Prediction and prophecy are two occupations better left to Roland Emmerich’s CGI department. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make a list of what I want to see, and then pass it off as a prediction. So here are a few predictions for skiing’s evolution in the 2010 season:
1. Poor is the new cool. This has long been standard fare in skateboarding and surfing, but not so in skiing, where it is much harder given the price of equipment, lift tickets, and heating costs for a 15 X 20 ft. apartment, to really be that poor and still ski. However, in a protracted recession, the appetite and tolerance for Black Card-stunts like Shaun White’s private halfpipe and heli-filming-Red-Bull-heli-filming-skiers has faded. Skiers, who have in reality been poor since before the recession, come to terms with their financial situation and embrace it. Crews like the Traveling Circus, who were poor before it was cool, are vindicated in their efforts with success & fame (but naturally, not money). Beat-up gear, shoe-string belts, and jeans are in. PBR puts a team together, likely with Mike Gutt as team manager, or maybe a bum from Truckee. Peter Olenick’s stupid ‘Monster’ monster truck gets egged repeatedly on the streets of Aspen.
2. The winner of Level 1’s Superunknown is from an East Coast park even farther south than Brogan & Wallisch’s stomps down in PA. I’m guessing it will be Appalachian Ski Mt., North Carolina. Level 1’s bonus features includes a debate about style featuring Phil Casabon’s quebecois interpretation of gangsta english, Henrik Harlaut’s Scandinavian interpretation of gangsta english, New-Guy-From-The-South’s southern-drawl-white-guy gangsta english, and Warren Miller. Warren just keeps repeating “If you don’t learn English this season, you’ll be one year older when you do.”
3. Skiing gets slightly less lilly-white. But NO, you still can’t use the n-word.
4. Rail skiing has an identity crisis. With no room left to spin, switch-up, or pretzel, (some) skiers, long jealous of snowboarders and their pressing ways, will find the next big thing. Will anyone other than Ian Wade figure out how to do a nose press? One footers? More taps? Only time and Mike Hornbeck’s video footage will tell.
5. Style is in. For real this time. I base this only on the reaction to Phil Casabon’s segment from Refresh. The death knell is sounded on the Octograb (that was a long couple seasons) and any double grabs involving the tip. Jon Brogan is the one sounding the bell.
6. Surface blows up. As the only existing antidote to the afterbanging disease, the small but growing number of skiers disenchanted with tall-t’s and neon 4XL pants find their voice in this SLC-heavy crew. Parks and chutes from Baker to Mt. Snow fill up with Live Life II’s, industry heavies Pep Fujas & Sean Petit join the team, and shop owners trying to peddle balloon-size outerwear are told to fuck off by kids whose jeans fit. Holden sells out of pants. And Walks of Life drops… in May.
7. Ramped slow-mo will go another season unused by ski film companies. Hammers will go by unnoticed until people watch the video enough times. TGR will abuse slow-mo, MSP will spend a lot of money and time on a stupid intro, and Level 1 will have mostly good music. Rage will still need to change their company name now that angst is out in the ski scene. Most will claim that “ski porn” is played out, and none will realize they just don’t know really how to do a good job of it. The Meatheads will find some insane backcountry line hidden behind 50 miles of New England woods, and Erik Olson will still be the only guy who bothers to head that far out to ski something on the East Coast. God bless ‘em.
8. Nick Martini loses the pants to his G-Suit, and subsequently none of the groms at Breck let him cut the lift line because they don’t recognize him.
9. Grete Eliassen will get hotter still. Say My Name will drop, and godwilling will have some hammers in it (she seems pretty intent on it in the teaser). The number of pro skiers chicks who really rip will grow by one, or maybe two this time. Sarah Burke and Ingrid Backstrom will leave most of the boys behind with their nuts in their stomach, again.
10. Candide kills it, and we get to see three minutes of it on Candide Kamera. The rest is just hearsay and speculation, and all in French. Grab your dictionary.