Image Maker: Warp Wave's Eric Messier
The always-smooth Eric Messier and image creator Gray Thompson have teamed up to create videos and 'zines that are a nod to the era of surf inspired turns and boned out grabs.
Warp Wave is an aesthetic adventure that departs from the homogenized video formula of cheese wedges and handrails, and reminds us that there can be subtle beauty in a frontside turn. Hailing from the Lake Tahoe area Thompson and Messier are on an inspired trip to document snow slashing in its purest form.
After a seven-month dry spell passed in which there were no videos posted (we checked regularly), the duo is back. Their new video adventure is called "Rem Cycle." We grabbed Messier to find out more about the whole WW enterprise.
XGames.com: How was the Warp Wave idea conceived and then birthed?
Eric Messier: Warp Wave was created off the idea that we needed a change in the snowboard video world. Everywhere you look you see the highest of high definition equipment being used to shoot the most technical, death-defying tricks.
I mean, I understand. It's entertainment, but it can't be the only way.
Still life: Warp Wave in action
It's been just over a year since Eric Messier and Gray Thompson debuted the co-brainchild creative video zine that is Warp Wave, and in that time it's developed quite a cult following. The particular unique angle of their vision is why.
Growing up, that was never what snowboarding was to me. To me it was the enjoyment of just going out with your buds and slashing around, throwing yourself around in the snow, and that was incredibly fun.
I feel like the younger generation feels pressured to be The Next Big Thing and they lose touch with why they began riding in the first place. It's so competitive these days.
I guess I just felt like the sport was getting too serious. I teamed up with fellow powder hound Gray Thompson who was feeling the same way. We were sick of letting other people be in charge of our footage. We wanted to be in control of the way we were being presented. We both know how to shoot a camera so we decided to do our own thing and keep it fun.
Who are the key players involved? You know: CEO and CFO?
(Laughs) Pretty much it's Gray and I running everything. We roll the cameras, edit the footage, design the graphics, run the website, put together the zine, and perform the stunts. I want to thank all our contributors as well. We really couldn't make this happen with out them.
Surfing and skateboarding have always had creative avenues outside of hammers and big budget contests. Is WW influenced by its board sliding brethren?
We're totally inspired by surf culture. It's a lifestyle, and I'd definitely be a surfer if I lived near the ocean, but I don’t. I live in the mountains, so I guess you can say we just surf frozen waves.
Now that the internet has given snowboarders the chance to control their own media presence, was there something you felt was missing from the current media landscape?
There's definitely a lack of abstract snowboarding media these days. It's getting so stale with the same park edits time after time. I can't even watch those. It does nothing for me.
There's definitely a lack of abstract snowboarding media these days. It's getting so stale with the same park edits time after time. I can't even watch those.Messier
I'd like to see more focus on style and culture more than anything. Watching someone hit a nice slash or tweak gets me way more excited to go out and ride than the newest technical trick.
I mean, our videos aren't for everyone. We don't showcase insane trickery or cutting edge video technology, but we do have soul and I feel like that goes a long way.
I just want our videos to get people out in the mountains surfing around with their friends. Simple as that.
You kids are pretty hip for living somewhere as secluded as Tahoe. What inspires you?
I'm really inspired by old snow sport films. I love the way you feel when you watch them. People were a bit more loose back then with their style. It's too perfected these days.
It seems like a new snow genre is being born right now -- not just with you, but Spring Break and things like this. Do you have an objective or are you just going with the flow?
This "genre" has always been in snowboarding.
Gray and I, for instance, have never been attracted to the current emphasis on freestyle progression and urban riding. We have always just pointed our boards down the mountain and ripped whatever came in our path.
I think that's how most people snowboard, honestly. It's just the snowboard industry, market and media outlets that haven't pushed this style of simply riding a snowboard.
So I guess this "genre" can be described as simply applying one's snowboard to the terrain presented in front of them. Instead of looking at the mountain like a skatepark, we look at it as shapes of frozen waves and the objective is to ride those waves with style and fluidity while having insane amounts of fun.
Clearly this venture is all about making money and pushing the cork into the next dimension. How long before you sell out to an energy drink sponsor?
Honestly I don't support energy drinks. They're garbage. I don't want kids thinking these drinks aren't poisoning their bodies, because they are. Now say they made a product that is healthy, then yeah, I'd let them in on what we're doing -- if they put a nice check in our pockets.
Who would be the ideal WW cover boy: Shaun White, Johnny Depp or Morrissey?
(Laughs) How about someone like Craig Kelly or Gerry Lopez? None of those other guys really fit our vibe, you know?
To view the entire WW video canon, check out the Warp Wave Vimeo page.