Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Get ?Stoked?

Photo book shows off extreme sports

Express Staff Writer

Kristen Ulmer extreme skier, mountain biker, rock and ice climber and kiteboarder.

"Stoked: The Evolution of Action Sports" by Claudia Lebenthal and Daniel Stark is a coffee table book for extreme sports enthusiasts, which appears to be, and rightfully so, a perfect Sun Valley accessory.

On Saturday, March 24, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Iconoclast Books in Ketchum, Lebenthal, one the book's designers, creators and editors will be in appearance to celebrate the release of "Stoked." She will share in some of her experiences in creating a one-of-kind pictorial and historical book on "action" sports.

"It's a history that's still evolving and really begins with surfing," Lebenthal said. "It's a photographic evolution within the sports, too, and you really see how things have changed and how cameras have changed."

Lebenthal, a photographer for Women's Sports & Fitness magazine, is no stranger to extreme sports. Along with her co-editor, Stark, the two believed the book had to have an outside voice as well as be an object of desire to fit with the high risk nature of the athletes and their sports.

"I really had a transformation sinking my teeth into this project," Stark said. "I used to look at skateboarders and thought they were punks, but now I see them and they are doing their thing—the athleticism, passion and how they push themselves and their boundaries. The real change is to get it even though I don't do it. I have respect."

Through dramatic images mixed together with cutting edge multi-media effects, playful pull-outs as well as special materials and papers, stickers and tattoos, "Stoked" is a stimulating visual history of the evolution of action sports, from surfing to skateboarding to snowboarding to freestyle moto X and all the sports in between.

"There is so much more crossover and there is an evolution with all of the sports," Lebenthal said. Original interviews with skateboard superstar Tony Hawk, snowboard pioneer Jake Burton and skiing maverick Jonny "Big Air" Moseley, who are all living legends of this new era of sports, are a testament to the evolution and the value of extreme sports.

An introduction by Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger, an outsider, who explains whether or not "Stoked" is extreme, death-defying or cool, states "It's a rebel of a book that challenges and gets in your face and stays there."

"Stoked" also includes contributions from Ketchum's own Shanti Sosienski, author of "Women Who Run."

"Stoked" is a limited edition printing with only 2,500 copies available. For more information, call 726-1564.

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