Learn what the World Freeskiing Champion had on his feet during the 2010-2011 season
The 2011 season of the Freeskiing World Tour was a powder-chasing roadtrip. No year in the last six comes close to the quality of skiing the tour came upon at each stop. Of the six events, we skied fresh snow on finals day in five of them. But regardless of snowfall, conditions in the competition venue can change right up till you drop in. Even during your run. So all competitors do something a little different when it comes to choosing their skis. Some ski one pair all year regardless of snow conditions or the venue. Some have a ski for hard snow and a ski for deeper snow. I’ve tried lots of different strategies and combinations of skis over the years and I’m sure I will never be totally satisfied. I’m lucky enough to be supported by Praxis Skis, an amazing company specializing in hand-made freeskiing boards, and those guys make all of this possible. Here are the skis I used this year when I won the world title.
Chilean Freeskiing Champs @ El Colorado and Argentinian Champs @ Las Leñas
Chilean Champs on Santa Teresa. ¡Chi chi chi, le le le, VIVA CHILE!
Canadian Freeskiing Champs @ Revelstoke, BC
Dump it did, but I elected to ski the Concept on day 1 of the competition anyway. The line I chose went through some really tight trees in two sections and I wanted the most nimble, technical performance I could have through that type of terrain. I also found a small jump to 360, and with the Concept it was easy to get the trick around.
Day 2 I stuck with the Concepts but I obsessed over the decision the night before in the hotel room. We were taking a helicopter up to Mackenzie Face and there was a chance for it to be really awesome powder conditions in which case I would ski the Protest. But there was a lot of avalanche activity around the mountains in the preceding days and some reports of variable snow despite the huge snowfall so I stuck with what the Concept. It was a good call as helicopter bombing, ski cutting, and hand charges thrown by ski patrol brought down almost all of the fresh leaving a punchy, dangerous expanse of unpredictable snow. The versatile Concept took care of business.
The Extremes @Crested Butte, CO
And lo and behold, it snowed. A lot. I swapped my bindings over to the Protest the night before the finals on day 2 and got face shots, to the dome, in my comp run. It was likely the deepest snow I’d skied in a comp and was stoked to have the big boards.
North American Freeskiing Champs @ Kirkwood, CA
Freeskiing World Tour Finals @ Snowbird, UT
RX 189cm. (Specs) FKS 18. 1st place. Overall world title.
And that concluded the competition season. With spring upon us most skiers I know are getting ready for some of their biggest trips of the year. Here in Washington, the same is true. I’ll be going on a 10-day trip in the North Cascades with a new Protest under my feet. The new Protest has the backcountry as its priority with lighter materials in the core and an updated shape. I am excited about the option to have binding inserts for your specific binding build into the ski, effectively bolting the binding onto the core instead of drilling into it. In my case I’ll have the inserts installed for a Dynafit FT12 binding, for my particular sole length.