Super 8 film
With a Super 8 camera and a keen eye, young “Deek” Deekma documented himself, his brother and their neighbouring friends in the summer of 1971 as they created new forms of raw stunts daily. Using 8ft toboggans fitted with rollerskate wheels they sledded and surfed the rolling pastures of their family farms. Other inventions include a flying squirrel suit, a fleet of unusual home made bicycles and the ‘road ski’.
Presented as found footage by the Zenga Bros, the Ski Boys film reels show Deek documenting his everyday adventures along with his friends using a World War 2 era movie camera. Deek’s ability to capture the action that unfolds for the first time before his lens while using homemade dollies, cranes and camera mounts brings the viewer along with them on a breathtaking thrill ride.
Living in a culture that is saturated with information technology, we seem to share a communal sense of historical advantage, a naïve self-assuredness that everything is at our fingertips. Given this instant accessibility to the widest imaginable audience, many people seem to doubt the possibility that truly important creators continue to labour in obscurity. Ski Boys is a story about an overlooked subculture in Ontario that had the potential to reshape youth culture as we know it. It raises the questions: how many others who’ve forged new directions in sport and art have gone unrecognized? And, what if it’s better that way? Staying out of the spotlight and avoiding the grasp of mass marketers who’re looking for the next authentic thing to co-opt and redefine under their logo.
The Ski Boys didn’t do what they did because they were drawn to the rebellious image of being a ‘skateboarder’ per se; they created their own variety of raw stunts out of their insatiable desire to explore.