then a failed Pro

Draft appearance the following year,

Price raced at other events for Williams

Esports, putting himself in the driving

seat for a place in the team’s F1 Esports

line-up. “I’ve shown what I can do and

This could be the

first step to a

career in actual

motorsports

I fit into the dynamic that they already

had, so in that way it all made sense,”

he says after being selected. “As a team

I think we can be confident; we’ve got the

potential to do really well.”

Fast friends

Not all esports drivers have a karting

background to draw on, however: Floris

Wijers from the Netherlands has no

For Scottish 18-year-old Lucas Blakeley, the F1 Esports Pro Series

transformed an after-school gaming hobby into a full-blown career

experience in actual motorsports, but

began playing racing games when he

was just four years old.

Wijers bought his first proper steering

wheel in 2017 and, along with Blakeley,

failed to be drafted by an F1 Esports

team the following year, but the pair

quickly became friends and spent the

next 12 months racing together to

prepare for this July’s Pro Draft.

Balancing esports with college and an

internship in media broadcast operations,

20-year-old Wijers dedicates between

four and eight hours a day to sim racing

at home in Soest, near Utrecht. “Luckily

I don’t need a lot of sleep, so I practise

until midnight or 1am and just get up

late,” he says. Having performed well in

the qualifying events, beating first-pick

THE RED BULLETIN 53


F1 Esports Pro Series

In Baku, Rasmussen takes the chequered

flag for Red Bull Racing, with Naukkarinen

just three seconds behind. A thrilling

finish sees Tonizza’s Ferrari cross the line

neck-and-neck with Williams Esports’

Álvaro Carretón, only to have third place

gifted to him after the Spanish driver is

served a five-second penalty for speeding

in the pit lane.

A bird’s-eye view of the drivers in their cockpits. Note their shoeless feet.

You wouldn’t catch Max Verstappen doing that…

David ‘Tonzilla’ Tonizza in his heat,

Wijers was drafted by Haas. When the

season starts, though, he and Blakeley

will be rivals, not teammates.

Race night

On the day of Pro Series 1, Blakeley isn’t

where you’d expect him to be. Each event

consists of three races and he hasn’t been

picked by his team to compete in any of

them. “I was told a couple of days ago,”

he reveals as he watches his teammates

practise from the cinema-style seats at

the Gfinity Arena. “Obviously, as a driver,

it hits you hard: if you’re not disappointed

about not racing, you’re really not doing

it right. But I understand the decision,

and I know that I’ll be driving at some

point. I will get my time.”

At Williams Esports, Price is given the

go-ahead for the first two races, but his

teammate, 19-year-old Finnish driver Tino

Naukkarinen, will take over for the livestreamed

event that evening: 13 laps

of the Baku Street Circuit. This allows

Naukkarinen to focus on the one track.

Price only manages 17th on the Bahrain

circuit and 14th in China, attributing his

dearth of points to a poor qualifying

performance, a lack of confidence with

his rig, and bad luck – but he doesn’t feel

far off the pace. “There are drivers who

aren’t racing here, because they haven’t

outpaced other drivers in their team, so

in that sense it’s an achievement,” he

explains. “Last season, I was racing in

online leagues and competing with the

“People who love

F1 as a sport are

crying out for

something that’s

a bit more even”

guys who are winning races here, so there

is no reason why I can’t [win] as well.”

Unlike Price and Blakeley, Wijers starts

in all three Pro Series 1 races. But after

solid performances in both Bahrain and

China, finishing ninth in the former and

seventh in the latter, the Dutchman

experiences disappointment in Baku.

As Naukkarinen and Red Bull Racing’s

Frederik Rasmussen attempt to stop the

Italian Tonzilla from winning his third

race of the day, Wijers struggles to get

to grips with his medium tyres and

fights it out at the back of the pack with

Blakeley’s SportPesa Racing Point

teammate Daniele Haddad.

It’s on lap six that Wijers misjudges

turn 15, his contact with the wall forcing

an unscheduled early pit stop that costs

him dearly – he eventually finishes 18th.

It’s a disappointing end to Pro Series 1

for the Dutch driver. “I was happy with

those [earlier] results, but I could have

finished sixth or maybe even fifth in

China,” he says. “Hopefully this is the

only bad race we have.”

Eyes on the prize

With nine races left, including the grand

final on December 4, Blakeley, Price and

Wijers all have plenty of chances to put

aside their disappointment. (There’s also

the small matter of the inaugural Chinese

edition of F1 Esports Pro Series next year.)

For some of these drivers, this could

be just the first step to a career in actual

motorsports. Three members of the

current line-up – Brendon Leigh, McLaren

Shadow’s Enzo Bonito and Cem Bolukbasi

of Toro Rosso – have been handed the

keys to real-life racing cars off the back

of their esports performances. Bonito

even beat 2016/17 Formula E winner

Lucas di Grassi and 2012 IndyCar victor

Ryan Hunter-Reay at the Race of

Champions in January.

Current Toro Rosso Formula One

driver Pierre Gasly, who was also racing

that day, admits that he plays F1 games

between races to get into the rhythm

of the next track on the calendar. “One

of my friends, Jann Mardenborough,

who took part in the Gran Turismo [GT

Academy] programme with Nissan,

actually participated at Le Mans,” he says.

“It’s clearly possible to go from gaming

to real life, but it takes a lot of practice to

get on top of driving proper cars.”

They’re not the only ones who have

had a taste of the real thing: former

McLaren development driver Rudy van

Buren won the job through World’s

Fastest Gamer, while the winner of this

year’s competition will get a seat racing

Aston Martins for R-Motorsport at some

of the world’s most famous circuits.

But the ultimate reward for many of

the drivers is putting themselves in the

shop window. “Sim racing is fantastic,

don’t get me wrong,” says Blakeley. “But

if there was an opportunity in the future

to go from esports to real life, I’d take it

in a heartbeat.” You can only imagine the

tears he’d shed on hearing that news.

The F1 Esports Pro Series final will be

streamed live on December 4 from Gfinity

Arena to Facebook, YouTube and Twitch;

f1esports.com

54 THE RED BULLETIN


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When trap shook off its

illicit origins, becoming

the dominant force

in rap music, it needed

an aesthetic to match.

Meet the fresh young

photographer who takes

unfiltered images of the

scene’s biggest stars

Gunner Stahl

Shooting

from the hip


YOUNG THUG

The Atlantan is one of Stahl’s

“all-time favourite rappers”,

a pioneer for the new wave

of trap artists. Following six

acclaimed mixtapes, his

debut studio album So Much

Fun topped the US Billboard

200 chart this August

57


Jonathan Simmons earned the name by

which he’s best known – Gunner Stahl –

from a character in the classic ice-hockey

comedy movie The Mighty Ducks, released

in 1992, the year he was born. Eighteen

years later, he bought his first camera from

a friend at a party. Despite having failed

in his photography class, the Atlantan felt

compelled to capture his lifestyle on

camera at school, parties, concerts, and

in his local park. This would shape both

his life and the trap music scene rapidly

emerging in his US hometown at the time.

Trap – the strand of hip hop comprising

lyrics and melodies quickly sketched-out

over a canvas of rattling snares, hi-hats

and sub-bass 808 drums, then uploaded

immediately for streaming – has become

a dominant force in music. And 27-yearold

Stahl’s intimate portraits channel that

raw energy. From hanging out with rapper

Future and superproducer Metro Boomin

at Paris Fashion Week to shooting cult

icon Gucci Mane on tour, Stahl has carved

his niche capturing unfiltered snapshots

of trap’s biggest stars, his reputation

growing as their own stories evolve.

Stahl’s devotion to shooting on 35mm

film brings another dimension to his

sought-after aesthetic, making his work

even more unpredictable and of-themoment

in an ever-digitised world. But it’s

a medium he stumbled upon by accident:

while preparing to document Kanye West’s

Yeezus tour in Atlanta in 2013, Stahl’s

camera broke, and the replacement

provided by a friend turned out not to be

digital, necessitating a visit to the drugstore

to buy film. Stahl has since dismissed the

photos as “trash”, but he continued to

shoot with the camera and soon fell in

love with the rawness of the process.

It wasn’t until around 2014 that Stahl

stumbled into music portraiture. Many

of his friends were musicians, and he’d

even been made a member of local rap

collective Two-9 for just hanging out

with them in the studio. Stahl began

documenting their recording sessions and

collaborators: early shots on his Instagram

feed include one of Two-9’s DJ Osh Kosh

alongside fashion designer Virgil Abloh,

“If I’m not passionate

about the person,

I’m not shooting it”

as well as photos of a purple-haired Wiz

Khalifa when he dropped in to record

with the collective.

Stahl’s familiarity with the studio

setting, along with his relaxed, confident

persona, helps create an incredibly candid

view of rap culture. He isn’t intrusive of

the creative processes of those around

him, meaning that in return he’s afforded

the respect and freedom to do his thing.

Where celebrities are used to magazines

and album covers depicting them styled,

posed and retouched like dolls, Stahl’s

pictures provide a necessary disruption.

They feel closer to reality, offering fans

a glimpse of their favourite artists in

their natural habitats. “I only work off

relationships to get this look,” says Stahl.

“If I’m not passionate about the person,

I’m not shooting it.” But the credibility

of his work has inevitably transcended

his hometown heroes, granting him an

audience with global megastars including

Ed Sheeran, Drake, Kanye West, Kylie

Jenner, Post Malone, Miley Cyrus, Lana

Del Rey and even Adam Sandler.

Stahl’s habitat today tends to be hotels:

he lives the majority of his life moving

from place to place in search of the best

picture. This also gives him a deeper

empathy for his subjects and their lives on

the road. His portraits are shot between

studios, backstage areas, and temporary

accommodation, yet the images feel livedin.

One of his most iconic photos, the

cover of Playboi Carti’s self-titled 2017

mixtape, sees the fellow Atlanta native

slumped comfortably between two models

at a Los Angeles Airbnb.

Through his work, Stahl shares with

his viewers the access-all-areas pass he

has earned for himself, building his own

fanbase in the process. In 2017 he created

a capsule clothing collection for Puma,

and a gallery show entitled For You, Mom

– a tribute to his mother, who passed away

from breast cancer. Last month, Stahl

released Gunner Stahl: Portraits, a new

book packed with his favourite unseen

photos from the past three years, with

contributions from Swae Lee of trap duo

Rae Sremmurd, and celebrated ’90s rap

photographer Chi Modu. The book has

been showcased at galleries in three cities:

New York, Los Angeles and, of course,

Atlanta. But as his star has grown, Stahl,

like his photography, remains grounded.

