“On The Come Up” is a series in which we highlight an up and coming skier each week. Some of you may recognize them but for many, the name won’t ring a bell. Either way, one thing’s for sure, you’re going to be hearing a lot more of that name in the near future.
These boys are on a shred mish. Hailing from Wanaka, New Zealand, they often spend summers lapping Cardrona and winters around the world on the search for snow. Interestingly enough, after growing up together in the mountains they have seemed to branch off into their own respective paths in skiing.
First off, Hank pretty much broke the internet with this shot of him going sending it stupidly deep in to Corbet’s Couloir earlier this winter in Jackson Hole, where he has been spending the majority of his time on skis this year. By now you can probably guess, Hank likes to ski deep pow and off big cliffs. I tend to steer clear from comparing rising guys to legends, but the resemblance of Shane in Hank’s skiing and personality is just too eerie to deny. The kid just gets it. If you think otherwise, take a look at this next clip of him poaching a freeride course and sending this cliff to a (completely on purpose) punch front, all in the birthday suit.
Now onto Finn, who may not exhibit the same outright carefree attitude of his brother, but is by no means any less impressive. He knows exactly what he’s doing on two skis. With a jump game so deep, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing Finn pop up on the big time finals rosters. And with a family like his, though he may not show it as much, no doubt he’s got a few freeride tricks up his sleeve too.
[Editor's Note] At this point in writing the article, Nate (somelameboy) went to find himself in the woods of California, leaving me with the job of editing in a couple of quotes from the brothers and pushing it live. But when I took a look at the short interview he'd done with Hank and Finn, it cracked me up to read. It gives a great insight in to the character of both of the guys and so I've left it as is for your reading pleasure.
What's it like to grow up in a family so passionate and involved in skiing?
F: It's epic, having the entire family froth skiing so much has definitely made me enjoy the sport so much more. Growing up skiing around with Hank pushed me to learn so many tricks and being the younger brother I was always trying to get better than my older sibling haha.
H: IT'S THE BOMB! Are you kidding me?? We have spent countless Christmas mornings as a family getting pitted out of our minds while all the suckaz open their presents. It's so cool to share a passion with everyone in your family and have skiing be our common ground. I'm very thankful for my olds getting me into it when they did as it has brought me some unreal opportunities to travel to some rad places and introduced me to some fucking awesome like minded people!
Both the brothers spinning some park laps at home
Do you think there is a reason you guys ended up sort of taking your own routes in skiing? Seems that Hank enjoys big mountain more while finn likes to spin park laps? With that, what is it about the skiing that you enjoy so much?
F: When we were younger we both just skied every discipline but as I got older I found it harder and harder to compete in Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Mountain. I started to get my better results in Slopestyle and Halfpipe competitions, therefore I've continued down that route a bit more. That being said I still really like Freeride and compete in as many Big Mountain competitions as I can. Unfortunately because of the way the Slopestyle and Halfpipe events are scheduled throughout the season, it's hard to find time to compete in Big Mountain as well. I was meaning to compete in the Junior Freeride World Championships this season, a comp which Hank did when he was my age but unfortunately it was scheduled at the same time as the Mammoth World Cup. I'd definitely like to compete more in Big Mountain later down the track though. Since we're on different routes in skiing at the moment we don't get to ski together too much in the Northern Hemisphere, hopefully that'll change in the next few years.
H: Like Grom-Stain, said we both grew up skiing everything. We learned to ski by following mum and dad around in a flying wedge, backseat with massive gaper gaps. I guess I got into Park scene because of Peter Legnavsky's HPC program back in its very early days in 2007 and in my second year doing the program lil Fart-sniffer Finn joined the clique. I didn't do and haven't done much coaching since then but Finn on the other hand has been in coaching ever since. I competed in Slopestyle till 2015 and have only recently specialised in Freeride. The main reason I specialised is because I suck balls at spinning unnatural. It's kinda worked out for the better as I'm much more into the sex, beer, pow lifestyle than the training, protein Olympics life. I guess the main thing I like about skiing is I can do whatever the fuck I want when I'm on the mountain and no one can tell me what to do which really agrees with my personality.
What you guys got going for the rest of the season? Come to think of it, maybe you go to NZ so it just never ends.
F: I'm heading off to Sierra Nevada, Spain this week for the World Championships, after that I'm planning on heading back to America to ski with Hank for a couple weeks in Mammoth. Hopefully near the end of April we'll be heading to Alaska with the entire family for some heli-skiing as Dad guides up there for two months of the year. Then it's back to school in New Zealand for me at the start of May for my last year of high school, YEYE!
H: Yeah like little balls said we will finally be spinning some laps together in Mammoth early April and the plan is to stack some clips while we are there and then in AK, so keep your eyes peeled for some Bilous/MFC Syndicate content coming out this spring. Because I'm a big boy I don't have to go back to school and get to keep living the dream! I'm going to be linking up with Craig DM a.k.a. Weazy Baby in Cali to ski Mammoth, Surf and go climb in Yosemite.
Best of luck to Finn in Sierra Nevada (if the wind ever dies down) and stoked to see what both of you come up with in the coming months. It seems like a no brainer that both of these guys are going to make it big in the ski industry. An insanely talented skiing family from New Zealand... where have we heard that before?