Chris Benchetler has made a name for himself in the world of freeskiing as one of the more creative, unique skiers out there. In addition to his film segments in movies from Poor Boyz, Teton Gravity Research and more over the years, he's also a co-founder of the media company Nimbus Independent.
Benchetler has plans to lead a freeskiing camp at his home hill of Mammoth Mountain, California, and he's also talked of hosting a big-mountain freestyle contest -- with manmade features on steep terrain -- at some point in the future.
Benchetler grew up skiing at Mammoth Mountain and it's where he still lives today. "It's my home," he says. "I don't plan on leaving."
The Bent Chetler
In addition to his film work with Nimbus, Benchetler has helped build and design his pro model ski from Atomic, the Bent Chetler, for the last six years. The newest version of the ski debuted in a limited release this spring and will be available on store shelves next fall.
"The construction of the ski has changed quite a bit since the beginning," Benchelter says about his pro model. "The newest ski really lets you smear easily through powder and not catch when you're going through choppy snow. It skis a lot easier through variable snow." Here he is testing the new prototype in Japan.
Benchetler helps tweak the construction of his pro model ski, and he also draws and designs the topsheet graphics. "I take inspiration [for the graphics] from mountains and waves and landscapes," he says.
A Style of his Own
"Chris has style that's all his own," says Nimbus Independent co-founder Eric Pollard. "I think his designs, much like his skiing, are very unique."
Next up for Benchetler? He and the Nimbus crew are at work on a two-year project, called "After the Sky Falls," that will include a feature-length film due out in the fall of 2015.