From the east to the west, if you asked skiers of my generation who their favorite skier was a majority would answer quickly, Dave Crichton. He put together, undeniably, some of the best segments year to year that were extremely well rounded that included pipe, park, and the streets. I spent most of my youth trying to replicate his signature Alley oop Flat 5 Criticals, and zero spin japans, boosting as high as I possibly could out of our 10 foot pipe. He pretty much introduced the 50-50, doing it better than anyone else in the game along with paving the way for a more creative street skiing Presence. His influence has been seen through guys like Liam Downey, and Phil Casabon who, along with many others, hold Crichton as their Favorite skier.
However, sadly, his career was cut short do to a battle with Chrons disease and he had fallen out of the ski world very quickly. His presence, in my eyes, are everlasting and its important to recognize these contributions from skiers like Dave. Remember we have to have strong roots to be a healthy tree. So here’s a new installment, where we can hear, from the skiers themselves, about their skiing careers, the ski industry, and what they are into now. Dave Is kicking it off first, so please, show some respect and give it a serious read, and share this story with all your friends to spread the love!
AD: Yo Dave, as you may well know, you still remain the favorite skier of many. Its hard to forget those alley oop flat 5’s and everything you did in the streets. Out of all the different ski styles and Features (Pipe, QP’s, Jumping, Streets, Park Rails) what did you enjoy doing the most?
DC: Really can't narrow it down to one, you enjoy them all at one point or another, you know. You can hit a qp and hate it then hit a different one and love it. I think my favourite was whenever the features and weather coincided, which was usually in the spring. So gotta go with, I enjoyed any good spring session where the builds were good and the weather was warm and sunny, and there was too many of those to list.
AD: You came out to NY 15 years ago for a small event held at a local mountain near me. On that trip, you stopped by my house and skied our backyard rail set up with us. I remember you dropped a 50 50 on a 33 foot couple inch wide flat bar we had that I’ll never forget haha. You truly shaped a lot of peoples ski careers, mine included. Weird question, but do you realize the impact that you’ve had on the ski world, and do ya have anything to say about it?
DC: I'll never forget that trip either. It was obvious at the time that you and Giray would be blowing up the ski scene in no time, but, it really is cool looking back now, like yep they did. I think i tossed that 50 50 in desperation to try to bring something new to the session because you guys were killing the home court so hard. Not sure what to say with regard to having an impact. At the time I definitely did not feel like I was making a big one; there were lots of big names back then.
AD: What do you believe is a highlight in your ski career?
DC: Not to sound too nostalgic but I got to go with the timing of my ski career. I believe I was very lucky to have been able to have a ski career at a time in skiing when I did. There was an innocence to it all in the beginning. We didn't really know where it was all going other than, it was somewhere fast. New tricks were easy to come by and nothing was very serious. Being a part of that era has to be the highlight.
AD: Do you still pay attention to skiing? if so, can you give us a skier you really enjoy watching?
DC: do still pay attention and enjoy watching anyone with good style and or making up new shit. But to pick one I will really enjoy watching next year, I am going with T Hall and his push to win the freeride world tour.
AD: What exactly was it that took you out of the ski world? Can you tell us a little about the transformation from skiing?
DC: I had been struggling with Crohn's since I was young and needed a break. So figured I'd take some time off skiing to finish school and then go back to skiing in a few years but I never made it back to skiing professionally. Which looking back now is all good. After school I moved to Whistler and just skied the mountain for a season. Then fell in to some coaching gigs and judging. The coaching, when boiled down to pure ski, team dynamic and one-on-one athlete levels, was really rewarding but definitely came with some negatives that didn't exist during my years of competing, before the Olympic shadow was cast over one's contest year.
AD: Your ski segments are infamous. Which one did you enjoy filming the most and are most proud of?
DC: For sure Forward is the one I am most proud of. We came out of the gate hard that year with lots of early season urban. But then I smashed my knee and missed most of the winter. Luckily a productive spring and summer were able to make up for the downtime. In addition to the bruised knee I also had a hernia that I skied with the whole season and luckily it never popped out again because it first popped out in Steamboat and I thought my guts had exploded.
AD: What do you believe attracted you to the idea of filming these ski segments, and was there a certain direction you had in your segments?
DC: It's just what you did. All of the other action sports centred around segments, so back then skiing was no different. There was no instagram or quick edits being dropped. You went out and filmed all year in the hopes of putting together a better segment than the previous year. It's good to see that this is still the case for a lot of skiers nowadays and films are better than ever. My segments definitely followed the early season urban to spring park formula. Being from the east it was just natural to try to push urban because we never really got great jumps until a one off comp or shoot.
AD: Since you are outside of the ski scene, you can basically say whatever you want while reflecting back on the industry. What would be one thing that you think needs to change?
DC: Not to give the Olympics too much thought, but as a general comment on the state of some contests, I was particularly intrigued by the slope course setup at the Olympics in South Korea. It seemed like it had an unnecessary number of rail options. To me, as a sport, we want a variety of features across contests, not a mishmash variety of rails and a few bizarre jumps within one contest (unless it's a jam and truly judged by overall impression). Meaning, we want the courses to change from one contest to the next so that it keeps things fresh and keeps the skiers on their toes. This way you can't just show up and know there's going to be for instance a triple pack of jumps and I will be able to toss my three jumps I have done a millions times. It was good to see some creative features in the rail section but seriously how can you judge that when there's practically an endless number of lines to choose from? Make the skiers get creative on a few options, don't make the course itself be the variety.
AD: Whats your profession now? What do you enjoy to do in your spare time?
DC: I work in construction now and, surprisingly, find it a bit like skiing, where you're always learning something new. Keeps me moving and it rarely gets boring and you can look at it when it's done and feel some satisfaction, like a film segment. In my spare time I do more construction, as anyone in the trade will tell you. But also surf and ski as much as possible. Around Ottawa you could surf everyday if you wanted because we got the river all year and the lakes go pretty good through fall and winter. In the last few years I have taken up ski touring and been really enjoying it. So far mainly been doing it out west, on trips, but looking forward to some weekend warrior missions down to New England and hopefully the Chic-Chocs. Someone should do an urban segment where they ski tour from spot to spot and camp out in the city, could be funny.
AD: Wise words for the kids of today in skiing?
DC: When in doubt point em out.
Check out Crichton's Full video archive Here! https://www.lafamchannel.com/davecrichton