Generation of Free Skiing
With this Blog im going to teach you all a little bit of the history of our great sport, as well as help you understand where we get our radicaaaaal inspiration from……
It all started in the 70s where some renegade skiers wanted to move away from the norm! One of the pioneers of the sport was Fuzzy Garhammer went to the states and won the hot dog competition; these guys were throwing back flips of moguls on really thin, wooden skis over 2 metres in length with NO MODERN TECH! Unreal!!
We have all seen the cheesy ski ballet videos on Youtube, where people spun around on the flat and used their long poles to backflip and express themselves!
This was the next stage in the development of the sport that we know today Aerials, probably the closest thing to the modern day Big-Air; these crazy mo-fos launched themselves off almost 90 degree kickers and flew through the air with arms outstretched like Peter Pan Airs you see Snowboarders throwing down nowadays. The start of big mountain; when men were men, and the Schmidt turn was all you needed to get down the steepest of faces; you know the move pole plant and jump around that bad boy almost 180 and then repeat……a lot!
Fast forward to 1998 the game changer; Salomon 1080 & JP Auclair; JP and his crew, The New Canadian Air Force spent the summer in the Whistler park and pitched their idea to loads of companies and the result was the ground-breaking Salomon 1080.
JP continued to push the sport in events and then moved behind the scenes where he did much more, until his tragic death in 2014, a true legend RIP.
After giving JP the mad respect he deserves it leads us on to his legacy created with Armada & Tanner Hall. Armada have always been true to their routes of freestyle skiing. Tanner went through a stage of being unbeatable in both slopestyle and the pipe as well as filming the sickest edits of ski movies for half a decade! The man broke both his ankles on Chad's gap then first day back on skis hit it day one, a true Lion of the sport! Jon Olsson then invented a ground breaking corked double flip that he called the Kangaroo flip which debuted on Poor Boyz classic Ski Porn. This gave flight and ridiculous contortions of the body and pushed our sport to the next level! Simon Dumont can’t be missed out for pushing the limits, from ridiculous amplitude in the pipe in his X-Games rivalry with Tanner, to his insane quarter pipe air; dude got 35 foot out of the pipe, and of course his Slumdog Illionaire edit which still gets me hyped before heading out and bailing on 360s! Candide Thovex, where do you start with this man? First person to hit Chad's Gap,hehas won a gold in every discipline at the X-Games, as well as breaking his back at his own event but then coming back to win the Freeride world tour a year later, and of course his Youtube sensation videos ‘One of those Days’ 1, 2 and 3! In my eyes Candide is The G.O.A.T. In the early - mid naughtys Seth Morrison, Pep Fujas and Shane McConkey (RIP) came in with K2 and pioneered fat skis with Cambers and rockers allowing you to huck, flip and ski right off cliffs. I cant forget to give some love to Britains own James ‘Woodsy’ Woods who won Gold in the big Air at the X-Games in Aspen in 2017! When Nick & I first met him in 2008 he said he wouldn’t be entering these competitions until he could win them; boy did good and made GB proud! As these pioneers get old and retire the young guns keep pushing the sport to more and more ridiculous levels, where 1440s are standard tricks and anything can be hucked off! Of course this list isnt conclusive and I cant mention all the game changing skiers that deserve a shout out, so please don’t think they have been forgotten. That’s a snap shot of the history of Freeskiing, all that’s left to do is grab your OOSC retro inspired ski suit on, along with the fluro headband, get the pastel lip balm on and channel your inner Glen Plake all over the hill and hit the Apres HARD!