Tag Archives: Fischer

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • How I Have Fun Skiing - Neil Williman 2013

     

    So Whiteroom Productions has generously let me use the footage from filming with them last season in combination with shots that I got myself and with friends to release a Best of 2013 edit online! It's really good of them since the movie is still touring and won't be released on the internet until Spring (when it will be free!).

    But here is my take on how much fun I can have on skis with my friends, compressed into 2 minutes something. One of the things I'm most proud of about this edit is that I also competed a lot during that season and qualified for the Freeride World Tour, but none of these shots are from competitions!

    Best viewed in full-screen at at least 480p quality (full screen and quality control buttons are at the bottom right of the video, and full screen must be selected first). I hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed making it.

  • What the Freeride World Tour involves me in

    After leaving Canada (where the 1st FWT stop was postponed until March) I got back to Sweden, bought a car with my girlfriend Tove and drove down to Austria. The car broke down 30km short of our destination of Innsbruck, which is good luck or bad luck depending on how you look at things :)

    Once we got down we got about skiing as much as possible as soon as possible. Luckily we were staying with friends in Götzens who lived at the bottom of one of the only local resorts with good snow- we had some great days at Axamer Lizum. Here are some of our favourite pics.

    Me hiking to the goods, photo by Tove

     

    Like the caption to the right says I'm stoked on this place!

     

    Tove making the most of the backcountry run home in the sunset light, photo by me

     

    After this I went and backflipped this cliff too, check out the video here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=788802437802768&id=559721950710819&_rdr

     

     

     

    We got to go filming in South Tirol (Italy) with Whiteroom Productions for a day too, it was really deep!

     

    South Tirol is a primarily German speaking part of Italy, since it got taken from Austria after WW1. More importantly they get a lot of snow. Here's some of it in my face.

     

    So I was feeling pretty good after all this skiing, strong and confident. Off to Courmayeur, Italy for the first stop of the Freeride World Tour next, since the first FWT stop in Revelstoke was postponed till March.

    Picking up my bib on stage, number 18 out of 50 (skiers and snowboarders) says my name too!

     

    Signing autographs for the surprising amount of public

     

    Myself, Charlie and Ruari (team kiwi) standing in front of the venue after the clouds came in and postponed the competition until Wednesday the 22nd of Jan. Lucky that the bib matches my Surfanic 'Hunter' Jacket :)

     

    Checking out the venue for the competition tomorrow (Weds 22nd Jan). You can watch the live stream on freerideworldtour.com it starts about 9:30am Italian time and I'm dropping bib 18 so probably about 11:00, check it out!

     

    So yep first competition here in Courmayeur, Italy tomorrow and then probably Chamonix, France on Saturday, wish me luck :)

     

     

     

  • Novembruck

    It's been an epic start to the season here in Innsbruck- I haven't skied a November in the Northern Hemisphere before and I didn't know it would be this good. The Austrian glaciers have been treating me really well, and I've been lucky enough to ski better-than-average conditions for this time of year. A big thanks to the Innsbruck crew, especially Fabi, Jochen, Julian and Lukas for giving me a place to stay and a ride to the mountains, as well as the rest of the crew for being so fun to shred with!

    For a start check this out, my FWT buddy Raphi Webhofer filmed me ranting about Komperdell poles and protectors while wearing my new Surfanic Hunter Jacket and Eaton Pant, I put an edit together and they put it on the front page of their website! I think they are the biggest pole company in the world so I'm stoked, check out the comedy edit- it includes unused helmet cam footage from the For a Few Lines More movie as well as super recent footage from the Innsbruck glaciers with me in the new Surfanic gears.

     

    Also check this out, I got another poster from Fischer this year! Thanks for the pic Klaus P, Downdays.eu bossman.

    I'm @neilwilliman on Instagram

     

    Here's another few of my favourite instagram pics that I've got since I've been here, already captioned on the right side:

     

     

     

     

    And check it out I got the cover image of the Planks team edit! Rocking out in my favourite Surfanic gears from last year- blue Blasted jacket and white Prime pants.

    Credit: Mathias Bergmann/Sweetshots, from the Fischer team shoot at Monashee Snowcats, BC

     

    Can you handle more content? This is another video promo that I filmed and edited to help promote the launch of Dr Zipe's new goggle the Headmaster. It's got some of my favourite pow shots from South America, along with my Fischer teamate Niki Salencon. This is the last of my South America content really, but my love affair with that place is going to continue.

