Interview & photos by Bill Hickey
Video by Josh Finbow
I first met Alex when Rage Films came to my local hill to hit my team’s jump. I don’t think I said much of anything to him until Rage came to town again to film more urban. I got to tag along, shooting photos with the crew and Alex really stood out from the crowd. He is truly one of the most positive skiers I have ever met. - Bill Hickey
Let’s start off easy… Name, age, where do you ski?
Alrighty then! My name is Alex Schlopy, most just call me Schlopy. Currently 16 pushing on 17, living and skiing out in Park City, Utah, but it's hard to call one mountain my home mountain since I’m traveling a lot.
Oh? What where some of the cooler places you traveled to this year?
Well, this season was completely different from any of my other seasons. First off, I went to Dew Tour, Breckenridge to test out my fresh ACL and newly repaired meniscus. I skied a lot better than I thought I would at about 9-10 months out of surgery, but also learned a very valuable lesson about maintaining and taking care of your equipment. Since I refused to wax, I got taken out on the first jump (laughs). After that I got a call from one of the guys at Rage Films, asking if I wanted to come and film some handrails in Minnesota, which seemed like a ton of fun, mainly because I hadn't hit many handrails so it was a no brainer to accept the invitation. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done. I met a ton of cool people and watched some ridiculous skiing go down. LJ, Gus Kenworthy, and some cameos from Cody Ling made for crazy stuff. I also found out how annoying handrails can be, but still be a ton of fun at the same time. As T-Wall would say, "It's a love-hate relationship." After that it was off to the Aspen Open, which went well. I ended up getting second which felt great. The comp was crazy, getting to see the likes of Bobby Brown, Henrik Harlaut, Wallisch, Casabon, Henshaw, LJ, new kids like Eric Hughes throwing dub 12's flawlessly, and the list just goes on. It shows how fast the sport is progressing, I missed one season and the level of skiing has gone up way more than I could have imagined. Then after Aspen I went back to Utah for a little and filmed some more for Rage with Hennie and VJ, then we decided to head back to Minnesota where we hit up some more handrails and urban jibs with east coast rail legend Richie Paradise and killa Cody Ling. Once again, it was insane and a ton of fun, met some more great people, including you, Mr. Bill Hickey. It was really cool hanging out with them, and funny enough, we all slide rails left foot forward. We got to ski a homemade ski resort too, this guy named Shawn has the craziest set up at his place for his daughter Lexi, who's an up-and-coming Burton slayer (eight-years-old and destroying). So we sessioned that a couple times and once again, good times were always in our presence. That was the end of all my urban trips with Rage.
Holy cow you were busy!
Well that was a good question, yeah I was! And I'm still not done! (laughs)
I was hoping for more of a fast, "went to Minnesota, it was dope, then Aspen, that was cool, got second at the Open." We could write a novel off of this season it looks like.
After the Urban trips came the park shoots. Spyder hooked it up with a chance to film with Warren Miller, where I got to Colorado, got a gnarly flu, had to skip it, drove home where my car engine exploded and had to chill in a scary town in the middle of the desert for about five hours, along with missing the next Rage shoot at the Canyons in Utah, only to be in bed for 12 days, which was a ton of fun! Got to get my movie dosage for the next year, not to mention playing Lego Star Wars with my little brother every day. Then I went to Stevens Pass, Washington for the next Rage shoot, which went off! I had so much fun skiing with Joss Christensen, Kenny G, LJ, Joey 'Cheese' Schuster, Chug, and some Euro's I met for the first time, Benny Mayer and Fabio Struder. After that shoot I stuck around in Washington for the TGR shoot at Stevens Pass. It was crazy, so much fun, tons of great people there. We had a heli and everything. Everything was great until Wiley and Tanner got hurt. It was really hard to watch two guys like that go down. Once again I learned something new, the sport we do is dangerous and sometimes stuff like this happens that we can't control, and it's just something we as athletes must accept. Right from there it was time for the last park shoot and a breath of fresh air. I headed over to Bend, Oregon for the last Rage shoot at Bachelor. I can only say one thing, well, a bunch of things, but mainly...our sport is insane. I can't even try to describe what went down so just check it out in the film! That was the end of my travels. Now I’m in school all summer, wooo!
I heard you were learning new tricks on your second and third hit on that monster of a jump, what’s that about?
Well, truth be told I was deathly afraid of the thing. I spent the whole first day just watching people hit it before I decided to try it out. After the speed check/straight air I wanted to do a 5 just to get the feel of spinning, but ended up doing a funky cork 7 since the jump was so poppy. So next time around I did a forwards 10, which I’d never done, so I was pumped, but I don’t like to land forwards all that much, so next jump I brought it to 12 and landed that too. I love learning new tricks and that jump was way too fun.
Nice, nice. Do you have any big plans for this summer? Hood, Chile, New Zealand?
I don’t think so, might go up to Hood to ski for a few days, but other than that, I think I’m just in Park City, doing school.
Right on. What are your goals for next year, have any big tricks or trips in the works?
Right now I'm mainly focused on improving my skiing, starting with the basics and moving up. This year I wasn't planning on competing that much, but next season I want to compete as much as possible, film as much as I can, and maybe secretly start skiing pipe again, which claimed my knee. Other than that, I just want to have fun skiing with all the cool people that ski.
Who are the cool people that you ski with the most?
(laughs) Good question...everyone who's down to ski that day! I have a lot of fun skiing with some PC kids, such as Joss Christensen, Hans Wiener, Luke Dumas, and my friend who filmed a bunch for some edits, Dylan Keller. I actually went snowboarding once this year with my friend AB and board-slid a down rail, which may have been the highlight of my season. (laughs)
Very sweet! Lets move from the easy questions to the harder ones... Where do you see skiing going?
Well that question, my friend, isn't just harder, it's impossible to say. I think skiing will keep growing and will keep progressing, but in which direction, I just don't know. The direction of fun I guess.
Good answer, fun is always best. I was worried you would give the long-winded answer of people pushing backcountry, which is nice, but people in the Midwest don’t get to do that. Speaking of which, you got to ski my home hill, Hyland. What did you think of that?
That’s exactly why it's hard to say where it will progress, because we have you Midwest/East Coast rail and jump slayers, and the guys out in the BC and shredding AK lines, and it goes on. Anyways, shredding Hyland was one of the most fun times I have ever had skiing. I think it's about a 45-second lap on a three or four rail line, or a jump. There were some ridiculously good kids there, like Willie Borm, Seamus Flanagan, and Cody Ling, and it was sick to see them killing it so hard.
You seem so excited on everything to do with skiing. List three things in skiing you actually don’t like.
It'd be too hard to pretend I don't like it. But if I had to chose three things, I would say sometimes being away from home is hard, taking all your gear on an airplane, and maybe taking care of myself on a trip, but none of those are that bad so, I guess, the answer to that question is...that it's a tough question!
Last and most important question... Have you ever seen Ian Cosco sleep nude?
(laughs) The answer is YES, uncensored too.
Anything else you wanted to say, or just give out some shout-outs?
Word, thanks a lot! And yeah, to anyone who wants to come and shred PC sometime, feel free to find us up there and shred some runs!