The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series changed up its format this year. The PPOS switched from a competition scheduled series to a virtual entry model, inviting skiers to submit a video edit showcasing what they deemed to be their “ideal” pipe or slope run. In the end, Spokane’s Noah Wallace took home the crown in the slopestyle and viewer’s choice categories, as well as the grand prize—the opportunity to film with Tom Wallisch for the Good Company project. Wallace has been on a tear this year, most recently taking home second place at the 2015 Total Fight slopestyle competition in Andorra. Hours after touching back down in the United States following a trans-atlantic flight, Wallace hopped on the phone with FREESKIER to chat about his recent success.
Hey Noah, how’s it going? Congrats on the PPOS win.
Thanks, man. Things are great, I just landed in Portland yesterday, heading up to Whistler later today for World Champs.
That’s a lot of travel, how’re you feeling?
I’m a bit tired. I went to a buddy’s birthday party last night, and ended up just falling asleep on the couch.
I think we’ve all been there. So, in regards to your big win, the PPOS changed it up this year. Participants were invited to submit their ideal park and pipe runs in a video edit. What do you think of this new format?
When I first heard about it I was really hyped, because it was such a different format. We’re so used to an actual slopestyle competition format where you have two runs to prove all you’re worth, but with this it’s just such a more relaxed setting and something that anyone can participate in. It seemed to work so nicely, especially for kids who didn’t have access to really good park, [the contest] still allowed them to take their time and really get their tricks down on all of these features and actually make something really sick that they’re proud of.
After going through this format, do you prefer it or do you still enjoy getting after it on competition day?
I’m a fan of the normal contest runs, just because I appreciate that kind of format. I like this one too, it’s the variety that’s really nice. It’s just way more chill and fun, and not as stressful as an actual competition, or an actual slope run.
Did you put together your edit by yourself, or did you have some help?
I did. I got a couple of shots from my buddies and threw it together right after the Grand Prix in Park City.
Head PPOS judge Mike Atkninson noted that you were the only competitor to include a pole tap rodeo 5 in your run. Did you have a feeling that trick could edge out the victory for you?
Yeah, I think that competing in actual contests helped me picture a perfect run in my mind. And I also know what judges really like to see. They expect a variety, and don’t want to see you hit a normal, run-of-the-mill feature. They want to see something unique that leans more toward progression. Plus, it’s really fun to do that trick, so I decided to throw it in there.
Do you see this format as something that will be adopted by other events?
Yeah, I definitely see a lot of potential for this kind of format. It’s something that everyone can get into. And it leaves so much more room for good, quality content, instead of having to deal with bad conditions or something like that.
Have you watched any of the other entries in the contest?
I watched a bunch of them. Brent Whipple had a super sick run, and Colby Stevenson, of course. Ian Hamilton, he threw down super hard. Then, I can’t remember the name, [Cayden Wood] but it was like this little 13-year-old kid from the Midwest, he crushed it. He had these baby features he was using and just destroyed them.
I watched a bunch of them yesterday and I thought that aspect was great. Seeing these guys on these tiny little hills just completely rip it up.
He might have won an award, too, maybe. Speaking of which, Max Moffat also had a dirty run.
He won best trick.
Yeah, he did a switch triple last year at Hood, it was insane.