Catching Up With Colby West

Catching Up With Colby West

Funny man Colby James West has been on a steady rise the last few seasons. With two X Games medals, numerous other slopestyle, pipe and big air finishes, and on the short list to be invited to the world’s most prestigious events, Colby is finding himself quite the busy guy. Filming with the likes of MSP, PBP and Warren Miller hasn’t helped alleviate the hectic nature of his schedule either. But he took some time to stop in and chat a little about his season and what he’s got going on for the remainder.

FS:Hey Colby, how has your season been?
CJW: My season has been going very well, the competitions are finally winding down. Just got done with the Jon Olsson event. That was my last comp for the season. It’s been hectic! I did a lot of traveling and I learned a lot more about myself… about what it takes for me to do well and ski at my best when I need to.

FS: What in particular do you think has helped you with that?
CJW: Most of the learning I did was about the mental side of competing and making sure that I am mentally ready. Not even just competing, but filming too. I learned about that from Jossi — he is really good at that. Last year when he broke his collarbone then came back to get 2nd at Squaw… it takes some serious mental strength to come back from an injury like that. I had a huge realization about that, thanks to Jossi.

FS: You mentioned you were at the Jon Olsson Super Sessions, how was that?
CJW: Being one the last events of the season, it’s one where you can relax and ski with your buddies… have a good time, stay out late if you want to. This year was a bit different, there were a lot of filmers and photogs ready to go and get some shots. And because we were worried about weather, we got up early. We were on the lift at 6 am a couple times. It was a little more hectic, but still just as fun being in Sweden.

FS: Your JOSS edit was funny.
CJW: I think it is important to have big, important serious things as it shows one side. But my lifestyle is that I like to have fun and I want that to reflect in my ski career.

FS: Well I’ve heard from such sources as Luke Van Valin, that if everyone else’s vocal cords were mid-size sedans, yours would be a Ferrari.
CJW: Luke has been an inspiration for the voices that I do, pushing me to come up with new characters. But it’s something that I really like to do. I’ve been doing voices and beatboxing since I was really young. People laugh at it. I like entertaining, so it’s something I’d like to explore more in the future.

FS: What are the rest of your plans for this year?
CJW: I am going to Whistler to shoot with MSP, they are planning on doing another shoot up there… it might not be a big jump like last year. Also, I’ll pretty much just be filming some park stuff in Oregon and Squaw.

FS: And for the summer?
CJW: I guess if you are a Winter X Games athlete, you get a summer X Games pass. I’m going to go down there with Jossi. Then we’re gonna head down to NZ to train. His home resort, Cardrona, where his dad patrols, is going to build us whatever, so we will probably build a nice jump to work on some tricks.

FS: Sounds like a busy off season?
There isn’t really an off season for me. After that I’ll probably have to do water ramps or something… a bunch of training stuff.

Oh, and some of the schools from back East wanted me to come and basically motivationally speak to the students.

FS: Like Waterville and those types of schools?
CJW: No, like public schools. I really want to do it. I think I have a good perspective, based on my normal high school experience, since I became a pro later on than others. I think I bring something a little different to the table. And as lame as it sounds… to have people follow their dreams…

FS: With all the training, early season, and hectic travel, are you still stoked on comps?
CJW: Definitely, I had a great time this year. I really like the vibe we have going. Everyone is competing against each other, but we’re all friends at the end of the day. It’s really nice. I really like the competition side, but I’d like to do more backcountry stuff, so I’ll try and find time to do that. Although the Dew Tour is starting next year….

FS: Is it hard to find a balance between competing and filming and not killing yourself?
CJW: Yeah, I definitely got a little burnt out trying to film and be everywhere at once. For instance, I went from filming with Jon [Olsson] in Monaco then to Idaho for the 48Straight event for four days then flew back to France for Candide’s event for a few days and then to Jon’s event in Sweden for two weeks then to Maine for Simon’s quarterpipe shoot, then I flew to CO for a Matchstick shoot at Keystone.

FS: How was being in Maine for Simon’s record breaking show?
It was really amazing, I’m glad I could be there for Simon. It was definitely something special to be apart of.

FS: Pumped for next year?
CJW: I’m getting stoked. I used to live in my car and drive around, and it’s nice I get to fly places now and it gives me more time to take care of stuff. It’s funny, skiing has brought me a lot more than I thought it was going to.

FS: Shout outs?
I want to thank my Dad for helping me keep focus on what I want to do. Oh, I want to thank Rusty’s Auto in New Hampshire for taking care of my car when I’m back there… Actually, it’s Rusty’s towing! [laughs] And my sponsors: Monster, Volkl, Tecnica, Marker, Empire, Smith, Skullcandy, Breckenridge, Sunice, and Bula.

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