New Guy: Blake Wilson

A discussion with the newest member of the POV craze from Little Cottonwood Canyon

If Sage Cattabriga-Alosa has something to say about another skier’s style, then listen up: “He is all about good style and good tricks. He goes big,” says Cattabriga-Alosa, “He’s a good skier, but he’s also another guy with a great vibe, just clearly loving skiing.”

The newcomer Cattabriga-Alosa is talking about is Blake Wilson, a skier who has recently been on a tear at Alta, releasing exceptional POV videos all winter long. In his third and most recent video, April, Wilson shows off his deep bag of tricks, including a massive cork 10 as the closing shot. His previous two videos are equally as impressive. The 20-year-old spins and flips off nearly every feature of Alta’s playful terrain, moves that create POVs to put him in the ranks with fellow Little Cottonwood Canyon skiers Sander Hadley and even Cattabriga-Alosa, whose “One Run With Pep” created buzz last season.

A Maine native, Wilson grew up on the slopes of Sunday River and developed his skills in mogul and slopestyle competitions. After moving west to Utah in 2013, Blake quickly built a reputation at Alta for supreme air awareness and a technical approach to skiing.

On the mountain and off, Wilson’s calm demeanor and fun-centric attitude shine through, as evidenced in his videos. Wilson was kind enough to talk with me about his POV edits this year, Alta, and what we can hope to see from him in the future.

Good work on your POV videos this year. They have been fun to watch.
Thank you, man.

I did the naked backflip and then was just like “I should probably just try a double backflip off this,” and it worked out.

What was it like to see your videos gain some recognition? Was it expected?
I was kind of thrown into the whole thing. I just made an edit, and then it kind of blew up and went from there. It’s been pretty cool. If I could have a flash forward from last year to right now, and see where I am, I definitely would not have expected anything like this. It’s all been pretty unexpected, but it’s been fun.

Where did the inspiration come from for these videos?
This is my first year skiing at Alta. I come from a mogul skiing background and then I went to slopestyle for two years. But this year [Andrew] Pollard has been showing me around Alta a bunch. I’ve been skiing with him, Grant [Howard], and some of the other younger kids who have been there their whole lives. So that’s kind of where the inspiration for everything has come.

After you hit a naked backy, you can hit anything. PHOTO: Courtesy of Blake Wilson
After you hit a naked backy, you can hit anything. PHOTO: Mat Kestle

Alta is always fun. Are you impressed with the level of riding there?
Everyone is really psyched on skiing up there. It’s awesome. This fall when I came there, I had no idea that people skied that way. Especially that it happens everyday. I’ve never been to a ski resort where “the send” is on that much. Everyone is just like, “Why not, we’re going huge today!”

What are some of your favorite tricks that you’ve thrown in these edits?
The dub back was pretty fun. That was my first double backflip ever. It was fun to finally do that. I’m pretty psyched on them now. I had actually just done the biggest naked backflip of my life; that was the test for the dub back. I did the naked backflip and then was just like “I should probably just try a double backflip off this,” and it worked out.

Last time we talked, you mentioned another video you were working on this spring. How did that go?
I just teamed up with Garmin. I’m one of the testers for their new cameras, the Garmin Virb. I have an edit with them that should be coming out soon. It’s a pretty fun, surfy edit with a lot of friends in it. It’s from the last two closing days at Alta. It has a fun, true vibe of Alta feel to it.

What do you like about POV-style filming and what are some of the challenges that it creates?
You can just keep skiing and get more laps in. If you film with a filmer you have to wait for the shot, and wait for everyone to go. [With POV] you can just slap it on your head, turn the button on, and then just keep shredding with your friends. But it is tough to see style with it. You can’t see how clean the skiing is.

Do you see yourself continuing as a do-it-yourself style skier with more POV edits?
This year has been cool with the GoPro and stuff, but it would be really nice to get out of bounds with an actual filmer. Hopefully I can do that next year. The POV stuff is definitely cool, and I think I’ll keep doing that at least next year for sure.

What are some of your bigger aspirations as a skier for next year and beyond?
Next year I definitely want to travel a lot. I just built my car into a house and insulated it so that I can do that. I really want to go to Alaska in March. It’s kind of tough to think too far down the line. It’s been my first year in this scene and it’s all kind of a surprise. But that’s the long-term goal: to film with a major film production.