James Woods. Photo: allisports.com
The final stop of the 2011-2012 Dew Tour at Snowbasin Resort finished its last event Sunday with the Freeski Slopestyle Men’s final. I had a hell of a time reaching Snowbasin that day. My car battery died and I had to ask a stranger in Bountiful for a jump. I was practically falling asleep driving because I woke up so damn early to try to catch all the final events. I couldn’t quite makeup for my lack of sleep though, instigated by the previous evening’s outing to The Bongo. Having a good 40 minutes of driving in front of me, and wanting to arrive to the Tour safely, I pulled over for a 20-minute cat nap that turned out to be an hour and a half. Once I got there, the freeski slopestyle event was dope. After coming to terms with my screwed up morning, I finally got into a better mood and started enjoying the event.
I’m into snowboarding, so to be around other junkies of an extreme sport that are not my kind was a bit intimidating. All of the athletes were more gangster than a lot of the snowboarders I know. With their saggy pants and XXXXL oversized hoodies donned, they still gave out a chill, positive and competitive vibe. They also know how to throw down massive air heights, twists, corks, cabs, etc., all with two skis and not one snowboard. It’s safe to say that after watching all the homies during practice pop air off the bottom jump, I was rightfully turned on. The voice in my head kept confirming with, “This is cool. This is seriously cool.” Like snowboarders, a lot of these guys are younger than 24, full of energy, and fearless.
Tom Wallisch was an all-around impressive athlete. He went into the competition favored because of his number one rank leading the Tour. The emcees mentioned how he built his professional career through the Internet by posting videos of himself skiing. Wallisch now owns a production company, is one semester away from graduating college, and holds a few competitive free-ski titles––he won the Dew Cup, too, but came in second at this event with Nick Goepper taking first.
Another fantastic skier was James Woods, a young Brit who has a very outgoing and dominant personality. His current hairstyle is a buzz cut on the left side of his head, and long, chest-length hair on the right. I was intrigued by him with hopes of scoring an interview, and coincidentally ended up running into him in the media tent. “Are you the person I get my check from?” he asks me. “No,” I say. “But can I ask you a few questions? I’m from SLUG magazine in Salt Lake City.” He answers, “Sure.”
SLUG: Where are you from?
Woods: I’m from Scheffield in the UK.
SLUG: What Dew Tour number is this for you?
Woods: This is my second year on the Dew Tour, so it’s my sixth event.
SLUG: How did you feel about today?
Woods: I was very happy to get into the finals, because during past Dew Tours I haven’t made a final, but been giving it my all in semi finals. So today I got what I wanted, a chance to compete in the finals. I’m not going to say I’m overly happy about the event, but you win some you lose some, and I will definitely take from this and come back stronger.
SLUG: What are your plans for the rest of the season?
Woods: Back to Breckenridge to train, then to Mammoth for the World Cup, then to Europe for Austrian open and European X Games, then Dumont Cup and WSI at the end of the season.
A lot of the athletes at the competition practiced really well, but fell during their heat. I can imagine a lot of the competitors have a similar attitude as Woods. You’ve gotta be strong when you’re in these types of sports––mentally and physically.
For next year’s Dew Tour, it would be nice to have some peeps join me. Though I dig the vibe I get from watching the events solo, it would be cool to have some pals to bounce my critiques off of. Check out the tour standings online at dewtour.com. Check out more photos from the day here.