Things I’ve Learned: Bene Mayr

August 3rd, 2011 by

Benedikt Mayr, 22, Pro Skier, Legs of Steel Co-founder, Euro X athlete, Munich, Germany

kw6v1503.jpgThe coolest pro is Max Hill because he's the man!

When I was 15 years old I had my first knee surgery and since then it has been four knee surgeries in total: two new ACLs, two new MCLs, two new meniscus and a bunch of other stuff.

After injuries you appreciate the fact that you're healthy and are able to ski, or whatever, so much more than before you were injured. I have heard a lot of people say that. Another good part, for me at least, was I started listening to my body and going to the gym, which helped a lot.

German people are really big work horses, I'd say. They love beer and cars. A lot of them do.

Germany has some cute girls, too.

Europe is more of a lifestyle, right? Especially in the mountains, there are resorts in the Alps where it's all about skiing. Most of the kids there would learn to ski before they could walk, I'd say. Then they start racing. Racing is huge over here during the winter. All the ski races have the best TV times and are all over the media.

My first impression of the US was, "holy shit they have so much awesome fast food and sodas and all the movies are in the cinemas before they are in Europe."

The beer is definitely way better [in Germany]. Food as well, I'd say. It's definitely different food, not as much fast food. But I have to say the Asian food in the US is way better.

You guys have onion rings, we don't have that!

Legs of Steel formed basically like every other crew. We were four friends who skied together.

Three years back we all were filming with a Euro ski movie production company called Aestivation. Two years ago we moved into a house in Innsbruck and talked about how dope it would be to do our own ski movie, have everything in our hands and form a movie the way we see it. We made the pilot last year which a lot of people liked. We didn't have our own filmer then. This season we met Andre Nutting, a super talented young filmer and we asked him if he wanted to spend a season with us in Europe and become a part of our project.

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I guess it's the same now [to become a pro] if you're sure it's what you want. If you're willing to work hard for it, it will work out in the end, [and that's true] now as it was a couple years ago. That will never change in my opinion.

Skiing won't really feel like a job. Skiing is that what I love so everything which comes with it is no problem as long as I can go skiing afterwards.

There will always be stuff you don't want to do. For example, not seeing my family and friends from home for seven months of the year is one of those things.

The best thing is skiing awesome mountains and terrain parks and making a lot of new friends which you see every year again.

The skiing experience makes you feel good, pushing yourself, the mountains and the people who are with you.

If I wasn't an international ski star, maybe a knee surgeon. Or mountain guide.

The canceled Nine Knights was a huge bummer, it is such a awesome competition. The jump is awesome. I know a lot of people who were bummed.

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Bene. Rodeo 720. Livigno, Italy

Doubles are changing the sport… well, I really don't know. It's a natural progression. I think the only sad thing is that you can't win a slopestyle competition with a super creative and stylish run anymore. That's something that has changed. And that a lot of kids who don't have the basic tricks go for doubles right away because thats the only way to win a competition. It's a really tough point with a lot of material to discuss…

Kids learning doubles before the basics can be pretty dangerous, too. I think something like air awareness, for example, needs time to learn. A lot of kids jump trampolines now, and that's a good way to learn something like air awareness.

I have seen a lot of kids getting hurt this season trying crazy tricks.

In Europe these [city big air] events are a good platform to start the season for a lot of the big companies and that's why they are happening every year and I hope this will continue. But why there are no such competitions in the States, I don't know.

Can someone tell me why there are only awesome summer camps in North America like COC, Windells or Momentum? There are no great summer camps in Europe!

The best meal this year was some sushi in Hamburg, Germany, which is way up there at the North Sea where the fish is always fresh!

Growing up in Germany was fun. I can't complain.

I've been doing Tae Kwon Do for about six years, which is awesome!

I wanted to do the double misty flip for a really long time, but after I hurt my knee in January I never got the chance. This was kind of the last chance for me to do it this season as a couple of weeks later I would have knee surgery.

I thought if I'm not doing it now, I'll do it next season but I'll be pissed at myself the whole summer and think about the trick.

If I crash and would hurt my knee more, I would have surgery anyway. Afterwards I was super happy. It was one of the more scary tricks I have done.

After the first flip you are completely blind and don't see the landing until you actually land.

All the people I ski with are influential to me because every person has a different approach to things. You can learn a lot from every person when you throw everything in to one big basket and only pull out the good things.

Not the professional way of approaching a new trick but it worked out in the end.

It's pretty late right now. I'm pretty sure I'll be going to bed now.

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Legs of Steel – Nothing Else Matters trailer

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About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.