With the 2010 Association of Freeskiing Professionals Overall title, Jossi Wells established himself as one of the most consistent competitors in freeskiing. We spoke to Jossi from his hometown of Wanaka, New Zealand, where each August, a parade of freestyle names with X Games medals heads to train in the parks and pipes of Snow Park and Cardrona. Unfortunately, Jossi hasn't been skiing yet due to an ankle injury he got from skateboarding in July. Which means he had plenty of time to answer our questions.
You hurt your ankle just before you headed back to the Southern Hemisphere. How is that healing?
At first I thought I had just rolled it and I'd be good to go by the time the snow fell back here in NZ. Turns out I broke a pretty hefty piece off and it's not healing very quickly. It's been about two and a half months now and I'm still off snow. From the info the doctor gave me it looks like I won't be skiing down here in NZ this year. Definitely a huge disappointment, but on the bright side I have to take the break my body has been asking for for years.
Tell me about your home. Why do you love New Zealand?
New Zealand, especially Wanaka, is just the sickest place to sit back and relax. Not a whole lot goes on here in winter, apart from skiing. It's pretty perfect for resting and taking it easy.
Where do you ski and hang out every day?
I ski at Cardrona mostly -- it's got a bit of everything. Off the hill the skate park is usually my block. With this ankle I haven't been able to skateboard at all, so this season the hang out spots have been my pad, the Salt & Pepper palace (AKA The Retro Palace) and coffee shops.
Speaking of coffee shops, what's a flat white? And why can't Starbucks make one?
A flat white is a coffee beverage prepared by pouring steamed milk from the bottom of a steaming pitcher over a single shot or double shot of espresso. Why Starbucks can't make one? Easy, Starbucks is American.
You won the halfpipe and overall titles through the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, how cool is that?
I was pretty stoked to grab those titles for sure. That was one of my main goals for the season so it was rad to accomplish that. It's changed the way I approached comps. The season becomes more about landing every run and trying to be consistent.
How do you stay on top of the game in both slopestyle and pipe?
I never close my mind to either discipline. My goal since the beginning was to be a well-rounded skier. It's definitely tough work trying to keep up with athletes that are only focused on the one, but it has its advantages as well.
Do you expect more competition in the halfpipe and overall titles with the anticipated inclusion of halfpipe skiing in the next Olympics?
Definitely. With the Olympics coming up I feel like a lot of slope skiers will want a shot at that so they'll start to get into the pipe more.