FIRSTS: Tanner Rainville reflects on his early days as a skier

FIRSTS: Tanner Rainville reflects on his early days as a skier



Tanner Rainville




West Bolton, Vermont


Backcountry Access, Breckenridge Resort,
Dalbello, Electric, Marker, Outdoor Tech, Under Armour, Völkl

Through the years, Tanner Rainville has cemented himself as one of the smoothest, most fun-to-watch skiers in the game; his film segments with MSP and Level 1 drop jaws each and every year. The pillow-popping chief and master of butters from Vermont—now living in Colorado—has plenty to look back on from his years as a pro. And so, he’s a prime candidate to participate in this edition of “Firsts.” Rainville sheds light on his first back flips, catching his first ski flick, the first piece of gear he grabs on a pow day and more.


Photo: Elliott Bernhagen

The first thing you need to know about me is I’m from Vermont and I do what I want.

The first time I ever skied was at Stowe in Vermont. My parents put me in my older sister’s gear around age two.

The first epic memory I have of skiing is in my backyard building jumps and tree runs.

If someone was skiing for the first time, I’d tell them to just ski at any hill with snow.

On the other hand, the first place I’d recommend to someone more experienced would be Revelstoke.

A video posted by TR (@tanner_rainville) on

The place I want first tracks at the most is KT-22 at Squaw. Place does not suck.

The first resort I want to hit on a powder day is Breckenridge.

The first thing I do there on a deep day is go to Peak 6. There’s lots of terrain, but once the hike-to opens, you have even more options and it takes days to track out. You can also head out-of-bounds through the gate. Always go with a partner, know the forecast and be prepared for backcountry travel.

The first piece of gear I grab when going skiing is my Under Armour balaclava.

The piece of gear I’d recommend first above all others is a snowmobile.


Watch Rainville smear through pow in his latest Matchstick Productions edit

The first time I scared myself on skis was overshooting park jumps at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont.

The first perfect backflip I did was in my backyard. I remember being like, “Hey, mom! Watch this!”

The first backflip I totally botched was also in my backyard.

The first intense crash I had was my first shoulder dislocation in ’04, learning switch right spins. Shoulders suck.

The first ski movie I ever watched was Clay Pigeons in ‘99. My parents also had a lot of old Warren Miller movies.

Clay Pigeons

The first concert I went to was Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland.

The first car I drove was a Subaru Loyale.

The first pro model I ever had was a goggle with Electric. That Jamaican flag color scheme was a best-seller.

The first thing I do when I see snow coming in the forecast is yell really loud.

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