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Kirkwood Mountain Resort’s infamous Cirque might be one of the most intimidating venues in professional sports, but for Drew Tabke and the other competitors of the Swatch Freeride World Tour, it’s one of many. Going into the fourth stop or the 2013 Freeride World Tour, Tabke sits in the front with wins in both Revelstoke, BC, and Chamonix, France. His smooth, casual style makes these faces look fun. Skiing caught up with Tabke to find out how the tour has been so far, what it’s like to win in Chamonix, about his new pro-model ski and more.
Skiing: Drew, you won the first Tour stop in Revelstoke, but the announcers on live broadcast didn’t seem too impressed with your run. Why is that?
Drew Tabke: The announcers thing was more of a technical error than them not liking my skiing. They had to switch video formats, so they took away their nice big monitor and gave them a little four-inch monitor. It was also so far away from where the other competitors were skiing. No one had gone there or did go there for the rest of the day, so it’s hard to judge a run when you have nothing to compare it to. The judges appreciated it so it turned out well.
Skiing: You’ve been in Europe for a month. You’ve had a couple of competitions, but what do you do with your free time there?
Drew Tabke: I’m skiing a lot. I have Friends in Chamonix and it’s an incredible place to base. You go from Geneva to Chamonix in a 40-minute van ride, and then there you are under Mt. Blanc. I also do a lot of writing for the Free Ride World Tour when it’s not directly involved with the competitions. I also write for ESPN and some other outlets, so I stay busy trying to ski, stay healthy, and not be a total bum.
Skiing: You WON in CHAMONIX. What’s that like? (See the video HERE)
Drew Tabke: Chamonix is crazy. It’s a humbling It’s amazing how much history is there, and the level of skiing that just happens every day there is—the stuff that people do there on a daily basis makes winning a freeride event pretty special. The venue was a pretty small venue. I don’t think it represents the type of skiing that Chamonix is, which is usually 2000 meter steep runs. This venue was really playful and small. It was super fun freeskiing surrounded by the Venue of Chamonix. (See the above video and ask yourself if that venue looks small and fun)
Skiing: You guys have had good snow at every stop this year. They haven’t seen snow at Kirkwood for a while this year. Is that just part of the tour? What happens when you get snow like this?
Drew Tabke: For a lot of years, when I first started doing this, it was pretty normal to have the snow this hard. This is how it used to be. We’ve progressed in the past two years to get good snow more often, but I think it’s good because that’s not always how it is in the mountains. A little dose of reality is good. It’s going to be challenging here in Kirkwood. It’s not that bad, but it’s not as good as we’ve had elsewhere. I think the real skiers will shine here. Conditions when you’re skiing can turn you into a super hero. The speed and the air you can deal with safely with good snow is amazing. When it’s a little firmer and there are more rocks showing you have to step it back a notch and… Anyways, powder is nice.
Will Tabke take another win? We’ll find out soon. In the meantime check out his pro model ski from Praxis.