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Ski All Winter, Bike All Summer. The Life of a Freerider.

by Ethan Shaheen October 12, 2022 2 min read

Ben Pelletier at a Lake Louise freeride ski competition - 2022

For those who know me, I have a passion for speeding down mountains either on a set of planks or two wheels depending on the season.

In summer, I try and sneak in a lot of mountain biking outside of my year-round ski training and find a lot of similarities between riding slope on my dirt jumper to flying down tech runs and features on my enduro bike. By practicing both, I think it makes me a better-rounded biker and a better skier. I think downhill mountain biking is a lot like big mountain skiing as you have to look ahead where you are going, line choice is key, and the gnarlier the features the bigger the rush!

This is why the past ski season was an exciting one for me as I was able to take my slope-style, park skiing to big-mountain in the IFSA Junior Freeride. There is actually quite a bit of a crossover between the two, as the competitors are inclusive often doing party laps together, and everyone hypes and pumps each other up especially when it comes to boosting the big cliffs and drops. You also still have to have the same kind of mindset in both events, visualizing the lines before dropping in and having strong legs and arms stacked on landings. The only complaint I would have about big mountain skiing is they don’t allow inversions when under 18. A total bummer.

The new VICE 97's I rode last year were awesome as they not only are in beast mode and indestructible, but also introduced a set of twin tips - now making it a lot more playful so I can take the park to the mountain.

Looking ahead, this year I’m stepping up my park action by competing in national Canada Cup events meaning even bigger tricks such as doubles. It was kind of fun this year at Maximise where I landed a triple and looking forward to a big snow dump so I can maybe take it to snow. I plan to tuck in a few big mountain events riding for Team Paradise, as last year was a bit of a learning year for me getting used to the rules and strategy which is a huge part of scoring with the judges. The good thing is our team still gets freeride practice days at Lake Louiseon Saturdays so I get to strap on the blues and seek out new steep lines.

So make sure to check out my Instagram @bean_boy2.o to catch my latest adventure including bum-dropping 100 footers and making Jerry of the Day. LOL. I guess there will always be trouble to be found in Paradise.

Written by Ben Pelletier 

Ben Pelletier overlooking his line at the Kicking Horse IFSA Juniors Freeride competition. 2022

Ethan Shaheen
Ethan Shaheen

1 Response

Claire Kraatz
Claire Kraatz

March 16, 2023

Hi Ben – have you considered becoming a ‘Climate Athlete’ with the Protect Our Winters crew? You can follow them on social media. #GameOn2030 https://www.protectourwinters.ca/

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