We got the call less than a week before Xmas that Red Bull athlete Levi LaVallee was working on a top secret new trick for X Games at his home in Longville, MN and they wanted us to shoot it. It took a bit of schedule fanangling but we decided we could make it happen.
It was a long truck to get up to the small town (pop. 180) of Longville but once we were there we were welcomed to the compound by Levi, his RB filmer Adam Buck, and Levi’s crew of hometown friends. Through the large shop, past the muscle car, lifted truck, and wakeboard boat, is Levi’s living quarters complete with full fitness room where we hung out, edited photos, reviewed video, and played Van Damme on his punching bag.
The mountains of gear lived in the shop and all the action happened less than 100 yards away. Each morning we would wench the roof off of the foam pit, adjust the ramp, and Levi would send his mandatory warm up straight air. From there he would pretty much immediately go into working on the trick and adjusting all possible variables… bar height, ramp angle, track weight, and technicalities of his form. It was pretty amazing watching and capturing the process of learning to do something crazy that has never been done before… a lot standing around and “what if…”s. Sometimes it felt like there were way too many cooks in the kitchen but for the most part it was an interesting collaborative brainstorm session between Levi, his mechanic, his dad, his long time friends, and the random onlookers who just dropped by because they heard Levi was up to something.
Levi and his friends built the retractable roof on the foam pit themselves and found an old working logging truck to crane the sled out of the foam after each hit. It was an impressive system with just the right combination of progression and backwoods DIY.
Don’t forget to tune into Xgames snowmobile big air to check Levi out!
Photos coming soon.