Tanner Hall Invitational: Getting the Run-Down From the Man Himself
This Saturday, style will be the focus at Sierra-at-Tahoe. Eleven-time X Games medalist Tanner Hall will be on hand with a couple dozen of the most stylish freeskiers in the world for the first-ever Tanner Hall Invitational. With the event less than 48 hours away, we decided it was a good time to catch up with Tanner to talk about his first season back from injury and to get some insights on his signature event.
The season is winding down, how’d it feel to be back and healthy and doing what you do?
Well, for the first season back, I felt really good, man. I spent a lot of time in the physical therapy room and put in a shit-ton of hours to get to where I wanted to be, got to where I wanted to be and then got the skis on. F**k, there’s still quite a bit of pain, but not as much as the season I was filming in Retallack (2011), compared to the season where I was filming Education of Style (2012), so it’s just every year they keep getting better and better and this winter has just been one of the best yet so far, so we’re super stoked and just want to keep the ball rolling.
Were you riding the way you wanted to ride?
I had some trouble on a couple things, but on some stuff I was skiing a whole lot better than I thought I would. So it was 50/50, you know what I mean?
How’s it feel to be ending the season with your signature event, the Tanner Hall Invitational?
It’s sick, man. It’s a really good thing. There’s an amazing crew of athletes we’ve got out here. I’m in the elevator with Shoya [Okazaki] and Shimo (Motoki Shimomura) and Simon Ericson, the whole Japanese crew, [Eric] Iberg and everybody else is getting in; we just got word that someone real special is coming in. Yeah man, this contest is going to be one of the best ones yet.
Why’d you decide to create the event?
Just to give a chance for the more stylistic riders to have a chance to come around and showcase their stuff, not only in movies, but at an event where you don’t feel like you have to show up and go triple corks to take home a win. This is just a crew of friends having a nice session and there’s going to be a great prize and just a good incentive to all link as friends and have a good shred sesh. Like I was saying, I haven’t seen these two Japanese dudes, Shoya and Shimo for almost six years, so it’s been really crazy to link up with them.
Tell us about the feature.
It’s like two quarter pipes with a transfer gap in the middle and through the transfer gap is the end run for a big hip jump that we’re going to have that you can take all the way as a table or land on both sides. And we might get funky and throw a couple rail features in, but as of right now it’s two quarter pipes and a big hip jump and it’s looking really good right now. It’s shaping up nicely. We’ve still got a lot of work, but it’ll probably get done on Friday morning. We’ll have a session on Friday and all day Saturday should be just f**king insane.
And the crew?
The crew is more like the crew that focuses on stylistic skiing. Really focuses on making it look as effortless as possible and not just going out and chucking as hard as they can. It’s not really chucking for dollars here. We’ve got guys like Candide Thovex, myself, Mike Hornbeck, Ahmet Dadali, Simon Ericson, Torin Yater-Wallace, Sammy Carlson, I mean, we’re bringing out the cats that have really throughout the years of skiing made skiing look so cool to the general public where it just attracts a whole lot of people. With Phil [Casabon] and Henrik [Harlaut] and B-Paul (Paul Bergeron), everybody coming through, this is not your normal crew of riders and that was the point of it, we really wanted to put the Tanner Hall Invitational up on a platform where it’s like no other contest, especially with Candide coming out. There’s not too many park contests that he’s done lately. So it’s pretty cool to have him come out. It’s just going to be a beautiful thing.
Not to look past your event, but what are your plans for the offseason?
You know, just skiing. I’m not really going to have a break. Right after my event I go out to Sweden to the Jon Olsson Invitational and I’m going to hang out and hit the jump and try to get some shots on his jump, and then I come right back to Tahoe and then I’m just going to be skiing and going to the gym until Woodward closes and they don’t have any more snow, and then ski Mammoth until that closes and then go out to D-Splash in Quebec and hit some water ramps and then go to the World Cup in New Zealand or South America or wherever it’s going to be.
You can watch the Tanner Hall Invitational live on Saturday, March 30th on www.tannerhall.com.