Inside a Super 8 Chilean Adventure

31 Mar, 2010

Often snowboard journeys are undocumented travels, lost in our memories and shared secrets between friends. Snowboarders from California Luke and Will shared their journey in a super 8mm film for the world to see and while many Chilean travels are left to the pros, I enjoyed the passion and creativity that came out from their film.

I caught up with Luke to find out more about their travel experience to Chile and how they documented the experience in a short film.

Shay: What made you decide to go to Chile on a snowboard adventure?
Luke: Last year I celebrated my 30th birthday. I knew I wanted to do something special and pretty much the best possible thing I could think of was going snowboarding. Since my birthday is in July my choices were limited. I’ve done Hood/Whistler multiple times, but never ridden in the Southern Hemisphere, so I decided to look into that. Australia and New Zealand didn’t seem as interesting as South America…and early in the season, Chile is better than Argentina. The idea that I’d get to ride new mountains, on a new continent, in a non-English speaking country for my birthday sounded pretty awesome.

Shay: How long were you planning your trip and how did you pick each location to ride?
Luke: I started planning about 4 months out…mostly because I wanted to get a good deal on the flight. First, my buddy Will and I looked at trail maps and read about the resorts to figure out what ski areas looked the most interesting. Then we mapped the different areas onto a large map of Chile & Argentina. We tried to pick areas that would offer a variety of terrain without an excessive amount of driving between them. We settled on starting out in Santiago, driving to the Trés Valles area for a couple days, then traveling about 220 miles south to a place called “Termas de Chillán.” Once in country we actually had to alter our trip as the southern area hadn’t received enough snow to open. That meant we got to spend more days in the Trés Valles area, which was awesome, but it would have been nice to see a bit more of the country.

Shay: Who traveled with you on your trip to Chile?
Luke: My good friend Will Armacost had a break from touring with his band Super Happy Story Time Land ( and was able to make the journey with me.

Shay: What made you decide to document your trip in the film? Why did you choose to film with the super 8 camera?
Luke: Ever since Junior High I’ve been filming my snowboarding and skateboarding trips. Somewhere out there exists a VHS of a video from a trip I took to Utah in 1996… I love making films and documenting my travels, so there was never really any doubt that I’d be making something on this trip. Since I’ve shot a LOT of snowboarding on video I wanted to do something different.

I’ve always been a big fan of the texture and look of Super 8 film so I decided to document this trip with that format. In addition to providing an awesome looking image it also forced me to be more intentional with what was filmed. I only had 30 minutes of footage for the ENTIRE trip. In the past I’ve shot more than 30 minutes sessioning one kicker… so I really needed to consider what I was going to shoot. Having to think about each shot influenced the end result of the project and I think made for a better piece.

Shay: What’s the soundtrack for your film?
Luke: The first song is “Girls and Fast Cars” from a Seattle band called Fresh Espresso ( I heard the song on and immediately knew it was the song for the video. The song in the credits is “Ponity” from Super Happy Story Time Land.

Shay: What’s one thing you’d like people to take away with them after watching your film?
Luke: There’s beautiful, fun, and interesting stuff all around us – whether you’re in another country or at your home mountain. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll find it.

Shay: Would you mind me asking what was your favorite part of the trip?
Luke: Not at all. Hmmm.

I think the best part of the trip was becoming better friends with Will. The ups and downs of foreign travel test a person’s character and you get to see what they’re really made of. It can make or break a friendship…and in our case it totally made it.

My favorite specific memory was the last day of riding. We were coming from Valle Nevado over the interconnection back to La Parva. Ski Patrol was JUST in the process of closing the gates and we were able to sneak through. As we rode down, the sun was setting. The sky changed to purples and oranges as the light on the mountain faded. We flew down the groomers, riding by feel, goggles up so we could see, eyes tearing from the wind. Afterwards, as we sat in the lodge, sipping our cortados we realized we had been the last ones down the mountain. It felt good knowing that we rode as long and as hard as possible.

Shay: Thanks Luke for sharing your film and your experiences!

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. cody
    March 31, 2010

    yes!!!! just what i wanted to see!!!!!! only a few more months 😀

  2. March 31, 2010

    Love this video! Thanks for interviewing and posting Shay

  3. April 04, 2010

    I found this via Twitter. Very cool to see this video and how you experienced Chile as an independent traveler. Super 8 gave it that raw grainy texture keeping it real. Glad you went with the Super 8. Hope you can visit Chile again one day, if you can get to Chillan with powder it is unreal! I have been going there for over a decade and is one of my favorite places to ride.

  4. April 07, 2010

    not sure I needed to see a chile snowboard video right as our season in the states is winding down…makes me dream of things so very different than homework 😛