[Q&A] Catching up with Colby Stevenson — Skiing’s golden boy has swept every competition he’s entered this year and that’s not all he’s up to this winter

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[Q&A] Catching up with Colby Stevenson — Skiing’s golden boy has swept every competition he’s entered this year and that’s not all he’s up to this winter

Featured image: Trevor Brown, Jr./X Games

If you haven’t been paying attention to skiing’s golden boy, Colby Stevenson, we’re genuinely curious what you’ve been doing with your life the last few months. From claiming slopestyle gold at X Games in January, to an insane winning run off of Jackson’s famed Corbet’s Couloir and clinching yet another gold at Dew Tour’s Super Streetstyle, Stevenson is sweeping every single competition he enters. But his storied career doesn’t end there, he’s also a wizard on a snowmobile and doesn’t shy away from big backcountry lines.

Whether he’s stepping into a high-stakes start gate or teeing up a line for this year’s Good Company ski film, Stevenson has etched his name in skiing’s history books as one of the most well-rounded skiers in the game. Ever. His tenacity and ability to put a run down under pressure is second to none so we at FREESKIER wanted to catch up with Stevenson to understand how he does it all, and does it all so well. Keep reading for the full Q&A, below. 

Mac Forehand, Colby Stevenson and Ferdinand Dahl during Men’s Ski Slopestyle at 2023 X Games Aspen in Aspen, CO. PHOTO: Jamie Schwaberow/X Games

You are on an absolute tear this year, having claimed gold at X Games, Kings and Queens, and Dew Tour, so far. Which win was the most satisfying to take home?

I would definitely say X Games gold because slopestyle is still my favorite thing to do and it’s definitely the most artistic and challenging to create a run. Also having my whole family there and my best friend. I won in 2020 and the last couple years I just barely messed up my run—that’s what made it so special, solidifying that I could do it again. 

I’ve heard some mumblings you’re also working on a film project, can you give us a sneak peek into what that project is going to look like? 

I’m filming with Good Company, which is Tom Wallisch and friends. I brought my roommate on this year, Jack Francis—this is his first year filming but he got a really sick camera and we started filming in December. We got some crazy shots in Jackson in early December and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the year, we’ve been filming a bunch of jumps and skiing lines. I’m really hyped with where we’re at, even if we stopped filming now I still think I would have a crazy part but we’ve got a lot more trips ahead and I’m really excited to be working on a movie project with friends. I haven’t had a full segment in a video really ever, I filmed IGNITE in 2019—a five-minute backcountry video—and I’ve really just been waiting for a year that I could top that but I wanted my next major film segment to show even crazier stuff. I’m really hyped. 

Do you ever sleep? 

[laughs] I’ve been kind of hanging on by a thread, literally, the last month and a half. Just between a month straight of slopestyle comps before [Kings and Queens of] Corbet’s and then after Corbet’s filming for two weeks in Jackson and taking slams. The only thing keeping me together was massages, I got like four massages in a week. A couple days off before Dew Tour was nice but I’m definitely sore [laughs]. I’ve got the next two weeks kind of off, filming some other people for the [Good Company] movie and then I’ve got a couple more competitions at the end of the year. I keep saying that I’ve been in this vortex of competing and filming, it’s just non-stop and no time to hang out with friends but just hunker down, make plans and get up early. I’m normally a nine hours of sleep a night kind of guy but I’ve now become a seven-hour guy this winter, which is alright but it’s been crazy. I’m really lucky to still be healthy. 

You are a few years out from a catastrophic car accident, do you think in some weird or twisted way that accident was meant to happen and set you up for the path you’re on? 

Definitely. Some would say it’s just a healthy way to think about it but I definitely know in my heart that it happened for a reason. It gave me a new mindset and way to go about life, this new appreciation for life that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m really grateful I was able to come out of it healthy and with a redesigned plan. Also just realizing that it happened and I can now inspire other people to push through major injuries and terrible things that happen in life in general. All the worst things to happen to you in life are moments for growth. 

If you had to choose just one ski discipline for the rest of your life, steel or pow? 

It would definitely be pow because it’s such a finite resource we get to ride and it’s so limited. There are only so many places in the world where you can ride deep pow. It’s a lot easier on the body, too. It’s been my plan all along to ride steel and park and slopestyle for as long as I can and feel the need or want to, and then work on that transition of lifelong powder skiing and filming. The older I get the more I realize I will be surfing and skiing pow my whole life, that’s all I want to do. Just going to do whatever I can to make that happen.

What gets your creative juices flowing more, competition or film creation?

They are completely different creative juices for me. I love building a slopestyle run, that’s just my favorite art form. The backcountry is totally different. Before you build a jump, you’re visualizing where you’re going to put it and what tricks you’re going to do. That whole process is really fulfilling. Also just skiing lines, taking a photo of the line from the bottom and visualizing which tricks you’re going to do where, and then actually skiing it you see the differences of what you visualized and what you can actually do—I think that is such a cool and creative part of freeriding. You don’t always do what you visualize but it usually ends up pretty cool.

Colby Stevenson during Men’s Ski Slopestyle at 2023 X Games Aspen in Aspen, CO. PHOTO: Joshua Duplechian/X Games

What do you wish to see more of in the ski industry? 

I wish to see more freeride-style events that aren’t the Freeride World Tour. I think there’s a lot of space for that and I think there are a lot of riders who would do well in that. I think that’s a side of the sport that still needs to be developed. I could see myself in a few years host an event like Travis Rice’s Natural Selection. 

What does the perfect ski day look like to you? 

It would probably be a mid-week sleeper pow day where you ski the resort the first half of the day then go get on my snowmobile, maybe even hit a pow-surf lap [laughs]. Then finish off the day in a hot tub with an ice cold Pacifico. 

Who is someone you’ve never skied with but wish to and why? 

Candide. I’ve never skied with him but I’ve met him a couple times. It would be so sick to ski the resort with him and just follow him around for the day. He’s the smoothest, he’s the best, he’s the one we all idolize and I think it would be so fun to follow his line. 

You’ve got three seats in a heli to fill, who are you taking? They can be dead or alive.

Oh shit…Definitely Seth Morrison is the first to come to mind. He’s my biggest idol for Alaska and heli skiing. Growing up watching him huck 100-foot cliffs, like who is this freak? And then…damn, that’s a tough question. Who else? I think Sammy C because I see him and I skiing the same terrain and feeding off of each other. One more spot to fill, dead or alive, I’m gonna have to go with Shane McConkey, the GOAT of GOATs. That would be insane, can you imagine!? Oh my god that would be the sickest heli ever [laughs].