Thus far, 2014 has been pretty exciting year for the sport of skiing in America. When hearing that sentence, a few things instantly come to mind–The recent wrap up of the Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado might be one topic, or more popularly, the worldwide recognition and following of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and our successful American skiers. Additionally, skiing is assuredly on the mind of our “frosty” American neighbors up there in the freezing, snowy winter that much of the Northern part of the country has been experiencing this season, not that we know much about that.
Due to the recent popularity of the sport, Americans have been exposed to all sorts of variations of skiing including, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, cross country skiing, nordic skiing, slopestyle, super pipe and the list goes on. One side of skiing, which you won’t see on the Olympics or X-Games this year, has recently caught the attention of some. This unique form of skiing is being referred to as “urban skiing.” So what exactly is urban skiing you might ask? Well, urban skiing is a new form of skiing where skiers travel to cities around the world and make what they call “lines” or “features” out of standing structures and self-made snow jumps also known as “kickers” and “landings.”
Recently, a video surfaced on the internet of a group of three professional urban skiers in abandoned buildings in Detroit, Michigan. The video gives an interesting and artistic look into what these guys must do in order to ski in these hard-to-reach places around the world.
Khai Krepela, 22, of Park City, Utah was one of the skiers featured in the movie and gave Void an exclusive bit of information about what he and his friends do, as well as to what they find so special about the sport of urban skiing. Khai who has been skiing since he was just 2 years old, met up with good friends and fellow professional skiers, Karl Fostvedt, Max Morello, Cody Carter and the production company Poor Boyz Productions, in association with Red Bull Media House, to shoot a section of urban skiing in the dangerous, abandoned buildings of Detroit for their latest movie feature known as, “Tracing Skylines.”
The video shows the athletes, forming and hitting their features, by creating the jumps and landings to leap off multiple-story roofs, balconies, and handrails, all while doing maneuvers such as spins and flips in the air to get clips for their movie.
“Pretty much, we take to the streets of cities around the world and create features to hit. When I got to Detroit and saw the endless possibilities of skiing massive abandoned buildings I was almost so excited it was overwhelming. To take something that had been forgotten about long ago and make something new out of it was amazing. It was something that nobody had ever done and [we] knew that it would be a hit if done right,” said Krepela.
In response to the attention the video clip has been receiving, Krepela explained that what they do isn’t easy, and that the urban side of the sport of skiing is not only a difficult adventure, but that there is endless opportunity if taken advantage of and worked hard enough for.
“There are tons of things that make what we do difficult, getting kicked out is the main one, but I am always looking for new cities to ski. As long as there is snow, there isn’t a city that is not on my list of a place to go,” said Krepella.
Who knows, with the technology and climate change this world has seen recently, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the next stop for the group would be right here in the 904. Check the video below.