2014 was a big year for freeskiing. Like it or lump it, we made our debut on the world stage at Sochi, producing some interesting news stories in the process. At the opposite end of the spectrum, both urban and backcountry skiing hit new heights. It was a virtually impossible task to cut such a massive year down to a list of just 10 tricks. But in a completely undemocratic and occasionally tongue in cheek manner, we've done it. I'm sure we've missed a lot, so make sure you let us know. We may even do a crowd-sourced 'volume two'. But without further ado and in no particular order... The top 10 ski stunts of 2014.
Phil Casabon - Keynote Skier... pretty much all of it to be honest.
If I had to pick a trick it would be the noseblunt stall ender (3.28). Pure perfection.
Not only did he produce this mind blowing section in the Armada movie, he backed it up with a full movie's worth of shots in the sublime Keynote Skier. 2014 was the biggest year of his career so far, I can't wait to see what he produces in 2015.
Jesper Tjader - Double Backflip the Chasm of Doom
All things being equal, Jesper might come in for some significant stick on NS, over his preference for really short skis. But he doesn't because despite his small frame, his balls are so big their gravitational pull has been known to destabilize the earth's axis on his journeys through the air. This double backflip from Nine Knights is a prime example of some Jesper insanity.
Corey Vanular - Wall to Wall
The all-time MVP (ha.) of urban skiing? Certainly a candidate. After years plagued by injuries he finally made a full comeback with his shots in the Superproof movie and these were the best of them.
Joss Christensen - Winning the Olympics
A month before the Olympics few would have thought Joss would even make it to Sochi. His selection was met with some significant backlash in this corner of the internet but he kept his head down, learnt a bunch of new tricks, won the event, did the bare minimum of media work and then got straight back to skiing with his friends. He's also one founder of the universally loved SLVSH. Big year, great ambassador for freeskiing.
Henrik Harlaut - Nosebutter Trip 16, Olympic Slopestyle
Yeah he's done it before but I guarantee pretty much every one of us watching made some comment to the effect of "what the fuck" when he stomped it where he stomped it. This has to have been the best single trick of the games. Henrik was also the second biggest story of the year in the mainstream media with boxergate / wu tang is for children, killed urban and backcountry in Road to Zion and continued to have the best attitude in skiing.
Nipwitz - Producing the best movie of the year and making it free
Don't take my word for it, check the comments here and here. I could wax lyrical about the production quality and the frankly ridiculous skiing for days. However I'm going to keep it simple, I don't want to give away tricks or spoil the surprise. It's one of those rare movies that takes you to the locations and makes you empathize with the people featured. It's a film about another world, about travel, about the people encountered, but without the cringey voice-overs and alongside some truly mental skiing. And they released it for free:
Cody Townsend - 'That Line'
I considered leaving this out given that everyone, more than a million people to be precise, has seen this. I definitely can't say anything that hasn't already been said. But you can't leave it out because it's insane, it's the new benchmark, the gnarliest thing ever skied. You fall, you die, simple.
Gus Kenworthy - Adopting Puppies
Worldwide media coverage, 100k+ twitter followers and unlocking a rare level of existence called infinite pulling power. Not technically a ski trick but unquestionably the biggest stunt in skiing this year, be it deliberate or simply well-intentioned. Gus now has the social media power to win every online competition ever. Puppies > Newschoolers for comp sways, so expect to see him win the lot. Luckily he does also kill it, as his performance at Dew Tour the other week proved.
Tanner Hall - Pillow line (3:38)... but really all of them.
Undisputed master of the controversial outburst and the pillow line, Tanner Hall is claiming this as his best year on skis. From a 7 times X-Games gold medalist and legend of the sport that is no mean claim. He's also picked up the moniker Ski Boss. Andrew Reynolds, the Boss, is probably the closest thing I have to an idol, so for a long time Tanner's new nickname was a bitter pill to swallow. But you know what? Having seen this edit, I think he's worthy of it. And that's one of the biggest compliments I can pay.
Magnus Graner - Thread the needle to rail
Just fitting between two trees that tight is a trick in itself, landing on a rail steps it up a notch but making it look that good is just plain ridiculous.