Parker White had a pretty carefree childhood, growing up in the town of Dorset, Vermont. Both of his parents are skiers and fully-supported his decision to move to Mammoth, at the age of 16, to follow his dream of spending his winters clicked in to a pair of skis. Medals at X Games and Red Bull Linecatcher, as well as memorable segments in movies, prove that ‘the most supportive parents in the world’ were right to support their talented son. Fresh off his first season back with Level 1, a very relaxed Parker talks about everything from hiking with his dog to developing skis with Rossignol...
“I love skiing but I really enjoy my time not skiing as well.”
The life of a pro freeskier may be a dream for many of us but Parker says there are benefits to spending time off the snow: "Just having my summer and completely taking my mind off it, I think that helps me get even more excited for it in the winter, when I come back off a long break."
The 27-year-old moved back to Vermont this year, which is where he’s from and doesn’t have too many commitments when he’s not skiing: “I don’t have to work in the summer so I’ve just been swimming everyday and going on hikes with my dog, camping out skateboarding a bunch and that’s pretty much it. I picked up hunting in the fall and that takes up a lot of my time, with archery and rifle in Montana. But day-to-day I don’t really do anything. I just kind of wander around the woods, skateboard, swim and just be outside.”
His hiking companion - Slim - is a mix between a Bassett Hound and a Pitbull: “He looks like a wiener-dog with a giant pitbull’s head, if you can imagine that!”
“I’m really excited for everyone to see my segment in Zig Zag, I think it came out super-well.”
Big production companies provide a great platform for the best skiers in the world to show their talents alongside other pros, but Parker's return to Level 1 was more personal: “I just hung with Freedle (Coty) all year. Filming with him all year was sick, we’re such good friends. He’s been my roommate for like six years in Montana. It was just a change of pace and I think we both got re-inspired on skiing and just life. This year there’s a good crew and I’m excited for the movie.”
“Big Picture’s all done now.”
The web series featuring Parker and his friend Chris Logan, ended with Lite Years in 2017: “We just left on a high note, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine and then ten years down the line you’re just doing the same thing and it’s not as exciting. I’m really proud of all the edits, I still love those. But I think it’s good that it ended when it did. We had a good run and when we stopped doing it people were still excited about it. I think we were doing the most with what we had. So we could keep making these edits but we didn’t want it to become stale and just doing the same thing over and over. It’s better to burn out than fade away."
He's come a long way from a park on the East coast. Credit:JP
“Now I’m awful at skiing park because I don’t do it anymore.”
Growing up on the East Coast, skiing at small mountains like Bromley and Mount Snow, Parker pretty much grew up in the park:
“I used to only really ski in the park, all day every day, and now I barely even ski at a resort anymore. We basically only go ski pow. That’s almost all I’m really interested in, just being in the backcountry and skiing powder. Just being in the mountains away from everyone.”
But his roots are still evident in the 27-year-old’s skiing: ”growing up skiing park has definitely shaped the way I ski in the backcountry. It’s very jump and trick oriented.”
Despite having largely moved on, a park session is always appreciated: “I went to Kimbosessions this year and had so much fun skiing park with everybody, but I don’t miss competing or mid-winter, it’s not something I really think about. But spring session in Mammoth or at Kimbosessions, just hitting big jumps in spring slush, that’s still one of my favourites, that’s just the best. Just being out in warm weather and shredding that’s pretty care-free. Just it’s not really a focus these days.”
“You guys did it, you built the perfect ski!”
While filming Big Picture, Parker and Chris had raised some concerns with their sponsor Rossignol: “For the longest time we were skiing on the Sickle I think it was 110 underfoot and it was a really fun ski but it was just a bit too narrow to ski deep pow. We just wanted a ski we could jump, land switch and shred in pow, a real non-directional, jibby, shreddy pow ski. The only thing Rossignol had in the line at the time was the 7-series and the Squad 7, those were good directional skis, short turn-radius and a really good weekend-warrior ski. “
But he and Chris continued to ski the Sickle for a couple years even after they were discontinued because the 7-series no good for their kind of skiing: “We had been asking for years but after the first year of the Big Picture they got on board and came out with the Black Ops.
They could almost tailor-make their new skis, sending the French company their desired dimensions, flex patterns and turning radiuses : “We just discussed generally the ski that we wanted, they made a sample and sent it to us and we were just like: “yeah, this is it. That’s exactly the ski that we want!” Chris and I skied them and they were just the best skis. They were like; “What do you want to change?” We just said “Nothing! You guys did it, you built the perfect ski."
Filming with Freedle credit: Freedle Coty
“Last year went so well with Freedle that I’m just hoping to do the exact same thing.”
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.... With Level 1 making their 20th movie next year, Parker hopes to repeat the trick of spending the winter filming with Freedle Coty for his segment. In what will be a busy winter for Parker, he's moving up to BC, so he hopes to ski more in his spare time. Apart from a planned Japan trip with Lucas Stål Madison in January, he admits that it’s hard to make plans before you know what the snow is doing. He says that he plans his segment not even a week beforehand:
“If you’re hitting rails and stuff, you can do it more on the fly. For skiing backcountry it’s super weather-dependant so we’re always looking at weather and radars and whenever we see somewhere that’s going to be good we can make a last minute call so we can just pack up our stuff and go.”
Before another busy winter of skiing and keeping fingers crossed for snow, Parker is hanging out in Switzerland for a post High Five Festival recovery. But he'll be heading home soon, and he and Slim will continue hiking and swimming around the woods. Sounds alright to us.
Parker White’s favourite…
Trip: The one place I’ve never been, and it’s my life dream, is to go heli-skiing in Alaska. But that’s easier said than done, it’s just really expensive!
I’ve wanted to do that every year but it’s never come together but if I could go ski spines in Alaska that’d be a dream!
Trick: The trick that I can do on a dime every time is a cork 7 blunt.
Track: I can’t give that away, everyone’s got to wait and see...