We’ve been printing pages of snowy, inspiration-filled magazines for 25 years now, but skiing’s changed a lot since then… Here’s to all those things that have made it better, including:
Jamie Pierre’s World Record cliff drop. Was it skiing? Who cares? It was 255ft and gnarly as f***! A 4m bomb hole!
Greg Stump’s film Groove Requiem, released in 1991 (awesome – think Doug Coombs skiing to a Seal soundtrack). Which means we can include Greg’s whole repertoire too, right?
Dual lens goggles at under £50, giving everyone a chance to actually see.
The invention of custom-moulded ski boots. Ski boots CAN be comfy (who knew?).
The soundtrack of almost every ski movie we’ve seen, from Frankie Goes to Hollywood to Ratatat. Making some songs so powerful because of their association to powder skiing.
Merino underwear. Comfier than the tweed we wore in the ’80s.
Headcams so we can watch the pros (and pretend we’re them).
Drones, so we can watch the pros some more.
Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool
Electronic lift passes for quicker loading onto the lifts. Although we do miss the retractable lift pass holders – or boing-de-boings as Mary called them aged five – and the suntanned lift-pass checkers (men or women – no sexism here!)
Weather/snowpack apps. And map apps too. Super-valuable advice at the end of our fingertips.
Knee and hip replacement surgery advancements. So we don’t stop. Ever. Like the Terminator.
Sam Smoothy, Vallnord Arcalis. Best Freeride World Tour run ever? We love how he even swears to himself halfway through, then after all the hard/steeps craziness work is done he nearly wipes out in the mellow trees by the finish. Seat of his pants and more.
Slow, rickety chairs that have not yet been replaced by fast quads. Sometimes you just gotta ask yourself: “What’s the rush?”
Twin-tips. Figuring out you can ski backwards. Opened so many doors.
The rise of Instagram/YouTube/social media in general for letting our community of skiers share adventures and inspire each other more easily.
General economic growth and prosperity, so that not only the super-rich can go skiing.
Triple-antennae transceivers: easier, better, faster beacons for when every second is vital.
Ebay. For second-hand ’80s neon get-ups and straight skis.
Rockered/powder skis. Surfing. Skidding. Schralping. The moment when you realise you can ski the deep without shaking your hips like you’re listening to the Bee Gees.
Avalanche airbags. They really do save lives.
Cody Townsend: best Tweets, Facebook and vids in the business. YouTube him skiing the epically insane Birth Canal in Alaska. Or watch his countless Salomon Freeski episodes.
Blake Jorgenson/Red Bull Content Pool
Shane McConkey. Sarah Burke. Candide Thovex. Ingrid Backstrom. Eric Hjorleifson. Eric Pollard etc etc. Thank you for being so inspirational.
Skiers’ amazing desire to explore and develop: 25 years ago British skiers would not have considered skiing Norway, South America or Japan; or ski touring or freestyle camps; or owning more than one pair of skis.
Fall-Line’s 25th Anniversary issue is out now