Cover photo: Mark Warner
Arguably the most fun event at Winter X, Knuckle Huck, is bringing another legend back to the contest scene. Looking down the start list, you may have been pleasantly surprised to spot the name, Jossi Wells. The Kiwi is following in the footsteps of Tom Wallisch, who last year came back to the contest scene for Knuckle Huck.
The 5-time-X-games medallist’s last comp was the first X Games in Norway, in Lillehammer (2017) and he’s spent most of his time since then in the backcountry.
“The ESPN crew reached out with an invite for Knuckle huck. Of course, I was going to accept it. I’ve always loved to be at X Games and thought it’d be a cool thing to do.”
Jossi admits that he doesn’t train a lot in the park these days: “It’s not like I’m going to get involved in the slopestyle! Knuckle huck’s a bit of a novelty event, it looks fun to watch and I’m sure it’ll be fun to be a part of. I’m psyched to get the bib back on, get under the lights and get out there with the crew.”
He wasn’t giving anything away, in terms of what we can expect: “I don’t have anything planned. I’ll see how I go on the night in the jam format. Hopefully, I’ll get a few days skiing at Snowmass, before the event kicks off, get back on my feet and just go with the flow for the evening.”
Bad news for anyone who thought this could be a comeback: “Haha, I think this is a one-off. After the event, Torin and I are hitting the road again to make another film this year, so I’ll be out in the backcountry for the rest of the season. This is the only event on my calendar for this coming season.”
“I’ve skied a bit of park, here in New Zealand, this winter. Just ripping around with the bros, definitely get a bit of time in the park. It’s a little bit harder with the North American season because when I’m over there I try to get in the backcountry and we’re chasing pow. I get a bit more time here in Wanaka to ski park, because I’m based here all season.”
It may have been almost four years since Jossi skied in a contest, but this year’s event will be unfamiliar to everyone:
“It’s definitely going to be a different experience. Obviously, the whole week is going to be quite different from what it’s normally been. There’s a lot of protocols that ESPN has had to put in place so that we could get the event off the ground. It’s pretty cool that ESPN has put in all this effort to make it still happen. A lot of other events have been cancelled, so it’s cool that there will still be a streamed, freeskiing event that people can log in to, all around the world. Seems like that’s pretty sparse right now.”
“We’ve had a few webinars with the ESPN crew, just running us through all the protocols, how everything’s going to be, when we get there, just so everyone’s prepared and knows what’s going down. I think Pitkin County and Aspen are in Red Level right now, so everything’s on high alert. Everyone’s on their own program a bit right now.”
So it’s obviously been a lot of work to just bring us Winter X Games 2021, bringing Jossi back is just a bonus.