A Game Called S.L.V.S.H.

Joss Christensen and Matt Walker reinvent park skiing competitions

Here are the rules for SLVSH, adapted from the popular basketball game, H.O.R.S.E.

1. Decide who goes first by Rock, Papers, Scissors

2. Skier 1 calls out a trick

3. If Skier 1 makes the trick, Skier 2 has to try the same trick. If Skier 2 makes the trick, Skier 1 calls out new trick and the game continues.

4. If Skier 2 misses the trick, Skier 2 gets a letter. In this instance, “S.” The first skier to spell out the word SLVSH (slush, spelled all A$AP Rocky cool-like with a “v” instead of a “u”) by missing five tricks loses.

5. If Skier 1 calls out a trick and misses, then Skier 2 becomes the leader, and calls out a trick.

Simple, right? Watch SLVSH, a new online head-to-head game created by professional skier Matt Walker and Olympic Gold Medalist Joss Christensen, and you’ll figure it out quickly.

The two are stockpiling the matchups, releasing them every Tuesday, exclusively on SLVSH.com. The matchups range from technical (see: Will Wesson vs. Khai Krepela) to strange (Max Hill vs. Rob Heule) to downright awesome (Johan Berg vs. Aleks Aurdal). As the games go on, skiers will get averages and ranks based on wins, losses, and tricks stomped.

We called up Walker and Christensen to get the scoop on their new series.

How did this idea come to fruition?
Joss Christensen: Walker, take it away.

Matt Walker: I was with the Stept crew when their head-to-head tournament started. I played in the first game. As I watched it unfold, it became pretty clear that after the first round it would be hard for them to finish the tournament, because the people who had moved on had completely different schedules than the crew who was producing the tournament.

Christensen: In our eyes, having a video released every week is exciting. It’s Tuesday, there’s a new game of SLVSH today. It breaks up your week in a better way. It’ll be funny, good content showing the fun side of skiing.

Walker: Slopestyle skiing is sick. There is a massive market for it. People want to see who has the new triple, who is the first person to do the quad. At some point there will be a ceiling that has to be reached on how much physically a skier can flip and twist. It’ll get boring.

You don’t need judges to tell you how hard a trick is. How hard a trick is for me is not the same as how hard a trick is for Joss. If I set a trick and Joss can’t do it, then it’s kind of a hard trick. If I set a trick and Joss can do it, then it’s not that hard of a trick. It doesn’t matter if it’s a triple cork or a 360. If it’s hard and someone else can’t do it, then it’s hard. It’s more black and white.

Christensen: A year ago I was talking to Walker about making a new ski website. I wanted a place to go watch videos that didn’t have any forums or comments. Walker hit me up this spring with this idea and I was instantly in.

Are you guys stockpiling these episodes?
Christensen: We’re making these whenever we can.

Walker: We have 12 stockpiled so far. We’ve released four.

How’s it going to work? Can anyone join? Do you have a list of skiers you want in the game?
Christensen: It’s based around wherever we are in the world and wherever our friends are. Sometimes we’re with athletes who never plan to be together at the same mountain. The skill level doesn’t matter. It’s how much fun they’re having and how creative they can be.

Walker: As of right now, the plan is to start filming more games as soon as there is a good enough park to film in. We want to get games every week. The idea is to release a game every Tuesday throughout the year. Hopefully we can get 52.

Will you crown a champion for the year? How do the rankings work?
Christensen: We haven’t thought about a champion of the year.

Walker: We’re going to have a lot of people playing a lot of games. For this first year, we want to get stats going. Further down the road, whether it’s next spring, next summer, or next year, you could possibly take two people who have good records or rankings and arrange a title battle or something.

Who would win in a matchup between the two of you?
Christensen: That would be interesting. We should try it. We need good guys to film it.

Walker: We need to get a founders game going.