Cover photo courtesy of Petter Johansson
Torin Yater-Wallace is a G. If you’ve paid any bit of attention to halfpipe skiing over the last couple of years, hell any kind of skiing, you know Torin. I’d be hesitant to make claims because of his still relatively young age, but if not solidified already, he is well on his way to legend status.
He’s one of the last, if not the last, younger guys that is keeping what I'd consider the true essence of professional skiing alive. As skiing has progressed into a what seems like a whole new universe, we've unfortunately lost much of what it means to just be 'a skier'. Gone are the days of an X Games roster filled with guys putting as much effort into filming as they are competing. This rings especially true for the up and coming generation, who have been exposed to such a high caliber of technicality they may feel, with some justification, the need to sacrifice time spent filming to train their technical skill level instead. Torin, like Henrik and some others, doesn't seem to need to make that sacrifice.
If you haven’t seen his most recent halfpipe run yet, you’re missing out. It’s classic Torin, he goes absolutely massive, stomps the notorious alley-oop dub flatspin, and oh yea, takes the win again with just 4 hits. Only he could be confident enough in his ability to maneuver himself through a pipe to scratch the opportunity to send 1 or 2 more tricks like his competitors. Who said you gotta play by the rules?
His season edit from the past year was so top notch it could basically be considered a mini-movie in and of itself. Easily one of the most interdisciplinary takes on a season recap for some time, this cut has everything from sunny park laps, to icy pipe runs, to backcountry sled brappin’ galore, and from none other than a 'pipe skier'. See that’s the craziest part, had you not been familiar with him, you wouldn’t even be able to tell his main thing is skiing pipe. Pipe is the area of freeskiing that seems to be the most isolated, in that it may not translate as well to other types of skiing, but that doesn't seem to apply to Torin. And not to discount any of the other competitors, what they do is unbelievable, but next time you see a lineup, take a count of how many other guys put out not only an edit of this quality, but any kind of recent edit at all.
Torin Yater-Wallace 2015-16
The ski industry ain’t sleeping on him either. Getting a chance to attend the most coveted events in skiing is becoming the norm for Torin, as invites to Creation Nation, B+E Invitational, and Kimbo Sessions continue to roll in. There is no obligation to attend these events, but even amidst a busy competition season Torin made it a priority to attend all three. You can guarantee he’s the only gold medal pipe skier that doubles in winning a highest ollie contest at Creation Nation as well. Sometimes getting inspired in the most unusual of ways can prove the most beneficial.
Creation Nation 2.0
In a time where much of what 'freeskiing' used to pride itself on has been lost, Torin is one of the select few wholeheartedly continuing a tradition of versatility. I want to leave off with a recent quote from Henrik Harlaut on participating in X Games Real Ski, that seems to fit eerily well here. “It used to be what everybody did, but things have changed. People are too caught up having to specifically train for contests rather than seeing the advantage of filming for a movie as the best type of training, since you have to do everything perfect for film.”