While many of the legends of the modern freeskiing movement remain at the top of their game, a new crop of skiers has emerged and is in the process of trying to cement their own legacies. Names like Colby Stevenson, Dylan Sondrup, and a whole host of others come to mind as those knocking at the door. While the rise is generally incremental, there is one skier simply breaking the door down, and that is Alex Hall. Heralded for some years now as the future, this young skier has now certainly arrived, sporting a bag of tricks and natural style that certainly begs for inclusion in the discussion of the park best skier on the planet right now.
Hall, an American, grew up mostly in Switzerland, where he built an insane library of self-taught tricks. At the age of 15 he was throwing a host of doubles, laying the foundation for what now is likely one of the biggest collection of jump tricks in the world. At 16 he moved to Park City, entering the world of structured coaching for the first time. This move poured gasoline on the fire, accelerating his progression to a whole new level.
Examples of his spectacular skiing continue to stack up seemingly every time his skis touch snow. Perhaps the most obviously ‘landmark’ of his accomplishments was Hall’s switch triple 18 at 2016’s One Hit Wonder. Not only was this a world-first, and one of the craziest triples to date, it was his very first time landing a triple. An insane feat no doubt, this is just one of Hall’s many jump tricks that elicits a “what?” from viewers. Yet I doubt it was his most memorable to Newschoolers members.
His technical ability makes him safe bet for future competition dominance and puts him into Olympic consideration, however, his unique style and video parts place him in the category of skiers who transcend the film versus competition polarization. Few skiers are truly successful in building their legacy and perceptions based more on their skiing than the realm that in inhabits. Wallisch and Harlaut are some of the biggest standouts in this regard. They are able to exist as simply skiers, rather than slopestyle skiers or film skiers, because they are the best in the world. Hall’s edits and film parts with Faction combine with his obvious technical skill to push this boundary in a similar fashion. His shots in Faction’s newest film “This is Home” are some of the best anyone has put out all year. That's even more impressive when you consider that the Finland segment, which contains plenty of AHall bangers, was his first dedicated urban shoot.
While technicality alone can often be mistaken for greatness, it takes something special to turn the technical into a polished product. Take Hall’s “wrong-way” taps of off rails. (watch 5:05 in "We Are The Faction Collective 3.2). These shifty pretzel-like taps look smooth, but are impossibly difficult. Likewise, his tricks run the spectrum with regards to rotations as well, capped by tricks that almost no other skier can do. Starting off with the small spins, Hall’s shifty skills were turned up a notch with what may have been the first ever true cork 180 at Sosh big air. The triple 18 then lies at the opposite end of the spectrum.
The definition of full send
The baseline level of skill from the Faction crew is so high, it makes standing out even more difficult, but moves like the enormous straight air in We Are The Faction Collective 3.3, do just that. Most recently, Hall stepped to snowboarding’s ultimate park build, Superpark, with a Newschoolers crew to do just the same. There he put out a unique and awe inspiring part among another group of very talented skiers, and showed his willingness to simply go bigger than anyone else.
While Hall is still young, it is easy to see that both in and outside of the world of slopestyle competitions Alex is now turning a corner. He's no longer a newcomer with potential, not just crazy talented skier from the new generation, he's skiing like someone we will be talking about for years to come, a legend in the making.