Name: Lucas Wachs
Hometown: Bend, Oregon
Home resort: Mount Bachelor
Sponsors: The North Face, Lib Tech, Dragon, Hydroflask, Black Strap
Where you might have seen him before: 4BI9’s All Damn Day, 2013
Lucas Wachs, a born-and-bred Oregonian, grew up skiing Mount Bachelor with two snowboarders who lived down the street. He still skis with them today, and partly credits their influence for his patchwork style of skiing, which pulls movements from skateboarding, mountain biking, and surfing just as much as skiing and snowboarding. While he’s young—20, as old as Poor Boyz Productions— and still figuring out his place among PBP’s seasoned athletes, Poor Boyz Owner and Director Johnny DeCesare lauds Wachs as a true skier and his approach as unorthodoxly creative. Wachs isn’t a total stranger to the PBP crew—he has filmed with PBP videographer Pete Alport for years, ever since the Bachelor natives were introduced and Alport saw how serious Wachs was about his skiing. But this season, he’s been making a real name for himself, starting with title of this year’s unofficial PBP standout rookie.
POWDER: So how’d you hook up with Poor Boyz?
Lucas Wachs: I’ve been filming with Jasper [Newton] for the past two years. We filmed in the beginning of this season at Bachelor, and we didn’t know where the footage was going to go, but we just kept filming. Halfway through the season, Poor Boyz reached out to me… Jasper and I met up with [PBP director] Tyler Hamlet when we were filming at Baker. He said we should keep filming together, gave us the green light.
As the unofficial new guy, did you have to pay any dues or undergo hazing?
I haven’t really had any hazing, but maybe it hasn’t come yet.
Your LinkedIn says you currently hold the position of “Stoked Human Being.” What does that mean and can I put that on my LinkedIn, too?
Wow, I haven’t gone on that LinkedIn in forever. But I remember making that. It’s just about staying stoked. There’s this one thing—I don’t remember who said it, I think it was Craig Kelly: “If you’re not stoked, why are you doing it?” You have to stay passionate about what you do or it’s not worth it.
Where do you look for influence for your skiing?
I’ve been skateboarding for a long time, and that’s a big part of my skiing too. Finding ways to ride a skatepark is a great way to help your skiing. I also get a lot of inspiration from snowboarding and surfing. I like to ride with snowboarders a lot and learn from them, take that into my skiing. I ski with snowboarder Alex Lopez sometimes and he does the best, smoothest-looking turns. I love that: placing the turns and linking them together into a fluid line. How snowboarders and surfers do their turns—I’m just obsessed.
What was your favorite trip of the year?
I went to Silverton, Colorado, last season and it blew my mind. It was so humbling. The mountains around there are huge. I’ve skied Bachelor my whole life, and it’s hard for me to leave.
Any nightmare filming experiences?
I was trying this one trick that I didn’t land for two days straight. [Jasper and I] built two separate jumps. I couldn’t land it; I couldn’t put it down. I basically fell and ate shit for two days straight. That was like the worst experience, not being able to get the trick you really want.
Where do you get the motivation to keep at it on days like that?
It comes from other people. I look up to people like Sammy [Carlson] because he doesn’t stop. Whenever I get tired and I’m starting to think about calling it, or going in early, I think of people like him and Dane [Tudor] and Karl [Fostvedt]. I think of all those guys, and I’m just like, I should stay out, why not?
What’s your go-to feel-good music to ski to?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Grateful Dead recently.
What’s your favorite thing to do for après?
Probably soak in a hot tub and chill out, eat a good meal, get some ice cream. Relax.
You have a favorite ice cream flavor?
Cinnamon Buns from Ben & Jerry’s. It’s so good. Hard to find, but it’s the most insane ice cream.
Do you have a power meal in the morning to get the day going?
I’m real big on bagel sandwiches. If I don’t have any egg, I’ll just do cream cheese and avocado with Sriracha. That’ll keep me going. It’s my go-to. I like to cook but I’m not very good. I’m aspiring to become a better chef.