As always, the videos, which I'll get to in a second, are heavy. But things are a little different this year on the Real Ski front. For one thing, this year there was no requirement for contestants to stack all their clips in the street. The vast majority is still street shots, which is a damn good thing, but that rule change did make the contest landscape a little different with some backcountry footage and even a park clip in there. I would presume it made the judging job, which was already difficult, even completely impossible because you are comparing apples to oranges.
For some inexplicable reason, someone at X Games decided it was a good idea to leak several clips from each rider's part early. Which for a 90-second clip, seriously detracts from the initial wow factor of viewing a part. Neither of this, nor the rule change should take anything from the riders, who crushed it. But X Games kinda blew it on this one. There were always flaws, but there are also great things about Real Ski, so it would be sad to see the people behind X continue to water down the format and reduce the impact these videos have. Instead, they could focus on making the whole thing a touch more rider-friendly, which would no doubt have the impact that they are actually searching for... an even greater show.
With that said, the videos are still incredibly good. Taylor Lundquist crushed it as the first female Real Ski participant. And it's not immediately easy to the medal winners, so there will be plenty of debate again. But without further ado, here are this year's X Games Real Ski Videos:
https://www.newschoolers.com/videos/watch/994320/Alex-Hall--REAL-SKI-2021---World-of-X-GamesAlex is the guy that I'm sure many of us have been secretly hoping to see pop up on the X Games invite list for some time. I think it's fair to say he has had a strong focus on 'regular' contests in recent years, and that street skiing hasn't been a focus. But despite that, has put out some of the year's best street clips in both Faction movies... the talent was clearly there and it felt like X Games Real Ski would be the perfect vehicle to drive him into the streets more. If you were in that camp, you were right. This is a banger.
The undisputed queen of street skiing (and probably newschool skiing as a whole) finally found her way to a Real ski invite this year. And despite straining her ACL towards the end of filming, she came up with definitive proof that said invite was overdue. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Taylor has the best style, bar none, on this list. She makes skiing look beautiful. And the edit on this one is super clean too. Put simply, it's a great skiing clip to watch.
Beyond what he got in "Capeesh" we haven't seen Ferdi ski a ton of street. So in one sense, it was something of a surprise to see his name pop up on the invite list back the fall. However, as a perennial NS favorite and one of the most stylish skiers around, it was a welcome one. He has certainly done a great job of taking his oh so smooth yet technical approach from the comp courses and parks to the streets with this one. The spots aren't quite as gnarly as some, and those park shots jar a bit, but this man has an innate gift for making skiing look incredible.
Last year's people's champ and sole returning competitor, Hackemoto has to be one of the favorites to take the gold this year. There is something about Alex and street skiing that just makes sense. He may have come up in the comp scene, but since Eat The Guts he has been arguably the most consistently mind-blowing street skier out there. Combine the skiing with an out of the box approach to the filming and editing and this is something truly special. The boys have come up with an absolute mind-melter here again. Sit back and enjoy.
Another surprise name on the invite list, the fact that anyone could even earn a Real Ski invite at 37 beggars belief. Tanner is in a club totally of his own here. Nobody has gone so hard in the paint for so long. Unfortunately, a ruptured Achilles ended Tanner's Real Ski filming almost as soon as it started, but you know he had some craziness planned. Given that, it is truly unbelievable that he had a full cut of footage to submit at all, but as Tanner always seems to, he found a way.
That is a very long rail. Unfortunately, you've already seen it on X Games' Instagram... Lupe stayed totally true to what he does with this one. Smooth street skiing, OG style and stomped. There's some subtle strokes in this one, including proper tricks both ways, but it's also a classic good watch. The man has been putting out dope street parts for a decade plus and this is no exception.