UK EDITION WINTER 2019, £3.50
BEYOND THE ORDINARY
THE WINTER ISSUE
ARCTIC FOOTBALL GLACIER SURFING SAUNA WORKOUT SNOW GEAR
F1 PRO ESPORTS THE RAPPER SNAPPER WOLF OF WALL STREET
SUPERFLY Freeskiing’s king of cool, Paddy Graham
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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
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
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 (COVER)
Gian Paul Lozza shoots Paddy Graham in Italy, as captured by our cover-story writer, Hugh Francis Anderson. Page 34 06
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MATTIAS HARGIN / PROFESSIONAL SKIER
CONTENTS Winter 2019
“Team coach? What team coach?” Football in Greenland is strictly a grassroots affair
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 S ampa the Great
Home truths from Zambia’s queen of conscious rap
30 A dewale
The British actor/director on rewriting his ‘racist’ past
3 2 Jordan Belfort
The Wolf of Wall Street on power, prison and penance
34 P addy Graham
The tale of a kid from Sheffield who became freeskiing royalty
46 F 1 Esports Pro Series How virtual racing is changing the real-life world of motorsports
56 G unner Stahl
The man who snaps trap
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
66 G reenlandic football Inside the Arctic league where a ‘winter break’ lasts an eternity
THE RED BULLETIN
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
AIGUILLE ROUGE, LES ARCS, FRANCE
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
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
TEAHUPO‘O, FRENCH POLYNESIA
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
“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
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
All Alone (1966)
Lilac Wine (1966)
They Say I’m Different (1974)
Danny Nedelko (2018)
THE RED BULLETIN
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
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.”
Read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
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
“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.” THE RED BULLETIN
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,
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Super star DJ
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
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SAM CARTER, JONATHAN TIPPETT
Skeleton crew: with a pilot at the helm, Prosthesis can hit speeds of 30kph
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 THE RED BULLETIN
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 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
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)
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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
BUILT TO BLAST
We could take the time to tell you about how rad these skis really are. About the years spent working with the women of the K2 Alliance to bring this freak of a ski to market. But the testers over at Freeskier werenâ€™t into it. I guess they just donâ€™t like having fun as much as we do. Introducing the K2 Mindbender 88Ti Alliance
MINDBENDER 88Ti ALLIANCE
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
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“It felt important to tell people the story of who I am”
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“There’s always hope if you never give up”
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.
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
How did you alter this path? The pivotal point was the passing of my first exam. It wasn’t a great THE RED BULLETIN
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.
Words TOM GUISE
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. 32
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 THE RED BULLETIN
JULIEN MIGNOT/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES
How the Wolf of Wall Street realised that an old dog can learn new tricks
“I was making $30,000 an hour, $5,000 a minute”
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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
Stelvio glacier, Italy, 2019: Paddy Graham in his element â€“ the mountain air
“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 THE RED BULLETIN
Snow patrol: Paddy Graham, an adrenalinchasing multiple champion, is Britain's top freeskier
Game-changer: Paddyâ€™s Revolt 121 skis have been developed by the skiers with the R&D team at VĂślkl
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.
raham 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
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Up in the air: “Freeskiing is all about enjoying the mountain,” says Graham
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“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.”
t 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
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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
ROCKERS FOR DEEP SNOW Tip and tail contact points float through powder
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 20102011 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.
t’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.
“We organised our own crazy park jump to do something special. It’s become our trademark” THE RED BULLETIN
FEELING GREAT FROM THE INSIDE OUT #ZEROEXCUSES
Still on the rise: at 31, Graham believes he’s at his physical peak
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.”
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.” 44
“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 –
ith 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 THE RED BULLETIN
RIDER: PADDY GRAHAM PHOTO: GRANT GUNDERSON
BUILT TOGETHER THE NEW REVOLT 121 - INCREDIBLY VERSATILE »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 LENGTH (RADIUS): 177 (17.4), 184 (19.2), 191 (21.7) SIDECUT: 143_121_135
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
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
F1 Esports Pro Series
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, 48
“The link between sim racing and real life is without question”
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. 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
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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
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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 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 THE RED BULLETIN
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 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
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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?”
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 THE RED BULLETIN
For Scottish 18-year-old Lucas Blakeley, the F1 Esports Pro Series transformed an after-school gaming hobby into a full-blown career
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.”
Not all esports drivers have a karting background to draw on, however: Floris Wijers from the Netherlands has no
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 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.
Eyes on the prize
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.
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 54
“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.”
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 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 sceneâ€™s biggest stars
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
onathan 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 58
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 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.
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.”
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.
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 yearâ€™s mixtape Drip Harder.
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.
NIPSEY HUSSLE The Los Angeles rapper, entrepreneur and activist was murdered outside his store, The Marathon Clothing, in March this year â€“ a huge loss to his family, friends and the global hip-hop community. Stahl pays tribute with some unseen photographs from his archive.
