Q&A: Jossi Wells breaks down his recent injury, upcoming plans, inspiration and more

Q&A: Jossi Wells breaks down his recent injury, upcoming plans, inspiration and more

Skiing has been an integral part of Jossi Wells’ entire life. The 24-year-old of Wanaka, New Zealand has etched his name in the sport of freeskiing by capturing amazing film segments, a handful of X Games medals and stomping some of the most stylish tricks our sport has ever seen. This summer, the newlywed broke his neck while testing a one-hundred-foot jump in Australia. We got the chance to catch up with the wrench-turning, motorcycle-loving dude to get the inside scoop of how he sustained his neck injury, his plans for the coming season, where he finds his inspiration and more. Get the scoop below.

The Q&A…

First things first. Congratulations on tying the knot this summer. How’s the married life?

Thank you! The married life is great. We’ve been in Wanaka since the wedding and loving it.

You broke your neck at the One Hit Wonder event in Australia. Can you give us a play-by-play?

I guinea-pigged the jump on the day of the competition and came up a couple of feet short. As you know, my knees are pretty bad, so when I hit the knuckle I tried to slap back so I could ease the impact. When I slapped back I bounced and dropped straight onto my upper back and neck, about halfway down the landing. It sucked… [laughs]

Feeling better now?

I’m feeling pretty good now. I’ve been in a neck brace for nine weeks with another three weeks to go. The fractures were stable, so once this brace comes off I’ll do a few weeks of rehab to get my neck strong again. Then I’ll be back at it.

You had to shave your beard due to an itchy neck brace. Growing that bad boy back out?

It was a tough call, but I couldn’t deal with the itch for three months. Four days was enough torture. Three more weeks and the razor will disappear again.

What are your plans for the coming shred season?

I’ll be doing a few of the comps again. I’m going to try to just focus on the main ones and then get down with some filming. Between the competitions and injuries, I haven’t been able to film for the last couple of winters. I’m in the process of figuring out exactly what I’m going to do. Either way, my main goal for this season is to put out a segment that I’m really happy with. I haven’t done that yet in my career.

Balancing slope, pipe and big air is becoming increasingly difficult. Do you plan to balance the three disciplines as you have in the past?

I guess so. I just really like skiing and I enjoy competing. Competing in all three disciplines just gives me more time skiing and more contests to do. It can get pretty difficult to juggle sometimes, but I love it.

What else do you hope to accomplish in your already decorated competition career?

There’s still a couple things I need to tick off, results wise. Overall, I want to make my skiing look good and put my own stamp on everything that I do in my runs. Results, as well as the way my skiing looks while achieving them, are equally important to me.

You are living proof that the competition circuit can be especially tough on the body. Do you plan to adjust your skiing style at all to remain healthy?

I’ve had to adjust my skiing to stay heathy throughout my whole career. I’ve got a few more years in the icy parks left in me. When the time feels right I’ll move into film-based skiing and do whatever type of shredding my body will allow me to do.

Who or what do you look toward for inspiration and motivation?

Currently I’m most inspired and motivated by my younger brothers. Their outlook toward skiing is amazing. They keep me young.

13-year-old kids are throwing doubles these days, as a master of the zero spin, how do you feel about that?

The master? I don’t about that. Thank you, though. The young generation coming through is blowing my mind. There are so many amazing skiers coming out right now. Sometimes I think that some of them have skipped a couple of necessary steps in the progression of getting to the double corks and what not, but that’s what makes this sport rad—you can do whatever you’d like. If you want to skip some steps and do a gnarly double, then right on. Personally, I like to try to master a wider variety of tricks. I still have a very long way to go. I think [Tom] Wallisch, Henrik [Harlaut] and [Justin] Dorey have mastered the variety of tricks better than anyone.

FREESKIER’s Skier of the Year voting just went down. Who were your picks for Skier of the Year?

Henrik [Harlaut]. Amazing skiing in the competitions and his film was [full of] hammers. Kelly [Sildaru]. Maybe not for Skier of the Year, but she is my favorite female skier right now. I watched her ski all season here in New Zealand. She is incredible.

You are heavy into the motorcycle scene. Been turning wrenches lately?

Actually yeah. That’s how I’ve spent my days while I’ve been out of action. I’m building a 1976 Harley Sportster XLCH chopper. It’s getting there. Tough to get chopper parts here in New Zealand so I’m always waiting for parts to arrive from the US. I’m hoping to get it pretty close to finished before I come stateside for the season.

What do I have to do to get a cut and be in your bike crew?

[Laughs] We don’t roll cuts. Just a few mates here in Wanaka who like to ride bikes. It’s cool. All you would have to do is live in Wanaka, be a good dude and like to ride bikes.

Your longtime sponsor Nike is moving away from snow-sports. Care to shed light on that?

I’m super appreciative for my time with Nike. They have been amazing and have given me some pretty cool opportunities. I mean damn, they had The RZA rapping about me on national TV. It’s unfortunate that Nike’s time has come to an end, but the brand has its reasons. That’s just business.

Your brothers have been throwing down this summer and fall. Touch on that?

The boys have been on the slay. They recently released a new episode of Under The Mountain. Check that out to see what I mean by “slaying.” Also, they hooked me up with a little cameo so I’m hyped.

Words of wisdom for the young guns out there?

Make it about the skiing. Focus on the skiing one-hundred-percent and everything else will fall in line.

Thanks, Jossi. We’re stoked to see what you come up with this season and best of luck to you and your bride.

Thanks, my dude.

Also Watch: Jossi Wells drops GoPro edit showcasing 2014 X Games big air practice

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