The underdog at Sochi, slopestyle skier Joss Christensen almost didn’t qualify for the 2014 Olympic team. The 22-year-old was the last skier to make the cut and he only learned his crucial trick—a switch triple cork 1260, or taking off backward and making three off-axis flips and three-and-a-half rotations—a few days before the competition. So when he nailed his four final runs, posting a score in the 90s each time and easily nabbing gold, he shocked everyone, including himself.
Since the win, the Park City, Utah, native has traveled the world. He pulled off some incredible tricks in Sarajevo in Eastern Europe for the new film Almost Ablaze, a shoot that wasn’t easy on his equipment. Asked about one scene where he skids down the street, Christensen laughed. “Yes, well, when skiing concrete, you definitely want to go with the red wax.”
Favorite Destination: Park City, Utah
“Growing up, we’d always get our parents to drive us up to the mountains behind the ski resort. We’d set up rails in the woods, jumps, whatever we could find to ski on. That was always the place to spark off winter. This year, I’m excited because I just bought some land up there about a half mile from where we used to play. I was given a picnic table and down rail from the city rail yard to ski on and recruited friends to set them up. We can’t wait to go up there and really start hitting them.”
Favorite Gear: Fischer Nightstick
“I love my skis, that’s for sure. I’ve worked with Fischer over the last couple of years as they brought back their park skis, and the Nightstick has been an awesome ski for playing around and for competitions. They put a sheet of titanium down under the foot, and so far my edges haven’t cracked, which is good because it means I can keep the same pair of skis for more time. Over the past few years, I’ve gone through as many as a dozen pairs of skis in a season, but last year it was less than half that thanks to the durability of the Nightsticks.”