Q&A Wednesday with Chris Benchetler

Q&A Wednesday with Chris Benchetler

Chris Benchetler is best known for snorkeling through deep snow, floating big 360’s in the backcountry and making skiing look effortless.

While hanging out in South America Mr. Benchetler chatted with Freeskier about his recent engagement, summer, pro model ski and drawing with crayons.

Chris Says Hi!

So you are recently engaged. Congrats. Who is the lucky lady? Have you set a date yet?  

Yes I am. Thank you! Her name is Kimmy Fasani. Tentatively we are looking at September 10th 2011. Very exciting times!

Chris and fiance Kimmy

Besides getting engaged, how is your summer going? What have you been up to? 

It’s been excellent. I made it to a couple summer camps, Woodward at Copper and COC. So I got to shred with some rad kids and ski a bit of park which is always fun. Aside from that, I’ve been mountain biking a bit, road biking, rock climbing, surfing, and doing small projects around the house that I always seem to put off in the winter months.

How is Chile? Who are you down there with?  

Chile has been your typical amazing South American experience.

Unfortunately, it’s quite low tide, and it’s been a while since they’ve seen fresh snow. Thankfully we’ve managed to make something happen. I’m here (Portillo) shooting the latest and greatest Atomic product for their new catalog with Daron Rahlves and Adam Clark. Product is looking next level!!

Do you have any plans for next winter yet? 

I generally have an idea each year, but never have anything set in stone. I will definitely be filming with Nimbus all year, as well as with TGR as much as possible. And I’m always open to see where else the wind will take me. 

You use to be a part of the whole “competition” scene back in the day. Do you think you could keep up with the big boys (Wallisch, Bobby Brown, etc) today if you had stuck with it? 

“Hell No!” ha. Those guys are insanely good. But, I guess I’ll really never know. In truth, I really enjoy where progression has taken our sport and have had a blast trying a few doubles myself. I just enjoy doing them into powder a lot more. My consistent park skiing days have just become a rarity. Regardless, I’m super happy I took the path I did because there is a lot of creativity to still be explored in the backcountry. 

Night Pow

What does your picture perfect ski day look like? From where you wake up, to the coffee in the morning, to the post session food, etc? 

I would prefer to wake up in my own bed next to my fiance and dog, since that’s where I always sleep best. Then I would indulge in a giant bowl of granola with a ton of fresh fruit. No coffee necessary. Then head out; sled, skin, or hike, and ski 2 feet of stable pow in the backcountry, choosing between lines, cliffs, and jumps throughout the day. Throw in an epic turkey sandwich, some type of sweets, and a fuji apple during lunch time. Then follow it with a massive sushi dinner and a cold beer with the Nimbus crew. 

How did your pro model ski come about with Atomic? 

I’d say timing. Atomic was ready to try something new, as was I. I mentioned the thought of my own ski, they agreed, and the rest is history. It’s been an experience that far exceeded my expectations. And I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

You do your own graphic(s) and they are pretty ridiculously cool. What is the story behind the art on your skis? 

Realistically, I have to thank breaking my collar bone. I had been interested in art when I was young, and drew all the time, but once skiing came into my life I left it behind. So, it took being stuck at home to realize I may be able to draw something sweet myself. It’s been both fun and challenging thinking of new ideas each year, but I have to say the latest 11/12 model is for sure my favorite thus far. You will get to see soon!

Chris getting creative

If you could have a week to ski with anyone, anywhere, who would you take, and where would you go? 

It would for sure be my father. His dream was to take me heli skiing in the Ruby Mountains, NV for his 50th b-day. We had both never been and he had always dreamed of heli skiing. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with lung cancer that year, so I lost him before we ever had the chance. With that in mind, I would bypass NV and take him straight to AK for the goods.

If given a set of crayons, an 8×5 sheet of paper and 30 mins; which Nimbus crew member would create the best piece of art? Why? 

My immediate response would be Pollard. But, I think if we were solely dealing with crayons I may be able to give him a run for his money. And now, as I sit here thinking and responding, I think Erin, Eric’s wife (Nimbus filmer), might take us both down. Let’s go with Erin. I have no idea what she would come up with though.

Any shout outs? 

Always. My family. fiance, sponsors: Atomic, Sessions, Dragon, DaKine, Cliff Bar, Mammoth, Cti, EVO, Joystick, the Nimbus crew, PBP, TGR, and everyone else that helped get me where I am today!

For more on Chris make sure to visit www.chrisbenchetler.com and follow him on twitter @ChrisBenchetler.

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