Q&A: Catching up with Noah Wallace about competing amid the Olympic craze
22-year-old Noah Wallace has been competing on the AFP World Tour since 2011, racking up a couple of podium finishes along the way. Wallace is from Spokane, Washington, and grew up skiing at Schweitzer Resort, in the northern panhandle of Idaho. This winter Wallace made a valiant effort towards selection for the United States Olympic team, and though he missed the cut for Sochi, he has continued to compete at various slopestyle events across the globe. He took second place at the World Cup in Silvaplana this week. We caught up with Wallace to talk about competing amid the Olympic craze, progression, and Fantasy Freeride.
Wallace at the 2013 Dew Tour. Photo by Henrik Lampert.
Noah! Congratulations on second place at the World Cup in Silvaplana. What does it mean for you to be back on the podium at the Silvaplana World Cup?
NW: I honestly still can’t believe I got back on the podium. I landed in second after my first run, and thankfully I was able to keep the spot. Super happy with how it turned out and trying to keep that momentum carrying me into the final contests of the year.
Having not been one of the members of the U.S. Olympic slopestyle team, why was it important to you to still compete in events such as the SFR Tour and Aspen Freeskiing Open?
NW: It’s important because even though the Olympics are over, we still have a bunch of the time left in the season to compete. Next year I know the schedule isn’t going to be nearly as busy, and I wanted to improve my ranking as best as I could for contests next winter.
Which event are you looking most forward to for the rest of the season?
NW: For contests I’m really looking forward to the Dumont Cup. Last year I had such a fun time riding around at Sunday River, and I’m excited to see what happens this year. For other events, I’m so hyped to head back out to [Mt.] Hood this spring for West Coast Sessions; it’s easily one of the most fun events in freeskiing.
What has been your favorite event so far this year?
NW: Dew Tour for sure! I’ve wanted to be in that contest since it started, and being able to make it into finals along with getting a Top 10 finish was amazing for me.
Listen: Noah Wallace talks about his nerve racking second run at Dew Tour qualifiers.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve gotten to ski this year?
NW: I’d have to say Val D’Isere, Vars or St.Anton this year. I was able to ski around and check out these mountains a little bit while I was in Europe, and have been so amazed at how crazy the alps are out here.
Did you have any chance to ski La Clusaz?
NW: Yep, went to La Clusaz for the final stop of the SFR Tour. Unfortunately didn’t get to ski all over the mountain like I wanted to, but got a chance to ski down Candide’s Playground on Le Balme once, which was crazy to see in person.
Do you have any kind of filming plans for the rest of the season?
NW: Indeed I do, right after Dumont Cup I’m going back to Colorado to film an edit with the Phunkshun Headwear crew. Then following WSI I’m heading to Mammoth to film an edit with a couple filmer buddies from Loyola Marymount University. Other than those for videos I plan as always to update my Instagram @noah_wallace and my blog throughout the season.
Do you envision yourself doing more filming in the future?
NW: I would love to get back into filming. This past winter has been so hectic with contests that I’d really like to get back into more filming in the upcoming seasons, and try to get a full segment out. The one season I filmed a bunch with Toy Soldier Productions is still one of my favorite memories and highlights of my life. To get the chance to film more skiing with a good group of people would be awesome.
Where do you see yourself, competition wise, going into next season, and seasons beyond that?
NW: Next year I can see myself following the contest circuit again. I really enjoy competing, and it makes me want to progress my skiing even more. Hopefully I can start filming a bit more as well to contrast with all the contests, and keep on doing a combination of both as time goes on.
You’re currently ranked second in Fantasy Freeride, what’s it going to take for you to overtake Scott Kramer for the top spot?
NW: [Laughs] I’m going to have to pull out all the stops I guess. He’s a couple hundred points up on me so it’s going to come down to the wire with the last three contests.
You were in Europe a lot the past couple of weeks, did you get to do any non-skiing related stuff?
NW: Yes, thankfully I was able to be a tourist in-between a few contests with my buddy Robby Franco. Went to Marseille with an awesome group of friends to see the Chateau D’IF from The Count of Monte Cristo. Right after La Clusaz we went to Innsbruck with Jeff Schmuck and his awesome lady to relax a couple of days and hangout with a couple friends. Then went to Germany so we could go fast on the autobahn, see castles, and eat a schnitzel thanks to our gracious host Andi Liebig and his amazing family.
About the author:
Donny O'Neill hails from the mystical, faraway land of New Hartford, CT. When he's not in the mountains searching for Big Foot, he's the Associate Editor here at Freeskier.