interview by Jeff Schmuck

So how ya doing my friend?

I’m doing good man, real good.

Stoked to be in Vegas?

Super stoked. Had a really good time last night hanging out with Lil John and all you boys. It was a good night to let off some steam and Vegas is a great place to be.

photo: Jeff Schmuck

So, as everyone knows, last week at X-Games there was some controversy at the bottom of the pipe. A lot of people have been talking about it but how about you let everyone know what went down from your perspective.

photo: Jeff Schmuck

Well I guess to the crowd it looked like Simon won but to the judges it looked like I won. I mean sure it’s a crowd pleaser when you’re going 20 feet out, and he killed it, and I’m not going to deny that whatsoever, I mean the guy skied like a madman that night. But now that skiing is changing up and everything’s evolving right now it’s no longer about how high you can go and how much you can spin in one direction. I think the more pipe goes on the more you’re going to have to spin both ways and have to incorporate switch, and basically incorporate every single possibility in the pipe. And that’s the approach I took this year and after I did my run and the score came up everybody was booing and not too many people were stoked, but the people that really understood skiing and understand where it’s going were stoked. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t a very good feeling in the corral at the bottom but to have a huge response out of people I know who came up to me and told me I rode my ass off and I deserved it made it feel good, because it was tough taking a victory lap and having snowballs thrown at you and this and that. But I’ll tell you what…it’s just a part of it. People love drama and that’s what they want to see and when me and Simon are skiing halfpipe it usually ends up coming down to me and him and it makes for a cool show. But like I said man, it could have gone either way but I’m just glad that the judges looked at it the way they did because I think it was a good night for pipe skiing because there’s a whole new way to ride it and a whole new way to look at it.

photo: cko

It was a weird situation because I was at the top the whole time and you were really, really stoked all night and then while I was skiing down after you won I could hear all the boos and couldn’t figure out what was going on, and then I saw you and you looked so bummed and your entire demeanor had changed. Did it taint your victory?

Well like I said it wasn’t the easiest thing. It was tough and it definitely hurt a little bit but you just gotta be the bigger man and brush it off because there’s plenty more X-Games to come and I just gotta keep my head on straight and be proud of myself for what I did. At first I got really down but then I just focused on the positives of that night and there were a lot of them. I mean for how much negativity there was from the crowd that night the positivity towards what I did has just been overweighing it, and all I can do is just keep doing what I’m doing and having as much fun as possible, because that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. It was a little bump in the road and some people aren’t too stoked I took home another gold but you know what? You just gotta keep on rollin with the punches and just keep your head up.

photo: Jeff Schmuck

Tell everyone about your movie this year.

Yeah, I’m sure you guys have seen the word Massive floating around. We’ve got a new film in the making called The Massive. It’s just going to be crazy, especially with all the footage we’ve already got this year. Believe it or not, we’ve already got a jib segment filmed (laughs) and I slid a bunch of rails. This year we’re going to be changing up our styles because we saw what we did wrong with Believe…

Wait, what you did wrong (laughs)?

Yeah, what we did wrong, exactly (laughs). Now we’re going to add all the points that we were missing and we just want it to keep getting better every year and the ideas keep coming. So this year with The Massive definitely look out because we’ve got dollies in the backcountry and jib arms and a month-long trip to Haines and basically everything you need for a visually stunning film.

Who’s in it this year?

Myself, Sammy Carlson, Kye Petersen, Sean Pettit, Callum Pettit, Ian Provo, and a couple of the new up-and-comers that are more filmer-style skiers that are just focused on going out and trying to do different and unique stuff, because that’s exactly what we’re looking for…a different way to look at skiing through The Massive. You guys are going to be stoked.

So you came to me and said you wanted to do this interview because there was some things you wanted to say to the kids on NS.

Yeah, I just want to say thanks to everyone out there on Newschoolers. You guys really showed a lot of support to me after all this and it touched me a little bit in my heart to see a lot of the kids on there that hate on me all day long to do a complete 180 and show me love. So I just want to say thanks for the support and thanks for everything you guys do. You guys are the fans and you keep us going and I’m going to keep pumping out these movies for you guys and keep going to X-Games and I’m going to keep trying to push skiing to the limit, and with your guys’ support it just makes it that much easier. So all I wanted to do was give a big shout-out and a big thank-you and a big up to everyone on Newschoolers.

photo: Jeff Schmuck