“Be yourself,” he says. “People gravitate

more towards you being yourself.”

Gunner Stahl: Portraits (Abrams) is out

now; Instagram: @gunnerstahl.us

58 THE RED BULLETIN


PLAYBOI CARTI

“I love the eyes. Eyes tell the

whole picture,” says Stahl.

With this image, however,

the photographer proves

his ability to create an

intriguing moment by doing

the exact opposite. The eyes

of his subjects – rapper

Playboi Carti and model

Justine Mae Biticon – are

out of shot, which arouses

curiosity and stimulates

the imagination.

Gunner Stahl


LIL UZI VERT

Photographed at Rolling

Loud festival in New York

in 2016, the Philadelphia

native is best known for his

massive viral hit XO Tour

Llif3. “I’m in the backstage

area, waiting,” said Stahl of

the moment. “Next thing I

know, he’s walking through

security, We’ve hung out, so

I’m used to his personality.”


Gunner Stahl

AMINÉ

The Portland rapper

expresses himself as much

through the surreal humour

of his visuals and brightly

coloured aesthetic as he does

the reflective lyrics and selfdeprecating

punchlines in his

music. It’s unsurprising that

he’s developed a relationship

with Stahl, a self-confessed

fan of mumblecore comedies.

61


LIL BABY

AND GUNNA

The fastest growing artists

to emerge from Atlanta in

the past few years, the pair

maintain a strong work

ethic, individually releasing

multiple mixtapes each year,

as well as channelling their

natural chemistry into last

year’s mixtape Drip Harder.

62


LIL YACHTY

A recurring subject in

Stahl’s work. Atlanta’s selfdeclared

‘King Of Teens’

was a polarising figure

when he first emerged with

his bubblegum melodies

and whimsical lyrics, but

he’s doubled down on

pleasing his cult fanbase

and become a fashion icon

in the process.

Gunner Stahl


NIPSEY HUSSLE

The Los Angeles rapper,

entrepreneur and activist was

murdered outside his store,

The Marathon Clothing, in March

this year – a huge loss to his

family, friends and the global

hip-hop community. Stahl pays

tribute with some unseen

photographs from his archive.

64 THE RED BULLETIN


Gunner Stahl

PLAYBOI CARTI

After shooting the iconic

cover of his debut mixtape,

Stahl has continued to

document Playboi Carti’s

rise to prominence. Here,

the Magnolia rapper grabs

a moment backstage with

his mentor, A$AP Rocky.

65


The Arctic Cup


A housing estate looms

over fans on the

cliff overlooking the

Sisimiut pitch

Greenland’s one-week football season

Words TOM WARD

Photography BEN READ

67


Greenland has ambitions of stepping onto football’s

world stage, but with only three snow-free months

of play per year, the odds are stacked against it.

For one week, however, the players capable of making

that dream a reality gather in remote Sisimiut

to compete in the country’s only annual tournament.

Above: B-67 players gather in their customary pre-match huddle. Opposite: G-44 superfan Helga cheers on her beloved team from Qeqertarsuaq

68 THE RED BULLETIN


Greenlandic football

Forty kilometres above the Arctic Circle,

an important football match is taking

place. On a three-quarter-sized pitch in

the town of Sisimiut on the west coast of

Greenland, two teams – B-67 and N-48

– are competing for a place in the final

of the country’s national tournament,

Grønlandsbanken Final 6, held every year

since 1971 in the narrow snow-free window

between mid-June and late August.

The synthetic-grass pitch is horseshoed

by the 784m-high Nasaasaaq mountain

range and the town’s traditional brightly

coloured wooden houses that perch

haphazardly on outcrops of Greenlandic

bedrock. Fans watch from the Craggy

cliff overlooking the pitch, blasting air

horns. There are families with fold-out

chairs, drunken older fans chanting in

Greenlandic and Danish, a television

camera balanced precariously. Sled dogs,

chained to rocky outcrops outside nearby

houses, lend howls of support. To the

west, the waters of the Davis Strait can be

glimpsed. On a clear day, you’ll see the

spume of bowhead whales hunting for fish.

But today all attention is on the pitch.

B-67 – a team from the capital, Nuuk – are

seen as Greenland’s answer to Real Madrid,

having won the week-long national

championship 13 times. (Like many

teams in Greenland, B-67 are known by

an abbreviation of their full name, which

references the year they were formed:

Boldklubben af 1967.) With 10 victories,

N-48 (Nagdlunguak 1948), from the

western town of Ilulissat, are their nearest

rivals. Today’s match, then, is fraught

with historic bad blood. Should B-67 lose,

it’ll be the first time they have failed to

reach the final since 2009.

However, competing more than 320km

from home with a team of players mostly

Qeqertarsuaq

Qaqortoq

GREENLAND

Sisimiut

Nuuk

Ilulissat

Greenland is the world’s largest island

– at 2,166km 2 , it’s the size of the British

Isles, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and

Austria combined – with a population

of around 56,000. Eighty per cent of the

country is covered in the Greenland

Ice Sheet, and its northernmost point is

just 740km south of the North Pole.

THE RED BULLETIN 69


Greenlandic football

brought up from the under-19 team, B-67

are not expecting this match to be a

pushover; a local Facebook poll puts their

chances of winning at just 30 per cent. If

they crash out now, barring the thirdand

fourth-place play-off, their one-week

football season is over for another 365

days. When you inhabit the world’s least

densely populated landmass – one that’s

80 per cent covered in ice and gets

snowfall seven-and-a-half months a year

– footballing opportunities are slim.

For B-67, there are no snow-capped

mountains, no whales hunting in the

just-glimpsed sea, no howling sled dogs.

Nothing exists but the pitch, the ball

and the next 90 minutes.

Four days earlier, B-67 coach Jimmy

Holm Jensen gives The Red Bulletin the

official tour of the team’s makeshift HQ

in Sisimiut: a requisitioned elderly people’s

social club. “It smells like death,” he quips.

It’s hard to argue that there isn’t a certain

worn-in aroma of comfortable chairs, tea

and biscuits. For the next week, however,

this compact collection of rooms will be

home to 20 young players, plus Jensen

and assistant coach David Janussen.

Sleeping bodies still litter mattresses

in the makeshift dormitory as early risers

take part in a game of Olsen, a Nordic

card game also known as Crazy Eights.

Rap music plays in the background. The

hallway is littered with trainers and

football boots, the backyard strung with

drying football shirts, and the kitchen

transformed into an industrial-scale

pasta-making operation. Elsewhere in

this, Greenland’s second-largest city

(population: 5,524), other teams are

sequestered in sports halls that have the

look, if not the aura, of disaster relief

centres with mattresses and makeshift

beds crammed against the walls.

“We have fun, try to keep the energy

high,” explains 25-year-old team captain

Patrick Frederiksen as he moves between

the card players and those just beginning

to wake up, checking in with everyone.

The music is always on. People are

having a lot of fun, singing and dancing.”

Arsenal supporter Frederiksen became

B-67 captain in 2018 and this tournament

is his first opportunity to prove himself.

“It’s really important – it’s like the World

Cup,” he says. “It’s our chance to show

Greenland that we have the best team

and work hard to reach our goals.”

Until recently, football was never the

main focus in Greenland. Thanks to the

all-encompassing winter season, the

window for outdoor matches is limited –

it’s difficult to play on a pitch covered in

a metre of snow, after all. Indoor sports

such as table tennis, badminton and

handball are popular alternatives, the

latter on a par with football in terms of

appeal. But the success of one particular

Nordic neighbour encouraged

Greenlandic footballers to dream big.

In 2014, Iceland reached the World

Cup playoffs for the first time (before

losing to Croatia). Two years later, the

Icelandic team reached its first major

tournament, UEFA Euro 2016, defeating

England 2-1 in the knockout phase and

When B-67’s

registered number

3 was injured,

his replacement

used tape to

change the shirt

number to 31

so he could play

70 THE RED BULLETIN


“Football connects

everybody

in Greenland”

Spectators watch the

match from their

high perch on the cliff

in Sisimiut


Greenlandic football


The B-67 players get pumped

up before a match by listening

to Greenlandic rock music.

Their makeshift headquarters

is normally used as a social

club for elderly people

73


Greenlandic football

B-67 players negotiate stubborn onlookers and children on bikes during their pre-match warm-up

“We have fun,

try to keep the

energy high”

facing France in the quarter-finals (then

losing by a respectable score of 5-2). And

in 2018 they became the smallest nation

ever to qualify for a World Cup tournament

(though they went out at the group stage).

Theirs isn’t a track record to worry the

majority of European teams, but Iceland’s

efforts showed Greenland’s players it was

possible for small, ice-besieged island

nations to compete on the world stage.

Greenland’s international football

dreams date back further – to at least

1999, when then national team manager

and former West Germany squad member

Sepp Piontek says he applied for UEFA

membership (the Danish Football

Association disputes this ever being done

officially). One barrier to Greenland’s

international recognition is its status

as an autonomous territory within the

Kingdom of Denmark. Another is its lack

of FIFA-compliant playing surfaces and

stadiums. But times are changing: in 2010,

FIFA president Sepp Blatter approved

Greenland’s first artificial-grass pitch, in

the town of Qaqortoq. Nuuk got one in

2015, and B-67 now share this full-sized

outdoor pitch with three local teams.

There are no stands – again, fans watch

matches from a rocky outcrop, and the

changing rooms are little more than

wooden shacks – but it’s a step-up from

the dirt pitch they previously played on.

Then, in 2016, Nuuk’s national stadium

was treated to some FIFA two-star

artificial turf – the highest-rated synthetic

surface for UEFA competitions.

Frederiksen is certain Greenland could

one day play in the World Cup. “It would

take some years, but I think we could

reach it,” he says. “Iceland inspired us.”

But while Iceland can boast new covered

pitches heated by geothermal currents

that facilitate year-round training,

Greenland has few warm geothermal

vents and no budget for covered pitches.

“Money is hard to find. FIFA has come to

Greenland a few times, and we also have

some companies that are helping.”

There is a problem with funding,”

agrees Jensen, who played for B-67

as a kid before joining his family’s cardealership

business, and who this year

took over as the team’s new coach,

following the exit of his extremely

successful predecessor, Tekle Ghebrelul.

“We use 95 per cent of our funds for

travelling,” Jensen says. “It’s so expensive

to travel in Greenland. Right now, we’re

on a limited budget for food. We don’t get

paid, it’s just pure interest at heart.”

