Words by Josh Bishop
When I first met Andrew Holson, he was 15 and skiing events like Vermont Open and Rails to Riches with more style than athletes 10 years his senior. Since then, the well-rounded 18-year-old has made a name for himself in multiple films by 4bi9 Media, coaching camps in Whistler and Mount Hood, and appearing in many online edits. Inspired by the recent influx of video blogs, Holson is creating a series of high-quality edits showcasing his exploits throughout the 2011 season. With so many unique perspectives influencing our sport, Hurricane Season will provide a glimpse into the life of an incredible athlete and construct yet another lens with which we can view our sport.
Photo: Dan Powell
Let’s start with the basics…a/s/l/sponsors/etc.
Andrew Holson, 18, Woodstock, Vermont, Armada Skis and Outerwear, Spy, EC Headwear, 4bi9 Media.
What did you do last night?
Stayed up the better part of the night working on big PowerPoint presentation on Peak Oil for my Environmental History class.
What's your favorite cereal?
Never really liked cereal all that much. For a while I ate Strawberry Special K.
Photo: Justin Cash
What's good with Hurricane Season?
These last few years I have had the idea of starting my own sort of video blog. I really like the concept of showing skiing the way that myself, and my friends see it. You wouldn’t expect the amount of viewpoints, and ways that people pursue skiing in such a tight knit industry. I want to show skiing the way that I see it. Good music, great filming, hopefully some decent skiing from myself, and incredible skiing from friends. The first three episodes will come every weekend from this one on, however after the first few they will slow down to every three weeks. There will be a few cool surprises though that will make the in-between episode time more interesting as things pan out.
How will your video blog be different from other video blogs out there?
I would almost rather call it a “video series” rather than video blog. I hope the difference will be pretty noticeable. AJ Dakoulas and Andrew Napier from 4bi9, Galin Foley from The Gold Project, and Evan Williams from New Intelligent Group will all be producing several episodes for the project. So rather then having the same style edit each episode, there is going to be some real variety in film style, music choice, as well as editing style. I think it is cool this way because the edits will all have their own style and will hopefully never get stale throughout the season.
Were you satisfied with your 2009/2010 season?
Absolutely! I shot a bit for 4bi9 Media’s Gunnie Season, which ended up turning into just about a full segment. I lived in Salt Lake City for the majority of the winter, which was also a blast. I would say that I definitely had my best season to date.
Photo: Russ Hurlburt
What are your goals for 2010/2011?
First and foremost is putting my time into making Hurricane Season as successful as possible. I plan on continuing to film with 4bi9, as well as with The Gold Project for their new movie too. I would also like to compete a bit and see how that goes.
Do you have any trips or filming adventures lined up for the season?
I would love to say I have some already planned, but they generally end up just happening as the season goes along. But I would like to make it up to Quebec this December if it ever snows, as well as to a bunch of other New England areas that I have been hoping to shoot for a while. Starting early January I’ll be living in Salt Lake City, so hopefully that will serve as a great home base for wherever I end up traveling to.
Photo: Justin Cash
What's your favorite part about skiing?
I was never that great at activities with structured rules and performance standards. I go about doing things my own way in pretty much every area of my life. Freeskiing is pretty much the perfect accommodation to the way that I go about life. My favorite part about skiing is just to be able to do whatever you want, your own way, without someone being able to criticize you for doing something wrong. I just hate the idea of being told how to “execute” a trick, or do anything for that matter.
Define your style.
I feel like it is really hard to just define style, especially your own style. But I can say that I am very hard on myself when it comes to getting a trick to look perfect. Perfect as far as my mind goes, and in my expectations. I’ll try a trick as many times as it takes to get it to look its absolute best. That’s why I love film skiing; there is so much opportunity to polish a segment to your liking.
Photo: Russ Hurlburt
Name three people that influenced your thoughts, actions, and accomplishments.
Chris Davenport, CR Johnson, Charlotte Davenport (my grandmother).
How many push-ups can you do?
Hmmm, unfortunately probably only about thirty. I used to be able to rip em’ when I was in 4th grade gym class, but apparently push-ups are no longer one of my strong suits.
What's more important, podiums or video parts?
I hate to say that one is more important then the other. But I definitely feel that a video part really gives the skier a chance to show what their skiing and style is all about. It is such a better representation of a season than podium wins. The feeling that comes from putting together a video part, shot by shot, is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. If that feeling can come through to an audience when watching a video part, than it is clear which is more important.
You're working with Armada in the 2010/2011 season. How did that come about?
I had been searching for a ski sponsor since this past spring with pretty much no luck. I sent out a few emails, and got only one response. Fortunately for me it was from a company that may make the best products in all of skiing. For me, Armada has always been that top tier company that as a kid you always dream about skiing for. I’m pretty excited for the opportunity to ski for such a great company!
Mother and Father, Morgan, Armada, Chris Marks, Mike Bruno, AJ Dakoulas, Galin Foley, Andrew Napier, all the 4bi9 men boys, and everyone who has been there for me and supported me through the years.
Episode 1 from Hurricane Season on Vimeo.
To keep tabs on what Andrew Holson is up to this winter and to watch future episodes of Hurricane Season, check out seasonhurricane.com.