What is skiing to you? Will Wesson says it's "anything I do with skis on my feet." The 24-year-old from Victor, New York, spends his winters pushing the limits of that definition, jibbing everything from tennis nets to PVC to frozen lakes. He recently returned from Europe, where he was filming for the next episode of Line's Traveling Circus, which is being released on Sunday. Wesson is featured alongside Ian Compton in this exclusive video from Tahoe shot by Level 1 Productions, the second in a series of edits Level 1 is producing for ESPN (if you missed the first, find it here). Check it out to see a little of what Will Wesson does when he has skis on his feet.
ESPN Freeskiing: How did you get started skiing?
Will Wesson: I cross country skied with my family starting in second grade and went downhill skiing for the first time in sixth grade. I immediately quit cross country skiing when I got a fresh pair of Salomon Snowblades for Christmas the next year. After many mini front flips and mistys, I got some 171 Line Mike Nick Pros. I grew up skiing with Ahmet and Giray Dadali, Andy Parry, Erik Olson and others in our backyards and at Bristol Mountain, New York.
Most people probably know you best from your role in Line's Traveling Circus. How did TC get started, and what was your role in that?
My friends in the I Hate NY crew and I made a few movies and lots of edits for fun when we were in high school and college. Toward the end of school, Andy Parry and I wanted to avoid getting real jobs, but also not get locked into the traditional ski bum lifestyle at one ski area. We proposed a few ideas to Line Skis' Jason Levinthal and TC was the end result.
TC was just in Europe. What were you guys doing there?
Andy, video guy Shane McFalls, Line marketing manager Josh Malczyk and I met up with Euro Line riders Roy Kittler, Tobi Mangold, Leo Tailefer and Korbi Resenberger. We were sampling a bit of everything in Val d'Isere, France. Urban stuff, a little powder, and park. Then we headed to Austria next.
From all your footage in TC and the Meathead and Level 1 movies, it's pretty clear that you have an unusual take on skiing. What is skiing, to you?
In "Head for the Hills" by Meathead Films, I said "skiing to me is anything I do with skis on my feet." I guess I'll stick to that, since I'm still heavily into urban, park and non-traditional skiing areas.
You've done a lot of jib stunts that most people would have never thought of. How do you come up with the features that you hit?
Pretty much anytime I'm outside anywhere, I'm looking for things to hit on skis. Sometimes I'll have a trick in mind and need to find a specific type of feature to make it happen. I'll share and trade spots and ideas with friends.
Do you have any special tricks in mind that you haven't done yet?
Definitely. Year after year, you always think of new things, some might be impossible, but there's never enough time to try out and accomplish all your goals and ideas.
What's your perfect day of skiing?
Wake up to ski three feet of powder for a few hours. Hit a perfect step over jump for a bit. Session an urban feature and land a trick I've wanted to try for a long time. Eat at In-N-Out or Molcasalsa.