In ‘freeskiing’ we don’t have many legends, largely because the sport is young and that sort of thing takes time. Solo projects, especially in semi-documentary form are still a rare thing but two obvious examples stand out: Tanner Hall’s ‘Like A Lion’ and Candide Thovex’s ‘Few Words’. It isn't a coincidence that few would claim anyone outside those two skiers as the ‘all time greatest’, simply because they ARE the all time greats. Both have killed it on every type of terrain, won bucketloads of contest medals, filmed seminal video parts and ultimately changed the rules of ‘the game’.
What rules? Where's Sammy?
But if you stand back and take a look at it objectively, there is one other skier who is joining those guys right up there at the top: Sammy Carlson. Five X-Games slopestyle medals, most recently gold in 2011, are nothing to be sniffed at. His recent ‘three-peat’ in Real Ski has established him as the foremost backcountry freestyle skier in the industry. He’s been dropping insane street/park and backcountry video footage for a long time now, and like it or lump it, he did the first ever switch triple. More importantly he’s been at the forefront of skiing in general for a decade now. At the very least he is legend material, if not already a bonafide legend in his own right.
The signature handplant on top of Hood
So it’s apt that his two year ‘Sammy C Project’, which I’ve had the privilege to watch on loop for the last few days, draws influence from both Like A Lion and Few Words. It has a documentary style element right after the insane intro segment, explaining Sammy’s growth as a skier and rise through the ranks to where he is today. But it’s a far more ski heavy project than either of those. We’ve seen bits of the footage in the aforementioned Real Ski appearances but damn, he stacked a lot of A-grade footage in just two years. There are occasional appearances by a diverse crew of homies including Ian McIntosh, Ben Moxham, Eric Pollard and snowboarder Tim Humphreys but the majority of this 45 minute movie is Sammy’s own unseen footage.
That in itself is an insane feat, one neither Tanner nor Candide managed with their projects. And the footage is, as you’d rightly expect, beautifully cut and edited by TGR. There are by my count eight (yes, eight!) full skiing segments, though it depends on exactly what you count as a ‘full segment’, it could arguably be more. The brain almost can’t understand that level of skiing, predominantly by just one skier, for an entire movie. Each segment has mindblowing moments but the ski jump footage is truly mind blowing and great cinema. I genuinely got chills watching it. I obviously knew he wasn’t going to die because someone would have mentioned that but it just seemed that insane, who hits a ski jump switch!?
On the subject of hitting things switch... Switch 180 pillow line
Everyone should watch this movie, be it once at a premiere or buying to watch on loop. It truly is a ski movie that you can watch as ski porn to get you stoked. But I'd say it's also a piece of skiing history, which makes this a must watch. Looking back in another ten years (if another ten years even stops him) Sammy will be remembered as a, if not THE, legend of our ‘sport’. In fact, watching the Sammy C Project puts into sharp focus the fact that he probably already is.
The Sammy C Project Premieres:
03 DEC - SILVERTHORNE, CO @ Silverthorne Pavilion
06 DEC - SLC, UT @ Imax Clark Planetarium
07 DEC FORT COLLINS, CO @ Aggie Theatre
07 DEC SAN FRANSISCO, CA @The Independent
08 DEC DENVER, CO @ Oriental Theatre
08 DEC SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, NV @ Montbleu Resort
09 DEC BOISE, ID @ Egyptian Theatre
09 DEC SEATTLE, WA @ Siff Egyptian Theatre
10 DEC VANCOUVER, BC, CA @ Rio Theatre
11 DEC SANDPOINT, ID @Panida Theater
Live on iTunes December 15th