Nico Porteous is just thirteen years young. He also throws a double cork 1080 as well as most 20-year-olds. The wunderkind hailing from New Zealand is off and running in his freeskiing career and on track for great success. We recently got the chance to catch up with the young gun to talk shop about his plans for the coming season, his approach to skiing, long term goals and possible love interests. Check it out below.
Hey Nico. How’s it going? Where are you right now?
Hey Thacher. I’m all good. I’m currently in Perth, Australia enjoying a little bit of sun, surf and of course school before heading north for another winter.
Very nice. We’ve seen some seriously big double flips out of you this summer. What tricks are you working on right now?
At the end of the New Zealand season I was working on a couple of new unnatural doubles, but apart from that I’m just tidying up a few of my other rotations and working on different grabs.
Coming from New Zealand, do you look up to your fellow Kiwis, the Wells brothers?
Definitely. Watching the four Wells brothers shred Cardrona Parks is so cool. They have done so much for the sport of freeskiing in New Zealand. They rock.
Who do you enjoy skiing with the most?
Probably my brother Miguel and my friends. It’s great having my brother to ski with all of the time.
What’s your favorite trick right now?
I really like doing cork 540 blunts.
What’s your favorite food?
Chocolate. Does that count? If not, a good Souvlaki.
You clearly have no fear charging into big jumps. What’s your mentality with jumping?
I don’t know about not having any fear. Some of those jumps are sky-launchers. But, my coach Tommy Pyatt has a few good techniques to help me deal with it.
How do you and your older brother Miguel motivate each other?
What are your goals for the coming season?
I would have liked to have been old enough to be able to do some of the Rev Tour or the Aspen Open, but I think you have to be 14 years old or have a FIS license. I’m a bit off of that, so I’ll do some of the USASA comps and see how I do in those. Hopefully I’ll qualify for Nationals at Copper in April.
Do you plan to film this winter?
Yes, definitely. I think it’s fun to film and really good for your skiing because you’re always trying to do your best tricks.
Who do you look up to in skiing?
That’s a really hard question because there are so many skiers that are doing crazy stuff with so much style. [James] Woodsy spends a bit of time in New Zealand and he always seems to be having a good time and he works really hard. I also like Henrik [Harlaut] and his unique style.
Where will you spend the majority of the coming season?
I’m going to be based in Breckenridge, Colorado this winter so I can take advantage of the A51 park at Keystone, and the parks at Breck, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some good skiing in, and of course I’ll join the masses on powder days at Vail.
Any girls on the radar? I know you’ve been lapping with Kelly Sildaru lately…[Laughs] Yeah that was so much fun lapping with her and her brother Henry at Cardrona Alpine Resort, I think she might be spending some time in Breckenridge this winter, so maybe we will be able to take a few laps through the park together.
How do you balance your schoolwork and your ski career?
I don’t think I really have a ski career just yet, but hopefully I will one day. It can be difficult finding time for school and skiing, but the school I go to is really supportive with providing textbooks, etc. My mom home-schools me while we are away. The only real downer is that I don’t have those long school holidays, but I suppose you have to take the good with the bad, and the bad isn’t too tough in my case.
How do you want people to view your skiing?
I haven’t really ever thought about that, but I just want to ski how I like to ski, doing what feels good and not worrying about what other people think.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Gee, you’re really asking the tricky questions. [laughs] I suppose in five years time I will have finished school. The 2018 Olympics would just have passed. It would be unreal if I got to go to the 2018 games, but hopefully I’ll be competing at X Games or Dew Tour and still enjoying skiing.
Thanks Nico. Best of luck this season.