Interviewd by Griffin Post
This 16-year-old Jackson, Wyoming, local broke onto the scene three years ago by winning Teton Gravity Research’s Grom Contest and has since won renown as an up-and-coming ripper through TGR segments and personal edits. Perpetually stoked and constantly grinning through braces, Daniel is poised for a long big-mountain skiing career—and already managing sponsorships. But beyond the silver screen, the high school junior is just trying to be a typical kid.
The people in Jackson have made me realize that skiing should never be too serious. You need to just sit back and have fun 100 percent of the time. Otherwise you’re not embracing the culture of Jackson.
My parents, my mom in particular, get really nervous about skiing. Every time she drops me off at the Village she gets all nervous. They definitely worry about me. I don’t blame them.
My parents have always taught me to have something to fall back on. I set a goal for myself to go to college.
My sponsors treat me as they treat all other athletes, which is awesome. They treat me really well. They do the same things for me that they do for their other athletes. They give me the same respect and I give them the same respect.
All these pro skiers that I’ve met, they’re still my idols. In my room right now I have more than 12 posters of TGR athletes, and I still look up to them just as I did before.
I think standard movies will be better than small [internet] video parts because in one sitting you get a full year’s worth of filming and sweet stuff. I think that’s really cool.
Me and my brother (19-year-old aspiring filmmaker Jackson Tisi), we’ve always had a good relationship on the snow and off the snow. We mainly fight about stuff that is not ski-related.
When I skip school to film I don’t really detect any jealousy. My friends are pretty honest and nice and they’re cool about me going to shoots. Most of them are skiers themselves, so they’re happy for me.
I’ve skied a lot of park but over the past three years I’ve started to go more into big mountain. The cool thing about big mountain is the endless terrain. You could go to Alaska, British Columbia, Europe—you could go anywhere and find totally unique terrain. Park never really changes. But with big mountain, it’s everywhere and it’s always different.
All I know is that skiing is progressing every year. A ton every year. God knows what is down the road.