Joss Christensen was forced to hit the reset button this past season and wait patiently while his body worked its way back to full health. From a chipped knee to a broken collarbone and a broken hand that required surgery to add a plate, Joss' body experienced a real beating.
Between X Games Aspen and Oslo, Joss found himself riddled with injuries by the end of February and calling an early finish to last season, but that didn't mean he was going to be bored.
Over the past nine months, Joss hosted an eight-man head-to-head competition on the other side of the globe, launched an app with friends and family, plus he purchased a Park City paradise in the form of a backcountry cabin. Joss has been as busy as ever over the offseason, while letting his body recoup with the downtime it desperately deserved. Between trips to the cabin, Joss stopped to chat with me.
"IT WAS A ROUGH SEASON FOR ME, SO I NEEDED TO PRESS THE RESET BUTTON AND TRY TO GET MY HEAD ON STRAIGHT."
What injuries have you been working through over this past year?
In the end of January, at X Games [Aspen] I had a funky fall during the final on the last jump. I landed the full run, until on the last jump when my ski popped off. I ended up getting some pretty bad bruising in my left knee and doing a little bit of cartilage damage from that, but it wasn't too bad at the time so I kept skiing. Then, in the end of February, at the Oslo X Games, I separated my collarbone pretty bad in practice for Big Air—that was when my season came to a halt.
I started to let that heal. I didn't need surgery for the collarbone, but I needed to take some time off because I couldn't really move my arm too well. As time went on, my knee wasn't getting better and it started feeling pretty bad, too. So, at the end of April, I ended up getting a little bit of repair and scope on my left knee, and doing stem-cell work to get the cartilage fixed. I chipped off quite a bit more off than we thought, and it wasn't feeling too good. I couldn't really walk down stairs.
I broke my hand last year, as well, at X Games, so I had to get a plate put in. It was a rough season for me, so I needed to press the reset button and try to get my head on straight.
What else have you been up to? Were you relaxing in Fiji?
I went to Australia to try and ski a little but mostly to put on SLVSH, which is a tournament that a friend and I have been doing for about a year now. It's through our website SLVSH.com. That was my main reason to go to Australia, and to get back on snow but my knee wasn't feeling too good and the weather was bad—so we did a spontaneous trip to Fiji, which was pretty sweet. It was nice vacation during a vacation.
Can you describe what SLVSH is, and recap the SLVSH Cup?
SLVSH is something a friend and I started exactly two years ago. We p†retty much took the concept of HORSE or SKATE—a head-to-head, single trick match-up—and turned it into a weekly competition. We release one match every week, that we film anywhere from during contests to in a backyard park and that's our weekly content.
We've also done three tournaments now. Two eight-man tournaments, and one 16-man. With a head-to-head bracket style, we try to get a good prize purse even though we're new, so it's hard for us to lock in sponsors. It's been going pretty well, though. We are also trying to use our site to post and host some of the best ski content of our friends along side the content that we provide, as well.
This fall we were in Australia and put on an eight-man tournament in Perisher, and it went really well. The last two cups we haven't had the best weather for our final day, but this year I don't think it could have gone better. We're stoked on how things are moving forward, and how well we are received on the internet.
I've also noticed something called SLAP, which you're a part of.
That's an app that we came out with for SLVSH. This app was developed by my brother (Charlie), myself, and Matt Walker—my other partner at SLVSH.com. We saw how Instagram and Facebook have turned into some of the main places people upload ski content, but because you have to pay to promote your stuff nowadays they're really restricting your reach. If you're a younger kid who doesn't have a big following it's really hard to get seen. Our whole idea was to try and help kids out who are really good and don't have the opportunity to be seen get noticed, and also give them an opportunity to qualify into our SLVSH Cups through the app.
On the app you upload one trick at a time, then you tag it exactly how the trick is, and then you can put it on a feed for that trick. People can search whatever trick they want. The goal is to have a complete bag of tricks. You upload as many tricks as you can to the app, in an effort to be the most complete skier.
Another goal we have with the app is to try to further educate people on what skiing is. People will watch competitions and they won't know how crazy triple [corks] really are, or why that trick won. If you go on the app you can slowly watch tricks from 180s all the way up to triple corks. Hopefully you can either teach yourself how to do them, or simply teach yourself about them.
What's Up With The Hot Toddy Cabin?
It's a cabin in Park City, not too far out of town. I have some land up in the neighborhood and about a year and a half ago I noticed that this cabin was for sale. I made an offer and the owners were stoked to sell it to me. It took me about six and a half months to get a loan figured out since it's seasonal access—which is what's really appealing to me, that you can only get there in the winter by snowmobile.
There's no running water, as well. So, that didn't help. But my loan went through last December, mid-winter, so at that point I didn't have any time to make the cabin mine or do any work on it so we just enjoyed it last year. Henrik Harlaut and Phil Casabon stayed there for about two weeks while filming for a video they just released, which is pretty cool. I spent a lot of time relaxing there last winter, but this summer I've been putting in some work to try and make it a little better and upgrade it a bit. I've also run into quite a few problems with structural issues and a lot of mice, which has been annoying to deal with, but I'm hoping to be living in there full-time probably by next summer.
Right now, I'm still living in town in Park City, but I go up with my dogs to the cabin everyday. It's right in the middle of Guardsman [Pass], so it's a really good backcountry area. There's a lot of good jump spots to build, plus there are some good lines to go skin up and ski down. It's a winter's paradise for us.
(Dew Tour Breckenridge 2016: Welcome Joss Christensen)
Rad dude, it sounds like you scored! Do you have any events scheduled before this year's Dew Tour?
Nope, Dew Tour is going to be my first event since X-Games Oslo last year. I'm excited for the new formats, and I'm getting ready for them.
Watch Joss Christensen in both the Dew Tour Pro Competition two-part Slopestyle and the new Team Challenge, December 8–11 in Breckenridge, Colorado.