Profile: Joss Christensen on the freeskiing comp scene and more

Comments by Henrik Lampert/

joss_0.jpgAS SEEN IN THE JANUARY 2012 ISSUE OF FREESKIER | WORDS BY SHAY WILLIAMS.

I COULD TELL YOU HOW JOSS CHRISTENSEN IS A THREE-DISCIPLINE COMPETITION THREAT, AS EVIDENCED IN HIS RESULTS. OR I COULD PRAISE HIM FOR PUTTING HIS NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE, STEADILY AMASSING STREET CRED AND COMPETITION CLOUT. OR I COULD WAX POETICALLY ABOUT HOW NEW SPONSORS HAVE BEEN COURTING HIM LEFT AND RIGHT. BUT WE SHOULD REALLY TALK ABOUT WHERE HE GOT HIS START. IN PARK CITY… ROLLERBLADING.

YOU DIDN’T QUALIFY FOR PRELIMS AT THE BRECK DEW TOUR OPEN, BUT THEN YOU TOOK FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE DEW TOUR LCQS LATER IN THE YEAR. Well, it’s always so stressful at the beginning of the year. I didn’t make the cut [at Breck] for the third year in a row. But I thought the LCQs [at the Snowbasin stop] were really good because there are only 10 guys. But at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to make it into the prelims and hopefully do well. And it worked better than I could have ever imagined.

400_josschristensen_ethanstone_timberlineor_0.jpgHOW WAS IT GETTING SECOND, BEING ON THE PODIUM WITH YOUR BUDDY ALEX SCHLOPY? That was wild because I’ve been behind Alex on the podium a few times before. It’s always good, even though we’re pretty competitive towards each other. But we both grew up in Park City, so both of our families and a lot of close friends were there. It was really awesome.

Photo (R) by Ethan Stone at Timberline, OR.

IN HIS INTERVIEW LAST YEAR, HE TOLD US THAT YOU GOT HIM INTO SKIING.
I guess so. We first met in sixth grade. He was racing, but mostly trying to rollerblade a lot. [laughs] We would rollerblade together, and he wouldn’t ski as much, but I’d have him come over and build jumps in the backyard. It’s where we learned our first 360s. It’s what started it for the both of us.

HOW ARE YOUR ROLLERBLADE SKILLS? Um, I haven’t rollerbladed in a while. I made a transition into skateboarding in high school. I think Alex can still throw down pretty hard on his blades.

YOU’RE ONE OF THE FEW YOUNG GUYS DOING ALL THREE DISCIPLINES. DOES THAT HELP OR HURT YOU AT AN EVENT? It’s very stressful for me. Every day you’re practicing and competing, and it’s hard to find time to let your body and mind rest. But I also feel that it helps keep me on my game. It could be an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on the timing. I could be really on my game, or I could be really sore from the contest day before. But it helps my overall ranking, and I get more opportunities to do well.

HOW IS COLLEGE LIFE? I didn’t go back this fall. I’ve been hanging around and finishing up classes from the last few semesters—doing some stuff online. I’m focusing on skiing because it’s hard to keep up with school after going to New Zealand for so long.

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DIDN’T YOU LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH? Yeah, I would say that my time management skills have increased. But it’s more learning to pick what I actually need to do and what I can put off. [laughs]

Photo (L) by Rocky Maloney.

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED STUDY SESSIONS WITH TOM WALLISCH? Not really, but that’s probably a good idea.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS GOPRO BLOG DRAMA YOU HAD. This past spring I was living in Mammoth, just skiing around using a GoPro a lot. It was right when I started my own blog, and I was really bored one day looking at all the goofy faces we made right when we start recording. So I started facesofgopro.blogspot.com and made my own Gmail for it, and the Traveling Circus guys were gonna help me promote it. I got like 200 photos from kids and put out one with a funny caption every day.

I didn’t really check it for a few days, and when I got home to Park City I got an e-mail from, like, Woodland Corp. [ed. note: Woodman Labs Inc.] telling me I need to cease use of the website, so that was a bummer.

HOW DID IT GET RESOLVED? At first I didn’t change it, and they sent me the e-mail again. So I had to change the URL to facesofgoprow with a “W” on the end. My views instantly went from a few hundred a day to zero. [laughs]

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AGE: 20
HOME RESORT: Park City, UT
HOMETOWN: Park City, UT
SPONSORS: Oakley, Fischer, Bula, Park City Mountain Resort, POC
RESULTS: 1st, 2011 Pure NZ Winter Games, Big Air, Snow Park, NZ 2nd, 2011 Winter Dew Tour, Slopestyle, Snowbasin, UT 2nd, 2011 Denver Big Air, Denver, CO 5th, 2011 FIS Freestyle World Cup, Halfpipe, La Plagne, France 5th, 2011 European Open, Slopestyle, Laax, Switzerland