GH 8/23

Q&A

Every time I’m hiking up the side of the halfpipe and almost get my eye poked out by a ski pole, I think, “Argh! What the hell are they doing in our park!” And then I think, “Man, that’s exactly what they used to say about us.” History works in mysterious ways, huh?-J.S.

Are freeskiers the new snowboarders, and does it matter?

Etienne Gilbert
Age: 28
Sponsors: Nitro, L1, Raiden, Dragon, DLX, Ifound, Vestal

“It’s funny to see how points of view can flip a full 180 as time passes and circumstances change. Skiers used to be at war against snowboarders and wanted us out of their resorts. As snowboarding grew, certain ski companies got interested in it for the money. Nowadays it seems like some skiers actually want to be like snowboarders. And what about skiers who skateboard? I always thought that was kind of weird. If you skateboard and you want to be on the mountain in the winter, why the hell aren’t you snowboarding? But at the same time, snowboarding itself was inspired from surfing and skateboarding, so in some ways we are followers, too. At least the similarities are obvious. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter where you get your inspiration from, as long as it gets you stoked.

“I will say this, though-snowboarding pretty much made skiing cool again. Freeskiing is still pretty new right now, but how many more years would it have taken ski companies to make twin tip skis if snowboarding didn’t exist? As a matter of fact, I think Lib Tech-a snowboard company-was one of the first. How many years would it have taken for parks and pipes to get built if snowboarding didn’t exist? Yeah, snowboarding is saving skiing, ’cause now there is more to it than down hill and moguls.”

Rube Goldberg
Age: 51
Sponsors: Nitro, Drop, The Circle, Matsumoto Wax, DMK Global
“I haven’t really noticed that (freeskier) movement so much. Well, I guess I have, but to me, they’ve always been here. If skiers want to hit the same jump or wear the same skirt as me, then so be it. I couldn’t give a shit. We’re all here doing the same thing, so enjoy it while you can.”

Pat Milberry
Age: “Ageless.”
Sponsors: Forecast Snowboards, Von Zipper, ThirtyTwo, Skullcandy, Flux, Nixon, Alycium, POW Gloves, Carve, Spacecraft, Winter Park, Satellite Boardshop, Cal Surf

“There’s no need for any tension between snowboarders and skiers, unless one party is disrespecting the other. And I think it is fair to assume this is more relative on a specific scenario basis rather than in general. We all live, eat, sleep, rock, and hip-hop to different beats. If you love what you do, keep on doing it. If you’re doing something because it is the “cool” thing to do, quit. The more you love your art form-whatever it may be-the more it’ll love you back.

“I think we should all feel pretty damn lucky, though, whether you snowboard or ski. Resorts these days build insane parks for us to ride. But I do think that snowboarders should be in charge of building the parks, because they know what we want to shred and they’ve had to break down the stereotype barriers for years-which is a really hard, frustrating thing to do based on the ignorance factor!
“Anyway, I certainly have no need to judge, as long as people are having fun with a smile on their face and the snowboard industry continues to keep killing it.”