Photos: Hanne Lundin

It's weird to me that you don't see more tours in snowsports. Back in my skateboarding days, there were tours pretty much constantly. The bigger name skaters rarely came off tour, they would just bounce from one sponsor's tour to the next. But during my increasingly lengthy career in the ski industry, I can only think of a handful of 'proper' tours off the top of my head. Which makes the Quiksilver Surf La Mountain tour all the more unique.

Quiksilver recently took two vans of riders and crew around the alps for a whirlwind visit, taking in 5 resorts and at least twice as many parties in quick succession. Antti Ollila and Finn Bilous were the skiing representatives on an otherwise boardsports heavy crew, and both had covid during the first two stops. They still managed to take in Chamonix, Avoriaz, and Crans Montana in the space of 6 days though.

Antti Flying high above Crans Montana

As a squad, they rode the resorts, won the aprés ski, went both river and wavepool surfing, skateboarded... and drove and drove and drove. Which is why, when I headed over to Crans Montana to catch up with them on the last day of the tour, everyone was pretty spent. Antti still made it up the mountain for a shred that day which is when we stacked these photos, and Finn was crushing it on a surfboard that evening... but if you've ever been on one of these trips, you know the toll they take. It was strange but impressive to hear Finn apologizing for not coming up for a ski that day because he was heading off for his Freeride World Tour debut the following day (FYI he crushed it, got underscored, go watch his runs).

It's always inspiring to see Antti ripping on the planks in person, he just makes it looks so damn easy. It was pretty windy out and he was definitely hungover, but he still managed to throw down even on the jumps. And the Crans park is unreal though it was my first proper park shred post-ACL repair, which added an element of terror for me.

Hangover boost to flat

Hearing the guys wax lyrical about the tour in the bar down at Alaïa Bay that night really brought home to me that the tour in general, really should have more of a place in skiing. Finn, who it's fair to say has quite a lot of experience of traveling for skiing, was calling it "one of the best weeks I've had in skiing". Fresh off the back of a trip to Beijing, it clearly made a welcome change. As Finn said, "I wish more brands would do this".

Finn Bilous Surfs (devant) La Mountain

It was really cool to see how well Quik treats their riders, and how well integrated they are into the brand. The final stop in Crans also served as a general meeting for the brand, bringing together reps, designers, and head office staff, as well as the athletes. Finn & Antti got to spend time with the designers working on future collections and giving direct feedback. As Finn said "it's rare you get that, to meet all the designers and retailers. It gives us riders an insight into the company." With Quiksilver being such a big company, I was genuinely impressed to see how collaborative it was. Antti, who has always taken his time finding the right sponsor matches, put it simply: "it's sick to feel part of the brand, part of the family".

Check out the tour video (another thing skiing tends to miss) below for some good times spring stoke: