AS SEEN IN THE DECEMBER 2011 ISSUE OF FREESKIER.
WORDS BY SHAY WILLIAMS.
ALEX SCHLOPY wasn’t initially invited to X Games Big Air last season. He received an on-site invitation to fill a spot the day before. Rather than training as much as possible for the biggest moment of his young career, Schlopy took practice “mostly mellow.”
And still, he effortlessly left the world’s best in his rear view mirror. Alex put his natural talent—not his ability to repetitively practice—on the line and emerged victorious. And that is Alex. Nonchalant, worry-free, all-or-nothing, Alex. It’s with this attitude that he’ll lead the charge to Sochi, with a flair and style all his own.
THOMAS "TOTO" KRIEF is next in an illustrious line of French pipe skiers, Candide Thovex, Xavier Bertoni, Kevin Rolland. Under the tutelage of Rolland and Bertoni, Toto has gone from “that random French guy” to a consistent halfpipe threat, finishing 2011 third in the superpipe Dew Cup race and fifth in the AFP superpipe rankings.
Those year-long rankings are no short order in a discipline entrenched with big-name talent. Sure, Krief has yet to lift a cup or hold a medal with an “X” on it, but it won’t be long before he steps out from his countrymen’s shadows and helps shape the future of pipe skiing.
At the core, DEVIN LOGAN is a soft-spoken, easy-going girl from Vermont who loves to ski. But in a women’s industry long dominated by a few athletes, she’s the first true multidiscipline hope since Grete Eliassen burst onto the scene in ‘05. While many women forsake style, Devin makes it her foundation. Though a number of women have become complacent, Devin continues to push herself.
While many women try to hone their skills in one discipline, Devin takes on both pipe and slope. It’s this combination that has led Devin to myriad podium finishes in both disciplines and her first—of many to come—AFP overall title.
NICK GOEPPER is a machine. A 17-year-old slopestyle machine. Year-round training and air awareness have allowed him to perform just about every trick in the book with rarely seen precision. But these days, slopestyle isn’t the dub-10 shootout it has been.
It’s much more complex, requiring perfect execution and calculated trick selection that varies by course. Yet Nick tackles a slope course like a sushi chef fillets toro—dismantling with ease, exactness and quiet ferocity.
The precocious youngster topped the Dumont Cup and took third at the Killington Dew stop last season, making his season a launching point for bigger and better years to come.
DAVID WISE has no X Games medals, no Dew Tour trophies and no AFP titles. But don’t let that fool you. He's insanely talented, skis with the amplitude to back it up and is about to break out in a big way.
Pretty soon it’ll be a race to see who can catch up to David’s back-to-back double cork 1260s, which he is oh-so-close to perfecting.
The US Olympic team member has his sights set on Sochi, and he’s got the drive, ambition and talent to blaze a path to skiing’s biggest stage.
TORIN YATER-WALLACE is the Six Million Dollar Man of freeskiing’s youngest wave. It’s not that he’s stronger or bigger, but he’s a cut above the rest. The speed in which he attacks the pipe is frightening. The amplitude that he attains is staggering. His ability to quickly master new tricks is stunning.
He’s mature, driven and experienced, even after just turning 16 on December 2, 2011. Tons of youngsters won’t live up to their hype, but Torin—with all of his natural gifts—has exceeded present expectations and leapt into our hearts and minds, grabbing X Games glory along the way.