A lack of funds hampers Greenlandic

football at almost every turn. En route to

the tournament from east Greenland, one

74 THE RED BULLETIN


Former B-67 player

Hans Brummerstedt

before leaving

the sports hall that

has been his home

for a week


“We use 95 per

cent of our funds

on travelling”


Greenlandic football

Above, clockwise from top left:

the diminutive Man of the

Match trophy; an Ek’aluk-54

training top with the logo

of sponsor Faxe Kondi – a very

popular soft drink in Greenland;

the official corner flags failed

to arrive, so replacements were

made from yellow cloths and

metal broom handles bought in

a local hardware store; assistant

coach Janussen talks tactics

at B-67 HQ. Opposite: The

Sisimiut pitch, surrounded by

the rocky terrain that is almost

symbolic of Greenlandic towns

of B-67’s star players was stuck at an

airport without his ticket. With no money

to buy a replacement – and no roads

linking remote towns – the team had to

send him back home. Even when finally

assembled, B-67 became stranded at

Kangerlussuaq airport, the remote stopoff

between Nuuk and Sisimiut. After

calling all his contacts, including members

of the Greenlandic FA, Jensen eventually

secured passage for the team on a boat.

Six hours later, they arrived in Sisimiut

– had it been in service, the plane would

have had them there in 30 minutes. To

avoid extortionately priced internal flights,

another team, G-44 from Qeqertarsuaq –

an island town to the west – had to book

passage on a weekly ship circumnavigating

Greenland, which got them to Sisimiut

a gruelling 22 hours later.

Until Greenland earns the significant

investment needed to capture the attention

of the global football community, the

Grønlandsbanken Final 6 tournament is

the most important – and only – event on

the football calendar. “Outdoor football is

difficult as we don’t have more matches,

but there’s a lot of raw talent,” Jensen

says. “We had the Pan-American handball

tournament recently and it brought the

whole country together. We’re not used to

that; it’s always been this town against

this town. Sports can really unite us.”

Later, Lars Petersen, head secretary

of the Greenlandic Football Association,

offers his analysis via email. He believes

that despite the sport’s economic troubles,

Greenlandic football is on the up. “It’s

important to have this tournament,” he

says. “We’re working on [getting more

funding] but, in the meantime, this

tournament helps show football is

important and that there’s an audience

for it. We have ambitions to further

develop our tournament, and a proper

league with a first and second division.”

At 42, Jensen, youthful with just a streak

of grey in his hair, also has to contend

with a depleted team. When previous

coach Ghebrelul left, many of the older

players departed for greener pastures in

Denmark. “I don’t think it’s a problem

that people want to go to Denmark,” says

Jensen. “When we started the youth

department, one of our goals was that in

10-15 years we’d like a Greenlandic player

to be playing for one of the best Danish

clubs. If someone was successful there, it

would shine a light back on football here.”

Mikki Brønlund, B-67’s 25-year-old

left-winger, has first-hand experience of

Danish football. “A lot of us study there

and compare ourselves to Danish players,”

he says. “We are far better than them

technically, but it’s the football IQ that is

lacking, because we can only play inside

for the majority of the year.”

Faced with a depleted squad, Jensen

and assistant coach Janussen were forced

to dip into the under-19s. In many cases,

Jensen had to write to the school

principal to ask for special dispensation

so the teenagers could play in the

tournament. Yet he’s hopeful that some

of these newcomers will make their mark.

Before the match against N-48, Jensen,

THE RED BULLETIN 77


Greenlandic football

“We could reach

the World Cup.

Iceland inspired us”

Frederiksen and Janussen huddle around

a picnic bench in the garden. Beneath an

unexpectedly warm sun, they plan the

starting 11. Jensen enthuses about an

offensive midfielder, Kristian Evaldsen,

who is just 18. “He’s one solid muscle,”

says Jensen, grinning. “He kayaks in the

old Greenlandic way, and he’s very small

so he has this amazing centre of balance.

He’s so fast, he looks like a cartoon

character when he runs.”

Another player also earns a special

mention: a short, stocky figure with a

shaved head permanently ringed with

a Nike sweatband, 16-year-old Henning

Bajare has earned the nickname ‘Fat

Mbappé’ for his resemblance to the Paris

Saint-Germain striker. “He’s like a

bulldog,” Jensen laughs. “We put him on

in our first match and he was charging

around, then running over shouting for

‘Water! Water!’. He was exhausted,

because he isn’t used to playing matches

of this length.”

Despite the minuscule football season

and their relatively young years, none of

these players is a novice when it comes

to competitions: B-67 are renowned as

champions of futsal, the five-a-side

variant of football that was popularised

in South America and has become one

of Greenland’s most popular games

during winter. Played indoors, futsal is

more frantic and kinetic than ‘outdoor’

football; the fast, skilful passes of the

Brazilians and Argentinians owe a lot

to its influence.

“Futsal helps because it teaches us to

use faster passes, instead of dribbling,”

says Frederiksen. “A lot of younger

players aren’t so strong – they can’t

control the ball in the air without getting

pushed around by other players – so we

try to keep it on the ground.”

Planning completed, it’s time to head to

the pitch. There’s no bus, so B-67 walk,

Frederiksen hoisting a boombox onto his

shoulder as the team march past the

town’s ancient church and houses that

proudly display reindeer antlers outside –

mementos of last year’s hunting season.

The majority of B-67’s tournament

matches kick off at 5pm. In summer, it

doesn’t get dark in Greenland until after

11pm, but the games end in a strange

permanent semi-twilight. As we wait for

the match to start, an older man wanders

over and offers that “Greenlandic football

is better than English football. It is like a

community: everyone knows everyone”.

78 THE RED BULLETIN


He talks about his favourite UK teams,

Liverpool and Manchester United, before

offering the parting prediction that

“[Greenlandic players] could come to

Europe and win games”.

The B-67 players warm up outside the

caged pitch as another match takes place,

then pile into the changing room – two

goalposts pushed together with a tarp

over the top – at the final whistle and

await the start of their game. “I like

football, but I only watch it during the

tournament,” says a fan in his early

twenties as the players line up. “Football

is really popular in Greenland right now,

and more support means maybe our teams

Players from the triumphant

N-48 rush onto the pitch to

celebrate becoming the 2019

Greenlandic football champions.

Left: ‘Fat Mbappé’, aka 16-yearold

Henning Bajare, in action

will get better and we’ll get a chance at

some international tournament.”

The semi-final match is not one B-67

will want to remember. Five minutes in,

their keeper parries a free kick, but in the

resulting scramble N-48 score the first

goal. Later in the first half, the goalie is

forced into action again, charging down

a shot from an N-48 player who has

stormed into the B-67 box.

In the second half, B-67 make a

triple substitution. A short while later,

Frederiksen comes off with his arm

bleeding, having opened up an old

wound. He bandages it and runs back

on. With less than 30 minutes to go, it’s

clear B-67 aren’t dictating the game.

A third N-48 goal in the 88th minute and

a fourth in injury time seal B-67’s fate.

For the first time in a decade, they have

failed to qualify for the final.

The next day, N-48 go on to beat G-44

in the final by the only goal of the match.

For their final game, B-67 play IT-79

in the play-off, but, disheartened by

yesterday’s defeat, suffer an ignoble 2-0

defeat. Frustrated or victorious, for

the Greenlandic players the season is

over for another year.

Back in Nuuk two days after the final,

Jensen invites The Red Bulletin to his

home overlooking the fjord, where

icebergs float against the broken-tooth

backdrop of the 1,210m Sermitsiaq

mountain. As he cooks up reindeer steaks

on his barbecue, Jensen offers a balanced

analysis of the team’s performance.

These younger players are good, but it

will take two to three years to get them

to where we want to be, playing the final

and hopefully dominating outdoor

football again,” he says. “It takes time.”

For now, the hunting season has just

begun, and coach and players alike are

looking forward to getting out into the

wilderness. The futsal season will follow,

then training for outdoor football will

start up once again in the spring. While

this young B-67 team have suffered shortterm

disappointment, the standard of

play in the Grønlandsbanken Final 6

tournament suggests that Greenlandic

football could hold its own on the

international stage, and maybe even

equal Iceland’s success one day.

Patrik Frederiksen has seen his fair

share of victories and defeats. While

the younger players lament what must

feel like a stolen opportunity, he offers

a more optimistic approach. Losing that

tournament may sting, but ultimately

Greenlandic football has been the victor;

with more eyes on the sport, it just might

receive more funding, and maybe the

fabled covered pitches that would allow

them to play year-round and raise a team

to rival anything Europe has to offer.

“Football is in development in

Greenland,” Frederiksen says. “It connects

everybody. The audience appreciates it

and encourages us to do better. We want

to show that even though we’re a little

nation with so few inhabitants, we can

play football at a high level.”

Thanks to Visit Greenland for its help;

visitgreenland.com

THE RED BULLETIN 79


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F R E E A S S E S S M E N T


Equipment

Your guide to gear born with purpose, engineered

to achieve, and built with style

PERFORM

Goggles of the

snow giants

Red Bull Spect Magnetron

The Red Bull logo is usually

reserved only for pros, but, like

Prometheus stealing fire from

the gods, this expert eyewear is

now within the grasp of mere

mortals. It’s named not after one

of the Transformers, but after

the magnetic interchangeable

lens system, which allows users

to quickly swap between a highcontrast

visor for bad weather

and a mirrored lens using one

hand, without even removing

the goggles. The visor provides

increased peripheral vision and

features anti-fog, anti-scratch

and guaranteed awesomeness.

redbullspecteyewear.com

Photography TIM KENT

THE RED BULLETIN 81


Equipment

REVIVE

Hammer your pain

Hypervolt Plus

In 2011, a year after founding

his sports therapy business,

Hyperice owner Anthony Katz

embarked on a unique publicity

campaign – turning up at

sporting events and trying out

his products on athletes. It’s a

technique that has earned him

the endorsement of some of

sport’s biggest names, from

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud

and four-time World Cup ski

champion Lindsey Vonn, to NBA

legends Kobe Bryant and LeBron

James. Katz’s ideology is simple:

training is only part of the path

to peak performance; recovery

is just as vital. His latest

invention is the epitome

of that vision: a rapid-pulse

muscle hammer that

pummels deep tissue for

faster warm-ups and recovery

time. The Hypervolt Plus

comes with five attachments

– ball, bullet, flathead, fork

and cushion – to treat every

muscle group, and offers 30

per cent more intensity than

its predecessor. Powerful,

recuperative and quiet (bar

your screams), this is the

Mjölnir of massage guns.

hyperice.com

82 THE RED BULLETIN


Equipment

IMMERSE

Lost in music

Wireless on-ear headphones

Sound quality uncompromised by

portable convenience. From top:

Momentum Wireless by Sennheiser

(sennheiser.com) feature active

noise-cancelling (ANC) and

ambient hearing for listening to

your surroundings; Wireless

Concert One by Vonmählen

(vonmaehlen.com) take inspiration

from the superior sound of the

Elbphilharmonie concert hall in

Hamburg; Crusher ANC by

Skullcandy (skullcandy.co.uk) let

you customise sensory bass, and

come with ANC and personalised

set-up from the smartphone app;

TOUCHit by Danish design

company Sackit (sackit.eu) bring

ANC and a 22-hour battery to an

award-winning design; and the

A9/600 from Kygo (kygolife.com)

build on a reputation in sound that

has earned the Norwegian DJ

3.7 million Instagram followers.

