First Descent (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

First Descent (2005)



Critic Consensus: This snowboarding doc scores with its dazzling array of snowboarding stunts and beautiful scenery, but loses points with shameless product placement and an overlong runtime.

First Descent Videos

First Descent Photos

Movie Info

When snowboarding first rose to popularity in the 1980s, many people didn't know what to make of it -- taking the thrashed-out style of skateboarding and moving it to the ski slopes, snowboarding was hardly welcomed by the old-school winter sports establishment who regarded 'boarders as punks and misfits. But as more people took up the sport and the extreme sports community developed a following that couldn't be ignored, a grudging acceptance of the sport (and the skills of the best board riders) followed, and now snowboarding is one of the world's leading winter sports. First Descent is a documentary in which some of the pioneers of the snowboarding movement (among them Nick Perata, Shawn Farmer, and Terje Haakonsen) talk about the past, present, and future of the sport with some of the top new riders on the slopes (including Hannah Teter and Shaun White). But along with sharing some friendly conversation, these snowboarding legends get together for the trip of a lifetime -- a journey to a beautiful Alaskan mountain range that has never been skied or 'boarded before, giving the veteran riders a chance to show that they still have what it takes, and the new stars a challenge no one has ever faced before.
PG-13 (for brief strong language and a momentary drug reference)
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Sports & Fitness
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Box Office:


Critic Reviews for First Descent

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (26)

First Descent comes off as an overlong, overstuffed promo for an 'industry' that hasn't needed promoting since the movie's target audience was in diapers.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

They're amazing athletes.

December 5, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

An adequate if slightly overlong history of the sport, Descent adheres to the same storytelling trajectory as documentary predecessors on surfing and skateboarding.

Full Review… | December 2, 2005
USA Today
Top Critic

It doesn't get gnarlier than this.

December 2, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

At almost two hours, First Descent still moves along briskly, offering something for everyone, including the skeptical crowd that still thinks all snowboarders smoke pot and listen to Black Flag.

Full Review… | December 2, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

An overlong and surprisingly dull documentary about snowboarding.

December 2, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for First Descent


(**): [img][/img] Great scenery and stunts, but the film left me uninterested as it went along. Fair at best.


If you are in to any board sports you'll like this documentary. Gives a good look on the history of snowboarding and the effects the new generation of riders will have on the sport's future. Not to mention a super fun soundtrack.

Jason Hlawati
Jason Hlawati

The snowboard history stuff was pretty interesting, but overall it was a pretty mediocre extreme sports video.

Andy Dietler
Andy Dietler

First Descent Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss First Descent on our Movie forum!

News & Features