2011-2012 Competition Roundup: Elias Ambühl Interview
AS SEEN IN THE DECEMBER 2011 ISSUE OF FREESKIER.
INTERVIEW BY SHAY WILLIAMS.
PHOTO BY CHRISTOPH SCHOECH.
AFP OVERALL WORLD RANKING: 8TH
AFP MEN’S SLOPESTYLE RANKING: 6TH
AFP MEN’S BIG AIR RANKING: 1ST
YOU’VE PODIUMED AT 10 OF THE LAST 15 BIG AIRS. ARE YOU SOME SORT OF SUPERHERO? I don’t know. I don’t think too much about skiing in big air comps. Every time in slopestyle, I think so much about my run. Every time I ski in a big air comp, things just come together easier. There is no rail or other jump coming. I think that is my secret, when I can focus on one trick I can do pretty good.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD START THINKING LESS AT SLOPESTYLE EVENTS. [laughs] Yeah, probably. But you know what I mean? In big air, it could be bad weather and you can still do your one trick. In slopestyle, if the weather is bad you cannot hit the first jump, then don’t have speed for the second and it’s too much stuff to think about.
YOU FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF PK HUNDER AND ANDREAS HÅTVEIT AS AFP BIG AIR CHAMPION. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU? That’s pretty big. They are like pretty much some of the best skiers. It’s the only rankings we have, so to win it, I think that’s pretty good.
YOU JUST WON FREESTYLE.CH AFTER TWO YEARS FINISHING IN SECOND PLACE. HOW IS IT COMPETING AT HOME? DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE? Um, not really. I think it’s pretty cool to ski in front of the home crowd. But I don’t know. I don’t put too much pressure on it. I just try to be on the podium again.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT FREESTYLE.CH? The crowd and it’s right at the lake. The atmosphere is really cool.
PART OF THE BIG AIR ATMOSPHERE IS THE CROWD. DO YOU FEED OFF THEIR ENERGY? I really like them because they push you a lot. It makes it way better to ski [in big airs]. You can work with the crowd pretty good.
IT’S ALSO VERY ACCESSIBLE FOR THE FANS. Totally. It’s the best. You bring the sport into the big cities. No one is going to buy a pass and drive to Laax to get up the mountain and everything. It’s the best if you go into the cities.
WHAT’S MORE FUN: STANDING ON THE PODIUM GETTING ATTENTION OR PARTYING AFTERWARD AS THE PODIUM GUY? Partying, for sure, because you can do whatever you want in the club.
WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD AS YOU DROP IN TO ONE OF THOSE CITY BIG AIR JUMPS? Not a whole lot. The first time I started, it was really sketchy. Now it’s not too bad. They are small jumps and built every year the same way, so it’s not too bad.
WHO DO YOU THINK WILL DO WELL THIS YEAR? For sure Bobby, again, because he’s a machine. I think Jossi is going to be good. Simon for sure, like every year. All the other guys are skiing well, too.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TRIPLES AT CITY BIG AIRS? I’m pretty sure that we will see one triple… but I don’t know if I’m going to do one. If I do, I’m going to do one in Sweden. It’s the biggest city big air. But hey, I’m driving a Porsche too fast and talking on the phone.
YOU SHOULD PROBABLY GO.
Yeah, I’m almost home, though, which is good.
About the author:
Henrik Lampert loves hot dogs, the Boston Bruins and Norway. He's the Online Editor here at Freeskier.