How Pro Skier and Entrepreneur Scot Chrisman Shares His Insights
Scot Chrisman has been skiing since the age of two. At six, he was skiing competitively, and did so for 12 years, until he temporarily hung up his skis, giving up prospects for the US Olympic Ski Team in an attempt to take a break and live a “normal life,” but the mountains kept calling. After two years of coaching ski racing in college, freeride competitions pulled Scot onto the path he’s been skiing along for the past seven years. He’s chased the Freeskiing World Tour around the globe and learned a ton about skiing and the ski community. While traveling, he was filming, meeting great people, and shredding across countless states and international borders. In 2012, when visiting Crested Butte, CO, for a competition, he fell in love with the Valley (here’s a fun piece that spells out a few highlights for skiers). He now lives nestled there in the mountains, continuing his pursuits of skiing and competing and sharing insights with others through the Academy of Skiing.
Q: When and where did you first start skiing?
A: Steamboat at the age of 2, but I spent the majority of my childhood skiing at Eldora
Q: Where’s home base?
A: Only the best: Crested Butte, CO
Q: What is your favorite mountain to ski at?
A: Anywhere there is snow! I chose Crested Butte as home base for a lot of reasons so it’s obviously up there on my list, but there are so many good places! I’ve had the best day of my life at multiple different resorts
Q: How would you describe your ski style?
A: Jack of All Trades, smooth stylish, buttery; with intensity, yet all about having fun!
Q: Who or what has influenced your style?
A: Growing up ski racing definitely has influenced my style in a lot of ways. From there I fell in love with park and people pick up on that. So many skiers have influenced my style, too many to list.
Q: Who’s your favorite skier to watch?
A: Anyone having fun! I love watching Sean Petit, Richard Permin is a stud, there are too many that kill it. Jesper Tjäder, Bobby Brown, The Real Skifi crew, Candide of course.
Q: What will we find in your Gear Closet? What are some of the must-have items for your days on the slopes?
A: My NWT3K outerwear (super sick and fully customizable), IFA Prowear bamboo underlayers, Grass Sticks Bamboo Poles, Dalbello Boots, Marker bindings, last year I was on Fatypus skis,
On any given day I take multiple buffs, a couple lenses, water, snacks, some extra layers
Q: Do you have a dog? If so, does your dog travel as much as you do?
A: I’ve got 2 dogs, 1 named Biggie, 1 named Lebowski, Lebo for short. They haven’t traveled with me much yet but this winter they’ll travel with me a lot more. They are the best though. Life savers.
Q: Care to share about your most epic fail, most memorable ski experience, or both?
A: Oh man, I don’t think I have one “most” memorable ski experience, as each one of the comps I’ve been to are memorable in a different way. Traveling to Chile has been amazing every time I’ve gone…I’ve actually been known to get plane tickets to spend just a week there and I end up staying for a month. Getting to ski with Ian McIntosh and Drew Tabke in the Patagonia’s, to staying in the nicest hotel in Santiago with the Swatch Skier’s Cup guys afterward, to surfing in Pichlemu with Sonja Lercher and experiencing the Chilean Independence Day…that trip was unforgettable.
Q: Which artists are we likely to see on your music playlist while you ski?
A: I listen to a lot of electronic music, it might sound cliche but that wub wub wub music you hear in edits. That’s what plays in my headphones. I’ve been hooked on electronic from a young age and it’s progressed so fast with technology changing for synth creation. I DJ as well so that might have something to do with it. I mainly listen to mixes.
Q: What are some of your other passions besides skiing?
A: Photography, videography, my dogs, the environment, helping people, cooking, learning, reading, DJing, working out, biking, speedflying, and simply loving life.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Helping other people, the miracle of being alive, the environment, overcoming personal boundaries, accomplishing goals…there are so many things inspire me it’s hard to list them all. Becoming a better person everyday is definitely something that inspires me.
Q: As an active and competing athlete, what are your favorite Snowledge app features during the season and while you train in the off-season?
A: Seeing people who are skiing in different hemispheres is the best motivation for me to keep at my off season training that’s for sure. Keeping up with what’s going on in an app that only focuses on skiing is awesome. I don’t get distracted by Facebook or Instagram to check up on what’s going on in the skiing world.
A: I’ve been skiing since I was two and it’s in my blood. I wanted to start something that could help people find more enjoyment for the sport in general. Skiing isn’t for everyone, but I wanted to create a place for people who want to learn more about the sport and how to make it the most fun possible. It’s expensive so might as well make the most of it, right?
Q: Did you always want to be an entrepreneur, or did you find a way to keep skiing as your passion and your professional career?
A: I’d say it’s a mixture of both, from a young age I always was planning out how to make a ton of money on lemonade stands or looking at stocks and telling my parents which ones to buy (which it turned out I was pretty good at, even at a really young age).
Q: What can skiers and riders learn from your Academy of Skiing materials, and what sort of packages do you offer?
A: If you want to learn how to put your boots on properly or if you want to learn how to do a Cork 7, or ski moguls better, or just in general ramp up your skiing game, my coaching packages are the way to go. We’ve got loads of free content on the way, tutorial packages for any level skier, video dissection paired with a Skype call to talk about improving technique, ski days alongside me and more in the works.
Q: Any upcoming releases or updates with your company?
A: The Academy of Skiing podcast is coming out January 1st, and I’ve interviewed Lexi Dupont, Dane Tudor, Angel Collinson, and Michelle Parker so far. It’s shaping up to be an amazing line up!
Q: For those considering starting a company, what are a few things they should consider?
A: Make a plan, find people that are doing what you want to do (not necessarily in your industry but someone you can emulate). Be patient, give it your all, and most of all, PROVIDE VALUE!!! If you provide value, they will come.
Q: What are you most looking forward to next season?
A: Getting back on snow after my injury, spending a lot of time in the park practicing my tricks. Competing in park will be a whole new adventure for me if I choose to pursue it.
Q: What would you say to the current and next generation of passionate freeskiers who want to stay connected to the sport as they transition out of being on the competitive circuit?
A: Social Media is the new currency, whether you like it or not, and the longer you tell yourself the story that it’s evil, the harder it’s going to be to continue living the same lifestyle. Social media is free and an amazing way to make an influence, it doesn’t have to be narcissistic or selfish, it can be completely selfless and philanthropic. Knowing how to use it is to your advantage and how to use it to gain influence is an amazing way to make your dreams a reality after competing (if you’re not getting video deals with film companies).
Q: For those coming up in the sport, what would you say they should keep in mind as they train and get out there more?
A: Be brutally honest with where you are at and relentlessly optimistic on where you can go. Stay fit, keep your mindset right. Always do it for yourself, not cameras, or people, or sponsors. Stay educated, always have fun and don’t fall into the trap of the ski town partier. Life is about so much more than drinking.