Real Ski class of 2014
Return of Real Ski
Now back for its second season, X Games Real Ski Backcountry brings together seven of the biggest names in freeskiing to compete in an online backcountry video contest. The fan vote starts Aug. 27 and the winners will be announced on ABC's "World Of X Games" TV show on Sept. 14. Here are the seven athletes competing in this year's contest.
Dane Tudor returns to the X Games Real Ski Backcountry roster after injuring himself during the filming of his video part in 2013. This Australian-born, Alaska- and Canada-raised skier has filmed award-winning parts with Poor Boyz Productions and is known for both his big-mountain skills and his freestyle moves. Now 25, he's been snowmobiling in the backcountry since he was 17.
Swedish freeskier Jacob Wester is a newcomer to the Real Ski Backcountry lineup. Previously an X Games competitor in Slopestyle and Big Air, look for Wester -- one of only two Europeans on the seven-man Real Ski roster -- to bring a Swedish flair to this year's video lineup, including backcountry locations shot around Europe.
At last year's first Real Ski Backcountry contest, Wiley Miller took home the fan favorite award for his edit. It's no surprise why. The Montana native, who currently calls Utah home, filmed most of his part in the backcountry of British Columbia, where he showed off a deep repertoire of tricks and a style all his own. He'll be back to do more of the same this year.
In 2013, Sammy Carlson won the judges' pick and an X Games gold medal at the inaugural X Games Real Ski Backcountry video contest. He's back to defend his title in 2014. Carlson, an Oregon native and former X Games Slopestyle gold medalist, has announced that he's taking a step back from competition to focus on filming.
French freeskier Sam Favret hails from the mountain mecca of Chamonix, France, and he's been climbing up the ranks on the Freeride World Tour, where he brings freestyle tricks into big-mountain terrain. The 2013 winner of the Red Bull Linecatcher contest, he'll be one to watch as an X Games rookie in this year's Real Ski Backcountry contest.
Canadian Joe Schuster is no stranger to making ski films: He's shot with Rage Films, Poor Boyz Productions, Voleurz and more over the years. Schuster, who hails from Vernon, B.C., has also dabbled in slopestyle and big air contests. This will be his first time competing in an X Games event.
Oregon native and Utah resident Tim Durtschi has been making a strong name for himself on the filming side of freeskiing: Last year, he got the closing segment in Teton Gravity Research's movie, "Way of Life." This is his first year competing in Real Ski Backcountry.