Interview by Mike Rogge
Hey Jossi, how’s it going?
Wussup!? I’m great man! Back home in Wanaka right now. Enjoying a little break from the shred.
How’d your season go?
My season was amazing. I got to go to such rad places, with the best people and I really enjoyed myself. Plus skiing well it some of the contests helped make it a good time also. Haha.
Many viewed you as a park skier that could ski pipe and then this season you go and win the overall Dew Cup in pipe. What kind of skier do you consider yourself?
Haha, That was a little weird, eh? I guess growing up I always wanted to be able to do everything. I never really rode much pipe, Even to this day, I ride slope a whole lot more. But at the start of the season I was skateboarding at Woodward a lot and learning how to skate bowls. I’ve always skated street so I was learning how to generate speed in the bowls and that really helped my pipe riding. It’s quite similar. I still like to consider myself as an all around skier. I want to be that skier that no matter what discipline I’m doing, I can still entertain people at the highest level.
With the recent announcement of FIS’s approval of halfpipe skiing in the 2014 Olympics, it’s now up to IOC committee. If you were giving the pitch to the International Olympic Committee, what would say or do to convince them a ski halfpipe event should be in the Olympics?
Hmmm. I would get them to come to X-Games in Aspen and watch the pipe finals. Let them experience for themselves the atmosphere and the energy that comes from the crowd. People really do love watching pipe. It’s exciting for them, and I think the crowd can feel our excitement as well. It’s like nothing else up there, man. I can’t get enough of it. For me it doesn’t get any better than chucking a bunch of lights down the side of the pipe, 10,000 people around it, and you have the whole pipe to yourself for 2 minutes. Priceless.
I understand you took a midseason solo trip down to Hawaii. How was it?
I did! Colby [West] was meant to come with me but had to pull out a couple days before we left to do some filming. So I went by myself. It was epic! I never get summer so any chance I get to go to the beach is amazing for me. It was good to rest the body for a week as well. I was pretty beat up after the 3 Dew Tour stops and X.
I’ve heard from a couple of people that you’re one the tougher skiers out because you continue to ski and compete well while you’re injured. Are you injured?
I’m always injured. Haha. I just ski so much and I guess there is only so far you can push the human body before it starts to break down. I get two full seasons, back-to-back, with about only a month in between each of them. Right now, I have a broken ankle from skateboarding while I was in Denver after the season. As well as battling with my on going knee problem. It never ends! Haha. But, I’m living a dream and if I have to deal with a broken bone or bad knees here and there, I feel like that’s a pretty small price to pay. I’m truly blessed.
You started a web series with your brother Byron last summer. How did the Winter of Wells webisodes come to fruition? Lots of skiers have web series. What makes W.o.W. different?
Tim Pierce, A local Wanaka dude that I used to swim race with back in the day, got into shooting video and photos, pitched the idea to Atomic a year and a half ago. They loved the idea and we both ran with it. It seems to have blown up. We are getting huge hits online plus we have it on all the Air New Zealand planes’ inflight entertainment. Fuel TV in the states are really stoked on it also and Tim just sent the shows off to them yesterday and they are going to be running it really soon. What makes it different? Hmmm, that’s tough. Tim and I seem to work really well together. He is really talented at what he does and a really creative person so we’re always thinking about something new and trying to show people a side of our sport that they don’t normally see.
View the entire series at www.winterofwells.com
I hear you did some filming with Poor Boyz again this year. Did you just go on the Nike 6.0 trip? What are some trips you’d like to go on in the future?
I filmed as much as I could this year with PBP. With the competition season being so hectic and at the same time battling injuries, it didn’t leave a whole lot of time. But I did get some stuff that I was really stoked on. I did a trip to Austria, shot in Aspen with 6.0, then to Bachelor, and finally up in Whistler. I really really want to go to Alaska one day. My brother Byron got to go this year and just seeing some of the shots he has for there movie makes me want to go so badly! Be sure to check his stuff out in TGR’s movie this year. He murdered it.
Speaking of Nike 6.0, you, along with TJ Schiller and Andreas Haitveitt are on their new outerwear team. What sparked the move to Nike, how are the new threads holding up, and what’s your role in helping a brand as large as Nike get into outerwear and skiing?
I couldn’t be more stoked on the move to Nike. Everyone at Nike is so rad to deal with and you really feel apart of the family. I love the clothing and with the three of us giving input, we’ll be making clothing for the riders. Exactly how we like it and want it to fit. I think you’ll see 6.0 running the game!
You got into photography this year. What drew you into taking photos? Are their any photographers you admire?
I realized that i go to so many amazing places in the world and I never have photo’s from them. I’ve taken quite an interest in the art/fashion world also so I’ve started enjoying trying to take photo’s from my point of view. Nate Abbott is my biggest inspiration for taking photo’s. He helped me pick out my camera and kinda got me started. I also look up to my filmer Tim Pierce, He takes great photo’s also. Nate once told me “Putting a border around a bad photo doesn’t make it a good photo”. I’ve taken that on board and I try not to mess with my photo’s too much in post. Although I have been on a bit of a Black & White phase lately so I’m enjoying changing my photo’s that way.
And finally, it’s well known you’re a Lil Wayne fan. What are your thoughts in his incarceration?
It’s #FreeWeezy ’til they free Weezy. I just can’t wait till he gets out and hopefully he’s had plenty of time to think about what he’s saying and his raps start to make sense again. Haha.
Follow Jossi Wells’ New Zealand accented tweets, twitter.com/jossiwells