David Wise has been grinding it out on the half pipe circuit for years. He’s an innovator and currently has more tricks in the pipe than anyone else. At this year’s X Games, David took Gold away from the two time defending Frenchman Kevin Rolland. The discipline has been dominated by the French for over three years, and David is the American who broke their winning streak. Two weeks later David cemented himself as the man on top, by winning the Dew Tour Stop at Snowbasin. His success makes him one of America’s greatest hopes for Half Pipe Gold at the 2014 Olympics at Sochi.
David’s competition success is impressive, but what makes him interesting is his intelligence and eloquence. Here’s your first chance to sit down and get to know this budding star.
1. Dude your like the tallest dude competing in pipe! Your built more like a football player, than a skier. What made you decide to ski instead of playing a stick and ball sport?
Hah well the tall thing didn’t really happen for me until later on in life. Up until I was fifteen I was still under 5’3”, with a pretty stringy build. So when I started growing I just kept on top of my strength game in the weight room and never had to deal with the awkward lanky tallness that some kids who grow quickly have to deal with. Now I see my size and weight as more of an advantage than anything.
On a side note I still do play a lot of stick and ball sports. I played football and baseball in high school, and now I play on a couple mens league teams in the summer. It’s a fun way to train and it helps me get my competition fix during the off months.
2. Growing up in Reno put you ridiculously close to Lake Tahoe. Who are some of the local ski celebs that have influenced your riding the most and how did they inspire you?
I grew up on the Alpine Meadows Freestyle Team with Clay Beck. That put me in close quarters with cool people like CR Johnson, Sean Field, and Shannon Bahrke . The people Clay invested time into were always people who just loved skiing and were passionate about it. It was pretty inspiring and gave me a love and appreciation for skiing that few people understand.
David Wise – Photo by Freeskier
3. Your a member of the first US Freeskiing Team. It’s like you are a member of the first ever Top Gun Class. What did it mean to you when you first heard you made the cut?
Wow Top Gun? Hah I haven’t heard anyone put it like that before. It truly is a great feeling to be recognized by your country for something that you are passionate about. Having a team and getting the sport into the Olympics is something that we have been working towards for a long time so I feel honored to be a part of the first wave.
4. You have a choice to make between shredding a perfectly groomed pipe by yourself or shredding nipple deep pow with your friends; what do you choose? Why is it better than the other?
Well this year I have been lucky enough to have plenty of access to perfectly groomed pipes so I’d have to go with the nipple deep pow. Skiing is all about balance, if you get too much of one thing or the other you will get bored or even burn out. Plus nothing really nurtures the soul like just SKIING with good people.
5. Your a father and a husband now, Congrats! How do you juggle your life as a pro skier and being a family man?
Well I’d have to give the credit for that one to my wife Lexi. She is as passionate about being a mom and wife as I am about skiing. Having a woman backing you that is as hard working and loving as Lexi really makes being a good husband and father an easy job. It is difficult when I spend months on the road, but that just makes the time that I do get to spend at home all that much more special.
6. Looking forward to the Olympics, what will you be doing to prepare?
Well, in getting to this point I feel like I’ve developed a pretty good system of balanced training. Staying strong in the gym, keeping my air awareness sharp on the trampoline, and tempering my skills on skis, oh and just having fun and embracing the opportunities I have in life every single day.
7. Winning X Games has been a long time goal of yours. Now that you have won it, does it feel like you imagined?
When I realized that I had won the X Games I went into a daze of excitement, it was a truly unreal feeling. One thing I think it is important to remember is that you should still be the same person whether you are winning or not. So yeah winning the X Games was amazing; now I get to move forward and try to stay true to who I was before I ever won anything.
8. This year you started competing in Slope style again? What about that discipline makes it so different from pipe? Do you think that anyone can dominate both disciplines in the same year?
Jumping and being in the air was always what drew me to freeskiing in the first place, so it is fun to get back into slope and big air contests once in a while even if halfpipe is where I excel. Compared to slopestyle, halfpipe has an extremely small margin for error when it comes to popping to hard or too soft. Other than that I think that the way that the human body flips and twists is the same. In fact, my most technical pipe tricks are all things that I have brought over from jumping.
With the level of both sports being as high as it is I think it would be very difficult to dominate at both. We haven’t seen it yet. I’m not saying it can’t be done, just super difficult.
9. If you had the chance to take a quadchair lift ridewith 3 famous people, who would be on that chair?
Haha before I was married I would have said Mandy Moore, Jessica Alba, and Zoe Deschanel, but lets go with Billy Kid, Will Smith, and Robin Williams.
10. Your a ravenous reader and academic. What books or activities are you into right now?
I’ve been getting into the classics lately: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, right now I’m reading A Tale of Two Cities again, and I think next I am going to read the original Dracula to see where all this vampire craze comes from.
Original post can be found here at BNQT.com