Hunter Hess stands out when you look at today's pipe skiers, largely because you mostly still see him skiing for fun and continuing to exist as part of the 'everyday' ski scene. He's not the only one, but I can't think of anyone else still competing who has come out with something as significant as the Magma films. He's also an absolute beast, throwing some of the scariest NBD tricks imaginable, as his recent pipe triple attempts have amply shown. On July 8th, he finally put a triple down to his feet, and we caught up with him to ask a few questions about the process behind the trick and where he sees things going forwards.
When did you first think the triple might be possible for you?
I didn’t personally think about doing it that much. A lot of people were telling me I should do it though. Ultimately, I think that was the main reason it went down. I thought it was possible when I did the QP trip in MAGMA. This was a completely different trick but it’s the same type of concept.
Was the triple something you specifically trained for off-snow or into an airbag first?
I never tried it into an airbag or off-snow. I just assumed I would be able to figure it out on-snow. Obviously, that didn’t work out super well in Mammoth but I learned what I needed to from that and took it to Hood. That’s something I’m super proud of in this day and age [where most new tricks seem to be being learned more methodically].
How did it end up going down on the day? How many tries did you give it in total?
I actually only did it once that day. I had done them for 3 or 4 days in a row at that point. I think I did the trip 5 times the day before. It’s a trick that takes a ton of energy and speed. I’m definitely feeling the consequences now.
What do you think of the comments on IG and elsewhere that 'it didn't count' or similar?
[Laughs] It’s funny people think I’m stoked on how it looks. It doesn’t look good, I know that. I fully hip slapped! After doing 4 days in a row and the camp coming to the end it was really just the best I got and it counts for me. But I can respect people’s feelings towards it. I appreciate all the love too though, it makes me happy to see people stoked on it. And for those who aren’t, that’s chill too! I took it for what it was, I’ll get it better. No problem.
Will you try it again? Can you see one getting thrown in a comp any time soon?
I will definitely do it again. Just to do it better. It’s for sure possible for a comp run. People go bigger than that all the time. It would be cool to do. Who knows when.
Magma 3... Did you film again this spring?
There will not be a MAGMA 3 this year. We are in talks about making it in a few years and really putting some time into it but it’s up in the air right now. I did start to film for my own project that I plan to drop next fall. We already have some shots I’m super stoked on. Hopefully. we can get a bunch of shit this year as well. I want to make something unforgettable.