I'm not proud to say it, but I don't know the history of freeskiing very well. It wasn't until later in college that I even got into the freesking world, and even then the majority of my time was focused on college and other social pursuits. I have always thought it was interesting, and though I'm ashamed to admit it, I haven't ever taken the time to sit down and parse through the first movies or track down copies of Freeze.
Greg Tuffelmire is better than you.
The other day I had the absolute pleasure of skiing and bunking with Johnny Rossman, Erik Olson, and Jon Hartman at Copper. When Jon made a joke about some old ski movie 'Guatemalan Persuader', he realized I had not the slightest clue what he was talking about. So that night after a couple beers and three rounds of giant jenga and shots we all sat down on the floor together and watched the movie.
It has been three days and I am still struggling to wrap my head around the movie. I have probably watched it an upwards of fifteen times since then. In fact I am watching it again as I write this right now, watching Mike Wilson miller flip over this fucking enormous wall ride. EVERYTHING IS MASSIVE and has metal stairs, granted today's tricks are more technical every rail is a huge gap on, or is 20 feet tall and this was 2003! The big mountain lines too are insane, Tanner still has that signature super mellow style, and Tuffelmire's pole air guitar makes me want to start skiing with poles.
Not even a man yet and he is more manly than you.
Particularly fascinating to me, personally, is the humor. I thought it was hilarious, and it pretty much pushes the boundaries as far as what people will find any bit tasteful such as the infamous 'dropping next', lots of vomiting and water shitting, Chompy, and the famous nude sorority scene from the movie Animal House. Having walked along the boundaries of acceptable humor in skiing myself it is insanely comforting to know that the boundaries were pushed far beyond me far before I even knew what freeskiing was.
And of course I couldn't discuss this movie without mentioning Sarah. Her bag of tricks in 2003 would still make her a contender in women's competitions to this day. That's because women's freeskiing didn't really exist then, she was just one of the guys - and clearly held herself to the same standards. She used that Trick Daddy song that goes "pull over that ass is too fat" and the first time I watched her segment I wanted to cry tears of joy. I feel like a huge pussy. Every now and again I will watch an edit and feel the need to step my game up immediately. Emma Dahlstrom's PBR Old Classmates was the most recent, until I watched Guatemalan Persuader. And then I watched it again, and again, and again.
Oh yea she was better than you in 2003. Hurts doesn't it?
I decided to write this article because maybe there are some other people like me who haven't seen this movie yet. I am disappointed I had not seen this earlier. Everything I love about skiing, the camaraderie, the humor, the fun, throwing down with your friends, and style, is in this movie, and it has changed how I even feel about skiing. And if you like these things and you haven't watched this movie yet I bet you will like it a whole lot. I now know why Jon immediately made me watch this movie, and I now feel compelled to do the same to everyone else. How has it been 12 years?