Technically, you just finished your first pro season on the contest circuit. How do you feel about that?
I feel really good! I didn’t have one standout result this year, but was able to consistently make finals which I’m really content with. I now know I’ve got my consistency locked in and am starting to feel more comfortable competing at such a high level. Kind of getting rid of the nerves from the first while on circuit, you know?
I know in 2015 you dealt with some nagging injuries, what kind of difference was it in 2016 being relatively healthy?
It was such an amazing feeling to not have to deal with that! Words can’t describe how much it sucks to be sitting on the sidelines for a contest, watching all your friends kill it. I just wanted to be out there so badly. But it feels so good to be back in the start gate now, and I’m feeling more confident with my skiing going into the ’16-’17 season. I cannot wait!
While the results at the big events are still elusive, do you feel that your confidence is growing with more and more experience against the other elite athletes?
Spot on! For the first while on the circuit, it was pretty intimidating competing with my idols, in front of a big crowd, and on live TV. But I’ve gotten more used to it lately and now it’s the norm. I’ve learned how to handle the pressure, and now that I’ve put in the hours, I know I’m ready to go.
How was this year at X different from your first year there?
The first year that I went to X Games, I didn’t really know what to expect. This year however, I know what I was getting into and had better tricks that I knew it was going to take to do well. I was really happy with my skiing in training, but unfortunately come contest day, we got caught in a bit of a blizzard. With less than ideal conditions, I struggled with a fairly new trick for me—unnatural triple cork—on the last hit of my run. It was a bummer, but in the end, I was able to make the best of an unfortunate situation and move forward in a positive manner, which is always tough but important.
Other than contests, you filmed with MSP this season. How was that? How was it different from what you've done in the past, filming-wise?
That was such a cool experience to have. I watched ski movies religiously growing up, so to be able to tap into that aspect of skiing was pretty unreal.
It was super different than any filming I’ve done in the past because I’d never really been on any gnarly custom features or filmed with such intense equipment. We were shooting with the cineplex [ed. note: Cineflex] from a helicopter, on a feature that had four takeoffs with a butter pad in the middle. It was definitely wild, and I can’t wait for people see what we got up to. Being the youngest there, and on my first shoot with MSP, I had to test the feature… so that was pretty scary, but it worked out. [laughs]
You dropped the Whistler Glacier edit last summer and an edit on Newschoolers recently, any plans to get more involved in the media space?
For sure! I definitely want to work on a film project at some point. Maybe something that brings people along on and shows more of a behind the scenes look at contest skiing on the pro circuit and our lifestyle on the road.
You're the reigning Slvsh Cup Perisher champ, think you'll be able to defend your title?
I hope so. [laughs] I think I have a pretty wide variety of tricks, which is important in SLVSH Games because you never know what you’re going to have to try.
You see that Snowboarding is getting all of these events (Air + Style expanding, WST, etc.) and Freeskiing seems to be losing non-FIS events. what are your thoughts on that?
It’s definitely a huge bummer. Air + Style looks like such a fun time, and I would be so stoked to see them bring back skiing. Or even for a skiing equivalent to exist! Those type of events are such a good time because they add so much to the event atmosphere other than skiing. When you’re done riding you can go check out the concert at the bottom or hang out in the pimped out athlete lounge.
What is your favorite non-FIS event and why? Do you think the sport needs tow healthy avenues for competitors?
Right now my favorite non-FIS event would have to be the X Games. The atmosphere there is unparalleled by any event I’ve attended. The lounge is awesome, there are concerts every day, and the course is top notch. The crowds are crazy, and the hotel that the entire Monster team stays at is unreal.
Who are your favorite skiers to watch right now, regardless of what they do?
I’ve always been really hyped on how Torin Yater-Wallace skis. In my opinion he has by far the best style in the game, and no matter what type of skiing he’s doing, he makes it so fun to watch.
Canada isn't killing it in the NHL, but is making headlines in the NBA. Predictions for Canadian pipe/slope skiers this coming season?
[laughs] Yeah no comment on the NHL side of things. But NBA on the other hand… I’m so hyped on the Raptors right now. On the halfpipe skiing side of things, Cassie Sharpe is absolutely killing it right now. She’s boosting, and has the technical tricks to put down a run at every event.
As for slopestyle, Alex Bellemare is killing it as always. His style is so unique and his bag of tricks is endless. He’s also on of the nicest guys I know, so I’m excited to see him slay this year.