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Home hill: Hafjell, Norway
Perfect segment song: “I usually listen to rap, but for my skiing segments I like happy powerful songs which make you happy and just wanna go ski.
Since he appeared in The Teddybear Crisis at the age of 16, PK’s been on fire. This past season he wrestled the Jon Olsson Invitational crown from its namesake and won the Orage European Freeski Open Slopestyle. The Norweigian travels well, too, with second place finishes at last year’s Nippon and U.S. Open. That’s a long way to go for the farmboy used to living on ski-in, ski-out hinterlands. He’s established his own style by not becoming a grab robot. “I try to make the grabs a little different and some work out and some don’t, he says. “The main thing is I just make it look like the easiest trick you’ve ever done. Look for P.K. in Magic Moves by Field Productions, a Norwegian ski movie company with an all-Scandinavian roster.
Sponsors: K2, Helly Hansen, Dragon, Kombi, Sweet Protection, Aloha Hemp
PK is pre-qualified for the USFO
PHOTO: Magic Moves
HOMETOWN: Wanaka, New Zealand
This Kiwi’s breakout party came during the 2006 New Zealand Free Ski Open. Then at the 2007 U.S. Freeskiing Open slopestyle, Jossi spun unnatural cork 900s and switch 1080s in podium-worthy runs but crashed in the semis.
Jossi diversified his portfolio this summer. “I’ve always been a slopestyle skier,” he says. “Because of all the tour events, I’m turning into a bit of a pipe skier.” Judges at this year’s USFO had better pay attention when his name is called-in both events.
As a child, Jossi would play his violin for money on the streets of Wanaka. “I paid my airfare for my first trip to the Northern Hemisphere from money I had earned busking,” he says. (For non-street performers, “busking” is entertaining passersby for change.)
Jon Olsson, impressed by the young Kiwi, gave him a shot in his high-profile Jon Olsson Invitational. “There aren’t any new skiers that compare to his level of ability,” says Jon. “For sure, he’s one of my top three favorite skiers right now.”
Jossi is pre-qualified for the USFO. To see more go here
PHOTO: Erik Seo
HOMETOWN: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Skiing’s intelligentsia took notice of Mike’s podium finishes at 2007’s World Superpipe Championship in Park City and the Nippon Open in Japan. “He was skiing so aggressively,” says Smith team manager Gabe Schroder, “I could tell he was trying to make a name for himself.”
“I had a streak in the middle of the year where I didn’t do very well and lost my confidence,” he says. The result was a disappointing 11th place at the X Games. But at the 2007 World Skiing Invitational in Whistler, the Alberta native launched his way into a first-place sweep of three events: superpipe, slopestyle, and superhit.
“I’m registered in school for fall semester,” says Mike, who is hedging his skiing with a degree in either general science or business administration at the University of Alberta-Edmonton. “So I might be a little bit rusty getting back into the first comp or two, but I should be dialed by X Games.””Mike came on strong last season and was a standout skier at all the comps,” says photographer Scott Markewitz. “He goes really big and has great style, which makes him easy to photograph.”
Mike is pre-qualified for the 2008 US Freeskiing Open because he placed third in Slopestyle in last years competition. Check out more about the USFO here
PHOTO: Scott Markewitz
HOMETOWN: Jackson, Wyoming
SPECIALTY: Big Mountain
Rob got his start in the film-editing room. He majored in video production at SUNY-Plattsburgh, then moved to Jackson and joined up with KGB Productions. Not long after, he switched to the other side of the camera and was featured in KGB’s 2005 film, Sanctified. “Just a lot of the 10-toe express for that film,” says Rob, referring to their eco-friendly mode of transportation. “Definitely no heli rides or sleds.”
Rob has unfinished business on the U.S. Freeskiing Tour. Known to combine big-mountain prowess with his Right Coaster jib background, Rob grabbed The North Face Amateur Skier of the Year award in 2007. But he still finished eighth in the tour event in Jackson and was eliminated in the first round at Kirkwood. “I want to go get a podium finish in Jackson and Kirkwood,” he says.
If Rob coaches as well as he skis, the future for big-mountain competition looks bright. An instructor for Jackson Hole’s freeride team, he’ll balance time between coaching and the tour this season. “I have a huge commitment to my kids,” says Rob. “Those guys give me so much energy and I get really psyched to watch them progress.”
“He can pretty much do it all,” says fellow cliff hucker Chris Collins. “He is a fully proficient big-mountain, backcountry guy. I’ve seen others go out and ski a gnarly line, but if you were to film it, it wouldn’t make the movie. With Rob’s style, he tends to stomp everything.”
Editorial Comment: Rob is a Big Mountain Freeskier, so he will not be participating in the US Freeskiing Open this weekend
PHOTO: Greg Epstein
HOMETOWN: Montreal, Quebec
SPECIALTY: Slopestyle, big air
A former pro rollerblader, Kaya was a natural when she transitioned to skiing. At the 2005 Vermont Open, she nabbed the top spot in slopestyle and landed a place on the Salomon team. She was also the first female ever to attempt a switch 1080-which she nearly stuck a year later at the New Zealand Open slopestyle.
