Words by Milo McSenderson
Firstly, if you haven’t watched Henrik Harlaut’s “The Regiment” watch it now, it’s mindblowing:
The world of skiing tremored when we found out Henrik Harlaut (E-Dollo) had teamed up with Stept Productions to film a two-year project. A return to the scene from Stept and arguably the best park rider in the world combining to make a movie was never going to disappoint and I can tell you, it doesn’t.
There are few, if any, who can match Dollo on the comp scene, in the streets, or in the backcountry, let alone all three; for 25-minutes we are treated to a showcase of Henrik’s talent, hard work and unrelenting passion for skiing.
The visual feast of style, send and downright wizardry is interspersed throughout with comments from his Armada teammates; Tanner Hall, Phil Casabon and Noah Albaladejo. As well as this, interview questions with the man himself give detailed insight into what really makes this steeze machine tick. The cuts of teammates, interviews and skiing is well balanced. Stept have done a fantastic job, the street segment makes me pine for more feature lengths from them.
Opening shots (hammers and some not-so-typical ski movie filler) are rounded off with Henrik being asked if he ever gets tired on his season. Filming street segments, winning X-Games golds and everything in between must really take it out of you? Not for Henrik. You get the impression that if he didn’t need to eat or sleep he’d probably always be clicked in. Three hours until a flight leaves for a competition? That’s all precious shot stacking time apparently.
It’s this drive, hunger and love of skiing that his teammates attribute Dollo’s success to and it’s hard to argue with. The lines he hits in Andorra, in July no less, epitomise this; but I’ll get to that later.
Whilst being interviewed about his style, hip hop influences and trying to be an entertainer, Henrik says, “it’s so much cooler when you add a little something that you can almost touch.” Henrik’s style is so unique and we’ve really seen his air awareness and rotation variation evolve over the years and it’s showcased here. Clips of comp runs, booter hits and park laps show these incredible axes at work, my favourite being the triple cork 1440 (Tom Wallisch described it as an ‘orbital’) from his X-Games Big Air gold in 2018. It’s this flair that makes Harlaut’s style so visceral and uncompromising.
Hard work and eternal levels of stoke shine through as the main theme of this movie.
“Even in the streets if he has to go for 9 straight hours he will do it.” – Tanner Hall
This in when we head into the urban section of the flick, all hell breaks loose. We see Harlaut 180 up on to a huge ledge and do a blind surface swap, front surface swap, pretz 2 out, which really has to be seen to be believed.
[Think about holding that grab all the way through that bend]
Many of the shots are from Henrik’s 2017 Real Ski edit make the cut, such as the 180 to switch 5050 on the skinniest slipperiest looking wooden handrail you ever did see. That nosebutter 3 to drainage pipe grind is really something else. There are also many new shots to keep you keen eyed Harlaut fans happy too. Without going into a detailed trick list, what must be said, is the creativity and innovation that Henrik hits the streets with is phenomenal.
I’ve always thought that to be at the top in the streets you have to have a monumental passion for it, just like street skaters. The objects around you are unforgiving, awkward and usually very concrete, so you gotta love it to live it (think back to Kilbride’s lip in Russia, from Habit or Laurent De Martin in Russia, from Habit… or don’t, that was really gnarly).
After a big fall, we hear Henrik chatting to the cameraman who comments that Henrik has taken his first big slam in a while. “Finally a good one,” says Henrik, followed by, “it feels good.” Cut to more hell raising in the streets and stoke with locals. It’s great to see Henrik in the streets again after a big comp season; he carves up the street with his signature style and Stept’s street skiing pedigree captures every moment perfectly.
For years I’ve loved seeing park rats leave the shapely landscape of parks and hit features out in the ‘real mountain,’ Just as he’s been the best in parks all over the world Henrik unleashes more spine-tingling madness out in the BC. I don’t even know how to describe what goes down in this part of the movie, except point out moments that had my jaw on the floor. Henrik doubles in a natural half pipe and does a switch (tailbutter?) triple off a booter. Creative lines, and massive back country jumps litter this segment and we all know Henrik has been doing the work of two with the shovel.
What follows is one of the most stoke inducing moments I’ve seen in a ski movie ever. Dollo, standing atop an absolutely massive line (with poles, maybe for the first time ever? But he didn’t whack ‘em… definitely minus a few GNAR points for that blunder.) Unsurprisingly Dollo proceeds to absolutely rip the sh*t out of it. I have never heard so much stoke from someone who’s always so stoked, and vocal (remember the SLVSH cup dog bark). An embrace with mentor Tanner Hall at the bottom of the big line and this really is a fantastic, heart-warming moment, and hopefully the beginning of a career in massive lines from Harlaut. We all know his park skills and some massive drops and pillow lines will be a devastating combo. I’m calling it now; Sammy Carlson and Henrik Harlaut backcountry segment would be insane.
[Henrik now shreds massive lines too apparently]
We are then treated to an array of highlights from Harlaut’s incredible competition career which shouldn’t be glossed over considering he has 10 X-Games medals, but I’m going to gloss over it… 49.33 in a big air run, rodeo 450s on in slopestyle. We already know he’s the king of the comp.
The Andorra segment is one of the most inspirational segments I have ever seen, from the gnarly bootpacks in blazing sun to pump track style lines meticulously shovelled out of what snow is left really hammer home Henrik’s commitment. With local legend Noah Albaladejo as his guide Henrik keeps shredding the Andorran snow until every last line is melted away. We hear him talking about how getting better only helps him push boundaries and try things he didn’t have the skill to previously. It only gets more fun for him as he gets better.
I love this because that feeling is something we can all relate to when it comes to skiing, whether it’s your first black run or first backie the stoke never dies. This reminds us of the joy that all skiers (and boarders) share and it’s clear Dollo wants to spread his passion wherever possible.
[Getting the grab, getting the shot]
“Those spring days he would ski for 8 hours, and he’d be shovelling before that so he could get the shot” – Noah Albaladejo
Some of the shots from the Andorra segment are in overcast or rainy days when, during the regular season, many would stay out of a real terrain park or take an early après. This is mid-July and Henrik is stacking shot after shot. If that’s not inspiring I don’t know what is; this segment really got me wanting to scratch that ski itch.
After the heat from Henny’s hammers has melted the last of the Andorran snow the film wraps up. With more loving words from skiers and hip-hop icons. I feel I can just about go another 24 hours before I must watch this piece of awesomness again.
“For myself I’m not even close to where I wanna get to.” – Henrik Harlaut
And if these words from Henrik are the truth, I can’t wait to see what his next project looks like. I’m not sure I can handle it if I’m honest.
Some Additional Links
Clayton Villa Mutiny Segment produced by Stept as well
Harlaut Real Ski 2017
Henrik and his Andorran guide Noah Albaladejo in Argentina (such a sick edit)
Harlaut Back to Back Gold’s 2018 X-Games Aspen
Phil Casabon Real Ski 2018 (just because it’s dope and Casabon speaks in The Regiment)