Øystein Bråten got started on skis early and got creative when his passion for the sport began to grow.
"I started skiing because I looked up to the older guys at my local hill. I started to watch ski movies and went out in my backyard and built small rails and jumps," he explained. "I had so much fun and would stay outside for hours everyday."
Backyard shred sessions led to more time on the mountain, more time fine-tuning tricks alongside his equally talented brother, pro snowboarder Gjermund Bråten, and eventually stepping into competition. In the years since, he has mostly surpassed those skiers that were his original inspiration.
Red Bull, O'Neill, Oakley, Volkl
Skateboarding, Tennis, Trampoline
Comfortable in any terrain, Kye Petersen particularly loves the mountaineering side of skiing. He’s traveled all over the world, heading on foot deep into remote terrain to carve unique big-mountain lines and launch cliffs. Kye has taken firsts at the 2009 Red Bull Coldrush and 2012 FWT Revelstoke, and appeared in at least 15 ski films, including Sherpas Cinema’s All.I.Can.
Having grown up skiing alongside the Pettit brothers and amongst a deep well of talent in the Whistler area, Petersen has been groomed to be the face of the all-around skier. While his pursuits take him beyond the realm which most will ever venture, he's also an extremely talented and versatile skier on terrain of all kinds. Be on the lookout for his next mind-bending video part, which can drop at any moment.
Patagonia, Monster Energy, Oakley, 4FRNT, Leki, Mammut, Teva
Surfing, Climbing, Snurfing, Skateboarding, Traveling
Henrik Kristoffersen was first introduced to skiing by his father, former ski racer Lars Kristoffersen, at the age of five. From the age of eight, it was his dream to become a professional skier, so Lars began to coach him. "I love skiing, that's the reason I do it," says Henrik. "I just love the feeling I get when I do a turn. That feeling is one of the best feelings I can have in my life."
As Kristoffersen's skiing career kicked off, he rapidly went from one success to another. In 2012 – at the age of 17 – he not only won his first Junior Worlds title, but he also won his first European Cup race. He then went on to score his first FIS World Cup podium at 19, and in early 2014 the Norwegian clinched another third place in Adelboden, a second place in the Austrian town of Kitzbühel and eventually his first win, in front of 45,000 people, at the Schladming night race, also in Austria.
In February 2014, Kristoffersen made history by becoming the youngest male medalist in Olympic alpine skiing when he won slalom bronze at Sochi. In March 2015, he collected Junior Worlds titles number five and six, setting a new men's record. By the end of the season, he had won eight FIS Junior Worlds medals, another all-time high. "It's cool to be the record-holder on the men's side. But success doesn't come easy. There's a lot of hard work involved," he says.
The success continued in 2015 and 2016, with FIS World Cup wins everywhere from Val d'Isère in France to Wengen in Switzerland, and more glory in Kitzbühel and Schladming.
Rossignol, Oakley, Sweet Protection, DHL, Energiapura, Snowlife, Komperdell, DunderVerk, Victorinox
Motocross, Hockey, Golf
Not many teenage slopestyle skiers can boast nearly a dozen years of backcountry experience. But Logan Pehota, under the wing of his father, big-mountain pioneer Eric Pehota, spent his childhood alpine racing, ski touring and notching big lines near his home in Pemberton, B.C. A burgeoning big-mountain competitor, Pehota is now focusing on slopestyle, aiming for the bright lights that come with major contests and hopefully, one day, the Olympics.
Aside from the dream of competitive prestige, Pehota also wants to remain a well-rounded talent. His accumen in the backcountry was first put under the microscope in his first major film appearance, MSP's "Superheroes of Stoke" (2012) and then "Poor Boyz Productions' "Tracing Skylines" (2013) – and we'd say he passed. Watch out for him in major comps and mega movie projects in the years to come.
Oakley, Rossignol, Leki Poles, Outdoor Gear Canada, Thule, Whistler/Blackcomb
Surfing, Skateboarding, Hunting, Mountain Biking
Jacob Wester skis, surfs, owns his own tattoo machine and basically lives a lifethe rest of us just dream about. He's a guy who’s chosen his own style (and man, does he have style) and just exudes cool without even thinking twice. He’s a massive role model for any young rider who wants to learn fast and win the respect of the industry.
Jacob’s career achievements already boast a sack load of major competition wins, but just as importantly, some jaw-on-the-floor video parts. And now, he's extending his own limits, venturing into the backcountry – in fact, his first foray was about as heavy as a trip gets, going to Telluride with Seth Morrison.
In person, Jacob’s a super grounded guy who doesn’t talk up his massive achievements but there's no missing an aura of a man who has accomplished much but who still has a hunger for his next season on skis.
Oakley, Armada Skis, Monste Energy, Monster Army
Surfing, Travel, Music, Photography
He started as a toddler on the shoulders of his mother, literally. She gave him his first taste of what it was like to ski, a moment that would define him and his life to come. Oscar Wester was born into skiing.
