This story appeared in the December (42.4) issue of POWDER.
Add a touch of Reed Speedman to any ski town and you never know what you’re going to get. The only guarantee is that it will probably be funny. Over the last two years, Speedman has emerged as skiing’s Internet comedian, lampooning the serious ski world in his viral YouTube video called “Shit Skiers Say.” Before tasting the limelight, Speedman, whose real name is Reed Holm, grew up competing against T.J. Schiller and Josh Bibby, but nowadays is the head coach at Whistler’s Camp of Champions and an integral part of the sport’s push into the entertainment realm. His goofy antics have been featured in ad campaigns with Whistler Blackcomb and Teva’s Lifty Collection, and he is currently working on a web series with big mountain maestro Sean Pettit. In a hardcore scene focused on bigger, faster, farther, Speedman challenges the boundaries of the sport in his own way—with a laugh.
KADE: When was Reed Speedman born?
REED: I was having day drinks with Josh Bibby at Earl’s in Whistler and he addressed it as my fake business title. We thought it was the most ridiculous name we could think of, and now it’s four years later and I’ve gotten like five checks to “Reed Speedman” that I can’t cash. The UPS guy doesn’t believe me, either.
How did you get into the industry side of things?
I got into announcing with the Voleurz guys and then met Luke Van Valin. He got me on a couple pro volleyball stops and then eventually a few skiing comps when he moved to TV. It kind of grew from there.
Luke told the announcer that my dad played a few games on the Canadian National Team, which is true, but that doesn’t translate to me knowing that much about it. It was the best, though: warm, tons of chicks, and beer.
So where did “Shit Skiers Say” come from?
Whistler Blackcomb had come to us with this marketing idea, and we filmed it all in one day. Working years at Camp of Champions, I feel like campers say things on repeat, constantly asking where Tom Wallisch is, basically the most ridiculous redundant things, so it was pretty easy to come up with them. It translated pretty well, I think.
Does that make you skiing’s Internet sensation?
I’d call myself a fallen YouTube star.
Has it helped you stay on the ski radar?
It’s been really good for that, even though a lot of the attention is children shouting shit I said back at me, which really isn’t funny. But it’s been a good opportunity to meet people and makes introductions easier.
Are you still kicking around Whistler?
I just moved into Sean Pettit’s basement suite where his dad normally sleeps. All summer I skied with the COC crew—Max Hill, Joe Schuster, Mack Jones, Rob Heule, and some other studs. That’s a pretty fun summer crew to be the boss of, if you ask me.
Tell me about this infamous Whistler fraternity.
My fake fraternity came from when I went to college in the Kootenays. None of my friends were in college, but my dad left his ranch to me for a month, so my buddy and I decided to start the Dude Ranch Frat. We entered the fraternity into the bocce nationals for three years, so we figured it was real after that. When I moved back up to Whistler, we started telling all our ski friends that we had a real frat and that they could pledge, and I made them do the most horrendous things. We made Matt Margetts pledge for three years and never let him in.
Any notable initiations?
My highlight is Josh Bibby drinking his mustache. He grows quite attached to his mustache, and I knew that he wanted to be in the frat real bad, so we said he could join if he shaved his mustache and drank it in a shot of Jack Daniels. He sent it, coughed up a hairball, and then washed that down with some beer.
Why is skiing a good platform for humor?
I think a lot of people in skiing take it entirely too seriously and forget that it’s a bunch of rich kids sliding around on slopes. Bringing the fun back is essential and I definitely support it.
What needs to get made fun of next?
Wow, there’s so many things, but the Olympics is a big target. When things like that come around that are really serious and intense, it opens it up for us to strike.
With all the success so far, where will Reed Speedman be in five years?
Using his real name and having nothing to do with skiing.