Interview and photos by Jeff Schmuck
So you’re up here in Whistler for a bit. What’s new with you?
Yeah I’m just up here for a couple of days with Tommy Ellingson and Willy Borne shredding around and having fun. Tommy is actually my personal coach this summer, which is a new thing for me. I grew up skiing all my life with Tommy, and he’s a super cool guy who keeps me humble and keeps me focused on what I want to do. I brought him on board to help me out because I’m really pumped for next year season and I’m on a mission like I’ve never been before because I want to take over this sport.
What made you want to take a break from Hood? Because you were down there for the better part of the summer right?
Well I grew up at Hood and have spent every summer skiing there and I love it, but we saw some pics from Camp of Champions and Momentum and the lanes looked really good so we figured it’d be cool to take a break from Hood and come up here and get a new flavor. So we rolled up here and I couldn’t be more stoked. Momentum’s lane and Camp of Champions lane are ridiculously sick and with the t-bars you can do hot laps and session like crazy. So I’ve been working on some new stuff and Tommy has been filming every run so we can do video review at night so I can really work on my style.
Speaking of the filming, you’ve got a new little video project on the go.
Yeah I’m starting something up. Salomon just bought me a nice camera so me and Tommy are going to start putting out what we’re calling the Mix Tapes. We’re up here and are going to put out at least one or two from this trip and then we’re going to New Zealand for about three weeks and we’re going to try to put out as many as we can for you guys. It’s going to be good.
What inspired you to start this project?
Well since Tommy is going around with me and since I’m shredding hard every day all day I was just thinking why not get a camera and film it so I can put some cool little edits together and put them online for all the kids out there to get them stoked.
Nice. How’s your ankle doing?
Yeah a lot of people might not know but I hurt my ankle in February in Austria when I fell at the Red Bull Playstreets contest. I tweaked it really bad and at first I didn’t really think it was as serious as it was but it turned out to be pretty bad. But I wasn’t ready to hang up my skis because I was really determined to go out to Jon’s event and win that competition, because as soon as I heard about it I was super stoked because filming is such a big part of my skiing career and I really enjoy it. And then to have a contest to film a segment was amazing, so I really wanted to go out and win it. So I went out there and worked my ass off all week and my ankle was bothering me pretty bad and I kind of banged it up even worse at the end of the week but I’m super glad I made it through and managed to achieve my goal of winning. So after that I took a bit of a break and now my ankle is still a little sore but I think it’s a good sore because I’ve been skiing hard the last couple of days and I think it shows that my muscles in that area are getting stronger.
You went to Alaska in the spring as well right?
Yeah! I got to go up there and it was a real eye opener for me because it really helped me appreciate what skiing is all about. Not just hitting rails and jumps but some big mountains with all natural features, which helped give me a newfound appreciation for what we’re fortunate enough to be able to do. It was super cool but again my ankle was super tweaked up there so I didn’t really get to do what I wanted but it was a good first time up there for me. I got to ski with Shane McConkey, who’s a true legend, and JP Auclair and Pep Fujas were up there with me so it was super cool to watch those guys do their thing and I learned a lot from them.
So what are you planning for next season?
Oh big plans. I’m definitely going to put a lot of energy into the X-Games slopestyle and the Dew Tour.
Are you going to do the all Dew Tour stops?
Definitely. I’d really like to start competing a little more seriously in the pipe beginning next season. I’ve been riding pipe with Tanner a little bit, and watching him and learning from him has pushed my riding and created a whole new desire for me to get more into it.
You spent a bunch of time with Tanner this year and it kind of seemed like you switched up who you were skiing with in a way.
Yeah definitely because Tanner is pretty much the same style of guy as me. Just always thinking about his skiing and not worrying about anything else. It’s really good when we’re together because we have a ton of energy and we just love to go out and ski all day long and get tons of shots, and whether we’re training or filming it’s all about getting it done. There’s no bullshit with him. Tanner doesn’t think he’s a superstar like some of these kids who’s egos are a bit much for me. I just grew up a skier and that’s all I am and all I try to be. I’m not trying to be some LA brother ya know. So Tanner’s attitude and the attitude of the crew around him, which is just totally focused on skiing, is really refreshing for me because that’s what it’s all about.
Anything to else to say to everyone out there?
It’s comin. I’m stoked and I’m feeling better than I ever have on skis and am ready to take over. This was the best season of my life, even though things didn’t go the way I wanted them to in the comps, but in terms of my riding I’m skiing better than ever and I’m stoked to work harder than I ever have next year because I love this sport and I want to see it go in the right direction and I’m going to do everything in my power to help make that happen.