One of the few who can podium in Halfpipe and Slopestyle, Jossi Wells was the overall 2010 AFP champ, after finishing first in Superpipe and fifth in Slopestyle. A broken left ankle in May 2010 slowed Jossi, and he had surgery at the end of September when it failed to heal properly – though not before finishing second at the New Zealand Freeski Open in August. At the 2011 Dew Tour Slopestyle at Snowbasin, Wells took 2nd.
Though based in Frisco, CO, the Wells skiing clan (four brothers total) remains largely popular back in their native New Zealand. Three of them took home titles at the Central Otago Sports Awards in Wanaka. Jossi was named Sportsperson of the Year, New Zealand Freeskier of the Year and Athlete of the Year, while brother Byron won the Junior Sportsman of the Year, and their father, Bruce, won the Coach of the Year award.
Q & A
Where will you ski this year? What are your plans for the season?
I will be starting the season off in Colorado. Living in Frisco and skiing Break, Copper & Keystone.
Coolest place skiing has taken you?
Berlin! I got to go there a month back for a big air event. That city is so rad, coolest city I've been to for sure. Tokyo was a close second. So many people!
Do TV shows count? If so, Entourage and Gossip Girl.
Normally mystery books.
What meal is unique to New Zealand?
Meat Pies! You're all missing out!
How did you start skiing? How do you think you got so good?
I started skiing at age 2. Both my parents worked at Cardrona (My local ski area). I guess I have just had a lot of practice at it.
What is the best advice you've heard?
"Somebody has to be the best. Why can't it be you?" -Bruce Wells. (My father
What is the best advice you've heard on improving your skiing?
I couldn't pin it on one particular time. But riding with my best friends and brothers helps my skiing improve a lot.
Who are your heroes/influences and why?
My influences are Jon Olsson, For his perfection. TJ Schiller for his style. Simon Dumont for his mindset towards competition. I would like my skiing to have a bit of all three in there, along with my own personal touch of course.
What is one trait that you have that is truly Kiwi?
I guess just the way I talk. When I come to the states I have to alter my speech a little sometimes so everyone can understand me. Kiwi's are also known as the under-dog. We are from a tiny country at the bottom of the world. So we love to go out and show the world what we've got!
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced?
Injury. It is a huge factor in our sport and one that can hold you back a lot. I have a knee problem and it is a constant battle for me. Learning how far I can push myself and when I need to chill on them has been a big learning curve for me. I'm always just Go, Go, Go! So I've had to learn to take it easy and save my knees for the times that I really need them to preform well.
What are you working on?
Being individual. The cool thing about skiing is you can do what you want and however you want to do it. I'm just trying to be original with my skiing and put my own twist on tricks. That is kind of hard while competing because the judges want to see particular tricks to win. It's hard putting your own spin on the tricks when everyone else is doing the same ones.
Did you ever consider pursuing another career or sport?
Not really. I've always been quite a realist and been able to see what is obtainable to me. I've dreamed of becoming a pro skateboarder for a long time. But I see where my talent lies, and I am more than happy with it! I love what I'm doing right now and couldn't be more grateful. I am truly blessed. Maybe someday down the track I will take up vert ramp skating, when my body is too beat up for skiing and street skating.