Gallery: 7 pro skiers explain what skiing means to them

Comments by Freeskier Magazine/

The Olympic issue of Freeskier is now available on newsstands and iTunes. In case you haven’t seen it yet, we decided to give you a look at some of the bangers that are included in the Epics photo gallery, in the front of the book. Browse the shots, then take some time to read about why each skier included loves to ski, in their own words.

Image #1: Tom Wallisch

“Skiing is different every single day. There’s an unlimited amount of ways to get down the mountain, slide a rail, flip through the air, grab your skis, and jump off stuff. The rush I get from skiing, when I’m learning a new trick or skiing a new line, is the best feeling in the world. Skiing has taught me so much about patience, determination and overcoming my fears. Every day I’m out there I learn something new.”

Image #2: Kevin Rolland

“I love being on my skis because that’s when I feel the best. I like that there are different aspects to this sport—the aesthetic aspect with the photo shoots and the performance side with the contests. Since I first started doing freestyle skiing, I feel like I can do new things every day. There are no limits and that’s exciting.”

Image #3: Sammy Carlson

“This was my first day back sledding with the crew after my injury the previous season at X Games. While I was injured, I really missed the peace and calmness of being in the mountains. Being away from the resorts, when I escape the crowds, allows me to sink deeper into nature and really connect with the mountains. They envelop the mind and erase all worries; it’s a very spiritual feeling.

Every new run brings new possibilities, new ideas. The terrain is so diverse, it really opens my mind and allows me the chance to think differently. When you’re in the mountains there is no right or wrong way; it’s total freedom to ski each line how I feel. When I have a vision of skiing a line or hitting an air in a certain way and it becomes reality, that’s the ultimate feeling. The imagination is the only limit—that is what keeps me coming back season after season. With every year I feel more connected and my respect for the mountains continues to grow.”

Image #4: Bene Mayr

“This is not actually my quote, but I read it one day and it stuck with me since then. ‘Trust in what you love, continue to do it and it will take you where you need to go.’ That’s what skiing is for me—I love it and that’s why I do it. Why do anything except what you love?”

Image #5: Mike Riddle

“I’ve been skiing as long as I can remember. At first it was just family trips to the mountains because my parents were into it, but as I progressed I really learned to appreciate the sport. I’m now 27 years old and I get to ski every day of the winter and a fair amount in the summer. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t love it. Competing mostly in halfpipe doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other aspects—I’ll be the first to ditch the park on a pow day. I even appreciate the days hitting rails and jumps because I don’t get to do that as often. I love the feeling of flying down a run at top speed just as much as the feeling of weightlessness at the apex of an air in the pipe. As any skier will tell you though, the best days are when you’re with your friends, just shredding without cameras or a comp bib.”

Image #6: Nick Goepper

“I ski because it is what I love and what I’m passionate about. You can progress yourself and still share that experience with your friends. Whether that is in the park, in the streets, in the backcountry, or on a dry slope in a far off corner of the earth, you’re always trying to learn new tricks or perfect your style. Right now I’m labeled as a comp jock robot, but I don’t mind because I’m living my dream and having fun every day. Whatever type of skiing keeps a smile on your face is what you should do, no matter what other people say.”

Image #7: PK Hunder

“I love the feeling you get floating through the air doing the easier tricks and also the feeling of accomplishment you get when you land a big trick or something you haven’t done before.”

Related: Gallery: Freeskier’s 2nd annual photo exhibit benefits Sarah Burke Foundation