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Greatest Freestyle Skiers - Past, Present, Future

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Here is my short list.  Not simply a measure of raw talent but also his/her contribution to the sport.  Modern freestyle skiing would not be what it is today without these folks.  

 

Stein Eriksen - famous racer often credited for developing "aerial" skiing

 

Eddie Ferguson - 70s Hot Dog legend

 

Wayne Wong - an absolute legend with too many accomplishments to list

 

Jonny Moseley - introduced new freestyle maneuvers to mogul skiing in the late 90s and is credited as one of the pioneers of "newschool" skiing

 

Mike Douglas -  credited with developing the first twin tip ski

 

Jon Olsson - Swedish ski racer who invented a number of new double flips in the late 90s and early 2000s.

 

Candide Thovex - IMO probably the single greatest skier of all time

 

Tom Wallisch - took newschool skiing to a new level with his highly technical rail maneuvers 

 

Henrik Harlaut - the modern face of freeskiing.  Henrik introduced the world to nose butter triple flips and is one of the best all around skiers in the world

 

 

Who are your favorite freestyle skiers and what have they contributed to modern freeskiing?  Post pics and vids to backup your claim!  Hopefully this thread will allow us to bridge the gap between different generations of freeskiers and get a real conversation started on this subject.  

post #2 of 15

Frank Beddor III

 

Hannah Kearney

 

Scott Brooksbank

 

Oh lost name, the ballet skier that skied with no poles and white gloves?? Can't believe his name escapes me right now.  Alan Schoenberger?


Edited by crgildart - 5/6/15 at 1:36pm
post #3 of 15

Yes, it is Alan Schoenberger.

 

post #4 of 15

Would have to add Suzy "Chapstick" Chaffee to the list

 

 

And Jan Bucher--57 World Cup wins

#122 in the red suit starting at 2:28 (she also speaks at the start of the video)

 

post #5 of 15
Scot Schmidt.
post #6 of 15
Old school -- Alf Engen and his brothers.
post #7 of 15

Hannes Schneider

 

 

1931. Dood was a pioneer.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post
 

Hannes Schneider

 

 

1931. Dood was a pioneer.


OMG this video is absurd!  There is actually a great hidden run at Taos named after him.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Shane McConkey - legend

 

post #10 of 15

Big Mountain/Freeride <> Freestyle.  There are tricks that cross over but different genres mostly.  Let me know if you have any other nits that need picking..:D

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Big Mountain/Freeride <> Freestyle.  There are tricks that cross over but different genres mostly.  Let me know if you have any other nits that need picking..biggrin.gif

Not sure I understand the "nit" or the "pick". Big mountain freeride is a discipline, like Freestyle Moguls, Slopestyle, Halfpipe, etc. Freestyle is a state of mind. Having a "free style" can apply to just about anything.
post #12 of 15
Freestyle competition consists of three disciplines, air, bumps, and ballet historically. Park is an evolution of freestyle but not freestyle par se. If you search "freestyle skier" you typically get people that competed in actual freestyle events. Shame very well may have skied some ussa events back in the early 90s. Not sure about slopestyle and pipe but it is definitely closer to freestyle by definition and scoring than big mountain
. Heck though we could also argue big mountain is closer to old school than seeded bumps.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


. Heck though we could also argue big mountain is closer to old school than seeded bumps.

Exactly, I was at some some of the Midas Freestyle events in the 70's. They're a lot more like the current Big Mountain contests than the World Cup.

IMHO, if it doesn't have a clock, it's Freestyle.

Hannes's grandson used to post on TGR.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Freestyle competition consists of three disciplines, air, bumps, and ballet historically. Park is an evolution of freestyle but not freestyle par se. If you search "freestyle skier" you typically get people that competed in actual freestyle events. Shame very well may have skied some ussa events back in the early 90s. Not sure about slopestyle and pipe but it is definitely closer to freestyle by definition and scoring than big mountain
. Heck though we could also argue big mountain is closer to old school than seeded bumps.


Point taken, but I think we are getting caught up with semantics (definitely not the intention of this thread at all).  Yes, historically freestyle competitions consisted of aerials, moguls, and ballet.  These disciplines, however, have evolved and modern freestyle skiing now includes halfpipe and slopestyle.  Many argue that skier cross and big mountain freeride events also fall under the umbrella of competitive freestyle skiing.  

 

The point of this thread was to bridge the gap between generations and identify the individuals who have made the greatest contributions to "freestyle" skiing over the years.  While some of these people were revolutionaries, such as Stein Eriksen and Hannes Schneider, others were evolutionary, expanding upon the contributions of those before them.  Shane McConkey was both and undoubtedly deserves mention in a thread of this nature.  

 

Please don't forget the "Present and Future" part of this thread.  Just as our sport has evolved over the years, so too has the meaning of the word "freestyle".  Many would argue that moguls and aerials have been standardized to the point that they are neither free nor stylish.  Park/pipe are the present day freestyle venues and they evolved directly out of aerials, moguls, and ballet.  IMO, big mountain freeride is the future.  Although it may have roots in racing, big mountain skiing has evolved into something that is more "free" than moguls and aerials combined.  You are free to choose your line, the way you ski it, and all of the tricks that you do off cliffs along the way.  In fact, many mogul skiers and park skiers now compete in big mountain events because they felt stifled by the restrictions imposed by their former disciplines.  Shane McConkey, Tanner Hall, and Candide Thovex are just a few examples.  

 

Here is a clip from the Red Bull Cold Rush event in 2012.  Hopefully competitions like this continue to grow and attract larger audiences.  I personally think that it represents the absolute highest level of competitive freestyle skiing.  

 

 

post #15 of 15
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