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[Q&A] Catching up with Lucas Wachs

[Q&A] Catching up with Lucas Wachs

When winter hits, Lucas Wachs is a man on a mission. The Bend, Oregon-native has made a name for himself as a skier whose smooth, hard-charging style emanates on every run. Over the years, Wachs has filmed with Matchstick Productions, Level 1 Productions, Good Company and others, edging him into the skiing spotlight as a high-flying, pillow-bombing shredder with a knack for big airs and bigger tricks.

This fall, Wachs teamed up with 10 Barrel Brewing Company to present a short film that’s designed to have you drooling over winter. Wachs This premiered at 10 Barrel’s Pray For Snow party in Portland, Oregon, earlier this month, and will be screening at upcoming events in Boise, Idaho, and Bend. Featuring footage from last winter in British Columbia, Washington and at home in Oregon, Wachs This is the culmination of Wachs’ most successful ski trips of 2018-19. To get the scoop on the collaboration between Wachs and 10 Barrel, FREESKIER gave Lucas a ring last week. Here’s what he had to say…

What’s up, Lucas! How has the summer treated you?

It’s been good, man. I’ve been working, framing houses. I was doing that for a while. I was skating a bunch, then I separated my shoulder mountain biking… got kicked over the bars. Pretty classic. But it’s all good now.

Did you spend any time at Hood this summer? 

I went up to Hood for one session of Windells. 

Any surf trips?

Just went to Baja, Mexico, actually—it was awesome. 

Do you find that those types of things—skating, surfing, mountain biking—help you as a skier in some way or do you find a connection between those sports?

Yeah, for sure. Skateboarding helps you stay super balanced and find transitions. Also, I feel like it helps a lot with like my confidence to execute something or land a trick. It’s good mind training. And mountain biking is just really good exercise, too; keeping the legs strong. It’s kind of like skiing, too, because you’re zooming through the forest.

More to the point, you’re working with 10 Barrel to release a new short film, Wachs This, at the brewery’s Pray For Snow parties. Could you elaborate on the project and how it all came together?

So, [10 Barrel] did the full Pray For Snow movie last winter and, basically, this is the follow up to that piece. We essentially just wanted to make a sweet ski movie that they could bring around to their pubs for the Pray For Snow parties. It’s something we can show to the audiences of these towns—like Bend and Portland—and, obviously to the skiers and snowboarders in these places, but also to a bigger audience, people who aren’t as involved with skiing or riding.

Do you feel like you thrive when the cameras are pointed at you? Do you get nervous at all?

I don’t really get nervous but it makes me want to ski the best I possibly can. Makes me want to try my best. But it’s more just like skiing with your buddies and wanting to line up the best hits possible: maybe you’ll spend a little extra time setting up a jump than you normally would.

Any standout moments that we should look out for when watching Wachs This

I’m just stoked on the whole video—to have all of my footage in one place. It’ll just be a fun video to watch. It’s just a “ski porn” video, basically. Watch it, and hopefully it gets you stoked. But filming with Level 1, I hadn’t really skied with Wiley Miller or KC Deane that much, so that was cool to become friends with them and take a page outta their book.

Wachs airing out at Galena Pass in Idaho.

Learn anything from those guys?

Yeah, they were going after more “big-mountain” lines, which I want to do more of, so it was good to be around those guys as they were trying to get into bigger terrain, and do it in a safe way. I feel like I usually get sucked into building jumps—which is fun—but they’re doing what I really want to focus more on.

Back to your relationship with 10 Barrel Brewing Company. How did the conversation start between you and the brewery? 

It’s been pretty cohesive because they’re from Bend. I grew up in Bend. A lot of my friends work for the company, and when they decided to get into snowsports, they reached out to me and I was, obviously, very down.

You have a favorite brew?

The Sasquatch is a damn good beer. And they just came out with these pre-mixed cocktails. Super tasty if you put them over ice. Just like something you’d get in a bar.

Looking ahead, what’s on tap for this winter? 

I’m still working on that. More skiing and more filming. Just enjoying time in the mountains with my friends. Living in Bend for the winter, so I’ll definitely be skiing Bachelor early season, then hopefully take some trips and chase the powder. You try and plan it out ahead of time, but—you know the ski industry—it just happens spur of the moment most of the time.

Click here to learn more about 10 Barrel’s upcoming Pray For Snow parties in Boise, ID, and Bend, OR.

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