Neil Williman

  • Here☻eye yam

    What drives us to be skiers?

    To continually risk our health, for what reward?

    If you think it's money you're looking at the wrong sport.

    Powder days, new tricks, podiums, big lines and new spots, that's what keeps us going.

    We crash on couches, borrow money, stay in airports and return favours.

    And we often think we're the first generation to live this until we learn our freeski history.

    So, what do you look forward to?

    Sights like this help

     

    Or powder turns with the friends

     

    Finding places like this is key too

     

    And getting turns like this

     

    Seeing this out the window sooths my soul

     

    Especially when I know it means this is coming up

     

    Working for it makes you appreciate it more

     

    And enjoy the places you end up

     

    I guess home is where the heart is, or the snow

     

    But really, at the end of the day, sharing the love, with the crew. I guess you don't have to know someone so well to be friends with them if you ski together.
    All the good photos in this blog are by Tove Kockum, the rest are by me 
  • Neil's back to the Bruck!

    I recently got back to Innsbruck for the season and it's been a cool welcome, just the way I like it! I'll like the images do the talking, check them out below

    We had to fit 2 bikes, 2 ski bags and 2 other bags into a train, then a plane, then a bus but it turned out that fitting them and us into Lukas' car for the last 2km was the toughest part

     

    Good to be rolling around Innsbruck again. Photo by Pete Oswald

     

    And back on the mountains!

     

    Lucky to know locals like Lukas and their secret spots, he's even breaking the trail out for us. Photo by Pete Oswald

     

    Storm riding at Stubai glacier with the Whiteroom Productions crew!

     

    Body shot in the new suit once the weather cleared up

     

    Drop, grab and selfie, showing off the new threads. Stoked on the new gears, taking the Eagle Surftex jacket on a test flight

     

    Much more to come, this is only from the first few days skiing! We'll start filming for the El Flamingo webisodes and the next Whiteroom Production movie soon so stay tuned for updates of radness.

  • Trial and Eroor, our new ski movie and how you can get it!

    So stoked that our full movie just dropped, get it here, just click on the link below!

    Click meeeeeeeeee
  • Summer, time.

    Hey you,

    Yes you, Mr and Mrs reader, hey!

    Wondering how a skier passes a summer in London? This is how...

    Play chess against a chess master in a boxing ring with disco lights, (click pic for video)

    Well they say you never know what's going to happen in a weekend in London

     

    Go to ski movie premiers with other pros that are in town

     

    Bike 200km a week, on a 5 speed roadbike from 1965, until you finally admit that you're going to have to invest in something a little more modern.

    Fischer drink bottle too

     

    Go to the indoor ski dome to jib

    Jibbing with the kids

     

    Sail from Portsmouth to Le Havre (France) with a crew of Swedish girls

     

    Go to tower bridge, a festival and a football game

    Wave to the Mexican!

     

    And get stoked for the release of Whiteroom Productions new movie, featuring yours truly and premiering in Innsbruck on October 22nd, check out the trailer that has already clocked up over 40,000 hits on the tube

     

  • What filming for a ski movie is like

    When I watched ski movies growing up I always thought that it was some kind of magic. I thought that the guys and girls featured in them got magically transported to the sunniest spots with the best snow, a really talented filmer/editor and then stomped everything first time without fear or hesitance. Turns out it's not like that, a lot of luck and hard work have to come together to turn all the effort of getting there and timing it right into a usable shot. Only one thing needs to go wrong with the skiing, filming, snow conditions, timing, weather or light for the shot to be demoted to B roll status, where hopefully something about it will be funny and then it can roll with the credits. I know that this is a bit of a typical rant and I will end it with the sterotypical 'but getting the shot makes it all worthwhile' line, but I guess I'm writing it for people that ever wondered what actually goes on behind the scenes of ski movies, 'cause it can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. So let me tell you a story about the last film trip of the year that I went on, to film for Whiteroom Productions next movie with Raphi Webhofer and filmer Jonas Abenstein.

    Myself and Jonas watching the sunset from the top of the camper, photo by Raphi, check out his athlete page- Raphael Webhofer on facebook

     

    So we were meant to be flying to Norway for a week of touring and a bit of heli time, but just before we were meant to go the weather forecast told us that it was going to be snowing for pretty much every day that we would be there. So last minute we grabbed the Whiteroom Productions camper van and headed over the border to St Moritz and the Engadin Valley. Raphi and I had already been there on separate trips during the season, but since they had had the biggest total snowfall in over 50 years and had mainly sun in the forecast for the next week it was an opportunity not to poke a ski stick at. The photo above is of us checking out the sunset on the first night after scoping some lines, glad that we had made the difficult call not to chase the expensive dragon to Norway. The photo below is the line that we had found and decided to ski together- an exposed shelf finishing in a compulsory air, that turned out to be bigger than it had looked through our binoculars, and with a rockier take-off and landing.

    The intimidating but enticing line down the central shelf

     

    What it looked like from the top in the sunset

     

    Looking back at Raphi to tell him I think it's on

     

    Tight turns in the steep sluff

     

    The long, rocky air out. With a bit of roll in and an ollie I made this, just, but Raphi got unlucky and clipped a rock on landing, tumbled and lost a pole (permanently). It was quite a contrast to the smaller lines we had been skiing earlier that day where I had been kooking it and he had been stomping stylish tricks

     

    I've seen Raphi more stoked than at this moment, the variable snow above the exposure led him to say it was one of the stupidest things he had ever done

     

    So where to from here? I wanted to ski more faces because I'm not as good at tricks as Raphi and he had been getting better shots than me. We met up with local friend Lukas Swieykowski to check out some new zones and I found a line that I have to ski one day, full on life goal. The light had run out by the time I saw it, but it will still be there next year.