     

    I'm here training for another week and then embarking on a trip that will take me Innsbruck-Stockholm-Christchurch-Vancouver-Revelstoke-Vancouver-Stockholm-Innsbruck before 2014 hits. On the way I will attend/organise the NZ Premier of 'For a Few Lines More' (check out the poster below), compete in the Freeride World Tour stop at Revelstoke, achieve frequent flier status and drive a car from Sweden back to Innsbruck with my beautiful girlfriend Tove. Gonna be a good one!

    Be there!
  • Swede swede Argentina

    Well it's been an eventful 100 hours! 3 beautiful cities on 3 different continents, a bus ride the width of Argentina and a beautiful day ski touring in Bariloche. Lots of craze-mazing experiences and a bit of no-comprendo induced stress, summed up as best we can in the photos below- there were a lot of favourites to choose from.

    Somehow I got this 33kg bag onto the plane without paying any overweight, stoked!

     

    Wednesday: Flew from Stockholm to New York. Found out we had a 10 hour stopover and that Manhattan was only a 40 minute train ride away. Took that train to town, turned out it was a beautiful sunny day and rode around on an open top bus listening to a tour guide while eating fresh strawberries. Followed it up with the tastiest and most authentic Mexican food and beer I've ever had, and made it back to the airport in time for a beautiful sunset.

    New york, New York!

     

    Manhattan architecture coming at ya

     

    Tove and I touristing it up on top of a bus

    Thursday: Flew to Buenos Aires. Got a bus into the city center and then walked around looking like confused tourists while carrying extremely heavy ski bags. Eventually found the ginormous inter-city bus terminal and realised that we were probably just about to miss the bus from Buenos Aires (east coast of Argentina) to San Carlos de Bariloche (in the Andes, on the border with Chile), which was our final destination. Got to the bus 10 mins late. The bus was 30 minutes late. Got told (in rapid Spanish) that our bags were too big. Paid 100 peso each ($20 NZD) to get him to put them on the bus, which he put in his pocket in front of us. Lost our tickets for 5 minutes and almost got left behind. Found them, got on the bus, got over our heart attacks and settled in for the ride. Turned out it was a 'first class' bus- seats that reclined to 160 degrees, regular meal and drink service (including some crazy Argentinian wine spirit), movies and on-board toilet. Luxury for two tired travelers!

    Sunrise over the northern end of the Andes

     

    Made it

     

    A colourful contrast to the New York bus ride 15 hours earlier

     

    SO stoked to be on the bus, on our way to Bariloche and on time for dinner

     

    Friday: Woke up in time to savour the rest of the 22 hour bus ride as we rolled up the last of the desert plains to the impending Andes range, which radiated a distinct Mordor-like aura as heavy black stormclouds brooded over them. Got really excited! Arrived at the bus stop, tipped a guy 4 peso (90 NZ cents) for carrying our ski bags (which were now ~40kg each, as we had added our carry-on bags from the plane), and then somehow fitted them in a tiny taxi to town, which cost 30 peso ($6.50 NZD). Our local friend and my Fischer Skis teamate Niki Salencon picked us up in the worst car that I've ever seen to cost €3000 (Argentinian import tax has gone into overdrive to protect their crippled economy and anything not made in the country has become insanely expensive) and took us almost directly to the climbing gym and then a bar, where we met some of his other local friends- who immediately invited us to join them on a back country mission the next day. How could the 1st chapter of this trip get any better?

    The Andes/Mordor approaching
    Off the bus, straight to the climbing wall- great way to meet people. Tove (far right) impressing the locals.

     

    Saturday: First day skiing South America! It reminded me a lot of 'backcountry' skiing in NZ, which meant we drove up an non-maintained 4WD track as far as we could and then hiked for an hour or two with our skis on our bags to get to the snow. Once we got there we were stoked though, toured up through a magical forest to a very wintery ridge system. There had been some recent heavy snow and so the avalanche danger confined us to low angle skiing, but to be sliding on soft white stuff got us so stoked, having just come from northern hemisphere summer! Tired and satisfied we stumbled back to the truck and home for our first southern hemisphere shower, a sleep, and dreams that the month to come on this continent would be as much fun as getting here. Chapter 2 already in the making....

    Truck locked, gate closed, Big Stix on my back- mission on

     

    The crew, left to right- Lucas, James, Tove

     

    Tove meeting some of the local wildlife

     

    Eyes on the lines for next time, when the avalanche danger is lower

     

    Tove, bringing the jogging shoes to the alpine
    My finger, Tove's blinger, good times. Sun to snow via several cities, it's already one to remember.

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