Are Candide Thovex & Nicolas Vuignier the two most important skiers in the world? I think they are.
Who is Candide Thovex? Candide first caught the attention of the world of outdoor and action sports by jumping Chad's Gap, a massive transfer jump of 120 feet (37 m) from take-off to landing over a 40 feet (12 m) deep gully in Alta, Utah. His skills and talent are clearly not in question but I think what makes him one of the most important skiers today are his POV ski videos.
This X Games champion's trilogy of five minute 'Candide's One of Those Days' films take what can be done with a POV angle to literal new heights. Filmed entirely on a head-cam, these videos let us witness his journey around the slopes of Val Blanc in France first-hand. The whole mountain is his playground, with flips, spins and huge jumps where he sails clear over items such as helicopters on the piste below.
What set's Candide apart from everyone else and into a complete league of his own is the quality of the production and the artistic imagination he is able to squeeze into a five minute video. We might ask is some of this footage faked? Sure, maybe, but who cares. Its a heart pounding five minutes of beauty for anyone that skies. Importantly, Candide is empowering the millions of younger skiers who own a wearable camera to be more creative, try new things, creating a new generation of film makers which is great for the community. I'm confident Candide will continue to push the boundaries of whats possible but I'm also sure that we'll see others following his example and making great videos.
Fellow professional skier Nicolas Vuignier isn’t your average Freeskier. The 25 year old Swiss born professional who calls Crans-Montana home has quietly become one of the most respected and iconic riders of his generation. He approaches skiing as a mean of self-expression, where creativity, style, innovation and performance all have an equal value. This is unique in a sport where ripping the biggest line is seen as the gauge for success.
Nicolas is a self-taught graphic designer and video editor. What makes Nicolas one of the two most important skiers today is that he relentlessly perfects his creative skills, finding inspiration beyond the world of skiing and aiming at bringing his work in the realm of art and digital culture. This is rare amongst pro-skiers.
Nicolas offers an entirely new experience not yet created in this category and the reaction has been tremendous. His Centriphone concept is not only going viral with over 3 Million youtube views its also had an immense amount of coverage in tech and non ski press, bringing the sport to a new community.
What makes this extra special is that Nicolas and co have developed Centriphone as an actual open source product thats available for purchase. Talk about diversifying. I can't wait to see what else comes from his mind.
As technology, art and skiing converge even more, the indications that we'll see more innovative techniques coming out soon.