    Dream line from the top left shoulder to the central compulsory air, watch out for it next year

     

    Lukas put us up for a couple of days while he was showing us around, thanks buddy! We found this zone with him too, and salivated, all picking different lines off the bat.

    Lukas' line on the right, mine in the middle and Raphi's on the left. The star is where the variable snow caught his edge and the dotted lines are where he tumbled to where he stopped at the circle, and had to cling to a rock for half an hour with a broken hip till the heli could pluck him.

     

    The rescue heli plucking Raphi off the face, you can see him dangling below it in the rotor wash, heavy day.

     

    Thanks Spiderman

     

    After a short heli trip for Raphi and a long drive in the camper for Jonas and I we got to gape at this in the Swiss hospital, check out what's going on with his hip bone in the top left of the x-ray

     

    This is Raphi looking over the other side from the peak before he dropped in, with good times in the minds eye. We didn't know he would be taking a heli home, how could we? I was thinking about that the other day when I posted this pic on the instabook- check it out on @neilwilliman or FB/Neil Williman Skiing Human, and I got a bit carried away with the caption, trying to capture the ups and downs of filming, what we give for skiing, what it gives back and what it takes away. I guess it was a big part of why I took a summer off, instead of going home to NZ for winter, a bit more time to pull my thoughts back to goals and stoke. And write this to try and explain why this photo means what to me. Below is the original captionessay, maybe it will mean a bit more now if you've read this through or at least glanced at the images.

     

    My good ski buddy @raphaelwebhofer on top of a peak we toured near St Moritz in April, and on a better day this caption would've read something cheesy like 'the days we ski for'. We'd been living in a camper for a week looking for lines to film for #whiteroomproductions before finally finding this zone, but the variable snow sent Raphi to hospital with a broken hip after a scary fall. Shaken after helping the medics load him pale but smiling into the heli I was left contemplating what rewards we were looking for in return for these risks, and how I'll feel next time I stand on top of a serious line. Midsummer has been and gone since then without a conclusion reached, other than that the goddess of snow can be a feisty and unreasonable mistress, and it is something in that renders me helpless- unable not to heed her call when she beckons.

  • Introducing the new NZ Surfanic skier Ollie Hunt!

    Missing the club fields right now, and this was soul smoothing stuff to watch. I'm always trying to explain how hard the NZ kids shred whether it's hard pack or Ja-pow, but right now I'm gonna let Ollie Hunts season do the talking. I used to coach this kid, now I'm proud to call him my Surfanic clothing teamate, recognize the jacket?

    That landing isn't that soft
  • Ski modello

    So I got to shoot some pics of my favourite Surfanic Hunter Jacket with pro photographer Alex Schmidt just before I left Innsbruck last month, here's the results. Check out AlexSchmidt.de for more
    Ski jacket in a city
    Felt a bit more at home with a jacket on here

     

    Hard to keep a straight face

     

     

    Arty one to finish it off
  • Published as

    Here are a couple of magazine articles that got published recently, I got an interview in the Chill magazine about my season on the FWT, with photos by Tom Platts, Mickey Troja and Martin Erd, as well as an article that Tove Kockum and I wrote about our trip to South America last season, it'll be getting published online soon too! Grab a copy of the magazines of a ski selling shelf near you to check them out in full.

     

    An interview with me in the Chill magazine (NZ)
    An interview with me in the Chill magazine

     

    The article in NZSkier magazine about the trip Tove Kockum and I took to South America, coming out online soon to a website near you
    The article in NZSkier magazine about the trip Tove Kockum and I took to South America, coming out online soon to a website near you.
  • Fischer Team Edit!

    So the Fischer team video dropped! Of course you should watch the whole thing but my section starts at about 13:30, you'll see the Surfanic stickers on the front of my helmet at the start as well as the outerwear the whole time. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it! Not that I did the editing, big ups Sean Balmer from Downdays.eu

    Dropping a cliff at Weissee Gletscher on the Fischer team shoot. This is a framegrab from Sean Balmers camera but you can find Klaus Polzer's published photo in several German and Austrian magazines as well as the local resort's media, stoked!

     

  • A few pictures instead of a few thousand words

    I wanted to sum up the last couple of months succinctly, and looking through the photos I was planning to put in here I realised that they tell the story pretty well themselves....

    Back to Chamonix! My first European ski home

     

    The Chamonix competition venue. I skied fall line from the start point even though I had a bruised ankle bone and the flu, still managed to come 10th!

     

    Film trip to east Tirol, lot of snow there!

     

    Dropping in at the competition in Axamer Lizum

     

    Flipping my last air in the Axamer Lizum competition, this photo was all over the German and Austrian media!

     

    Was great to win the competition at Axams since it's my adopted home resort here in Austria, thanks Pete and Tom for bringing the NZ flag!

     

    The next comp was also local, on the same venue as the FWT was, but I managed to backflip one of the biggest cliffs this time!

     

    Really happy to land this one

     

    I came 2nd and won best trick

     

    On top a my line on the film trip to Switzerland

     

    Skiing my line, I skied fall line from here onto the shelf with the compulsory air into the opening fan, photo by Mickey Troja/Whiteroom Productions

     

    Back to Austria for another comp, but the snow was melting fast so we had to get creative

     

    I had a good time skiing that line

     

    Back to Switzerland for filming this mouth watering face

     

    Unfortunately this is how it finished though, my friend Raphy broke the crest of his pelvis in a fall and had to get helicoptered out. Thanks to our local friend Lukas for all his help!

     

    Since then we've been enjoying spring park jibbing in the sun :)

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