The concept behind Andy Parry’s Tell a Friend Tour is pretty simple. In Andy’s own words, “the reason I want to do this is the original idea of creating something that supports the people who need to be supported in our industry.” That includes kids at East Coast hills who fly under skiing's radar and it also includes pro skiers who have to battle for recognition and support from the industry.
“This has been a thing I've wanted to do for a while, since we started Traveling Circus,” says Andy. “The reason I created it is to get people like Ross [Imburgia] to keep on skiing. You know, you're not getting paid shit to go ski. You don't have enough money to fly anywhere. Your sponsors don't give you any money to fly you anywhere.” The Tell a Friend Tour steps up where the rest of the industry won’t.
On top of that, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. We caught up with Andy to get his take on what TAFT represents, and a quick rundown on the year ahead.
NS: What’s new on the tour this year?
Andy: “More stops and more people. [Andy was waiting in Albany for Khai Krepela when we spoke.] Ahmet expressed interest in coming. Hornbeck, Ross. Nothing new in the way of any huge changes in the tour. Cannon, NH, Wyndham NY, Cannonsburg, MI. We're trying to get to the PNW and maybe Utah in the spring.”
Is this stuff fulfilling for you, what’s the motivation?
"Every day I'll finish the tour, and it's not a sigh of relief or anything, it's always like well, I could have done this better, or I should be doing this better. Being critical of myself. I'm always thinking to next year, planning what I could do better - how can I get more money to get more people to come. I always want to do it bigger, better, more. TAFT is a segue into what I really, really want to do in the skiing industry, which is start a competition series to really fuck with USSA and FIS.”
What influence does NS have on the tour?
“This is TAFT presented by Ski Monster, Powered by Newschoolers. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing right now if Newschoolers hadn't been able to help me these last few years. Companies will say ‘oh, that's a cool idea but I'm not gonna give you any money for it.’ So having newschoolers there to be like ‘hey, this guy is doing it’ ... if it wasn't for NS, this wouldn't be happening. I honestly couldn't think of a better partner than Newschoolers. The way I think and the way Doug thinks, we're pretty on par. We both know what we want to do. We almost both have the same vision of what we want skiing to be.”
Did you reinforce the van key this year?
“I actually just found the half of the van key. It's like the half sword or whatever, from Lord of the Rings.”
"For me now it started off as something that I'm super passionate about. This is a stepping stone for me to go to something that will really impact skiing, freeskiing, and bring it back to its roots. The reason I think kids should take notice is that this is the corest, the most raw form of grassroots marketing that you can do. Some kids see it as "oh, you just go and you hangout with pros and it's whatever" but this is what works, and if anything I want to highlight that this is a stepping stone to a competition series. It will hopefully shake things up in skiing."