You might not think there’s a big industry for ski films, but go to any apres ski bar in the Alps and you’ll stumble across some ski video featuring skiers tumbling down a mountain, or landing tricks so extreme you genuinely worry for their safety.
It’s a big business, and there are some incredible ski movies out there, from real life stories to comedy contests to the classic check-out-that-trick film. Here are our top 7 ski films of the last decade:
CLAIM – Shane McConkey’s last ski film
This isn’t Shane McConkey’s only appearance on this list; McConkey famously revolutionised freeriding, and pioneered base-jumping. Claim was playfully marketed as the best ski film of all time, and it did a pretty good job of living up to the tag line. It’s all high octane freestyle and freeriding scenes, intercut with footage from McConkey’s crew of ski pros.
Afterglow – Phillips advert gone so, so right
Ever fancied suiting up in LEDs and stepping out for a spot of night skiing? Well Phillips decided to advertise their new Ambilight TV last year by doing just that. If you’re really into seeing the mechanics behind the skiing, this won’t really float your boat, but it looks absolutely breath-taking.
The Crash Reel – Award winning documentary charting the infamous Kevin Pearce accident
Kevin Pearce was one of the best trick riders in the world before he crashed in training and got a brain injury that he’ll never fully recover from. This film charts the before and the after, as well as Pearce’s rivalry and friendship with Shaun White. It’s well worth a watch even if you don’t know who Shaun White is, let alone Kevin Pearce.
Passenger – Legs of Steel’s latest in a succession of six major ski movies
This one was started by an Englishman, which I have to admit does fill me with more pride than I’m really comfortable with. It’s another video of riders pushing the limits, and there are some genuinely spectacular segments in it that are guaranteed to draw your gawping gaze during après ski.
All.i.Can – Skiing for the Environment
This film took two years to make (admittedly not quite the three and a half that Crash Reel took, but still pretty extreme) and it’s the sort of film that leaves you feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Sure ski films usually pump you up a bit, but All.i.Can has long since been singled out as one of the best ski films of all time by so many people that it’s really quite hard to argue.
McConkey – a Funny and Moving tribute to Shane McConkey
How could we not include this? It’s like making a list of motor racing films and not including Ayrton Senna. McConkey was the sort of extreme skiing pioneer who would take a pair of waterskis up the hill and try them out on the backcountry. He made up silly games (like GNAR), and generally was the unchallenged coolest man on the mountain.
Lindsay Vonn: The Climb – A unique insight into the life of a World Cup Alpine skier.
Lindsay Vonn is one of the most successful ski racers of all time, and it’s incredibly rare that we recreational skiers have the opportunity to see what it takes to be the best. This is one those documentaries that lets us see the psychological and scientific challenges that go into being one of the best in the world.