With the Southern hemisphere’s season coming to an end, James ?Woodsy? Woods ? along with Planks Clothing, Monster Energy and Bawbags brought together a bunch of homies and embarked on a tour of the plastic hills and indoor fridges of the UK. Woodsy enlisted an all-star cast comprising of Jossi Wells, Vincent Gagnier, Jonas Hunziker, McRae Williams, Noah Morrison and Jackson ?Wacko? Wells.
Beginning their tour in Scotland at Bearsden Ski Club to rip with the kids at Bearsden Freestyle, the crew swung by our store the following morning to hang out, catch up with old faces and pick up some new threads ahead of their journey down south. We caught up with Jossi and Jackson for a chat about what it takes to bring two brothers all the way from Wanaka in New Zealand to Scotland to ski?.
Photo | Lewis McLean
Is this the first time in the UK on a ski basis?
Jossi ? I’ve been to Hemel before after London Freeze a few years ago but this is my first time in Scotland – Love it man it’s so cool! We just had a sweet breakfast by the ocean and we?re going to go check out Edinburgh castle next. It’s crazy coming from New Zealand to somewhere like Edinburgh that has so much history by comparison. It’s always cool to check out new places.
You rode Bearsden last night with the kids at Bearsden Freestyle, what did you make of riding dry slope and the scene there?
Jackson – It’s definitely a whole heap different to snow and took a few runs for me to get used to it! First run I almost slipped out and then the second run I fell over and got a little carpet burn? so then I decided not to try and crash again haha. But yeah it was real soft and way better than I expected it to be, it was really great to experience what is really going on here.
Jossi – It was a much better facility than what I had imagined a dry slope would be. It’s pretty similar to snow, but that jump is sick? the kids were throwing down and that was so sick to see.
Photo | Neil MacGrain
What’s really impressive is that you are two of four brothers all riding at a pro and competitive level- how did that come about for you guys?
Jossi ? Our dad ran ski patrol at our local hill at Cadrona for 20 ? 30 years so we basically grew up skiing there, since we could walk we were skiing every winter. We all started off ski racing and because we were home-schooled we were able to go up and ride every day and then do our school work at night. Cadrona has some great facilities and we were able to get up there as much as we could – just a lot of practice I guess. It all happened pretty quickly and the next thing we know we?re in Scotland.
Obviously here it is a little different in the UK with kids like Woodsy growing up in fridges and on plastic hills. What advice would you give for them to keep the stoke and progress to the professional scene?
Jossi ? First of all contests are really great, they are so important. Competing is a great way to stay motivated and learn new tricks, but deep down you just have to want it. You should just want to do it regardless of what everyone else is trying to tell you. For example if you have a coach your coach shouldn?t have to motivate you to go out and learn new tricks or get tricks really dialled, you should just want to do that yourself. I think the biggest thing for when it comes to learning tricks is focusing on how you?re doing them rather than what you?re doing. Really it all comes back to the style thing, if you can do the tricks that you can do really well with your own flavour in my mind that’s better than being able to do every trick but not really that great. It comes down to being creative, coming up with grabs and adding your own flavour to every trick you do. There is so many skiers out there nowadays to stand out you got to be an individual and bring your own flavour.
Photo | Neil MacGrain
Creative expression both on skis and off is obviously very important to both of you. How appropriate do you feel creativity is applied and if it’s even an appropriate use of the word when it comes to skiing?
It’s kind of a way of life really, if you?re a creative kind of person then your lifestyle should reflect how you ski. That’s something that we both like to try and do; to carry on the consistency from whatever we do off hill to when we get on our skis. You want to have that consistency all the way through, everyone has their own style and their own flavour as long as they are comfortable skiing like or dressing in that way it doesn?t matter. The same is true for the rest of our brothers as well, we all kind of have our own things going on, our own styles – we all excel at our own things. It’s just about staying true to yourself and being an individual you know, that is the number one thing in this free skiing. It was originally all about creativity – JP and JF and all those others guys rebelling from the mogul scene because they couldn?t express themselves as individuals – that was how this whole sport was created.
I think now days the comp scene is always going to narrow it down a bit. Even though there isn?t an exact formula to win a contest there is still really underlying criteria, tricks that are going to win you points. That being said I think because the roots of the sport are so deep that it will never change completely, there are still a lot of riders out there that are truly individual and that bring their own flavour consistently. That is what makes this sport so fun to watch and even more to be a part of.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by guys, enjoy the rest of the tour!
Interview | Lewis McLean