If you live and breathe to ski, this list will probably help get you through the times in your life when you’re not riding. It might be an ever-so-long summer that just won’t end fast enough, dry winters (*cough* last season *cough*), or getting through mid-season injuries leaving you holed up on the couch eating nachos and drinking beer all day. So, let’s take a minute to review these top 5 ski movies that were made just for us. Cool?
1. All.I.Can. – Sherpas Cinemas
If you haven’t seen this, you’re blowing it at life. Do you want to be blowing it? No. All.I.Can has insane cinematography, a little bit of an artsy feel, and some gnarly shredding in super exotic places that you may or may not ever be able to afford to visit in real life. Unreal hucking, steeps, deeps, heli/catski/hiking, etc. Timelapses are rad. 75 foot cliff drop layout backflips are rad. Skiing down suburban Canadian streets is rad. It’s all rad and watching All.I.Can. will make you wanna get even radder.*
*Sidenote, this might just be my all-time fav ski flick.
JP’s street part is downright insanity. Maybe the coolest thing a camera was ever pointed at.
Verdict: Epic, bro. Epic.
2. Swift. Silent. Deep. – Teton Gravity Research
Did your dad teach you how to ski? Mine did. If he didn’t get the little ball of responsibility that was me (thanks for stickin around, dad!), he probably would have been as badass as the Jackson Hole Air Force dudes. These are skiers that, at the time, had not yet accepted their own mortality, which is a killer mentality to watch on screen. Youngbloods and ankle-biting newbies – respect your elders! You can be this awesome and grizzly one day, if you stick with it. This film is basically a documentary about a bunch of dudes who were all like, “Screw the cops, we’re gonna start a super-exclusive-club and look for illegal deep snow and massive cliffs to jump off of, and if they want to chase us, well then, let’s see if they can keep up.” Hardcore.
Verdict: A must if you want to know where your rebellious skier attitude comes from. The original non-conformists of our sport.
3. The Dream Factory – Teton Gravity Research
In typical TGR fashion, this film is all style/we’re better than you at this (real talk). We get some sweet perspective on the pioneers, as well as the new generation of free-skiers that are transforming the Alaska scene into the next decade. So much steeze it makes me feel absolutely horrible about my skiing ability. But, isn’t that the point of ski flicks anyway? The Dream Factory totally screams, “Get better!!” at all who dare watch it.
Verdict: Might make you want to sell everything you own and move to Alaska and be a ski bum (thank god I already got this out of my system).
4. Revolver – Salomon & Poor Boyz
Okay, remember the dream team from the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona? Barely? Me too, dudes. I was 10 years old. Whatever. This film is basically the dream team of skiing on one DVD. Ready to stop thinking about sweaty dudes bouncing a ball around? Okay. Rad. Watch the trailer, then buy this damn DVD. If you aren’t contemplating tuning your skis and packing for your first trip of the season by the end of this film, well then, you and I just might have nothing in common.
Standouts: Dumont, Sammy Carlson, Jossi, Auclair, Pep, TJ Schiller, Gagnier, Matt Walker, Mike Henitiuk, LJ, Nick Martini, Etc. Shredding everything. AK lines, pillow lines, cliff drops, backcountry booters, street, pipe, (super) park.
Verdict: Guaranteed to get you jacked to ski whatever is outside right this second, even if it’s a dirt slope in your backyard. And if it is a dirt slope in your backyard, make a video and send it to me. I’ll send you a Liftopia t-shirt, and if you break something, I’ll send you a Liftopia t-shirt plus a Liftopia sticker for your cast. You’ll be stylin’.
5. The Eighty-Six – Stept Productions
Hey, street rats, did you think I would forget about you? Umm, hell no, dudes. Let’s party. If you’re into urban shredding, this is your jam. Like hitting handrails? Hate paying for lift tickets to hit things you can ride for free? Like running from the cops? Hate people telling you where you can and can’t ski? Like huge pants and tiny poles? Cool, I totally get that. This one’s for you.
Verdict: Oh, to be 19 again. The Eighty-Six will make you wish you still had that pure unadulterated problem with authority, and only cared about skiing and beer pong and top ramen and girls (or guys). Unless this still is all you care about. In which case, good times, you insubordinate, you.
Claim – Matchstick
Free-skiers fist pumping on the hill after every stomp, for fun. Sounds dumb, right? I know! But they manage to pull it off in this one. Have I ever led you astray? No. I know. Let’s do this.
So, that rounds out my top 5. What are your favorite jams? Lemme know in the comments. If you point out an obvious one I missed, I’ll send you some Liftopia shwag. Ready? Go!
Great article man, and an awesome list as well! Like you, I live to ski and watching ski movies gets me through the dry times. Fortunately for me, it’s winter right now and I am a ski instructor (UNfortunately only in Michigan…for now) but will be heading to Colorado in the next month to alleviate some of the ever-present skiers itch.
The intro to MSP’s Claim (already made the cut) always held a spot in my heart but two other favorites of mine include Like a Lion and G.N.A.R. I think Like a Lion deserves at least honorable mention for just being a hell of an inspiring movie. Curt Morgan and Travis Rice’s Art of Flight and That’s It, That’s All, despite strictly highlighting snowboarding, both bring the ski film genre to a whole new artistic level for me.
I currently also race for Michigan State University on their Alpine team. If you think Liftopia might want/be able to help us out with any sort of sponsorship please let me know at email@example.com! Or if you feel that I deserve some Liftopia shwag shoot me an email personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!