Profile: Karl Fostvedt talks Poor Boyz in the November issue of FREESKIER
Hometown: Ketchum, ID
Sponsors: ON3P, Lethal Descent, Anon, Blackstrap
On Film: We: A Collection of Individuals_PBP, Set Your Sights and Act Natural_TSP
Interview and photos by Nate Abbott, shot in Boulder, CO.
Crazy Karl is an apt moniker based on the skiing I witnessed the first time I met him. Karl put on a three-day clinic of gaps, rails and trannies in Denver. Which isn’t to say Karl Fostvedt is actually crazy. He also showed he is a hard worker, willing feature guinea pig and a generally mellow, funny character to have around, such that he immediately fit in with our Poor Boyz crew of the week like a vet. Instead of being a one-trip wonder last year, Karl ended up bouncing around the Western states for the rest of the season, putting together a full segment for WE and, for that segment, eventually winning Rookie of the Year at the iF3 film festival this fall.
Why did you move to Salt Lake? I was able to get in-state tuition, coming from Idaho, and the proximity to the mountains and the sick ski scene made it seem like a good move. I’m on the six-year program, slowly hacking away. I’m a junior now and should be done by next fall. I’m studying environmental and sustainability studies.
Is that something you’re into because of skiing or is it just a major? It was a good major being a skier. It was a pretty open curriculum so it enabled me to take the spring semester off. Other than that, it is going to be a big field in the coming years, and as skiers, we obviously have huge environmental footprints. It would be cool to learn some ways to reduce those footprints in the near future while still being able to get up and shred the mountains and get pow turns and live the livelihood of a freeskier.
What is the life of a freeskier? You’ve been under the radar, then jumped on the scene this year. Things have changed a lot in the last year, just seeing the way the industry works and the different ways to go out there and follow your mission, whether it’s in the backcountry or the streets or the park or competitions. There’s a lot of support out there and a lot of room to push the boundaries. I think people are so interested in freeskiing right now. It’s just a cool community and now to have some support and work with some really good filmers—it’s cool to work with them and see what they can do to make you look good on the big screen.
Come on, you make yourself look good, don’t you? It definitely takes a crew to make it happen. There’s so many aspects that are an art form for everyone, and you have to get all those art forms collaborating to really create that masterpiece. Everyone has a slightly different vision for it, and in the end it’s cool to see the collaborative effect of how everyone’s input affects it.
How did you start working with Poor Boyz this year? Pete Alport just had seen an online edit of me from Park City that I’d filmed with Evan Heath and gave me the invite to come out on an urban trip to Denver after that storm we got in February. I hopped on that opportunity, blew off school for the week, and Pete picked me up in Salt Lake, and we mobbed out to Denver to meet up with Leigh Powis, Seany J, and Matt Walker. It was definitely one of the coolest urban weeks I’ve ever had, being with such a focused crew and having all the tools to make it happen. Between the good filmers and photographers, good light setups, and the Heine winch and bungees, it was an all-time urban trip for me.
Tell me about the redirect. How did that come about for you? It’s amazing to get the cover of the movie as a rookie. Yeah, that was so fun, and honestly, I just can’t believe I was able to get the cover of the movie. Seeing all the prints and seeing it in the magazines is totally surreal ‘cause just last year, it kinda seemed like a far-fetched dream to even be filming with Poor Boyz. The redirect was just an awesome feature. Blake King, the same cat driver that made the loop back in Propaganda was ecstatic about the whole idea. We’d hit a few trannies in Denver and really liked the redirect thing, so we said, Why don’t we just make it massive and totally out of snow?
We made a 30-foot gap from the lip to the wall. And when it was time to give her, I said, “Maybe this is my chance to get killed by a Pete Alport feature.” But we were working withBlake, and I had some input and it went really well. Tanner [Hall] happened to be up in Hood, just filming some stuff for Inspired, and he could see the feature from Timberline. He was just stoked to see that going on and wanted to come check it out. It was a really cool thing to have him there. To have him stoked watching me ski was just insane because that’s always been a one-way street of me being stoked watching him ski. To see that turn around was a pretty monumental point for me. Riding with someone you’ve looked up to your whole life is insane.