Photos: Jaysson Gallant

Wow. The level of fun that APIKfest brought to the streets of Montreal was almost overwhelming. While it was officially a contest, the event felt more like a reunion of skiers from across Quebec. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves so much during the event. It felt like friends skiing together, and there happened to be a crowd in the background. I'm not really sure what my expectations were before the event but regardless, they were exceeded by a long shot. The crowd, the number of athletes, the level of skiing, and the overall organization all blew me away.

It was sick to see people were already throwing down hard in practice. I mean, when you have riders like Émile Bergeron, Fred Lavoie, Raf Diaz, Vince Authier, Olivia Asselin, Phil Boily-Doucet, Bruce Oldham, Dylan Deschamps, Phil Langevin, etc (I'm definitely missing some), I guess you gotta do your best if you want to win. The vibe was already crazy, even before the crowd arrived. There even was a surprise pull-up from Tall-T Dan and the ON3P crew (Oski, Krypto, and Chase Mohrman) right before qualifications started. Even without practice, these guys are so comfortable on their skis that it didn't take long for them to figure out the narrow setup and secure themselves a spot for finals.

Fred Lavoie throwing down on the wall

When qualis got underway most people were using the set-up the way it was meant to be used, either wall to rail or flat down into the next feature. Raf Diaz decided otherwise, hitting every feature in his path, taking a line that no one could have thought of, and the 3 out of the pole jam deserves a shoutout. Being able to link that up in such a narrow line is a big feat in itself. It was unfortunate not to see him in finals.

When the finals started the crowd became more and more packed, and the energy levels went through the roof. The format was interesting; instead of having to land a full run, the judges were only looking at the best trick from each run. In my opinion, it made sense on a set-up like this because it was pretty hard to link up two good tricks in a row. I think it also helped relieve some pressure for the riders.

Thanks to L'amère à boire for hosting the athletes

Dylan Deschamps showed that he wasn't there to mess about, with huge amplitude on the wall-to-rail feature, front 4 off and a 450 on back 2 on the flat bar. Thomas Galarneau came out oozing style and control, deciding to use the flat-down rail with a back 3 swap back 2, and the noses under 2on to the down bar was a thing of beauty. Phil Langevin kept stomping tricks and the way he did all of them with ease definitely helped him throughout the comp.

Vince Authier was destroying the flat rail in qualis with a 2 on, front 6, but seemed to have trouble with that trick in finals. Olivia Asselin did a super stylish lip front swap pretzel 2 on the flat down rail, switch 2 to forward on the flat rail, and 2 on to the down bar. Alaïs Develay landed a 2 on to the down rail after battling it for a while. She was probably the one having the most fun out there, it showed in her energy and smiles throughout the event.

Dylan Ruel mid front 3 swap

Thomas Galarneau

It was super awesome to have had such a big stage to showcase the sport we love. The set-up was built right on rue St-Denis (which they liked to call Mt. St-Denis for the occasion) in downtown Montreal, which made for such a great show.

The opportunity to show park skiing to a packed-out city crowd, far from the mountains is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. Thanks to all the riders who showed up and everyone at APIK who helped make this event a reality. It's certainly a step in the right direction.


Men's Ski:

1. Phil Langevin

2. Thomas Galarneau

3. Dylan Deschamps

Women's Ski:

1. Olivia Asselin

2. Alaïs Develay

3. Hunter Belle Hall

MVP: Chase Mohrman