First Descent (2005) - Synopsis

First Descent chronicles the rebellious, inspiring and sometimes controversial rise of snowboarding—as seen through the eyes of the snowboarders setting the standards and breaking the boundaries of this worldwide phenomenon.

First Descent spotlights a handful of snowboarding’s early pioneers (including Shawn Farmer, Nick Perata and Terje Haakonsen) and some of the superstar phenoms at snowboarding’s current cutting edge (Shaun White and Hannah Teter) and literally takes them to the edge—the snow blanketed mountains of Alaska—where these five icons face some of the most challenging natural terrain on the planet. The five come for different reasons—Perata and Farmer to see if they still have what it takes, Haakonsen to add another credit to his Big Mountain resume, and White and Teter to undertake their first Big Mountain riding ever.

Leading up to a first descent, the crew of five share their stories, comparing viewpoints, individual lifestyles, and unedited opinions on the evolution of snowboarding that began as a delinquent child of skiing and now stands as an international cultural movement that has permanently changed the face of winter sports.

The movie spans the snowboarding revolution of the 80’s and 90’s, expresses real-life accounts from both notorious and famed riders, and provides dramatic scenes from the biggest winter contests and backcountry experiences. First Descent creates a fast-paced portrait of a sport that has quickly evolved from a fringe hobby to a full-fledged global event.