THE RED BULLETIN 83


Equipment

GLIDE

Drivetrain

deconstructed

SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS

If the greatest invention was

the wheel, the drivetrain is a

close second – the mechanical

organs that deliver power from

your legs to said wheels. Now

that has been reinvented. The

12-speed XX1 Eagle AXS uses

electronic shifting, wirelessly

connecting the handlebars to

the drivetrain flawlessly. After

micro-adjusting the chainline

trim on first set-up and waking

up the moment you grab your

bike, just a tap of the handlebar

paddles shifts gears; keeping

your thumb pressed cycles

effortlessly through the gears.

It’s all the work of an 80,000

RPM motor coupled to

a miniature gearbox inside the

derailleur, plus two clutches:

one for regular shifting and

another that reacts on impact

– disengaging the gearbox to

let the derailleur move freely

and intelligently re-engaging

it afterwards. This isn’t a

drivetrain, it’s a goddamn gearshifting

robot. sram.com

84 THE RED BULLETIN


Equipment

WEAR

Walking on

thick ice

Danner Arctic 600

Side-Zip

Charles Danner first made

footwear for loggers in the

wilds of America’s Pacific

Northwest almost a century

ago, when durability, comfort

and warmth weren’t just

a requirement, they were a

survival necessity. These boots

are overkill even by those

standards. Made from durable

suede, they’re 100 per cent

waterproof with a Vibram

rubber sole moulded from an

Arctic Grip compound that

delivers the most advanced

traction on ice and frost.

Heavily insulated with Primaloft

Gold thermal microfibre and

comfort-lined with a removable

Ortholite insole, there’s also a

side zip for easy removal

without unlacing. Something US

pioneers Lewis and Clark never

had in their day. danner.com

THE RED BULLETIN 85


Equipment

CAPTURE

Camera evolved

iPhone 11 Pro

In 1822, French inventor Nicéphore

Niépce captured the world’s first

permanent photograph on glass

coated with bitumen. Things have

come a long way. This, the most

powerful smartphone yet, shoots

nine images each time, using three

12MP lenses (wide, ultra-wide and

telephoto). Eight are taken before

you even press the shutter button,

followed by one long exposure.

The iPhone 11 Pro then fuses the

photos, sifting through 24 million

pixels for an optimal image. It is, in

effect, the first machine-learning

camera in a phone. apple.com

86 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN PROMOTION

SKULLCANDY CRUSHER ANC

BEYOND

THE BASS

Three premium features combine

to create more immersive –

and personalised – audio than

you’ve ever heard before

I

n 1910, an engineer in

Utah named Nathaniel

Baldwin invented

headphones to help him

better hear Mormon

sermons. More than a

century later, Skullcandy

is reinventing headphones

in Utah, but the only religion

is Supreme Sound.

Skullcandy’s flagship

Crusher ANC headphones

are the first in the world to

mix adjustable haptic bass

with active noise cancellation

and personalised sound

calibration, delivering the

most immersive audio

experience yet.

It all starts with the

Skullcandy app, which allows

Crusher ANC owners to take

a three-minute audio test.

The immediate results create

a unique Personal Sound

profile that is stored in the

headphones so that music

or other audio from any

device is custom-tuned to

the owner’s hearing.

“Time and volume take

a toll on everyone’s ears,

which means everyone’s

hearing is unique,” says

Jason Luthman, head of

product development at

Skullcandy. “And it doesn’t

matter how perfect your

music is if you can’t hear

all of it. That’s why

Skullcandy’s Personal Sound

is so revolutionary.”

Skullcandy also improved its

Adjustable Sensory Bass with

new patented drivers that

deliver a deeper, broader

spectrum. And the digital

noise cancellation includes

an Ambient Mode that

allows you to hear your

surroundings even better

than if you’d just turned off

the noise cancellation.

“Personal Sound tunes

your audio to your ears, the

Sensory Bass allows you to

actually feel that sound,

and the noise cancellation

ensures the sound is as pure

and powerful as possible,”

says Luthman. “Ultimately,

it’s three state-of-the-art

features that work even

better together.”

In other words, the sound

is greater than its parts.

£249.99; available now at

skullcandy.co.uk

The headphones are

available in black and

deep red (pictured)

THE RED BULLETIN 87


Snow wear

Deep

cover

Chopped up or chokable,

packed or pow-pow fresh –

however you like your snow,

here’s the essential gear

you need to cruise or carve

through it. Winter really

is coming. Meet it head-on

Photography DAVID CLERIHEW


Snow wear

HELLY HANSEN North

Sea Ridgeline beanie,

hellyhansen.com;

OAKLEY Clifden

sunglasses, oakley.com;

BURTON Frostner

jacket and Backtrack

gloves, burton.com;

OAKLEY Alpine Shell

3L Gore-Tex pants,

oakley.com; HAGLÖFS

Skrå 27 backpack,

haglofs.com; RIDE

Warpig snowboard

and Revolt bindings,

ridesnowboards.com

89


Snow wear


Snow wear

Opposite page:

MARKER Convoy+

helmet, marker.net;

OAKLEY Fall Line

XM Factory Pilot

Whiteout snow

goggles, oakley.com;

VOLCOM Fern

insulated Gore-Tex

Pullover jacket,

volcom.co.uk; DAKINE

Jamie Anderson

Women’s Team Heli

Pro 20L backpack,

dakine.com

This page:

HELLY HANSEN

Ridgeline beanie,

hellyhansen.com;

ZEAL OPTICS Portal

XL goggles, zealoptics.

com; FRISKI The Flo

2.0 technical riding

hoodie, friskiwear.

com; THE NORTH FACE

Purist Futurelight

jacket, thenorthface.

co.uk; JACK

WOLFSKIN Exolight

Mountain pants, jackwolfskin.com;

SCOTT

Celeste III boots,

scott-sports.com;

BURTON Free Range

gloves, burton.com;

VÖLKL Secret Flat

skis, voelkl.com

THE RED BULLETIN 91


Snow wear

This page:

OAKLEY MOD1 helmet

and Fall Line XL snow

goggles, oakley.com;

SKULLCANDY Vert

Clip-Anywhere

wireless earbuds,

skullcandy.co.uk;

PROTEST Gutter Camo

jacket, protest.eu;

VOLCOM Guch Stretch

Gore-Tex pants,

volcom.co.uk; THE

NORTH FACE Patrol

Steep Series gloves,

thenorthface.co.uk;

SCOTT Scrapper 105

skis, scott-sports.com

Opposite page:

MARKER Convoy+

helmet, marker.net;

SWEET PROTECTION

Interstellar goggles,

sweetprotection.com;

HAGLÖFS Edge Evo

Kurbits unisex anorak,

haglofs.com; SCOTT

Explorair 3L pants,

scott-sports.com;

THE NORTH FACE

Thermoball mitts,

thenorthface.co.uk;

OSPREY Kamber

16 backpack,

ospreyeurope.com;

LINE Pin ski poles,

lineskis.com;

K2 Mindbender

88 Ti Alliance skis,

k2snow.com

92 THE RED BULLETIN


Snow wear


Snow wear


Snow wear

Opposite page:

SCOTT Track

Plus helmet and

Vapor goggles,

scott-sports.com;

WEARCOLOUR

Wear anorak,

wearcolour.com;

HELLY HANSEN

Sogn cargo pants,

hellyhansen.com;

QUIKSILVER Travis

Rice Natural

Gore-Tex gloves,

quiksilver.co.uk;

VÖLKL Revolt 121

skis, voelkl.com

This page:

PROTEST Girlfriend

beanie, protest.eu;

FRISKI The Flo

2.0 technical riding

hoodie, friskiwear.com;

JACK WOLFSKIN

Exolight pants,

jack-wolfskin.com;

SCOTT Celeste III boots,

scott-sports.com;

BURTON Free Range

gloves, burton.com;

VÖLKL Secret Flat skis,

voelkl.com

Hair and make-up:

SUSANA MOTA

Models: CONNAGH

HOWARD, ANNA

SALOMAA @ W Model

Management

Photographer’s

assistants: CHRIS

PARSONS,

LISA BENNETT

THE RED BULLETIN 95


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Visit us in-store to get fitted by one of our experts.

Your fitter will work with you to establish your

needs, take measurements, and try on different

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fitter will check the shell is a good fit and make

adjustments until they’re perfect, including spotstretching

any areas which might cause blisters.

But, just as important as the boot in achieving a

precision fit is a custom moulded footbed. Tailored

footbeds are made to mimic your foot’s exact shape,

and work by stabilising your foot inside the boot.

This limits excess movement, allowing for reactive

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Salomon S/Pro 100

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guide

Get it. Do it. See it.

RACE FOR LIFE

You may view it as

merely a video game,

but Mario Kart is

deeper than that

PAGE 105

FITNESS COALS

Ultrarunner Christian

Schiester has a unique

way of sweating it out

during training

PAGE 106

DATE OVERLOAD

Unmissable events,

from Spartan racing to

an immersive Stranger

Things experience

PAGE 109

SCOTT DICKERSON

CHILL WAVE

Crumbling icebergs

hold no fear for surfer

Kyle Hofseth – they're

all part of the thrill of

catching waves in the

frozen waters of Alaska

PAGE 100

THE RED BULLETIN 99


G U I D E

Do it

Watching icebergs is essential for glacier surfing – it’s how you predict the size of the resulting waves

GLACIER SURFING

BREAKING THE

ICE IN ALASKA

Most people take shelter when they witness a massive

glacier calving – but surfers in Alaska approach them.

Kyle Hofseth explores the last frontier of the surf world

Adeafening growl, an

explosion of raw energy.

