The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

The student news site of Davis High School

The Dart

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Is Park Skiing Changing For the Better

Is+Park+Skiing+Changing+For+the+Better

In recent years, park skiing, and freestyle skiing in general has slowly transitioned into less of the spin-to-win attitude of the 2010s and is taking a more stylish direction. With skiers like Edouard (Edjoy) Therriault and Joona Kangas pushing the sport in a whole new direction.

A ski group called The Bunch, has been doing this for years. Main members include Magnus Graner, Alex Hackel, and Par (Peyben) Hagglund. They are mainly a film and spot-session crew, but in recent years have been venturing into more mainstream ski events such as X-games and Audi nines. They are known as the most creative skiers of this generation due to their unmatched style, interesting film style, and overall playfulness shown in their films and skiing. The Bunch’s skiing is unnatural, and natural. They ski ice, concrete, groomers, dirt, and even powder. No matter the terrain, they click in and make it look perfect. The ski movies they produce are incredibly filmed and can sometimes be seen as weird and strange. Popular films The Bunch have produced are “Is There Time For Matching Socks?” and “Many Fantasies Later”.

Another creative ski group, Henrik Harlaut Apparel Co., mainly led by veteran skier, Henrik Harlaut, are pioneers of style and creativity. They are a grouping of mainly older skiers consisting of Henrik Harlaut, Noah Albaladejo, Ez Pvnda (Isaac Simhon), Krypto Skier (Eirik Moberg), Valentin Morel, Bella Bacon, and Sleepy Grill. These skiers are masters of style but can also do the big rotations and the technical features.

The lead skier of the group, Henrik Harlaut, has been praised for his style ever since he stepped onto the scene in the early 2010s. His style in his clothes and his skiing was immediately shown and he was the main inspiration for skiers nowadays in style. He podiums in almost every competition he is in, mainly big air. He has the big tricks and rotations, but he also brings the style and creativity to big, headline competitions.  He brought a completely new style to the table and changed the freestyle ski game for good.

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X games, the biggest extreme sports competition in the world, hosts a new event called Knuckle Huck. This event was brought to skiing in 2020, but snowboarding was doing it since 2018. This event is different from other ski events like halfpipe and slopestyle. This event is entirely focused on style and creativity. Even though bigger tricks and rotations are always welcome, style is rewarded and the most creative a skier can get, the higher chance of winning they have. This event has opened a whole new window to competitive skiing. Instead of throwing the biggest trick you can to score points, someone could do something stylish and creative and get the same number of points and win.

Another notable outlet for creative skiing is the popular YouTube channel, SLVSH. They invite creative and innovative skiers and put them head-to-head and play a game of SLVSH, which is just a game of HORSE like you would if you were playing basketball. These competition-like ski videos are full of creative, different, and crazy tricks thrown. This year, the SLVSH channel also started hosting the Jib League sessions. Jib League takes inspiration from skateboarding competitions where there aren’t judges, no live rankings, and no main placements. They invite 15 skiers and host 3 “jams” on 3 different features. After each “jam” or round, the skiers vote for their top 5 and cannot vote for their own. $10,500 cash prize and the overall winner takes all. This has been crucial for the growth of creative and “jibby” skiing.

This may be controversial to some skiers. Now that someone could throw a creative, stylish trick, versus someone who can throw a huge rotation and not even take a podium. Some skiers see this as a way to not take the time to learn bigger tricks. This makes competitions controversial because even if you are trying your hardest to win and doing big tricks, the creative skier might end up on top.

This change is happening everywhere. So many people have their own opinions on it. “If I had to choose either spin-to-win or less is more, I would choose style. Style because chicks like steeze and you can be more creative.” Says sophomore Eli Mangel.

On the flip side of things, the progression of big rotations and flips is nothing short of awe-inspiring. A skier from Switzerland named Andri Ragetlli, has been progressing he sport like crazy in recent years. At just 18 years of age, he threw the world’s first quad cork 1800. This is a trick consisting of 4 flips and 5 full rotations. Now aged 25, he has thrown numerous world’s first big air tricks like the quad cork 1800 and the quad cork 1980 in 2019. No doubt that the flip side of style and steeze is progressing just as fast.

A skier known for his creativity and his big air tricks and big rotations is Jesper Tjader. The main things people know him for are his creative ski project such as “Unrailistic” and “Unrailistic 2”. These projects shine a whole new light on freestyle skiing with handmade features that are weird, wacky, and fun. Some notable features on these films are trampolines, rails held up by huge snowcats and construction machines, and huge Redbull cans. Jesper Tjader also holds the record for the longest rail slide recorded. At 506 feet long, This took the Swedish skier more than 100 tries.

Even other skiers, unknown skiers have been pushing the sport. People post videos on their social media and some of these unknown skiers, have thrown bigger tricks than even the best, competition-based athletes. In 2021, a skier posted a video on his Instagram that had the first ever quad backflip on a park jump. This video was controversial for many because some pro athletes saw this and complained that he’s just a kid who found a big enough jump. The problem with people saying this is the fact that other videos on his Instagram are videos of him doing crazy things on skis.

Whether you’re on the spin-to-win side or the less-is-more side, the sport is progressing more than ever. The tricks are getting bigger and bigger, and the style is getting better and better. It’s exiting to see where the sport will be in a few years. Maybe the style era will end, and the spin-to-win attitude will come back. Who knows? Only time will tell.

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About the Contributor
Tate Archibald, Journalist
My name is Tate Archibald, and this is my second year in journalism. I like to ski, mountain,bike, and rock climb. I am the drummer for the band, The Smog, and I like to hang out withfriends, and listen to music.