Video Obscura with Nial Romanek

Nail Romanek has recently stopped filming video parts to start a new web series project called Video Obscrua. Sidesurfers associate James Whitted caught up with this inventive man to get a better understanding of his new project.

Thanks for taking time to talk to us, can you let the people know who you are again?
Nial Romanek.

And how many years have you been filming video parts?
7, 8.

What do you like about Sidesurfers?
you can put them on any sunglasses thats a really cool feature, not even just snowboarding or skiing but I do a lot of boat stuff this summer and it actually helps out a lot with the glare and they are nice at the beach, I wear them all the time, like all the time. Fashion sunglasses are usually flat and not the best thing for your eyes, surfers are a nice compliment to your glasses, premium quality, they are just proper, slip them on and boom my eyes are ready to go.

Will we see Sidesurfers in this project?
Ya why wouldnt you Im always wearing them, they are always on my sunglasses.

What was your first film project?
It was just my homies, it was called “Tuff Love”

What’s the name of your current project?
It’s called “Obscura”, which means doubtful, uncertain, unsure, suspect, questionable, and that is just kind of how I went about my snowboarding, trying weird new things that I didn’t know how they were going to work out.

Where are you filming?
All of it will be filmed, hopefully it doesnt rain again in Tahoe and all of it is going to be in driving distance and everything as of now has been natural speed and i havent spent more than two hours on a spot.

So its kinda of like patdowns but in the street?
Yea its kinda funny but opposite of what like xgames real snow and stuff like that is. I obviously respect it but I feel like that is not even that attainable because you have a full crew of people helping you build something for like a whole day or more and the you go the next day to go hit. I feel like most people wanna go to the park and just snowboard if they are not at the mountain, trying just to do fun stuff like that.

How can we view it?
It will be on Its gonna premier on their site January 21st of 2017.

Who is sponsoring this project?
Smokin Snowboards. Pretty stoked they were behind me on it and just let me do whatever I want to do.

Are you going to be the only rider?
No there will be a couple of other people, Tim Humphries, Ryland West, Keeks, Maybe Wilkyboi and Brady Lem on there.

Who’s filming it?
Paul Heran and he is editing it too.

He’s the best.
Yes he is.

What brought the change from filming video parts for a large film crew to making your own project?
Honestly mostly just funding, the snowboard industry isn’t in the best state and I feel like videos have been just dying slowly. I hope with all the new shit thats been happening maybe it will come back but now i have this new idea and wanted to steer away from that and see what else i could do.

What do you want the audience to take from this web series?
Hopefully I can inspire people to know that you dont need to go somewhere crazy you can just do it in your backyard, you just gotta be creative, use what you got you know, theres stuff all around to snowboard you dont need a huge quad kink of something.

More of like trying to get people to think more creatively with snowboarding instead of doing the biggest baddest trick?
Well instead of using a wench and using bungees and all types of crazy stuff and like shoveling forever it just takes away you really dont snowboard as much or go around trying to find the perfect handrail yea you obviously want to do that but at the same time you can snowboard on anything and it can be super sick.

So you are more focused on the session style of snowboarding?
Yea i feel like thats always the most fun.

You have gone from park to street to backcountry what type of riding will we see in this project?
The first one that is coming out is just like parks, playgrounds, places with hills and speed you know.

How do you find a spot?
Just go exploring in the car or walking, you can always see much more when you are walking. For the most part its 50/50, I have ideas and then I’m like looking for a spot for my idea and then there’s other times where you’re just going out to find something new, maybe you don’t even know what it is and you’ll stumble on it and your brain will like figure out some different way to snowboard on it.

How do you then decide what trick to do at each spot?
I don’t know just going into it riding a little bit, see what seems possible and I guess try the hardest thing there you can do or want to do, sometimes you just want to do something smooth and shit you know.

How do you think of tricks to do that haven’t really been done before, like the wallride bluntslide you did last year?
That was actually an idea I had for a while and I’ve been looking for a spot to do it, its funny that the spot was just in Tahoe City. Sometimes its thats the biggest struggle, if theres something you wanna do but you cant find the feature to do it on.

How do you approach different spots?
If its a fun spot obviously just start boarding and see what happens, you’re just stoked and have nothing to worry about . If its a gnarly spot you just got to calm yourself down, don’t let fear get to you. Usually you go in with a trick already in your mind of what you want to do, so you go there and do one or two test hits on it and then you go for your move and then you are done if you can do it without getting broke off first.

Do you have to visualize a trick before you try it?
I definitely visualize them if i cant see in my mind myself doing it I’m definitely not going to do it, well there were a couple times i couldn’t figure out in my mind how to do it and i just did it?

Now that you are not filming for a film company do you approach tricks differently are you doing tricks that you want to do instead of what people want to see?
I just try and stay true to my snowboarding, I guess I never really like thought of like oh people think this is cool i just like I just do the stuff I wish I could do on my skateboard. Maybe I’ve been a little bit more out of the box with this project, getting a little bit more risky with like certain ideas I have, in like a weird way. Its fun to look at things a little bit differently.

What are you trying to do with this project?
i just don’t think you need to kill yourself snowboarding is fun you don’t have to do Evil Knieval shit.

Well you do Evil Knieval shit.
Not in the project, well maybe.

Modestiest mousiest, the leak you showed us DEFINITELY suggests otherwise.
Oh, I guess that was sketchy, it was a good time, but it doesn’t have to be like that to be fun, you can snowboard on anything and have fun thats what I really want people to see.

Quick Shop