I’ve got to catch this one

wave. Nothing else matters. I’ve

been fighting hypothermia all

day, but none of the ice lingers in

me now – I’ve never moved faster.

Deep in the throat of this fjord is

a massive, groaning glacier. Many

metres of flaking ice rise vertically

above the seawater, and a frozen,

house-sized monolith has just

broken free, creating the moment

I’ve been waiting for.

I frantically paddle on what

feels like a kamikaze mission to

Passionate surfer and travel writer Kyle Hofseth

100 THE RED BULLETIN


Alaska

TRAVEL TIPS

THE LAST FRONTIER

Kyle Hofseth reveals why Alaska is the

ultimate hotspot for adventurous surfers,

and why the place requires a slightly

different packing list

Alaska has almost

55,000km of tidal

shoreline. The best surf

occurs during spring (April)

and autumn (September)

As the glacier calves, ice drops into the water and waves form below the frozen cliff

ALASKA

USA

Canada

Anchorage

Homer

Kenai Fjords

SCOTT DICKERSON, GETTY IMAGES (MAP)

On their trip on the M/V Milo in 2017, Hofseth and Dickerson explored the Kenai Fjords

meet the result of this explosion:

a perfectly shaped, ice-filled wave.

Turning my board as it crests,

I feel my fins catch on chunks

of ice, and I pull hard through

golfball-sized shrapnel as the

wave picks me up for the ride of

my life. Nothing about this wave

is normal – and the adrenalin it

creates is off the charts. I surf it

for 100m as it peels down a gravel

bar before surging onto shore.

My mind is blown.

This monster of a glacier in

Alaska’s Kenai Fjords is so large

it creates its own weather, and

it straddles the Kenai mountain

range. But in this isolated place

the glacier’s silent majesty seems

reserved for me alone. Except I’m

I’m given a helmet

and told, “Bring

a board you don’t

mind destroying”

not here on my own. I pull down

my wetsuit hood and hear Scott

Dickerson shouting to me from

the nearby skiff, saying he got

a great shot of my ride.

Dickerson runs Surf Alaska

and captains the M/V Milo, an

exploration vessel converted from

an almost 18m fishing boat.

Operating out of the coastal city

of Homer, centrally located in the

EXPLORE

HOME BASE

Scott Dickerson’s travel agency, Ocean Swell Ventures,

has its base in Homer, a picturesque fishing town with

around 5,700 residents. From the harbour, glaciers can

be seen clinging to the Kenai Mountains across the bay.

THE TRIP

From its dock in the bay, the M/V Milo has access to the

Gulf of Alaska, the Kenai Fjords and the Aleutian Islands,

which stretch out towards Russia. The coastline is

rugged; the shorelines are home to bears and moose.

Orcas, humpback whales and otters are frequently

spotted among the islands and channels.

SURFING GLACIERS

FOUR TIPS FOR TAKING ON THE ICE WAVES

1. Bring a deep coffinstyle

board bag. You will

need it on the beach. Climb

inside with a thermos of

coffee and a warm water

bottle to warm up

between waves.

2. A motorcycle

helmet isn’t a bad idea.

Bring something to protect

your head – there’s a lot

of ice in the water.

3. Speaking of ice in the

water, I dinged all of my

boards. Consider bringing

something older that’s

seen some wear and tear.

4. Get a wetsuit that’s

at least 5mm. I’d highly

recommend 7mm booties

and 7mm mittens, too.

The water was 1°C, and the

icy wind chill coming off

the glacier was brutal.

THE RED BULLETIN 101


G U I D E

Do it

Alaska

SHIP AHOY

WAVE HUNTING

ON THE MILO

The M/V Milo, a retired 1966

commercial salmon-fishing boat with

a diesel engine, was converted into

an exploration vessel by a couple of

surf-crazed Alaskans in 2009

Length

17.68m

Main engine

380hp

Crew

Five or six passengers,

one skipper

SPECIFICATIONS

Staterooms

Two

Equipment

4m RIB (inflatable boat),

fishing gear

Cruising speed

Eight knots

Catch of the day: on the M/V Milo, you source your own dinner – Alaskan halibut

ROCK THE BOAT

BELOW DECK

Dedicated wetsuit removal and drying room in the

converted fish-hold. Sleep in surf-themed state rooms

below the water line in the hull. Join the captain or crew

for a midnight wheel watch in the top house, and watch

a summer sunset become a sunrise in just 30 minutes.

ON DECK

Enjoy the outdoor hot shower. Place the handheld shower

head in your wetsuit, lay on the deck and fill up. Soon you

will have a personal hot tub – perfect for recovering from

a surf session in icy waters. And bring a fishing rod with

heavy line – it’s not uncommon to catch 50kg halibut.

Trips are often a week long, so the M/V Milo’s chest

freezers are stocked with local game and vegetables

crook of the Gulf of Alaska,

Dickerson has spent more time

exploring, documenting, guiding

and photographing the vastly

uncharted surf potential of North

America’s largest coastline than

anyone else on earth. I’ve seen

his photos of adventurers surfing

all manner of waves against a

backdrop of stunning mountains,

crystalline blue ice and epic

Alaskan ruggedness.

His trips have an element of

raw exploration that it’s simply

impossible to find in crowded,

established surf spots. And today’s

more than most: it’s Dickerson’s

first with the sole intention of

paddle-surfing glacier waves; that

is, waves created solely by the

ice fall from this glacier. This is

no joke, as became clear on the

very first night I showed up in

Alaska, when Dickerson handed

me an old motorcycle helmet

as protection against flying ice

chunks. His instructions? “Bring

a board you don’t mind destroying

– this trip is going to have icebergs

in the line-up.”

If there are waves, we’re going

to surf them, whether or not

body-sized chunks of glacier are

flying overhead in a barrel or have

to be dodged with a carefully

timed duck-dive. To add to the

uncertainty of this expedition,

there’s no mobile phone reception

out in the wilds of Alaska, often

no villages for hundreds of

kilometres, and so not much in

terms of a safety net.

It becomes critical to predict

when and where along the glacier

face the ice will fall, and how much

will be falling at once: a housesized

mass of ice can create a 2m

surfable wave. But we must keep

an eye out for signs of larger

sections readying themselves to

fall… and be ready to make a

swift exit. Our week on the M/V

Milo consists of these unique surf

sessions and plenty of fat and

protein-heavy meals (butter,

bacon, freshly caught fish) to

replace what our bodies are

tearing through in the 1°C water.

Sleep is short; the Alaskan

summer light beckons us to

explore, paddle the fjord and all

it has to offer. We surf through

ice-filled grey waves on the back

of the release of ancient energy

from this frozen giant, and it fills

us with a true sense of adventure,

and of survival.

To explore the wild coastline of

Alaska aboard the M/V Milo, go to

oceanswellventures.com

SCOTT DICKERSON

102 THE RED BULLETIN


ALPHATAURI.COM


G U I D E

Do it

Gaming

NINTENDO TOM GUISE

Nintendo’s Shigeru

Miyamoto, creator of

legendary games series

such as Mario and The Legend

of Zelda, employs a philosophy

when making games, known in

his homeland of Japan as kyokan

– an empathic experience

between the developer and the

player that translates as ‘feelone’.

“As long as I can enjoy

something, other people can

enjoy it,” he says.

When Miyamoto created

Super Mario Kart for the Super

Nintendo Entertainment System

in 1992, the kyokan was strong.

Putting the moustachioed mascot

(and his friends and frenemies)

into go-karts spawned the kartracing

genre – franchise

characters speeding across

cartoon landscapes collecting

and unleashing power-ups. Much

copied, but never bettered (see

Crash Team Racing or the

horrendous Garfield Kart), the

Mario Kart series has remained

among the most popular games

in the 27 years since its inception,

with its latest iteration, Mario

Kart Tour, released on mobile

recently. But what is it about the

game that resonates so strongly

with players? We asked gaming

psychologist Jamie Madigan…

CHARACTER BUILDING

What does your Mario Kart character of

choice say about you? In a 2016 article

in Portland newspaper Willamette Week,

therapist and psychology professor

Dr Karen Chenier postulated that players

chose characters based on relatable

traits: Luigi is shy and neurotic,

Yoshi the dinosaur a clown, Bowser

a narcissist. Miyamoto has said he

considers Mario a “blue-collar hero”.

For Madigan, it’s simpler: “People

likely pick the character that offers

the mechanics they want, or the one

whose design is most appealing.”

POWER-UPS ARE TOTEMS

Likewise, could the power-ups have

deeper significance than mere in-game

artefacts? Perhaps a banana skin

symbolises bad luck, the homing red

shell maliciousness, a speed-boosting

mushroom vigour, and the invincibilitygranting

star confidence. This is

somewhat borne out by Mario Kart 8

director Kosuke Yabuki’s philosophy

on the controversial blue shell, which

Pushing buttons: your

Mario Kart character of

choice could say a lot

about your personality

MARIO KART ZEN

THE CIRCUIT OF LIFE

Playing Mario Kart might make you a better driver. And a better person, too…

only takes out the player in first place.

“Sometimes life isn’t fair and that’s

frustrating,” he said on the game’s

Switch release in 2017. “But when we

tried the game without the blue shell,

it felt like something was missing.”

OPTIMISM BOOST

Good video games encourage a player

to keep going with the feeling that they

always stand a chance. With Mario Kart,

that incentive system is called rubberbanding.

Power-ups are graded to help

players in different positions: those at

the back get speed boosts, in the middle

they get weapons, and the person at the

front gets a measly banana skin to drop.

“Games such as Mario Kart encourage

feelings of competence and mastery,”

EXPERT

PROFILE

JAMIE

MADIGAN

GAMES PSYCHOLOGIST

The author of Getting

Gamers: The Psychology

of Video Games and

Their Impact on the

People Who Play

Them also has a podcast

series and blog at

psychologyofgames.com

that examine the

motives behind player

behaviour and why

games are made.

says Madigan. “Rubber-banding ensures

victory – or at least improvement – is

always within grasp.”

IMPROVED MOTOR SKILLS

Perhaps literally, as in driving capability.

In 2016, university researchers in

Shanghai and Hong Kong subjected

players to sessions of Mario Kart and

Roller Coaster Tycoon (an amusementpark

creation game) and found that the

former group demonstrated “improved

visuomotor skills” (the coordination

between the eyes and hand movements).

Madigan is cautiously optimistic:

“Playing Mario Kart might help you on

a driving simulation, but I’m not aware

that it’s shown to improve ability in

driving an actual car.”

