Mike Douglas

29 Years Of Freeskiing Through Mike Douglas’ Eyes

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We just watched Whistler Blackcomb’s Beyond Episode 2 featuring the godfather of freeskiing – Mike Douglas. He opens by admitting he’s been in this hedonistic game of freeskiing for almost 30 years! Come again?! He’s been a pro skier longer than half of you reading this interview have been alive. Yup. And he’s still at the forefront of the sport, shredding hard and giving the sport a voice through his filmmaking projects. At Doglotion.com we always ask “If skiing could talk, what would it say?” Well it sounds like if anyone can tell us, it’s Mike D. Here’s the last 29 years of freeskiing through his eyes, in 10 questions. Go. (Main photo credit: Paul Morrison/ WB)

Mike Douglas

Mike just, you know, loungin’. Maybe he’d just finished a mean tiger crawl or Blue Steel for the camera. Paul Morrison Photo.

1: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen go down on snow? Anything goes. 
Mike D: Probably Josh Dueck stomping the first backflip on a sit-ski. It was such an amazing feat an done just weeks after the passing of Sarah Burke. It was an awesome and very emotional day for everyone involved.

2: Think fast old man, what are the top 5 milestones in freeskiing from 29 years ago until today?
1. 1987 – The Blizzard of Ahhh’s by Greg Stump
2. 1997 – The Salomon Teneighty
3. 1999 – Degenerates by Poor Boyz
4. 2000ish – Shane McConkey showing that fat skis work for good skiers and that rocker makes powder skiing better
5. 2003 (I Think) – Candide Thovex and CR Johnson taking halfpipe skiing to the next level at the X Games.

We interrupt this interview to reminisce about Blizzard of Aahh’s…

 

3. What’s the worst trend that’s emerged? 
Mike D: Gangster BS

4. Best trend? 
Mike D: Creative storytelling

5. Aside from WB, aka the centre of the universe, where’s your next top 3 shred spots and why? 
1. Mica Heliskiing – I’ve never had anything but an amazing experience there and I’ve been a bunch of times.
2. Portillo, Chile – It’s a ski experience unlike anything else in the world and it doesn’t hurt that the best time to go is the middle of summer. I’ve gone there every year for the past 15 years.
3. Anywhere in Japan – Powder, good healthy food and onsens. It’s the most perfect way to live life.

Flashback to Mica…

6. Who were your biggest influences in skiing?
Mike D: Scot Schmidt, Glen Plake, Mike Hattrup, Edgar Grospiron, Jean-Luc Brassard, John Smart, Lane Barrett, Bruno Bertrand, Shane McConkey, JP Auclair, JF Cusson, Vincent Dorion, Shane Szocs, Seth Morrison, Hugo Harrison (awe jeez… I’ll stop there but this could go on all day)

7. Ski films have come a hell of a long way since your debut. Where the hell are we going to go from here? The likes of Sherpas and Switchback going to take us into another dimension?
Mike D: I think the ski film industry is delivering the best sport content there is right now. There is so much creativity and cool story-telling going on and I don’t see it being delivered at that level from any other sport. Creativity is the only future I see right now.

8. You’ve been at this a hell of a long time. What’s kept you in the game? Wheaties? Closet yoga? Stunt doubles?
Mike D: Hard work, moderation, and a bunch of luck. It doesn’t hurt that my wonderful wife, Susie, is a physiotherapist.

9. On a less happy note, seems like you were really close friends with MANY of the amazing freeskiing stars who’ve left this earth way to prematurely. How does that impact your career and life? You’ve obviously found a positive out of it if you’re still alive, healthy and passionate about the sport. 
Mike D: Ya, it’s been a pretty shitty run over the past 5 -6 years and it definitely makes you stop and think. I’ve curbed my risk a bit since I had kids. There are a lot of things I just won’t do anymore and am not afraid to back out if things don’t feel right. That being said, I’ve still been very lucky. As you get older you realize that moderation is a key. I’m a lot more selective about the days I’m out there. I go for quality rather than quantity now.

10. You crushed it in the freeskiing and film making world. What’s in store for Mike Douglas 3.0?
Mike D: Get fat and watch TV all day! (haha!) No, I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of filmmaking. I still have a very long way to go before I’d truly consider myself good at it, so I’d like to explore that world a little while longer.

Bonus Question: Whistler or Blackcomb? Yes you have to pick one. 

Mike D: Blackcomb, but I ski Whistler more.

Right answer. We can still be friends. Wait, are we friends? I’d better go check on Facebook. 

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