The Life of a Pro Skier
It doesn't matter if you're insanely talented, have multiple competition wins and ski for the entire winter - the same ups and downs of skiing still affect your time on snow. Here's an update from EB Team skier and reigning British Slopestyle Champion Julian Ball on his last 2 weeks, giving a glimpse into the day to day life of a pro.
"I've been in Whistler, Canada for the past 15 days. I've had an incredible time here despite not achieving all my goals on skis. First off, Whistler experienced their worst start to the season for decades. The first week was a complete whiteout with the upper lifts closed due to high winds. We did get a decent snow fall but this was quickly followed by more high winds and a very high freezing level, making conditions dangerous and the snow heavy. Disappointingly this meant my Liberty Genomes didn't get a run!
"The one day they opened the upper lifts was a Saturday and the busiest day on the hill in years with queues at the base hundreds of meters long! I managed to get up pretty quick and was one of the first on the peak chair but after one lap and a 30 min queue at the bottom EVERYTHING was tracked out. Still it was good to get one run in.
"Shortly after I arrived in town there was the North Face Open slopestyle contest in the Blackcomb Park. I had only done a couple of days in the park because of bad light. It looked like this would be the case for competition day, so I decided to get some practice in the low light conditions. On the day of practice for the comp I overshot each feature at least once, and towards the end I overshot everything in the run. In doing so I put a lot of strain on my hamstring. Going back up the chair I couldn't straighten my leg and skiing down was doable but uncomfortable.
"Annoyingly I had to pull out of the comp that night. I iced it and rested the following day but it was still sore. I was able to ski, but not big jumps. I wanted to rest until I could straighten my leg on the chairlift and grab my ski. Therefore I skied rails for a few days.
"The set up in the Whistler/Blackcomb parks are so good. Tons of hits in each run and everything shaped perfectly. Why can't this be replicated in Europe to this scale?! For the rest of the time I did try and jump again but even when landing in the sweet spot I could feel it niggling away, so I kept to the rails. It was really frustrating because I don't get the opportunity to hit so many perfect massive jumps in a row very often but on the other side of the coin I'm glad to be in one piece.
"Whistler as a town is incredible. I lived here ten years ago and nothing has really changed. It's definitely somewhere I want to visit more frequently. Hopefully next time I'll have better luck with the conditions. Still I had an amazing time and I will miss the parks, the chicken wings and the friendly people. I've got a bit of footage from the trip and I'll put something together shortly.
"I'm flying back to London and I will be back out in France on Sunday afternoon. Shortly after that I'm heading to Verbier for The Verbier Ride on 1st Feb. My leg still isn't right so I'll be getting treatment leading up to that. Afterwards I'll be filming for an edit contest where the deadline is 14th Feb."