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME

At least if you play Mario Kart regularly.

A study by researchers at the University

of Queensland found that participants

forced to take maths tests until they

failed, followed by two rounds of Mario

Kart, demonstrated lower comparable

stress levels and increased happiness

after the latter, more so than if they’d

won the race. “Any enjoyable activity can

reduce stress and elevate mood, but

video games have an edge because they

give a sense of progression, mastery and

control,” says Madigan. “They satisfy

basic psychological needs that other

parts of life typically don’t.”

THE RED BULLETIN 105


G U I D E

Do it

Fitness

At the age of 20, Schiester was a heavy smoker and drinker, but on his doctor’s advice

he turned his life around. Within two years, he had run the New York Marathon

MENTAL TRAINING

FULL STEAM

AHEAD

Christian Schiester is one of the world’s top ultrarunners.

His secret to beating the Sahara Desert? A trip to the sauna

Heading to the sauna after

working out is wonderful:

muscles relax, the circulation

gets going, thoughts melt away.

But what if the sauna becomes

the gym? That’s the reality for

Christian Schiester. Whenever the

Austrian ultrarunner was training

for his desert runs, he would put

a treadmill or exercise bike in the

wooden shack, heat it to 60°C,

then reel off the kilometres for the

next three hours. “I’d drink up to

15 litres of water and make sure I

was never in the sauna alone – you

never know what might happen,”

the 52-year-old explains. But

then, he was already supremely

fit thanks to a disciplined training

schedule. “I trained in the sauna to

simulate in my mind the conditions

in the desert,” he reveals.

And it worked: as he ran over

the dunes in the 2003 Marathon

des Sables – a six-day race across

the Sahara – the thermometer on

his watch showed 60°C. “I felt

absolutely awful,” he recalls. But

suddenly he heard his inner voice

saying to him, “Don’t be like that,

Schiester. You can do it. It was this

hot in the sauna, too, remember?”

The dip in motivation was

suddenly behind him and he

crossed the finishing line in 12th

place, having run more than

250km through the desert.

christian-schiester.com

“I would drink

up to 15 litres

of water and

make sure I was

never in the

sauna alone”

Christian Schiester,

Red Bull ultrarunner

KNOW-HOW

MIND OVER

MATTER

Faster, higher,

further? Here’s how

your mind can help

urge your body on

to high-level

performance

TALK TO YOURSELF

Organise and control your

thoughts both before and

during crunch time. Anyone

who puts their inner voice to

good use – by, for example,

deploying positive key words

– has a better chance of

achieving peak performance.

SET GOALS

Forget the bigger picture for

a moment. Focus instead

on important individual

elements that you’ve already

mastered. This will boost

your confidence.

VISUALISE

Picture – in the most vivid

way possible – completing

each individual part of the

challenge ahead. The more

authentically you can

visualise it, the better

prepared you’ll be if

the going gets tough.

Schiester’s motto: “Punish your body before it punishes you!”

PHILIP PLATZER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, HARALD TAUDERER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL FLORIAN STURM

106 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN PROMOTION

URBANISTA ATHENS

TRAIN

WITHOUT

LIMITS

Meet the company that

has designed next-level

headphones to accompany

your workout, no matter

what your sport

Urbanista Atlas true

wireless headphones:

tailor-made for sport

I

t’s true what they say: music does

push you that extra mile in your

workout – it allows you to focus, to

keep to a beat, and it distracts you

from the pain involved in smashing

that new personal record. It’s the

ultimate workout companion.

With its new Athens headphones,

Urbanista has ensured you can

train without limits – these true

wireless sport headphones were

created for those looking to hit

the gym, track or trails, and take

their workout to the next level.

Wireless freedom

IP67 rated, Athens headphones are

fully waterproof, meaning you can

take full advantage of whatever

wet conditions you put yourself in,

without interruption to the music

that keeps you focused.

Sound that pushes

you that extra mile

Athens headphones’ in-ear bud

design provides maximum comfort

and sound isolation. With a bassorientated

sound designed

specifically for sport, they provide

an audio experience that will drive

you on to reach your targets.

Convenient and stylish

The headphones come with a stylish

case that provides three additional

full charges, each lasting up to

eight hours, providing an incredible

32 hours of total playing time.

The case itself can be quickly and

easily charged with the included

USB-C cable.

Stay connected

A Bluetooth 5.0 connection to

your iOS or Android device

allows you to access your voicecontrol

assistant at the touch

of a button, while the built-in

microphone lets you make and

receive phone calls in stereo,

adjust the volume, and play,

stop and skip tracks. Want to

listen in to the outside world

temporarily? Athens offers the

freedom to use the left or right

earbud independently while

still being able to make and

receive calls with the built-in

microphone in each.

€129, urbanista.com

THE RED BULLETIN 107


1 YEAR

getredbulletin.com

£20

BEYOND THE ORDINARY

The next issue is out on Tuesday 12th November with London Evening Standard.

Also available across the UK at airports, gyms, hotels, universities and selected retail stores.

Read more at theredbulletin.com

AARON BLATT / RED BULL CONTENT POOL


G U I D E

Do it

13

November

SECRET CINEMA PRESENTS STRANGER THINGS

Didn’t get enough horror at Hallowe’en? The best is yet to come. What

better subject for Secret Cinema – the immersive theatre company

that has transformed blockbusters including Alien, Back to the Future,

Ghostbusters and The Empire Strikes Back into real-world experiences

– than the hit Netflix supernatural sci-fi drama that pays homage to the

movies of the ’80s? Details are top secret, as is the exact location, but

expect a trip to the US Midwestern town of Hawkins; encounters with

characters such as Hopper, Joyce, Dustin, Mike, Lucas and Eleven; and

a trip to the alternate dimension of the Upside Down. November tickets

are already sold out, so you’ll need to move faster than the Demogorgon

to get your fix. Until February; secret location, London; secretcinema.org

Flayers gonna flay:

join Eleven, Max

and co in Hawkins

Nov/Dec/Jan

11

January

Hatsune Miku

Expo 2020

Hatsune Miku, who kicks off her European tour with

this London gig, is a music sensation in her native

Japan. Which is impressive when you consider she’s

not real. This virtual teen pop star (her name means

‘future sound’) is actually a voice bank of Japanese

phonemes (phonetic word parts) spoken by actress

Saki Fujita and channelled though a Vocaloid voice

synthesiser. Anyone with the software can play her

utterances through a music keyboard – Lady Gaga

chose Miku as the opening act on her 2014 artRAVE:

the ARTPOP Ball tour, and Pharrell remixed Last

Night, Good Night, her song with Japanese electro

band Livetune. Miku will be appearing on stage as

a 3D anime projection, accompanied by a live band.

O2 Academy Brixton, London; mikuexpo.com

Virtual insanity:

Hatsune Miku live

ALAMY

12 8

November

Touching the

Void

In 1985, Brits Joe Simpson and

Simon Yates survived a near-fatal

climb of the 6,344m-high Siula

Grande in the Peruvian Andes.

Simpson detailed the ordeal in

his 1988 book Touching the Void,

which became a documentary in

2003. And now it’s a play, directed

by War Horse’s Tom Morris and

using an ingenious moving stage

to simulate the mountain faces.

Simpson recounts his experiences

in our next issue. Until 29 Feb;

Duke of York’s Theatre, London;

thedukeofyorks.com

23

November

Spartan Stadion

the only event was the Stadion, a

sprint so epic that the arena was

named after it (this later became

then, that the Spartan – the

present-day race inspired by the

strongest of the Ancient Greeks –

At the very first Olympics in 776AD,

the Latin ‘stadium’). It’s only fitting,

should honour this competition at a

series of modern ‘stadions’. This

5km race at Twickenham features

20 obstacles including winding

corridors and a clamber up the

stadium’s stairs. Twickenham

Stadium, London; spartanrace.uk

December

UVA: Other

Spaces

The art collective United Visual

Artists merges traditional media

such as painting and sculpture with

audio-visual technology to challenge

perceptions. In other words, get

ready for some mad shit. This

installation in an iconic Brutalist

building delivers such dizzying

delights as mechanical lights

dancing to the music of Mira Calix,

and the animal recordings of

‘bioacoustician’ Bernie Krause as

spectrograms. 180 The Strand,

London; 180thestrand.com

THE RED BULLETIN 109


G U I D E

See it

November/December

Off the rails: Finnish

freeskier Antti Ollila

A WORLD

WITHOUT

LIMITS

Skiing as a state of mind;

the wildest of mountain

bike rides; all-areas access

to the stars of enduro –

you’ll find all this and more

on Red Bull TV this winter…

WATCH

RED BULL TV

ANYWHERE

Red Bull TV is a global digital

entertainment destination

featuring programming that

is beyond the ordinary and is

available anytime, anywhere.

Go online at redbull.tv,

download the app, or

connect via your Smart TV.

To find out more,

visit redbull.tv

25

November FILM

THE COLLECTIVE

Shot on location across the world, this film transports the

viewer from the peaks of the Bernese Alps to the deep snow

of Hakuba, Japan, to the winding Powder Highway of British

Columbia, Canada. Filmmakers and top freeskiers including

Will Berman, Cody Cirillo, Caroline Claire, Mac Forehand,

Mathilde Gremaud, Alex Hall and Sarah Höfflin join forces to

explore the individual goals – but common purpose – of this

diverse group. The message: skiing is collective.

12

November ON DEMAND

ROB WARNER’S

WILD RIDES

Former MTB World Cup winner and commentator

Rob Warner joins the world’s best riders in search

of virgin terrain where they can test their limits.

Be warned: mountain biking is about to get wild.

4December ON DEMAND

WESS DIARIES:

SEASON FINALE

This year’s World Enduro Super Series came to a

close at the famous Getzenrodeo. Go behind the

scenes in Drebach, Germany, and meet the elite

riders who made the 2019 season so unmissable.

STEPHAN SUTTO, LUKAS PILZ/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, FUTURE7MEDIA/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

110 THE RED BULLETIN


Our exclusive seamless liner

makes the S/PRO the most

comfortable boot ever.


