"Oh god, this winter is over before it started." I swear quietly, as I close my doors and throw my umbrella into the basket right behind them. This year I've seen snow only once and that was from a plane. "It's only February 18th and this year sucks already." Now I am swearing out loud. Maybe this is because I am Under the Influence of an unspecified amount of alcohol, or because I got dumped by my girlfriend in the afternoon, or because my heating doesn't work and has been raining every day.

As I get out from all wet clothes, I say out loud, "Damn you people, to call Italy a sunny country!" I open up my laptop and I surprise my liver with a glass of water. I log in to facebook, to change my status from "taken" to "single" and as I am deleting a million happy pictures from my Yearbook I notice a new upload from newschoolers.com :

I click on it and I start to read. First thing what goes through my head is: "oh man, nobody cares. You are not even freeskier anymore. After multiple injuries of your left shoulder you CANNOT even be a freeskier, especially because you are an idiot, and you have renewed the injury 3x, and now you have a job with a lot of responsibility and you cannot afford to get screwed again..."

And usually my mind goes through this same dialogue over and over again. I am not the type of person that does stuff before thinking. I think a lot in fact maybe even too much. I always go through 3 steps : Ready, Aim Fire before doing something. However as I am reading further and further, I start to lose the fight against myself and under the pressure of the fake liquid courage passing through my veins right now, I start to write down first lines...

Then I properly look at the name of the blog and I sarcastically start to laugh. "Newschoolers Dude, you are 22 and you are actually an OLDschooler, with that stuff that you remember." The second voice in my head says. "Yeah, so I will start right there : What do I actually remember?"

Well, I am from the Czech republic. From a city with one of the biggest ski resorts, unfortunately with the worst commercial intentions only. I remember that we don't have any snowpark here... The closest one is 20 kms away... I remember how difficult was to find a good spot and to build it and how painful was to learn all those grabs and rotations..

As this city is a national park and therefore it is absolutely forbidden to go to freeride, I have learned, that the forbidden fruit is always the best... I remember all those crazy chases by the guards of the national park, the endless fear that they will catch you and they will take your seasonal ticket away and they will give you a fine...

I remember my first ski-cross competition on which I ended up second (yey!), making it the only success of my life, which you can REALLY count...And all those hard summer trainings and super-hard workouts to have Legs of steel at the beginning of the season... Then I remember all those endless conversations about skiing vs snowboarding...

Then I remember how I met Pepe Kalensky and his brother Miri, and how grandpa Jirka "Dedek" Volak said "Ty vole, dobrá sérka kámo!" after I did my line : Funbox : 270° in and 270° out > small kicker : 360° mute and 720° safety grab on the biggest kicker... Which was probably the biggest success in my freeskiing career...

Ermm, I mean that comment not that line...

And I remember those times that you needed only a 720° or backflip to win a competition...

Then I remember the extreme speed, how the actual sport and tricks evolved...

I remember a first Kangaroo flip attempt of a Jiri Volak on a competition... Very unlucky though, because he made it perfectly in a qualification, but in finals he lost one of his skis upon the landing...

With that I remember all those crashes, blood everywhere and times, where you found out who is the true friend...

Then I remember how we realized, that regardless how much we " hate" snowboarders, we had to admit that they were making much better videos, because they naturally stand sideways, and that ski vs snowboard battle exists pretty much only because of marketing: If you see an AD in a tv or magazine, they always picture skiers like bold older guy with white mustache, big smile and sunglasses in a weird position, while snowboarders are only pictured on a massive kicker, doing some ultragigahypermaximegacool spin with grab in sunset." (Not Fair!)

Then I remember how my friend said, "Dude look around : everybody has freestyle skis... Now is happening to skis exactly, what happened to skateboarding few years ago. Before that, if you met a guy with skate shoes and clothes, you could see, that this guy was doing skateboarding. But then it became a fashion. Now if you will meet a guy with the same style, you automatically start to think, that he is listening hip-hop, spraying all over the city, smoking weed and so on... Now, the same is happening to freeskiing. Before, when you met a guy on freestyle skis, you automatically greeted each other. Nowadays... Sometimes I am ashamed to have the same type of skis or even the same skis with some people, when I see them skiing, because I know, that all other people will have the same prejudice about freeskiing, as they had about skate."

Now, a few years later, I have my Eyes wide open, because this thing is actually really happening. A year ago, I was riding in a snowpark with 12-13 years old children, who were - by the way - really killing it, but they have no idea who is Tanner Hall, CR Johnson, TJ Schiller, Andreas Hatveit, Shane McConkey or (uh, I almost forgot, KILL ME!) Sarah Burke... True, thanks to that many more people started to do freestyle skiing, and it is just a matter of time and developing, but me personally, I think that it's way too mainstream... Where are the good old times... (You see?! I am 22 and I sound like grandpa...)

By all those things above I could witness, that many things have changed. Now we have O´Neil Soldiers competition, where Pepe Kalensky as the 1st czech rider tried a Doublecork 1440°, Jiri ´´Dedek´´ Volak is able to do Kangoroo flip even out of his balcony and he produced an amazing video ´´Ultimate Separation´´ (FIND IT ON YOUTUBE) with a few riders that I don't even know.. Except of Robin Holub, Fil Taraba and ´´Dalas´´ of course... To all these guys : ,,Čau kluci, dejte vědět, jak se daří."

But my memories of freesking are reaching the end, at my current job in which I meet approximately 9730 people a month. I moved from sunny Czech republic to rainy Italy... So from now on, I always feel, like I regret, that I didn't go to university. Not to have a degree, but to have a few more years, that I could ride during the winter like Everyday is Saturday.

Now, I only remember that I followed newschoolers.com page on facebook, that I fell in love with Lindsey Dyer and that I was making plans with my exgirlfriend only AFTER livestreams for Winter Dew Tour, X-Games and RedBull Playstreets. And that if you want to hear more about history of freeskiing, you should watch Level 1 Refresh movie. There is nothing about east european "1000-years-behind-the-evolution freeskiing scene" so it will be more interesting, than this article.

In a few days I will go home, to the Czech republic and for sure I will be skiing. But I can only be just cruising on the slopes, because my shoulder has a different structure of the muscles around it. Partially - because of the doctor, because he screwed it, but mainly - because I have to act like a responsible adult. But oh god, I would ride so freaking hard! I would love to feel again the great feeling of being in the air, doing some rotation and feeling the edge of the ski in between two fingers, while looking up for the landing to get out on switch, while hearing damn good music, and cheering all those people, then getting a redbull from a damn hot girl and doing an interview... That is my dream!

When I look back at this article, I have to say, I may not be able to hit a kicker anymore, but you cannot just say, I am done with it, I am not freeskier anymore. Naaawwww, it doesn't work like this for me. I can imagine, that on my tombstone is going to be written ´´Died in his 97 years of age, while trying double backflip of 50ft cliff."

If this will happen to me, i hope I will have Seven Sunny Days of skiing, at least. For all those crazy newschoolers out there : Enjoy every single jump you do! Enjoy every single line you are slicing in the pow! And I am not your mother or father to tell you to stay safe... So all I will add only : RIDE HARD AND KILL IT !

Madstick

Signing out - 3:20 a.m. 19.2.2015

If you like my article, dont worry. I will be back in next 10 years.

P.S.: I found impossible to hide the name of a movie ´´Ski Porn´´ or ´´Nipwitz´´ into the text. Apologies.

P.S.: The last picture is my REAL ´´Season ender´´ > In my case - career ender.

P.S.: Huge thanks to Cy Whitling


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