Speed riding involves skiing down a mountain with a small cloth wing or parasail attached to the skiers body. The wing provides lift which allows the speed rider to occasionally take flight, soaring over rocks, trees, or other obstacles, before gently returning to the ground to continue the descent on skis. In this way, the skier makes their way down the face of a mountain with a mix of skiing and flying, even taking flight from high cliffs along the way.
A published two-minute clip of the sport — via Red Bull, of course — was filmed on the Bossons Glacier located near Chamonix, France. Chamonix, which sits in the shadow of Mont Blanc and is considered one of the top ski destinations in the entire world, has long been a hot spot for new adventure sports. Not only do skiers and snowboarders flock to the area but it’s also a mecca for mountaineers, rock climbers, BASE jumpers, and wingsuit pilots, as well. Apparently, speed riding is the next in line to be added to this list, as the sport also traces its origins to the region.
The video features French speed rider Valentin Delluc as he makes a nighttime descent of Chamonix’s glacier. Typically, this would be a scary proposition but on the night the short film was captured, a bright full moon hung in the sky overhead. To help himself out, Delluc strapped 20 meters of LED lights to his parasail which illuminates his way. The result is an amazing bit of him skiing and flying through the French Alps.
According to Red Bull, the 25-year old Delluc spent seven months training for his midnight run. He came up with the idea of speed riding at night back in the summer of 2016 but it took plenty of planning and preparation to get the video just right. Part of this preparation involved perfecting his illuminated wing, which went through several iterations before he got it exactly right.
In the end, the entire run was filmed in a single take as he covered 1,500 vertical meters in 4 minutes and 20 seconds. The video takes the best shots from that run, giving viewers a true sense of what speed riding is all about.