Cover Photo: Dan Villaire
Skiing is subjective. We all have our favourite skiers for different reasons. But facts are facts and you can’t argue with Tanner Hall’s record-haul of eleven Winter X Games ski medals and 15 years of major ski movie appearances. Whatever you think of his persona, Ski Boss is indisputably one of the best ever to do it.
When a skier of Tanner’s level decides to try his hand at another discipline it’s always going to be pretty big news. I spoke to a very relaxed and happy Tanner who was chilling in LA after the ESPY awards, with Henrik Harlaut for company no less. The 34-year-old legend will join the Freeride World Tour for the first time in 2019, how did it even happen?
"I’ve thought about it for a while, but never really committed to it.”
While Tanner’s assault on the FWT might have taken a few of us by surprise, he says it was always in the back of his mind. A European trip was where he first explored the possibility:
“I was out in Sweden this year and showed interest to a couple people when I was at Kimbosessions, they put in the word and all of a sudden I had a wildcard spot, so that was wicked. I’m super-stoked and very grateful that they gave me this opportunity.”
Tanner is no stranger to the backcountry and he’s got the video segments to prove his freeride calibre. The FWT shouldn’t be a drastic change, like any competition, it’s all about the mindset. But after 20 years Competing in Slopestyle, Big Air and Pipe will the FWT mean a change to his training and lifestyle?
“It’s not really changed my regime it’s just bought a stoke back, there were some years where I didn’t take it as serious as I am now. Life’s good again, I feel good when I go to the gym, on the bike or going to the ocean and swimming. Just seeing the good in life after doing that stuff, it’s nice.
Freeride Boss. Photo: Will Wissman
He has chosen to surround himself with people that will help to stay focused to achieve his goals in skiing and in life:
"Being around someone like Henrik now, it motivates me to train. It’s hard to meet people who want to go the gym and want to go really hard every day. Just put hours and hours and hours into it, like work out until you’re hurting. It’s a pain you’ve got to be into and kind of be a weirdo to enjoy."
"Drinking was just a bad thing for me, it’s so easy to get caught up in a party, especially being brought up in the ski world.”
It’s no coincidence that this ‘fresh start’ has come after going sober. His struggles with substance are something Tanner has made no secret of:
“At the end of the day, skiing has always been the first and foremost thing that I love to do. Even when I was f*cked up, I was still skiing pretty good. I’ve got a love for skiing that’s just pretty f*cking crazy. But it’s definitely helping, waking up every day with a clear mind, like I’m in a routine now. At this point I just know that if you make the sacrifice in the summer and keep your body strong and healthy, it might seem a bit boring but when winter comes around it’s gonna be ten times wilder than it would have been if you were partying all summer.”
"Me and Corey Stanton are finishing off another movie together right now.”
It's not just the contest-scene that will benefit from his rebirth, Tanner has been on a hard grind stacking shots all winter. The full movie might be dying out to a greater or lesser degree, but to the original pros, a big project is still what defines you:
“We made Triumph last year so we just kind of linked back up. We got Brady Perron helping out editing again. So it’s basically been the three of us just mixing up the medicine. The movie is done and ready to show at a couple shows here in September, but the big premiere is at High Five Festival in Annecy.”.
He's definitely not abandoning the park altogether. Photo: Josh Bishop
"I love skiing and that's what I'll always do!"
When we talked about his plans after winter 2019 his response revealed a man happy with where he is at in life now:
“Just skiing man, I love skiing and that’s what I want to do. I’m healthy, I’m hungry, I’m strong and life is good. So beyond the FWT I’ll be making a project with Constantine Papanicolau, I made Believe, Show & Prove and The Massive with him. So it’ll be cool to link back up with him and do a little project about the FWT and just my whole season on tour.”
With his new motivation, rekindled passion and the enormous talent that he’s always had, you would be very brave to bet against Tanner Hall adding another title at the end of the Freeride World Tour 2019.
Tanner Hall’s favourite…
Trip: Going up to Rellatalack lodge with a couple buddies and just shralping pow.
Trick: Switch Frontflip.
Track: Vybz Kartel The World Boss
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