Earth & Conservation

Glow-in-the-Dark Daredevils Light Up the Night

Whether they're slicing up the slopes, biking down mountainsides or jumping out of airplanes, these extreme athletes carve the darkness with light.

French pro skier Mathieu Bijasson kisses his wife and baby daughter, and then ventures into the dark winter night donning all his gear. Fortunately, his snowy trek to a neighboring slope is lit by his glowing skis and poles.

Bijasson, in a video produced by PVS Company, invites us to join him on his beautiful run. Snowy winter landscapes in particular feel special at night. Everything is calm and quiet.

All it takes are some festive little lights to make things more magical. With that in mind, here are my top picks for glow-in-the-dark athletic action:

The video featuring Bijasson is appropriately titled "Moonline." Props to PVS Company, a production studio based near Mont Blanc that specializes in films about sports and the mountains, for their gorgeous Alpine shots:

Two years ago, Philips TV and Atomic Skis presented a slick video called "Afterglow" that sent snowboarders into the night wearing lightsuits. I actually prefer filmmaker Jacob Sutton's slightly older "LED Surfer" video produced with Nowness. It's more haunting, not least because pro snowboarder William Hughes resembles a phantom yeti in a custom suit by designer John Spatcher:

Wingsuit Flying
Over the summer, Red Bull pilots Joakim Sommer, Armando del Rey, Marco Waltenspiel, and Georg Lettner paid tribute to the annual Perseid Meteor Shower by jumping out of a plane above the Canary Islands wearing LED wingsuits. For an added shooting star-like bonus, they also set off sparklers:

Mountain Biking
All right, so there are added visual effects and it's not night for the most part, but the mountain bikers zipping through Canadian producer Mike Gamble's "Light Cycles" probably needed to see where they were going. The woods are still dark enough for riders Neve Abraham, Felix Abraham, and Ruben Guibert to lay the groundwork for Gamble and his team to add fun "Tron effects" later:

Icelandic surfers really aren't intimidated by a bit of cold water. Before he captured footage of them surfing among glaciers, action sports photographer and filmmaker Igor Bellido accompanied them for some frigid "lightsurfing" at night. Yes, those are patches of snow on the beach: