As lamely and overly dramatic as it may sound, this movie literally changed my life.
The Front Line was the first non-Warren Miller ski flick I saw, so needless to say, it opened my eyes to an entire world that I had no clue existed. I didn't see it when it first came out— I saw it in mid '05. I was living with a couple of buddies in Taos, NM, one of which was from NH. He grew up skiing; racing, freestyle...basically skiing is like little league where this kid is from, so, obviously skiing came up constantly.
We had been talking about the upcoming ski season, and he happened to have this movie laying around. He threw it on, and I really wasn't expecting a whole lot....I think I imagined the typical overly serious narration blended with shitty late 90's alt. rock, accompanied by guys in highly technical outerwear doing overly tweaked mutes while dropping 20 footers. I wasn't a skiing hater by any means, but I think I had largely bought into the idea perpetuated by the meida that skiing was not "cool".
Now, let me just say, up until that year, I had skied an average of 7-10 days a season give or take, and I loved it. I wasn't great by any means, but relative to folks where I skied (South eastern PA....the Poconos!!), I was decent. Unfortunately, I lived in DE (the flattest state in the country. yikes.), so I was completely removed from ski culture, and most people in that area snowboarded, and rarely at that. I had never ventured into a terrain park, and never attempted anything other than straight airs, skiing sitting down, "skiing backwards", and other typical gaperish "look how good I am" nonsense....
Then....that movie. Fuck. I didn't know that the vast majority of the shit people were doing was even possible. I in-lined pretty seriously for three or four years in the mid to late nineties so I was very much interested in the idea of jibbing. In '02/'03 I flirted with the idea of skiboarding, I tried it a few times, and I definitely enjoyed it, but as I only got to the mountain a handful of times a season, I enjoyed the speed and stability of skiing more, so I never pursued it. After watching Ski Movie III and seeing how skiing had risen to an unbelievable level, I knew that the upcoming season was going to be a whooooole new experience for me. I was living 20 minutes from the base of Taos Ski Valley (for those that don't know, it's a ridiculously sick mountain with unreal steeps, and hikable terrain), so 05/06 was going to be the first season where I had the opportunity to ride on a frequent basis. I bought a season pass, I structured my work and school schedule around being able to ride, and I bought my first pair of skis and boots at a ski swap. Ahhhh.....I scooped a pair of k2 PEs that a local kid had ridden the previous year for $175. They had craaazy cosmetic damage, but the bases and edges were perfect— not that I knew the first thing about equipment at that point hahaha.
Anyway......I went on to ski 60+ days that season and each of the next two seasons before moving back east this year where I only got 15 and a knee injury to boot.... :/. I surrounded myself with other people who were absolutely obsessed with all types of skiing. Being that Taos is veeeerrrryy hippieish, I rode BC with granola munching (seriously) tele-shredders, and I learned to hit jumps and slide boxes from 14 year old jibbers who only left the park when there was so much snow that the park crew had to close it in order to dig out the features. I spent my first pow day rolling head over toes, and I spent my first park day slamming my hips against a variety of jibs from being a pussy and leaning back. And you know what? Both of those days were an absolute blast! I was in love.
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to express how crucial this flick was in motivating me to pursue skiing, and since then, it's truly become my greatest passion. Progressing, learning, and just riding with my friends has brought me unbelievable satisfaction. Honestly, I can't imagine going back to a life where skiing isn't the center of my universe....it's hard for me to believe that it's only been four years. Cuhrazy.
Last thing. This movie is dope, and if you haven't peeped......do so!