Protect Ya Neck
PK Hunder is my favorite skier. Sure, he's more or less the best jumper, slopestyle skier, and all that, out there. But it goes way deeper than that. PK Hunder is my favorite skier because he is the pure embodiment of living the dream. Ah yes, the dream. Throughout every winter, thousands of aspiring freestyle skiers train daily, film edits, enter contests, and constantly work on learning new tricks and perfecting old ones with the hope of one day realizing the dream of becoming a pro skier. Of those who do realize that dream, most discover that fulfilling all the responsibilities of pro skierdom while keeping up with all the newest tricks requires a little hard work here and there. For PK, not so much.
At the beginning of JOSS, my teammate Mike Thomas joked with PK that we planned to sabotage the other teams by injuring their skiers. To this, PK glibly responded, "I don't care. I'm here to party." And he backed that retort up throughout the next two weeks, routinely partying all night and then sleeping until 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon before attending jump sessions spent mostly sitting on the tails of his skis in the inrun. PK earned a reputation for being the out-and-out laziest skier at the eventa behavior that drove a rift between him and his harder-working Håtveit counterparts on team Norway.Despite his rep for the lightest-working, PK also commanded everybody's respect as the sickest skier in the group. By far. Whenever PK dropped in, everybody watched, usually to the tune of awestruck (and a little frustrated) exclamations. How is that guy so goddamn good? So goddamn good. Good to the point that, when you watched the 30 or so minutes of jumping he'd do in a day, it was clear that his filmers had only one legitimate reason for being annoyed with him: If one of them blew a shot of PK killing it, he probably wouldn't get another chance for a while.
PK's dominance continued through to the Jon Olsson Invitational big air last week. He was going huge, as usual; outstyling everybody,as usual, and despite the fact most of them had learned his big trick; and stomping everything in the front seat, as usual (on a side note, PK always starts to look really dilligent when it's contest time and cash is on the line, go figure). On his second jump of qualifying, where the first had already qualified him in first, PK did another double 10 mute with his signature I-don't-give-a-sh!t-where-the-sweetspot-is amplitude, looked like he was going to land it, and then actually postholed into the groomed surface and tomahawked as if into a backcountry landing.
Result: broken neck. After the crash, PK assured us that he still planned to party with his injury. A doctor had something else to say, after looking at his X-rays. PK will be fine, of course. But not before a few months off snow, to make sure that the broken bone doesn't displace. I'm glad that he's all right, all in all. And I know that he'll still be the best once he's back. And I can't wait, because nobody else lives the dream like that. Nobody.
Stay up on PK's progress at PKHunder.com.