Ski

Switzerland

Where adventure

is a lifestyle

DAVID BIRRI


THE RED BULLETIN PROMOTION

Slope and glory:

the picturesque ski

resort of Adelboden-Lenk

has more than 200km of

pistes and hosts the

annual FIS Ski World Cup

113


01 Arosa

Lenzerheide

The ski area of Arosa Lenzerheide comprises two

resorts linked by the Urdenbahn – a cable car that was

installed in 2014, creating a whole new world of winter

opportunities. Skiers can now get from the Hörnli in

Arosa to the Urdenfürggli in Lenzerheide via a fiveminute

ride over the Urdental valley. Together, the

resorts offer 225km of stunning ski runs. The views

from the Weisshorn peak in Arosa are remarkable,

while the 360° panoramas from the top of the

Parpaner Rothorn in Lenzerheide look out over more

than 1,000 Alpine summits. Arosa Lenzerheide boasts

an enviable number of sunny days, too, and Swiss

tennis ace Roger Federer even has a chalet in the

hamlet of Valbella on the outskirts of Lenzerheide.

Switzerland is a country

covered in mountains.

The Swiss Alps make up

a remarkable 65 per cent

(26,835 sq km) of the

nation. Not the worst

ratio for adventure, we

think you’ll agree.

Skiing and snowboarding

Where steep means steep

Thanks to Arosa Lenzerheide’s

225km of pistes, there’s a little

bit of everything here. For

beginners, there are wide pistes

and rolling hills aplenty; for

those who prefer to spend their

holiday up in the air, or jibbing

boxes and rails, there are four

terrain parks spread across the

resort; and experts can enjoy an

impressive 28km of pisted black

terrain. The crown jewel of all

this is the Silvano Beltrametti

World Cup slope. Starting at the

Mottahütte and ending in the

village of Parpan, it measures

2.45km, dropping 727m in the

process. With an average

gradient of 31 per cent – and

slanting by as much as 65 per

cent at points – the thigh-burner

is one of the steepest courses on

the downhill World Cup circuit,

and one of the toughest pisted

runs on the planet. For the less

vertically inclined, special nighttime

skiing options give the

resort a starry-eyed edge. On

nights when there’s a full moon,

skiers can get a sundowner and

dinner at well above 2,500m

before skiing down beneath the

Alpine moonlight – watching out

for snow werewolves, of course...

STUART KENNY

114 THE RED BULLETIN


Ski Switzerland

Light show: an aerial

view of the Lenzerheide

valley from the Rothorn

THE RED BULLETIN 115


Winter hiking

Sun, serenity and

crackling snow

Crunch. Silence. Crunch.

Silence. Crunch. Silence. This

is the sound of hiking in Arosa

Lenzerheide: pure serenity,

where the only noise is your feet

crossing the prepared tracks in

the snow. If you want silence in

your hike, there are more than

140km of marked and prepared

trails for winter hiking here.

Some run almost alongside the

resort’s pistes, while others go

right through the snow-covered

woods and countryside, away

from the hustle and bustle of the

ski slopes. The Heidi & Gigi Trail

is a particularly popular 9km

option, connecting Arosa and

Lenzerheide and affording

endless panoramas.

On the trail: visit Innerosa’s old houses and the Arosa Bergkirchli chapel, circa 1493

Curl power: it’s not all about the skiing in Arosa Lenzerheide

Mountain

adventures

The day doesn’t

end when the

lifts shut

There’s a mix of emotions at the end

of a day’s skiing. On the one hand,

there’s disappointment that the ski

day is over; on the other, if all has

gone to plan, you’ve had a damn

good day on the mountain and now

you get to take off your ski boots. In

Arosa Lenzerheide, the adventures

don’t end when you step back into

your regular shoes. Grab dinner,

then head to the Scharmoin halfway

station and restaurant and you’ll be

able to spend the evening eating

Swiss cheese fondue, drinking

mulled wine and sledging speedy

downhill runs. If getting out of the

snow but still gazing at the views is

more your style, you have plenty of

options, too. You can even jump in a

snow groomer and head around the

mountains, looking back on Arosa

and Lenzerheide lit up in the dark.

Fear not, the melted cheese will

still be there when you return.

NINA MATTLI (2), FREDHEIN FOTOS

116 THE RED BULLETIN


Ski Switzerland

Nearest airport:

Zürich (154km)

Elevation:

1,229m–2,865m

Total piste

distance:

225km

Longest run:

4.5km

Difficulty:

49% blue (110km);

39% red (87km);

12% black (28km)

Number of lifts:

43

More info:

arosalenzerheide.

swiss/en

Perfect pistes: Arosa Lenzerheide has something for everyone, from beginners to black-run addicts

THE RED BULLETIN 117


Ski Switzerland

02 Bern

region

The colossal peaks of Eiger, Mönch and

Jungfrau dominate the Interlaken-Jungfrau

region, which has been at the centre of skiing

and mountaineering for more than 200 years.

The 4,158m-high Jungfrau was first climbed in

1811, which kick-started tourism in the Swiss

Alps. Almost 150 years on, Heinrich Harrer

released The White Spider, his legendary book

describing the first successful ascent, in 1938,

of the North Face of the Eiger – nicknamed

‘Mordwand’ or ‘death wall’. Sir Arnold Lunn

organised the first ski slalom race in the village

of Mürren in 1922, while the first men’s World

Cup downhill took place in Wengen in 1967. The

region now draws 30,000 spectators every

year for the FIS World Cup’s Lauberhorn races,

one of the best-attended events on snow.

Winter sports

in Interlaken

Viewpoints

from the top

of the world

There are some ski resorts you

visit where the add-ons – the

extra stuff you can do when not

on skis – are a bit half-baked.

This is not the case in Interlaken.

The region boasts an abundance

of temptations to draw you off

the slopes for the day, or at least

a few hours. Top of Europe ICE

MAGIC is a little winter paradise

sandwiched between mountains

and lakes, which consists of six

icefields connected by winding

paths. There’s skating ahoy, and

you can try curling and ice hockey

on the fields. For an adrenalin

hit, the paragliding and skydiving

options are extensive, too. But

perhaps the pick in Interlaken is

the winter kayaking on Lake

Brienz. Think air as crisp as it

can get, and reflections of snowcovered

mountains on the water.

Nearest airport:

Zürich (133km)

Elevation:

800m–3,454m

Total piste

distance:

266km

Longest run:

14.9km

Difficulty:

38% blue (101km);

48% red (128km);

14% black (37km)

Number of lifts:

54

More info:

jungfrau.ch/en;

interlaken.ch/en

Skiing in the Jungfrau region

In the shadow of legendary mountains

Don’t let the history scare you.

The Jungfrau region may have

seen some of the most gnarly

mountaineering since humans

began climbing, but the ski slopes

offer something for everyone.

The resorts of Grindelwald and

Wengen are linked and great for

beginners and intermediates,

but Wengen also has the 4.5km

Lauberhorn – the pick of the

expert pistes and the longest

downhill World Cup race on the

circuit. There’s tough skiing in

Mürren, too, including the 14.9km

Schilthorn to Lauterbrunnen run.

It hosts the annual ‘Inferno’ event,

the world’s biggest amateur ski

race, with downhill racing, giant

slalom and cross country.

Float on: take a break from the slopes and paddle across Lake Brienz

Forty-eight of the Alps’

82 four-thousander

peaks (higher than

4,000m) are in

Switzerland, as well

as many of the most

famous summits in

the world, from the

Matterhorn and the

Dufourspitze to the

legendary Eiger.

118 THE RED BULLETIN


Ticket to ride: the

train from Wengen to

Lauterbrunnen cuts

through picturepostcard

scenery


Icing on the cake:

a thick covering of snow

is guaranteed in the

Bernese Oberland region


Ski Switzerland

Adelboden-Lenk-

Kandersteg

More drama than

you can dream of

More than 200km of pistes make

the resorts of Adelboden-Lenk

and Kandersteg a joy. But it’s

the niche activities that stand out.

In Kandersteg, the 14km crosscountry

Höh panorama trail is

a beauty, and some of the crosscountry

routes are floodlit at

night. The brave can even try the

exciting 3.5km downhill sled run.

Meanwhile, the Gran Masta Park

in Adelboden is a winter base

camp with more than 30 kickers,

rails and obstacles, making it one

of the Alps’ best parks. Lenk hosts

the Europa Cup Ski and Snowboard

Cross, while in January thousands

of people attend the FIS Ski World

Cup at Adelboden’s Chunisbärgli.

And if you take a winter hike to

the UNESCO-listed Oeschinen

Lake, you might just fall in love

with the entire region.

Nearest airport:

Zürich (190km)

Elevation:

1,072m–2,200m

Total piste

distance:

210km

Longest run:

7.5km

Difficulty:

46% blue (93km);

47% red (98km);

7% black (15km)

Number of lifts:

55

More info:

be-welcome.ch;

adelboden-lenk.

ch/en; kandersteg.

ch/en

Big air: Gran Masta Park is a highlight in Adelboden-Lenk

Glacial in Gstaad

Snow-sure skiing

through the winter

DAVID BIRRI, RUEDI FLÜCK

Peak Walk by Tissot in Gstaad: the world’s only suspension bridge that connects two peaks

The only glacier ski area in the

Bernese Oberland region, the

Glacier 3000 has 30km of varied

slopes (14.5km blue; 5.5km red;

10km black) as well as stunning

freeride options with descents

of around 2,000 vertical metres.

There are Freeride Days every

spring to show skiers the ropes

and the options available.

There’s more to Gstaad than just

the glacier, though. Nearly 40km

of black runs are accessible on

a ski pass, and the largest resort,

Rinderberg/​Saanerslochgrat/​

Horneggli (try saying that after a

few glühweins), is a 90km dream

for beginners and intermediates.

The Eggli/La Videmanette resort,

meanwhile, is home to a 7.5km

stretch that drops 1,160m

through the valley.

Nearest airport:

Bern (80km)

Elevation:

1,000m–3,000m

Total piste

distance:

200km

Longest run:

7.5km

Difficulty:

60% blue (120km);

28% red (56km);

12% black (24km)

Number of lifts:

47

More info:

gstaad.ch/en

THE RED BULLETIN 121


Ski Switzerland

03 Engelberg

A 30-minute drive from the city of Lucerne

is the freeriding heaven of Engelberg-Titlis,

based around the mighty 3,238m-high Titlis

mountain. Sticking strictly to the pistes,

Engelberg is a resort more accommodating to

intermediate and advanced skiers than it is

beginners, even though there are plenty of

routes for all, and the little circle of blue runs at

the top of the Jochpass chairlift is a veritable

playground for skiers of all levels. What really

brings powder fiends – and international

freeride teams – to Engelberg, though, are the

vast opportunities beyond the boundaries...