Kaya made headlines with a spectacular crash into a staircase at San Francisco’s Icer Air event in the summer of 2006 (YouTube it) that knocked her out of competitions last season. This summer she strained her knee in New Zealand. “It was a bad pull and I don’t know when I’ll be back,” she says. We hope, for competition’s sake, it’s this year.
“Skiing was really weird at first,” Kaya says, recalling her rollerblading roots. “Whenever I tried to spin, the skis seemed like the heaviest things ever. It took me two or three weeks to start feeling the jumps and rails and then I was fine.” Um, did she say weeks?
“She is the new female phenom,” says freestyle legend Mike Douglas. “When she does tricks, it’s at the level that guys do tricks. There are no girls I know that can do a switch seven and tweak a mute grab throughout.”
Kaya is pre-qualified for the US Freeskiing Open
PHOTO: Blake Jorgenson
Home Hill: Marmot Basin/Jasper, Alberta
Perfect segment song: “It would have to be a classic song, something like Pink Floyd.
Henitiuk is still young enough to be at the point where he hasn’t decided whether to keep competing in bumps or focus on freeskiing. He destroyed urban jib shoots in Omaha and Calgary for Poor Boyz last winter, all while competing full time in moguls en route to becoming the 2007 Canadian Junior Dual Moguls champion. He started hitting urban sets a few years ago on a family trip to Nelson, B.C., where his dad and uncle built the jump and his mom filmed it. “I want to go back there this year, he says. “There are so many rails.
Sponsors: Oakley, Salomon , Fresh Sports Ski shop
PHOTO: Jenny Naftulin
HOMETOWN: Canterbury, New Hampshire
SPECIALTY: Slopestyle, superpipe
After spending his formative years on East Coast hardpack, Colby excels on the icy walls of the superpipe. A first-place finish at the 2005 Vermont Open earned him a reputation as a top skier in New England, and when his Völkl team won the 2006 Orage Masters in Mammoth, California, the industry got word too.
Colby stole a bronze in X Games slopestyle with a run that included switch 1080s, 450s onto boxes, and switch 900s. He tweaks the hell out of his trademark double nose grab 900 (seen here), giving it tons of amplitude as well. And he’s focused. “This is my comp year,” he says. No one should be surprised at more X Games podiums.
While trying to make it as a pro, Colby lived out of his 1988 Saab Turbo 900, traveling to competitions with just a cotton sleeping bag for warmth. “I can remember several times being parked at City Market or Wal-Mart when it was snowing fiercely at three in the morning and just thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing here?'”
“Colby is an exceptionally talented athlete, with a ton of drive and self-instilled motivation to take his skiing as far as he can,” says Josh Berman of Level 1 Productions. “It might not make him the most popular kid on the block, but if he wants to be on top, he’ll certainly get there.”
Colby’s stellar performance at the X Games have secured him a spot at the US Freeskiing Open
PHOTO: Blake Jorgenson
Home hill: Alta, UT
Miller got his big break this year as Level 1 Production’s backcountry demolition expert. He filled that role well enough to snag a photo on Real Time‘s box art. A native of Montana, Miller is no stranger to the backcountry. “When the whole newschool scene started, Big Sky didn’t have a park, he says. “My brother and I would go to Beehive Basin, build a jump, and keep coming back to it for as long as it was there. We’d dig it out every weekend. Miller is creating a lot of buzz for not just being a well-rounded skier, but for his creativity and work ethic as well. “He’s able to look at terrain and do stuff that’s really different, says Berman. “And he’s not too shy to go big.
Sponsors: 4frnt, Spy, Technica, Hestra, Bula, Alta
PHOTO: Jon Kleinman
Home hill: Breckenridge, CO
Perfect segment song: “My playlist is mostly fresh reggae.
This past winter Adam Delorme got his name known by being named MVP at two Colorado shoots with Level 1 Productions. He also won the New Zealand Freeski Open this summer. Delorme has all the tricks of a competition killer, beyond the stock switch 10. Check out his switch 630 on a 50 foot gap to box in Level 1’s Real Time. His team manager, Fat-ypus co-owner and Breck co-local Jared Mazlish, feels Delorme embodies what he loosely terms an “old school attitude. “After talking to his dad I realized he came up in a skiing family, Mazlish says. “Adam definitely has this respect for skiing’s past and future as an actual lifestyle. Those are the types of skiers we want to represent us.
Sponsors: Fat-ypus, Jibberish, Spy, JIBIJ, Breck, Spirit Skate Shop, Tall T Productions
PHOTO: Eric Schmitt
Age : 20
Home Hill: Crested Butte, CO
Perfect segment song: “Live ya Life, by Statik
Broadbent started making connections with his sponsors by working for company events in high school. Formerly a weekend warrior from the Denver area, he now attends school at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, Seth Morrison’s alma matter. Broadbent picked up a good bag of jib tricks after knocking out suburban rails and can switch-up on command. He’s also a perfect travel companion, according to Jibij Pro Shop owner Josh Bryant, who traveled to South Korea with Broadbent last winter. “When we headed into Seoul, our hosts took us out on the town, and after a few drinks, Mike decided to try and read out of a translation book with a Korean accent, Bryant said. “The Koreans thought this was the funniest thing in the world, and Mike was invited to live in the country as an American ambassador.
