Skateboarding Through India

Extreme sports videos don’t get enough credit as artistic travelogues. For all the flinch-inducing, jaw-dropping athletic skill on display, the real star of extreme sports videos is often not the stunt-happy main character – it’s the backdrop. Take for instance Danny Macaskill’s rampart-flipping, phone booth-hopping mountain bike riding on the Isle of Skye. The video’s fine-grained camera work and textured shots show off his native northern Scotland in a way that virtually eclipses the bicycle trickery going on in the foreground. Another great example is Ryan Doyle’s parkour video in Dubai. His rolls and gainers through souks and off bagdirs are OK and everything, sure, but it’s the backdrop that shines through.

So it is as well with skateboarder Killian Martin’s new video above. As the freestyler spins and caspers his way through India, the director, Brett Novak, manages to sell the subcontinental playground better than most Indian tourism campaigns I’ve seen. The takeaway is clear: if you work for a tourism board, hire a wingsuit diver, an artistic extreme sports director and an indie band, and watch the tourists stream in.

Tartan Day with Whiskey and Castles

You probably don’t know this, but Tartan Day is right around the corner. Drumscot Tours is celebrating with a deal in Scotland that’s good for only one day – April 6 – for its “Whiskey, Castles and The Gathering” tour. You’ll spend a little over $2,700, but it goes a long way.

Seven nights in a hotel with a full Scottish breakfast, dinner for the first five evenings and admission to several Castles (including Dunvegan and Armadale) are included, as well as a ferry crossing from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye and a Loch Ness boat trip. You’ll also score admission to the Gathering 2009 and the Highland Games on July 26 and 27.

Unique to this deal is a 10 percent discount and a free Silver Passport (which normally would set you back $130) that’ll get you into the Gathering’s Clan Parade and Pageant.

To take advantage of this, you need to book your trip on April 6. Not for April 6. Not around April 6. Pick up the phone (1.866.441.9936) or tap out an e-mail (info [at] and use the code “Tartan Day”.