Real Ski Backcountry: Sammy Carlson

Check out Sammy Carlson's entry into Real Ski Backcountry 2015, the all-video, all-backcountry freeski contest brought to you by X Games and ESPN.

Since turning away from traditional competition skiing after hurting his knee at X Games Aspen 2012, Sammy Carlson has put his undivided attention into the filming side of the sport. Whether it be putting together his last two gold medal winning Real Ski Backcountry parts (2013 and 2014), or filming for his collaboration with Nimbus Independent for "On Top of the Hood," and for his current two-year movie project "The Sammy C Project," Carlson has been putting in serious work.

This year's Real Ski edit highlights his ability to flex on big-boy pillow lines, link tricks through technical big mountain zones and boost massive airs. We sat down with Carlson in between him logging hours in the TGR office editing his new movie project and traveling around the world to talk shop. Why are you doing Real Ski again? And how is this year different for you?
Real Ski for me is the perfect platform to showcase my skiing and push my skiing further in the direction I want to head. I'm focused on shredding pow, so this is the perfect reason to step up my riding. It's never about the wins for me, you know? It's different in a way because I'm just trying to one-up myself from last year. I'm not trying to think of it too much as a contest. I'm just out there pushing myself and trying to represent for my fans and for skiing as a whole.

How do you feel about being part of the "World of X" TV show instead of being part of the live X Games event?
It's really cool to make a show out of it, but also being part of X Games at the live event is super cool because there is so much energy around you. I think it's important to showcase this side of the sport on such a mainstream outlet. It's going to be crazy to some people because it definitely looks insane if you're not used to being in the mountains. It's going to help people get to know the riders behind the video and see the lifestyles that we live.

Was filming this season tough with such little snow? Does filming for Real Ski take away from your personal movie project?
It was definitely a lot more challenging last winter, but we just tried to stay busy and keep moving. The whole crew worked so hard and were super committed -- especially Scotty, my filmer. He's always down and loves being out in the mountains. One of the main challenges for me was just finding a good flow and keeping the momentum going. It just adds to it, really. It's important for me to keep focused on the riding every day. When I'm on my skis, I'm always learning and progressing as a skier, so I think it helps everything I'm working on.

Instagram or Snapchat?
Hmmm ... Instagram. (Give Sammy a follow @sammycski.)

Any standout part in your Real Ski edit?
We had a good session this spring back at Mt. Hood, which is always super important to me. It's always good being home. Also definitely had some really good pillow lines. We had a couple sessions there that were just really turned on, completely out of nowhere, and ended up getting some really banger shots.

I'm just stoked and grateful to have gotten the shots we got and hope everyone else is psyched on them 'cause we definitely worked hard to get them.

Which superhero do you most relate to while skiing?
Lil Weezy.

You've transitioned away from traditional competition into backcountry skiing. Are you still getting the same satisfaction and enjoyment out of skiing?
I'm really happy with the transition. I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm finding a lot more time to focus on what I want to and enjoying other areas of life, too. I'm psyched to be surfing a lot. I think it helps keep skiing fresh for me.

Nothing against skiers that are doing the contest thing, I think it's great. It was a super cool part of my life and I'm really psyched on those memories. For me it was time to move on, and I'm really looking forward to the future. This definitely isn't the end.

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