Catching Up With Luke Van Valin

Catching Up With Luke Van Valin

Luke Van Valin: Wordsmith, Gentleman, Arduous Ski Industry Servant. Luke first broke onto the scene as a fast rising star of the freeskiing scene, competing and filming with the best of them. But as of late, Luke has slowly, yet completely transitioned into the voice of skiing. Taking the reins from Uncle E, LVV’s voice can be heard penetrating deep into your cerebellum at events from the Winter Dew Tour to X Games to even the Corona Wide Open Beach Volleyball Tour. His talented, twisting tongue seamlessly liaises between this complicated world of freeskiing and the public at large, leaving everyone in his wake, comforted, more knowledgeable and more than a little bit excited.

Freeskier: What’s up with Luke Van Valin?
Luke Van Valin: I’m in Boulder, CO. I just moved here from the mountain pad, Casa de Dumont, in Dillon, CO. I’m here for the summertime and engaging in various acts of frivolity, debauchery and under typical circumstance, enjoying the good life.

FS: How did your season of announcing go? Is that your profession now?
LVV: I’m glad that you brought that up. It was really good. It is my profession now and at this point, it has really given me the opportunity to continue traveling, engage in my backflip antics, and continue following the sport that I love and contributing in a way that I feel is appropriate and appreciated.

FS: You’re settling into a life of announcing? Is this what’s next?
LVV: I would say this is what’s current. What’s next is something that I really don’t know. I live it a day at the time. I’m not too worried about it and I’m enjoying my current position and things just seem to open up, like the Red Sea in the Pharaoh and Egyptian days.

FS: How does that work with your ski sponsors?
LVV: Usually if you’re a sponsored announcer, you look for any opportunity to plug your sponsors. For instance, I’m sponsored by 4FRNT, so whenever, say, Niklas Karlstrom or Kalle Leinonen drops in, I’m very insistent upon talking about which skis they are on. A lot of companies see that there is a lot of free advertising and they are quick to jump on that. I recently picked up a new sponsor in Monster Energy drink.

FS: Any summer plans?
LVV: I’m going to continue to announce the Corona Wide Open Beach Volleyball tour which has eight stops around the US. It gives the opportunity to for a lot of aspiring volleyball amateurs to reach the professinoal level. I will be going on a seven day trip with the men in my family to Alaska. A non-stop testosterone release. Fish killing and sushi eating on the boat, dramamine in the system; shrimp and crab… in my mouth. It’s just what I do. I will also potentially be making it up to Whistler, but at this point it’s not looking too good.

FS: Next winter plans?
LVV: Continue the jobs that I already have. I really want to do a dub cork 12. Even though I would never use that in a competitions because I don’t compete anymore. I think it looks fun and interesting. Maybe do 200 backflips in Sweden. If there are any suggestions out there, throw them my direction because I’m all ears.

FS: Predictions for the fall big airs?
LVV: My biggest prediction is that virtually every athlete who skis in big air competitions is going to be racking their brains to find a way to beat PK Hunder. That is my only prediction.

FS: What does Luke do now to unwind after a long season?
LVV: After WSI, what I did was I packed my bags, came home and I looked at my schedule and decided “Gosh, I’m real excited about doing absolutely nothing.” Remember in Office Space when Peter goes, “if I had all the money in the world, I’d do nothing all day,”? That is kind of like my two week ambition when the season ends. Maybe I’ll lay out in the sun like a lizard and just enjoy that. Mostly it’s eating, sleeping and whatever else feels like a good idea at the time.

FS: What is the deal with your bodily hair?
LVV: Besides the fact that chest hair designs are the new tattoo, I find creativity to be the sperm that fertilizes the egg of life. The endlessness of creativity can span to occasionally trimming your body hair to make people laugh. For instance my right leg is candy striped, my left has a lightning bolt and of course, the onward arrow remains intact.

FS: Who are your top three travel companions?
LVV: TJ Schiller is an incredible cat to travel with. Matt Margetts and Joe “Cheesebelly” Schuster too. And I realize they are all Canadians and they are all pretty retarded, but I don’t think there is anyone I’d rather be with. Unless Josh Bibby could be there.

FS: Top three travel tips?
LVV: Take two hours out of your day, go online and register for frequent flyer programs with virtually every airline you can think of. That is number one. Number two is to make sure you have noise canceling headphones and earplugs because if you wear them at the same time, your sleep will be imminent. Number three, try to view frustrating obstacles as a pathway to something potentially more exciting.

FS: What’s the best thing about being home?
LVV: For me, being home is really appreciating a bit of a normal life… and at some point once you’re embracing not stressing about scheduling, you begin to really appreciate that you do get to travel all the time. You don’t realize how special something is until it’s gone for a while.

FS: Parting words?
LVV: I’d like to thank Uncle E, Peter Olenick and Simon Dumont, my friends at 1010 for all their hospitality, 4FRNT, Orage, and Monster.

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