Sponsors: Jibij, Helly Hansen, Scott , Level
PHOTO: Eric Schmitt
Home hill: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Segment song: MSTRKRFT, “D.A.N.C.E.
Hill grew up in Ontario, listening to his older brother’s advice to not ski with skiers, as there were more rails to hit with snowboarders than terrain at his local Blue Mountain. Joystick owner Anthony Boronowski signed Hill for that very uniqueness. “Max is really his own skier, says Boronowski “He just goes out there and doesn’t care and doesn’t copy what everyone else is doing. Hill has now relocated to Whistler after spending a bunch of last winter with British Columbia-based Theory-3 Media. His shots in Theory-3 Media’s film PNW include a 90-foot road gap on his second time in the backcountry. Now with a sled courtesy of Line, Hill is ready to educate the world on his personal style. “I put on my pants like everybody else, Hill says. “Except mine don’t flap in the wind.
Sponsors: Line, Smith, Joystick, Zoo York
PHOTO: Josh Anderson
Home hill: Sudndalen, Norway
Segment song: Placebo- “Every Me and Every You
Hatveit is teetering on the brink of superstardom after a few standout X-Games appearances and his cover shot for Poor Boyz Production’s 2005 release War. He starts his pipe runs with a switch 900 a la Tanner Hall. Hatveit’s PBP collaboration culminated with this year’s 450-on to 810-off a shack-mounted rail in Schweitzer, Idaho. He spends his summer tending to a vacation house he built himself and rents to a list of clientele that usually include his friends.
Sponsors: Rossignol, Nike ACG, Smith
Andreas is prequalified for the US Freeskiing Open
PHOTO: Connor Walberg
Home hill: Whistler, BC
Perfect segment song: Kanye West, “Drive Slow
When we talked to Brandon Kelly, he had just finished a day of working construction. Despite sponsorships from Atomic and Helly Hansen, Kelly works to finance his winter, and recently bought a 2004 snowmobile (his last one was a 1998 hand-me-down from Shane Szocs). After getting the covers of two Theory-3 Media releases and starring in the closing segment for their latest title, PNW Kelly is putting the sled to good use in the Whistler backcountry. “Almost every snowboard crew is here and there’s so much terrain that’s easy to get to from the village, Kelly said. “If we’re gonna get a handful of shots on a certain cliff band, we have to get out there around 6:30 in the morning.
Sponsors: Atomic, Helly Hansen, Carrera, Glacier Shop, Kopious Apparel
PHOTO: Josh Anderson
Home hill: Park City, UT
Segment song: “I would like a song with a good beat that matches my skiing.
Jonas is used to a little fame here and there. He was a skateboard grom-phenom at 15, and a skate park builder at 12. With help from his older brother, he attributes the construction of the park to improving his skating abilities. Wait, why all the skateboard facts? Other skiers who skate: Tanner Hall, Pep Fujas, and Candide Thovex.
Sponsors: Atomic, Oakley, POW Gloves, Bern, Barrie’s Ski and Sport (Pocatello, ID)
Editoral Comment: Jonas broke his leg early in the season, so he will unfortunately not be participating in this weekend’s US Freeskiing Open.
PHOTO: Josh Anderson
Home hill: Park City, UT
Segment Song: Seven by Army of the Pharaohs
Joss is the youngest skier on the list and a friend of Skiing Magazine‘s as he helped out with testing twin tips for the Gear Guide. At 16, he’s teetering between labels of grom and prodigy, a progression that won’t take long as he goes through his education at the Winter Sports School in Park City (see: Best High School ever.) Joss was featured in an October Line video doing 180s into deep powder.
Sponsors:Line Skis, Full Tilt boots, DNA, Scott
PHOTO: Alex O’Brien
Home hill: Lyon, France (near La Clusaz)
Segment song: Electro/hip-hop track or one by French rap group, “Iam.
Permin bounced around the globe in 2007 shooting several videos ranging from pillow lines in Japan to crazy urban features in France. Permin recently beat T.J. Schiller and Simon Dumont to win the King of Style, an indoor pre-season big air at Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium.
PHOTO: Wataru Sugimura
Home hill: Squaw Valley, CA
Okay, so maybe Tanner Rainville isn’t exactly an “Up and Comer.” A Vermonter by origin, Rainville’s name first appeared in 2004 after two podiums at the U.S. and Vermont Open. Expect to see his true double grabs this year, like his mute to tail grab.
This shot is from the 2005 ICER AIR competition in San Francisco. Rainville placed fourth in the event which called for 10,000 cubic feet of man-made snow.
Sponsors: Dynastar/Look/Lange, Sessions, Electric, Skullcandy
PHOTO: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Tanner is pre-qualified for the US Freeskiing Open .