All images: Pete Alport
After 15 years with Lib Tech and nearly a decade on Dakine, the name Lucas Wachs has become synonymous with the two brands. But like they say, all good things must come to an end, and the Oregon-based skier has set the sky as his limit—or should we say playground? As the newest bird on the Blackcrows team, Wachs is literally taking flight in this next chapter of his esteemed career.
As a Level 1 stalwart, Wachs is no stranger to producing hard-charging ski films, and we’re eager to see where this new partnership with Blackcrows takes him. We caught up with the professional skier to chat about the brand move, how he makes the most of less-than-ideal snow conditions and what he’s cooking up for another film project. Keep reading for the full Q&A below.
It’s been a fickle start to the season so far. Have you been able to ski much? I think I noticed you were recently down in Utah.
I am based in Oregon, and we’ve had a pretty slow start, but we have had some good days up at Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood, and then I got to go to Austria for a little bit with Level 1. That was a last-minute thing and it was super sick, and then I was just down in Utah for a long weekend. We caught an opening at Alta, and that was super rad. So yeah, I’ve been skiing, but no epic pow days, really [laughs].
How do you make the most of a ski season when conditions are consistently tough like they have been?
I think there’s usually some sort of silver lining, we skied corn in December, which is crazy and it was super fun. Another thing, I’ve been skiing skis with super sharp edges and that’s been making it more fun to ride hardpack. You can get creative and find a way to do things differently, lower your expectations and just enjoy the fun time with friends. It’s kind of nice—last year was a bit of a grind for me, I was just super focused on the project I was working on, so it’s actually kind of refreshing to just go ski resort laps and not try to take it super seriously.
You recently announced your new partnership with Blackcrows, what spurred the move?
They reached out to me quite a while ago, and I couldn’t do anything at the time. I wasn’t necessarily looking to change sponsors, and then they reached back out again. I was able to get a feel for the brand, and it ended up being a really cool opportunity I wanted to pursue. I had always admired the brand from afar, and it just seemed like a cool opportunity to help with the North American market. I’m just a fan of their skis and products.
You were with Lib Tech for 15 years, I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision to make.
It was not easy [laughs] and same with Dakine, I was with them for close to 10 years. I have such a good relationship with both of those brands, so it was super hard to make this decision.
What are you most looking forward to with this new partnership?
Overall I’m just looking forward to the big picture. This past weekend, Blackcrows hosted a ski event—Ski Sauvage—with a film premiere at evo and a ski demo up at Solitude. It’s cool that they put on these events that connect the general public with the brand in a really genuine way. Being a part of it was super fun, and it was cool to ski with folks and meet new people. Hopefully, it can come full circle next year to have a project to show at these events and just be a little more integrated a year later.
In-person stuff is so awesome to do in this day and age with the meta-verse. That stuff is important, and it’s important to me to connect with people, especially since I ski in the backcountry 80 percent of the time with very few human beings.
Are any plans in the making?
Yeah! We’re working on some stuff right now.
What are your go-to Blackcrows setups?
I’ve been trying a lot of skis, they make a lot of skis [laughs]. The go-tos for me are the Atris and the Anima, both with CAST setups on those skis. And then the Draco Freebirds with some kingpins for ski touring. The Atris is a super fun ski with a 105-millimeter waist, and I ski the 184.3-centimeter length, and they rip! They are great for everything. The Anima is an 189-centimeter, 115-millimeter powder ski. The Draco is a 112-millimeter, 189-centimeter, lightweight big-mountain ski. Blackcrows’ lineup is so big, and I’m not used to having that big of a lineup, so it’s been really fun to test all of the skis. They all work great, and they are purpose-built skis, so it’s super fun to get on and try all of them.
What is the best ski for your home mountain, Mt. Bachelor?
I would probably go with the Atris and the Mirus Cor—I haven’t even skied the Mirus Cor at home yet, but that ski is going to be so fun there. You’re not going super fast at Mt. Bachelor, it’s really rolly and playful, and I think that ski will match up with Bachelor terrain really well, especially in the spring.
The Blackcrows team is stacked with big-mountain heavy hitters like Nikolai Schirmer and Sam Favret, who are you most looking forward to ski with, within the team?
I’m super stoked to ski with anyone on the team because it’s super stacked, and there are a lot of people on there who are very badass, but I would say Nikolai. I’ve been enjoying his videos, and we message each other on Instagram, so it’ll happen eventually.
What does the perfect ski day look like to you?
It involves powder and some good friends, and that’s about it [laughs]. A good group of buddies and good conditions, whether that’s in the backcountry or the resort, it doesn’t matter, that’s the recipe. I was just skiing hardpack, but I was with a bunch of good friends and had such a good time.