Ask a Pro: Tom Wallisch answers 12 of your best questions
A few weeks back, we called upon skiers to submit questions to Tom Wallisch via freeskier.com/forums. After dozens of Q’s were submitted, Tom selected a handful of his favorites to respond to. His answers are posted below.
Next up in the Ask a Pro series: Sammy Carlson. Have a question for Sammy? Post it here.
Tom’s A’s to your Q’s:
1. @MaryOski asks: Of all your accomplishments in filming and competing, what are you most proud of/stoked on, and what is on your bucket list of yet-to-achieve or experience?
- I’m probably the most proud of my gold medals from X Games in Aspen and Tignes, and a few of my previous film segments. One in particular that I was really stoked on was my segment in Level 1′s Refresh. Looking forward to more film segments and working towards an entire year of filming at some point in the future.
2. @SamSandmire asks: How did you balance college with pro skiing?
- It was mainly a matter of good scheduling and being able to separate and focus on each individually. It’s a lot of work and I just had to force myself to do school work after skiing everyday. Exhausting but not impossible!
3. @FreeSkiForLife asks: Besides living the dream of being a world known professional freeskier, what else do you want to do/accomplish in your life?
- I guess I’m not really sure. For now, I’m really happy doing what I’m doing and I still have a few more things left that I’d like to accomplish in the sport. After I’m done skiing, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. Hopefully something fun and outside!
4. @FredyFerl asks: What is your favorite edit/segment that you’ve ever been in?
- My original Superunknown edit that first put me on the map is still one of my favorites. I just love the flow of the whole edit and it’s always meant a lot to me because of how much work I put into it.
5. @TopherRitz asks: Any tips for a beginner park skier in Virginia?
- Best tip is to just get out there and ski as much as you can. The east coast is a great place to grow up. The laps are usually really quick and there’s a lot of night skiing possibilities. Just get out and shred whenever you can! Practice makes perfect.
6. @murph784 asks: Ever think about coming back home to Pittsburgh area and shredding at Seven Springs or Wisp?
- Definitely. I love coming home and shredding at Springs and Wisp. The season is just so busy these days that I never really seem to get a chance. Hopefully I can make it back more in the future.
7. @Blake_Warmenhoven asks: At what point in time did you start considering yourself as a professional skier, or realize that you had become a professional skier?
- I guess I started to consider myself a professional skier in 2009 when I first won a major contest [Dew Tour at Northstar] and was starting to actually get paid by sponsors to ski.
8. @CSnow5252 asks: I’m a beginner park skier and a pretty decent trail skier. Do you have any tips or ways to keep motivation up, because nothing is worse than riding down the slope smoothly and then coming to the park and not knowing a thing. Thanks and keep up the good work.
- I’d suggest just trying to do the park more often and eventually it’ll seem easy. It might be easier to get into park skiing if you find some friends that are into it, and have people to ride with and watch. It’s always easier to learn when you have friends to push you and people to watch.
9. @drluk asks: Where is your favorite place in the U.S. to ski… mountain, face, even specific trails?
- I love skiing King’s Crown terrain park at Park City, and skiing via my snowmobile in Guardsman Pass, PC backcountry.
10. @MaryOski asks: How’s the season been filming for “The Wallisch Project” with [Kyle] Decker? Have you had successful, productive trips stacking lots of fun footage? Has it been a rewarding experience so far? How has this season compared to filming with multiple production companies?
- It’s been a very rewarding and amazing experience. I’m really excited to see more of my footage compiled into a single segment than in the past. We had a lot of great trips, but still it was a bit of a struggle trying to compete and film all season. Tearing my MCL in January really slowed down production, but I think it’ll turn out really well in the end. Hopefully everyone will enjoy it!
11. @Chris asks: Throughout your journey from start to now (related to skiing), what is the hardest decision you’ve had to make?
- I guess this season, leaving all of my relationships with film companies and choosing to work on a solo project. I love the crew of guys at Level 1, 4bi9 and Field. Having to break ties with everyone and work on something on my own this season was a really hard decision.
12. @Drew asks: With all of the Olympic regulations, how much has it affected your everyday life? Are there things you can no longer do that you used to?
- Umm, not really, the only major difference is that I have to always be available for drug testing. Luckily, steroids aren’t my thing so it isn’t really a big deal, haha.
Next up in the Ask a Pro series: Sammy Carlson. Post your question for Sammy now.
About the author:
Henrik Lampert loves hot dogs, backflips, the Boston Bruins and Norway. Twenty-seven years old and a Massachusetts native, he's the Editor of Freeskier Magazine and Freeskier.com—a proud staffer since 2010.