We may not be able to ski (unless you're lucky to be living on the other side of the world), but at least we can listen to some ski gabber and inspiring stories, to keep skiing alive in the mind.
As proud sponsors of The Mayrand Podcast, we've pulled together a Planks selection of episodes for your ears. From the G.O.A.T. Tom Wallisch, the pioneer of pretzels, afterbang and modern freeskiing as we know it today; to Planks athlete and Real Skifi's creative mastermind, Juho Kilkki.
To find out more about the man behind the podcast, Xavier Mayrand, make sure you check out his Introducing The Mayrand Podcast interview on the Shred Thread too.
Xavier's first episode is with Phil Casabon, double X Games Real Ski Gold Medalist. Phil has been leading the way with style and creativity, in the streets and on the mountain, for years. So tune in and get to know one of the world's smoothest skiers.
Next up we have, Jason Levinthal, the man responsible for sparking the development of twin tip skis we know today, founder of Line Skis, Full Tilt Boots and J Skis. Without this man, we might still be skiing on straight skis. Who knows?!
Nick Martini is an ex-professional skier and Stept Production's co-founder. For those of you who don't know Stept, they stepped up and changed the game for the ski movie industry. From the limits of what was possible with monstrously high-risk spots in the streets, to the quality of their film making. Nick has now recently directed films for Apple, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Oakley, New Balance, and Pacifico.
LJ Strenio is one of the loosest (blind backflips kind of loose), most energetic and persevering personalities in the game. Best known for his regular adventures with the Line Travelling Circus crew, Level 1 movie segments, and winning X Games Real Ski Fan Favourite in 2017. He's also skied through a jungle as a stunt double for Vin Diesel. More recently, he retired from life as a professional skier, to pursue a career in Data Science with NASA.
Alex Hall is one of the most exciting skiers right now! He dominates literally everything… but halfpipe. He was recently crowned Ski Slopestyle Gold Medalist at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, where he displayed mind-boggling creative and technical stunts. At X Games in Aspen this year he won gold in Big Air, then bronze in Slopestyle and Knuckle Huck. Then last year, he also won X Games Real Ski, showing a huge amount of variety from the backcountry to the streets. It’s still early days in his career, but he currently holds a total of 9 X Games medals. He's on full video game mode!
Tom Wallisch, well where do we start?! His Level SuperUnknown entry back in 2007, changed people's perceptions of what was possible on skis, from big pretzels to pure afterbang-ing steeze. Then in 2009, for Jon Olsson's famous JOSS sessions in Åre, Sweden, he joined forces with Simon Dumont to produce one of the most iconic ski edits of all time, which marked the beginning of a new era for freeskiing. Both of these edits were voted the best edits of all time by the people of Newschoolers this month. More recently, Tom has become a commentator for Winter X Games; however, there's no sign he will retire from skiing anytime soon.
Legendary freeskier and 8x X Games Gold medalist, Kaya Turski, is one of freeskiing's greatest of all time. She pushed women's freeskiing throughout her whole career, by dominating the sport for years earning a total of 10 X Games medals. She also represented Canada for Ski Slopestyle's debut at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Planks athlete, Juho Kilkki, is the main man behind Finland's creative powerhouse Real Skifi. Not many words can describe his skiing, because it literally leaves you speechless, and you have to see it the believe it. There's creative, then there's hyper creative. Watching Juho in action, you can see his brain calculating all the crazy possibilities, before he uses his super-human abilities to execute them. Get inside the mind of Juho in Episode 28.
Jason Arens is an FIS judge and Marketing Director at Surface Skis and Joystick Poles. This is probably one of the less familiar names, but Jason is heavily involved in the ski industry, and has been travelling the world judging the biggest events including Dew Tour, X Games, World Cups and recently the Olympics in Beijing. Aside from that, Jason is a great guy who is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about skiing.