Nat Segal, the 25-year-old Australian who competed on the Freeride World Tour last year and whose season ended early when she tore her ACL in February, was sad. Can’t blame her, injuries are a bummer and it put a sudden end to Segal’s season. So she made an edit from last winter to cheer herself up.
Segal was on a bit of a streak before she got injured. After winning the 2012 World Heli Challenge in New Zealand and placing second at the 2012 New Zealand Freeski Open FWQ, she started competing on the 2013 Freeride World Tour and placed third at Revelstoke, which was her first taste of the big leagues. She was just settling into her stride on the tour when a day in the backcountry outside of Kirkwood put that momentum to an abrupt stop, just days before the FWT comp there.
Now Segal is nursing her knee at home in Melbourne and she is counting down the days before she’s back on snow in the Northern Hemisphere.
POWDER: So, making ski edits are a good way to cheer yourself up?
Segal: Yeah. I have never had a major injury. It’s easy to start questioning yourself. You need to look at photos or video to be like, it’s OK, I can ski.
It’s been about six months since you had surgery. How’s that going?
I recently messaged my friend saying I’m sorry I’ve been so crazy. Since 2009, I’ve been doing back to back seasons. It just becomes your life. Just traveling and friends and skiing and the adrenaline rushes, and then it just stopped. I’ve never had an ACL [injury]. I think it’s going to be a bit tricky getting back on snow.
Pre-injury, how was it for you skiing on the Freeride World Tour?
I just wanted to ski consistently and show everyone how I ski. It was an interesting start. I was still learning the ropes, but it was fun.
Tell us about some of the competition on the women’s side of the FWT.
There are so many strong female skiers out there. I’ve become a little obsessed with Christine Hargin because I love the way she jumps off cliffs and picks beautiful lines and smashes them. But I think every girl on the tour has something that can inspire you. I can rattle about every girl on the tour.
What are some of your takeaways from the forced timeout?
I’ve taken in a lot. It let me reflect on the season and think about things I could change. I needed some time. You need to look after yourself when you have a hectic schedule. When I first started I was so all over the place and had so much fun—blew with the wind. In order to compete and make everything work, you start organizing a lot more. I think I over-organized in the last year or two. Now it’s like I just need to relax and just have fun. Just enjoy it because you could get injured at any time really. Instead of always looking ahead and saying I need to do this for this and plan this for this, when do you actually have time to ski and have fun and enjoy it?