Alaskan Holiday

Stolen Paradise’s Philip Strauss Tells us About their Snowboarding Trip of a Lifetime

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Stolen Paradise is a Travel blog by Marco Smolla and Philipp Strauss, who have been shooting Snowboard movies with Isenseven for the past 8 years. The past year has been a whirlwind, action packed, adventure around the world  for them. Along with  fellow action sport lover, Tobi Strauss, they visited a long list of destinations including Indonesia, Australia, India, Liberia, Mexico and Columbia. However, Alaska took the prize as one of the highlights of their tour, and is the setting of their exciting new mini documentary, Alaskan Holiday.

‘We pretty much had fun every day,’ Philipp told The Plus, as we tried to mask our jealousy. ‘The funniest story probably is the one about the sled we burnt on the first day. Due to some miscommunication. The emergency break was stuck while I was riding the sled. The engine overheated and the break fluid lit on fire. It was windy up there and within seconds the whole sled was on fire.’

Although at the time, a burnt sledge was definately a huge downer, the guys from the Tailgate Alaska event ended up gaving Philip and friends two brand new 2015 sample sleds, so it’s a story they can now look back on, and laugh.

We talked more extreme sports and extreme luck with Phillip:

The Plus: What’s the most difficult part of filming extreme sports?
Philipp Strauss:
You are very dependent on nature and conditions. In our sport you need good snow and good weather to be productive, two factors that are hard to plan with. For our Alaskan Holiday trip everything went perfect though, we had really good weather and snow conditions for a long period of time which is very uncommon for AK. Sometimes you just need to be lucky

TP: Anything in the film that might surprise the audience to see?
In regular snowboard movies Alaska is always shown as the big place where only the best riders in the world can go and ride the most difficult lines. And yes, it is a place for the best riders in the world and indeed Alaska has the best lines in the world. Some of the terrain is so steep and ambitious that only a few people in the world can ride it. But what we show in the movie is that there is also another side of Alaska. Alaska also has terrain for the advanced everyday rider like us.

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TP: Do you have a favourite shot?
Yeah there are two helicopter fly-by shots that I like the most. In the first shot the helicopter just flies over our camp that we had 30 miles from the road. It wasn’t even our helicopter, it tourist’s. The second fly-by was when Elias dropped in on top of a line. In the exact moment when he drops in the helicopter we were using earlier flies over his head. I like those shots in particular because they weren’t planned.

TP: Will there be any follow up films?
For now, Marco, Tobi and me have all moved to munich and started our masters. Alaskan Holiday and Stolen Paradise was a personal project. It was a dream trip that needed a lot of time, personal effort to plan and lots of luck to do. Nothing was planned at the beginning, it all just happened because of the right approach. Of course we still have ideas for new adventures.

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