Disclaimer: This list is biased. In no way can one person be the single authority on all things ski video related. It is a genre which will forever be debated until the end of time… or until global warming makes skiing become nothing but a memory. Hopefully that will never happen, and even if it does, people will probably still argue about which ski movie runs supreme. So please leave your snobby opinion at home, critics… this is just one man’s opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, and enjoy the movies if you haven’t seen them already.
Blizzard of Ahhs (1988)-
This isn’t an ordered, countdown style list, but I probably should have saved the best for last. As it is, this was the first movie to come to mind, and it does not disappoint in all around epicness. It was the first big-mountain movie, designed by those on the cutting edge of the big mountain scene. It’s as core as it gets, or at least for the 80’s…
Ski Country (1984) -
This is classic Warren Miller cheese. But something about it just makes you feel good inside. Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the style, but likely it’s the whole mid-80’s package. Part documentary, part snow porn, Warren Miller always found the lighter side of skiing through his poignant, yet slightly hokey commentary. But if you grew up watching ski movies, I know you had a few random Warren Miller copies. I chose “Ski Country” purely for nostalgic reasons. Old diehards WM fans might want to start an argument with me and debate the idiosyncrasies of each of the 62 movies put out by the Warren Miller empire. For those people, please spend less time being a nerd and more time getting rad in the snow.
Hot Dog (1984) —
This was Hollywood’s effort on capitalizing on the youth ski culture. And by most accounts, it succeeded. Hot girls, fun ski scenes, and a helluva party make it a great movie to watch with a few ski buddies while enjoying an apres-ski gluhwein.
This is the first movie that Matchstick Productions made with a title other than “Ski Movie”, so that creative endeavour in itself gets a nod. But the fact that this video is crammed with so much incredible talent makes it one to not miss. Two of the athletes are no longer with us — Shane McConkey and CR Johnson.
Tangerine Dream (2005) -
This movie is another one that is a bit nostalgic — One that was a real inspiration. One that I felt I had arrived as a skier, when instead of feeling intimidated by the lines in the movie, I became armchair quarterback and started to criticise the lines thinking “he should’ve gone left there” or “why did he slow down?”. Perhaps it’s a sign of arrogance. Either way, this movie is pretty darn kick-ass.
I don’t want to bore you with words here. If you just watched that intro segment and don’t want to see this visual bonanza, then I won’t be able to convince you.
Few Words (2012)-
This is the only one on the list that is new this year. Candide Thoveaux has been an inspiration to an entire generation of freeskiers. Not only is he talented but he’s just a good poster boy for the sport. And obviously Quicksilver agrees.