Switzerland’s

powder

playground

World-famous

freeriding without

the crowds

Walk this way: hire a mountain guide to get the most out of Engelberg

Nearest airport:

Zürich (100km)

Elevation:

1,000m–3,020m

Total piste

distance:

66km

Longest run:

12km

Difficulty:

29% blue (19km);

57% red (37.5km);

14% black (9.5km)

Number of lifts:

19

More info:

engelberg.ch

You can reach Engelberg’s

recommended powder runs,

known as the ‘Big 5’, without

ever removing your skis. The

most famous of these, the Laub

– a huge mountain face visible

from Engelberg village – is

steep, fierce and an absolute

blast to ski. Also one of the Big

5, the Galtiberg run consists of

a huge descent from 3,020m to

1,020m, via cliff-edge traverses.

Needless to say, hiring a

mountain guide in Engelberg is

near-enough a must if you’re

a powder hound, but you’ll be

rewarded for the expense as

you lay new tracks all day. Once

you feel the legs begin to tire,

it’s worth one last trip up the

mountain to traverse the Titlis

Cliff Walk, which is the highest

suspension bridge in Europe at

3,020m and has panoramas

of mountaintops on every side.

Come for the powder lines,

stay for the views.

JOHAN AXELSSON

122 THE RED BULLETIN


Field of dreams:

Engelberg is a

powdery playground

for local freeskier

Olof Larsson


Ski Switzerland

Land of the giant:

skiing in the shadow

of the Matterhorn

in Valais

VALAIS/WALLIS PROMOTION – PASCAL GERTSCHEN


04 Valais

This is a stunning region of more than 40 ski areas and 2,500km of slopes;

of 45 mighty summits above 4,000m, including the famous, pyramid-shaped

Matterhorn; of glorious panoramic views; of 50 grape varieties (best enjoyed

chilled in a glass on one of the region’s many sun terraces) and one UNESCO

World Heritage Site. When the first thing you say about a Swiss ski region

isn’t the fact that it’s probably the most snow-sure in a country pretty reliable

for its snow, you know it’s got a whole lot more going for it. Valais is one of

the most spectacular ski regions in all of Europe. visitvalais.ch/ski

125


Ski Switzerland

Région Dents du Midi

The gateway to Les Portes du Soleil,

where Switzerland meets France

The Région Dents du Midi

comprises six charming

villages – Champéry, Morgins,

Troistorrents, Les Crosets,

Champoussin and Val-d‘Illiez

– nestled at the foot of

the iconic Dents du Midi

mountains, and makes up

the Swiss side of Les Portes

du Soleil, one of the largest

ski networks in the world. It

encompasses 12 resorts

between Mont Blanc in France

and Lake Geneva in Switzerland

and covers more than 600km

of pistes, offering a huge variety

of skiing. This vast skiing

paradise has some demanding

slopes, not least the 2km-long

Didier Défago run, named after

the 2010 Olympic Downhill gold

medallist and world champion,

who hails from the area. The

runs can get marvellously tricky

in Les Crosets as well.

Some pistes are so steep

they’re graded black. Others

are so steep they’re just plain

scary. One goes beyond all

that to ‘legendary’ status.

The infamous mogul field at

Chavanette fits that moniker

comfortably – but that’s the

only comfortable thing about

it. The run, known as the

‘Swiss Wall’ because it starts

on the Swiss-French border,

is reachable from Avoriaz in

France, Champéry or Les

Crosets, and then plummets

back into the latter. The slope

not only has continuous

moguls but starts on a narrow

passage with a 40-degree

gradient. It opens up a little

after the first 50m, but this

is one strictly for expert skiers

or snowboarders. It lasts

a whole kilometre, dropping

331m on the way, and has

been judged so challenging

in the Swiss/French grading

system that it surpassed

a black grading and received

the notorious orange rank.

Did you even know there

was an orange rank? Yup,

it’s that hard.

Nearest airport:

Geneva (90km)

Elevation:

767m–2,276m

Total piste

distance:

600km

Longest run:

10km

Difficulty:

12% green

(38 slopes);

44% blue (131);

34% red (105);

10% black (32)

Number of lifts:

195

More info:

regiondentsdumidi.

ch/en

LITESCAPE MEDIA

126 THE RED BULLETIN


Big fun: Les Portes

du Soleil is one of

the world’s largest

ski networks

THE RED BULLETIN 127


Ski Switzerland

High point: view

from the top of

the gondola of

the Mont-Fort

128 THE RED BULLETIN


Nendaz 4 Vallées

The ski resort

in the heart of

the enormous

4 Vallées

AROLLE

Nearest airport:

Sion (15km)

Elevation:

1,350m–3,330m

Total piste

distance:

410km

Longest run:

10km

Difficulty:

33% blue (24

slopes); 52% red

(39); 14% black

(10); plus seven

yellow slopes

(freetracks)

Number of lifts:

80

More info:

nendaz.ch

Nendaz is the lesser-known

neighbour of the snow sports

powerhouse Verbier – the cliffdropping,

powder-puffing venue

of the Freeride World Cup.

Nendaz is linked with Verbier,

Veysonnaz and Thyon, making

4 Vallées the biggest ski resort

that’s solely in Switzerland, with

more than 400km of pistes. You

can easily hop between resorts

whenever you like. The terrain

in Nendaz is similar to its

neighbour – sublime. It caters

to all abilities, sure, but where

Nendaz really excels is in the offpiste,

freeriding fun. It has seven

free tracks: secured, unprepared

routes. And the fact that Verbier

is so close by means that when

the fresh stuff does fall, you’ll

be a lot more likely to ride fresh

tracks all day in Nendaz, because

the crowds are in Verbier. All the

snow, all the terrain, but without

the queues.

The seven freeriding areas

in Nendaz are the big pull for

expert riders. The runs on Mont-

Fort, in particular, attract a lot

of attention from accomplished

skiers and snowboarders. On the

front face you’ll find steep riding,

while on the backside you’ll find

a far-flung valley run made for

adventurous backcountry

dreamers. Gentianes is a 3.5km

freeride run which is incredibly

physically demanding, and if you

make it out to the challenging

freetrack L’Eteygeon, further

from the lifts than many of the

other options, you’ll be staring

into a great white wilderness.

Beware, though, this is expert

skiing. Book yourself a mountain

guide and they’ll no doubt show

you the best of the mountain.

There are 300 days of sunshine

a year here, so you should be

able to top up your goggle tan

as you float along the powder.

THE RED BULLETIN 129


One of the world’s

most beautiful

ski destinations,

Zermatt offers

endless runs for

all grades of skier

130


Ski Switzerland

Time to chill: aprés-ski drinks at Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort in Zermatt

Zermatt

Powder lines beneath one of the

planet’s most remarkable mountains

PASCAL GERTSCHEN

The resort in the shadow of the

mighty Matterhorn mountain,

one of the most distinctive rock

formations in the world, Zermatt

is often rightly lauded as among

the planet’s most beautiful ski

destinations. And it’s safe to

say the piste map matches the

scenery. Connecting to Breuil-

Cervinia, a resort on the Italian

side of the Matterhorn (or

‘Cervino’, as it’s called across

the border), the combined

360km of pistes – 200km in

Zermatt and 160km in Italy –

offer endless runs of all grades,

and nearly always look on to

either the north, east or south

face of the Matterhorn. As a

result, Zermatt is incredibly

photogenic. The views from the

top of the Monte Rosa glacier are

particularly special, with frozen

mountain lakes visible beneath

the peaks. Just make sure you

don’t miss the last lift home if

you do go to Italy, as it’s a three-

and-a-half-hour drive round the

mountain to get back once the

lifts stop for the day.

The option of heading into

Italy for an espresso and a bowl

of pasta for lunch isn’t the worst

add-on for a ski resort, but

what’s great about Zermatt is

that the hefty 200km of pistes

situated in the resort itself are

enough to keep you comfortably

entertained for a week-long stay.

There are three main areas in

Zermatt: Rothorn, Gornergrat

and Matterhorn glacier paradise.

The glacier delivers what it says

on the tin: it’s a paradise. And

the cable car trip to get you

there will sit nicely on your

Instagram. It reaches the highest

cable car station in Europe at

3,883m. If you want something

a bit more off the beaten track,

then Zermatt also has a full

36km of freeride slopes, denoted

with yellow markings, just

waiting for your tracks.

Nearest airport:

Sion (80km)

Elevation:

1,620m–3,899m

Total piste

distance: 360km

Longest run:

25km

Difficulty:

20% blue (76km);

62% red (220km);

18% black/yellow

(64km)

Number of lifts:

54

More info:

zermatt.ch

131


THE RED

BULLETIN

WORLDWIDE

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Bulletin is

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cover of December’s

Austrian edition,

featuring a stunning

skateboarding image

from Red Bull Illume,

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and adventure

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132 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN PROMOTION

SWISS

THE SKIERS’ AIRLINE

Jet to the Alps with the specialist airline and your ski and snowboard equipment flies free

Every skier or snowboarder knows the pain of checking in

their favourite equipment with all the other luggage at the

airport as they embark on their snow holiday. Having gear

that’s in good working order can make or break a week in the

mountains, so it’s vital to travel with an airline that you can

trust with those all-important boards, skis and boots.

Being the skiers’ airline of choice, SWISS transports your

first set of skis/snowboard and boots free of charge, in addition

to your standard free baggage allowance of 23kg in Economy

Class* or two 32kg pieces in Business Class. SWISS connects

UK and Switzerland with more than 160 weekly flights

from London Heathrow, London Gatwick**, London City,

Manchester and Birmingham to Zurich, Geneva and Sion**.

SWISS’s classic fare from London Heathrow to Geneva –

gateway to the Alps – starts from £82 in one direction and

includes free ski and snowboard equipment carriage.

swiss.com

*Free ski carriage is not applicable for travel on our Economy

Light fares. **Seasonal flights only

THE RED BULLETIN 133


Action highlight

Flipping the script

Brazilian Felipe Gustavo originally wanted to follow in the footsteps of his country’s

footballing heroes – players such as Pelé and Neymar. But then he swapped the ball

for a board, and the rest was street skateboarding history. In the video All On Me,

the 28-year-old journeys through New York, musing on his life in the US and the

decisions that took him to the top of his sport. Watch All On Me at redbull.com

The next

issue of

THE RED BULLETIN

is out on

January 14

JONATHAN MEHRING/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

134 THE RED BULLETIN


GIVES YOU

WIIINGS.

ALSO WITH THE TASTE OF COCONUT & BERRY.

NEW


C.C. FILSON CO. | UNFAILING GOODS

9 & 13 NEWBURGH STREET, LONDON, W1F | FILSON.COM

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