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PLAYBOI CARTI After shooting the iconic cover of his debut mixtape, Stahl has continued to document Playboi Cartiâ€™s rise to prominence. Here, the Magnolia rapper grabs a moment backstage with his mentor, A$AP Rocky.
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
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
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orty 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 THE RED BULLETIN
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
Ilulissat Sisimiut Nuuk
Qaqortoq Greenland is the world’s largest island – at 2,166km2, 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.
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 70
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
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â€œFootball connects everybody in Greenlandâ€?
Spectators watch the match from their high perch on the cliff in Sisimiut
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
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 74
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 THE RED BULLETIN
Former B-67 player Hans Brummerstedt before leaving the sports hall that has been his home for a week
â€œWe use 95 per cent of our funds on travellingâ€?
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.”
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
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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 –
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, 77
“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 78
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”. THE RED BULLETIN
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
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 THE RED BULLETIN
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 79
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Equipment Your guide to gear born with purpose, engineered to achieve, and built with style
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. Itâ€™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 THE RED BULLETIN
Photography TIM KENT â€‰ 81
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 82
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 THE RED BULLETIN
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 VonmĂ¤hlen (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
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
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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
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
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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
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.”
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The headphones are available in black and deep red (pictured)
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
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
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
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
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
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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
NEVER COMPROMISE We were th e pi on e er s o f the UK’s fir st cu stom
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RACE FOR LIFE
You may view it as merely a video game, but Mario Kart is deeper than that
Ultrarunner Christian Schiester has a unique way of sweating it out during training
Unmissable events, from Spartan racing to an immersive Stranger Things experience
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
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Watching icebergs is essential for glacier surfing – it’s how you predict the size of the resulting waves
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
deafening 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
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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
USA Anchorage Homer Kenai Fjords
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.
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
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I’m given a helmet and told, “Bring a board you don’t mind destroying”
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 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
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.
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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 SPECIFICATIONS Length 17.68m
Main engine 380hp
Equipment 4m RIB (inflatable boat), fishing gear
Crew Five or six passengers, one skipper
Cruising speed Eight knots
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
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Catch of the day: on the M/V Milo, you source your own dinner – Alaskan halibut
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intendo’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
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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,”
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.”
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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.
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
eading 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”
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.
Christian Schiester, Red Bull ultrarunner
Schiester’s motto: “Punish your body before it punishes you!”
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PHILIP PLATZER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, HARALD TAUDERER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL
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
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.
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Urbanista Atlas true wireless headphones: tailor-made for sport
TRAIN WITHOUT LIMITS
Meet the company that has designed next-level headphones to accompany your workout, no matter what your sport
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.
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.
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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
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
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January Hatsune Miku Expo 2020
Flayers gonna flay: join Eleven, Max and co in Hawkins
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
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
12 23 ALAMY
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
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November Spartan Stadion At the very first Olympics in 776AD, the only event was the Stadion, a sprint so epic that the arena was named after it (this later became the Latin ‘stadium’). It’s only fitting, then, that the Spartan – the present-day race inspired by the strongest of the Ancient Greeks – 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
Virtual insanity: Hatsune Miku live
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
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November/December Off the rails: Finnish freeskier Antti Ollila
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…
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.
ROB WARNER’S WILD RIDES
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
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.
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.
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STEPHAN SUTTO, LUKAS PILZ/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, FUTURE7MEDIA/RED BULL CONTENT POOL
A WORLD WITHOUT LIMITS
Our exclusive seamless liner makes the S/PRO the most c o m f o r t a b l e b o o t eve r.
Where adventure is a lifestyle
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Slope and glory: the picturesque ski resort of Adelboden-Lenk has more than 200km of pistes and hosts the annual FIS Ski World Cup
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.
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...
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.
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Light show: an aerial view of the Lenzerheide valley from the Rothorn
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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
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
Mountain adventures The day doesn’t end when the lifts shut
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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
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Winter sports in Interlaken Viewpoints from the top of the world
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.
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.
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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
Adelboden-LenkKandersteg 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
DAVID BIRRI, RUEDI FLÜCK
Glacial in Gstaad Snow-sure skiing through the winter
Peak Walk by Tissot in Gstaad: the world’s only suspension bridge that connects two peaks
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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
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...
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.
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Switzerland’s powder playground World-famous freeriding without the crowds
Field of dreams: Engelberg is a powdery playground for local freeskier Olof Larsson
VALAIS/WALLIS PROMOTION â€“ PASCAL GERTSCHEN
Land of the giant: skiing in the shadow of the Matterhorn in 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
Région Dents du Midi The gateway to Les Portes du Soleil, where Switzerland meets France 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
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
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Big fun: Les Portes du Soleil is one of the world’s largest ski networks
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High point: view from the top of the gondola of the Mont-Fort
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Nendaz 4 Vallées The ski resort in the heart of the enormous 4 Vallées
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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 MontFort, 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.
One of the worldâ€™s most beautiful ski destinations, Zermatt offers endless runs for all grades of skier
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 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 BreuilCervinia, 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
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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
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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
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