Being from Sweden, it was practically a requirement. So, at just three-years-old Oscar stepped into skis himself and built up the skills it would take to begin a journey into alpine skiing at age six. It didn't take long for him to ditch the Lyrca suit and don bagging jackets and pants. In time, Oscar achieved his first sponsor and a collection of edits that left the Internet wondering who this extremely talented young gun was and why he looked so much like legendary freestyle skier Jacob Wester (Oscar’s brother). In the time since he's continued to raise eyebrows with his video parts, make appearances at the biggest of events (and make some podiums in the process) and make a spot for himself in the ever-evolving industry of skiing.
Oakley, Salomon, Red Bull
Golf, Skate, Surf
For a period of his early career, Richard Permin hovered under everyone’s radar. A King of Style win and a podium finish at the Big Mountain Pro changed all of that. By late 2008, the then-23-year-old had arrived. It wasn’t long after, however, that he mostly turned his back on park competitions and the need to make podiums, opting to focus on traveling the globe in search of the best powder and backcountry terrain he could find. For the past four years he’s been filming extensively – often with Sean Pettit, in Japan and the Whistler backcountry – with Matchstick Productions and this fall he was part of one of the most acclaimed movies of the year, "Days of My Youth."
The now 29-year-old Frenchman was actually late in getting into the Freeski game. He first got on skis at the age of three and began racing at 15. It wasn’t until he was 18 that he made the transition. Nowadays, however, the focus is backcountry, backcountry, backcountry.
Oakley, Red Bull, Atomic, Swatch, Pull-in, Joya
Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, was born and bred an alpine skier.
His mom and dad were both skiers and made it very easy for Aksel to carry on the family tradition. His family would go to Geilo (one of the top ski destinations in Norway) often to stay with his grandparents at their cabin. Geilo is where Svindal learned to ski. He received his first pair of skies for his third birthday. That was it – he was hooked. The skis were passed down to his brother and two cousins after him and Aksel still has them at home as a keepsake.
As a professional, Svindal has accomplished five World Championships, three Olympic medals, including a gold, silver and bronze, and two overall World Cup titles. He credits winning the overall world cup as the biggest accomplishment of them all. He’s been in the top four in World Cup rankings every year since 2006.
Not only is Svindal a world class alpine skier, he is a gentleman of the sport. When discussing the Olympic Games, from which he’s already obtained a gold medal, Svindal states: “The Olympics are a great opportunity to inspire the world and show the good values that sports are built on.
Oakley, HEAD, Red Bull, Longines, Sweet, Phenix, Swix
Tatum Monod has been called "freeskiing's next it girl" by Freeskier Magazine, but ask the up-and-coming big-mountain skier about her accomplishments and she'll tell you she still has a long way to go. With an award-winning film segment, and an impressive stint on the Freeskiing World Tour already under her belt, Monod, it turns out, is as humble as she is talented.
Tatum was born in Banff, Alberta, to a family deeply entrenched in the sport of skiing. Her father was a racer on the Canadian Ski Team, her parents met skiing, and her grandfather opened one of North America's longest-running outdoor gear shops, Banff's Monod Sports, back in 1949. Her family still runs Monod Sports, and Tatum has worked at the family business for much of her life. And yet, somehow, she didn't start skiing until she was 12 years old. "My family is all about skiing, but my dad was smart. He didn't push me into it," Monod says.
Red Bull, The North Face, Rossignol, Oakley, Monod Sports
Fly Fishing, Surfing, Knitting, Clothing Design
Dan Treadway grew up snowmobiling to school. His infamous leap off the permanently closed Don’t Miss area on Whistler left Dan banned from the resort for the 1999-2000 season. Treadway started sledding more than skiing, and now he racks up more than 120 days a year on his machine. The self-proclaimed redneck has appeared in five Slednecks snowmobile films.
Born in the chilly environment of Kenora, Ontario, Treadway strapped on his ﬁrst pair of skis at the age of three. Mt. Evergreen and all of its 250 feet of vertical gave Dan his ﬁrst memories of sliding. Growing up, Dan and his brothers were at the ski hill the minute the T bar started running until it shut down every weekend and Wednesday and Friday nights, the only times Mt. Evergreen was open.
Lured by the snow and the mountains, Dan moved west when he was 19 and settled in Whistler, BC. After washing dishes and delivering pizzas for the requisite amount of time, he was able to pursue skiing full-time in 1996. And by 1999, he scored his first film segment with Poor Boyz Productions.
Dan Treadway took home “Photo of the Year” at the 2010 Powder Awards for an image that appeared on the January 2010 cover of Powder...his 42nd cover (and this is a rough estimate). Dan called it when he was only 10 years old, telling his mom he’d be on the cover of Powder someday.
Oakley, Monster Energy, Rossignol, Toyota, Polaris, Leki, Contour, Level Gloves
Snowmobiling, Hunting, Fishing, Traveling, Surfing, Building Cottages
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