Skiing in the fall may be a challenge for any skier at any level. Summer provides a welcome respite after months spent facing the frigid temperatures of winter. We also enjoy sunny, slushy mountain party days in spring. It’s a time of great expectation in the fall. Skiing is only a short distance away, but it’s still a long way away. It’s an exciting, but often brutal, time of year.
When we’re not out on the slopes, we curl up with our buddies and watch as many ski movies as we can get our hands on, including some oldies. It’s an auspicious rite. When something truly mind-boggling happens, it is important that we all stare at each other and exclaim, “How on Earth did they do that?!” Then we can all go back to our beers. Like feeding a bear, it’s difficult to resist the temptation. As long as we keep feeding the enthusiasm to keep it pleased, it will only grow and demand more.
As of this moment, one hopes that the ground is covered with enough snow. However, it doesn’t end there. Halfway through the season, we always start to think about going bigger and go to our favorite movies for ideas.
It can be difficult to choose which ski movies to watch because there are so many out there. In order to get you and your friends through the fall, or if you’re looking to impress a new love interest by claiming to have appeared in a ski movie, I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favorite ski movies of all time to make your life a little bit simpler.
Below you’ll find my selection of the top ten ski films of all time. You can’t put any of them into a certain ranking order, since each film is so unique that trying to rate them would be a waste of time. Some of the greatest skiers of all time are featured in the films, which span from the 1980s to the present day. There are usually links to legal locations to watch these movies, but if there isn’t, you can always buy them. Skiing isn’t exactly a lucrative career option for athletes. All that being said, have a good time!
1. Blizzard of Aahhhs by Greg Stump
The oldest film on our list is 1988 old, so it’s fitting that it’s at the top of the list. This was the era of narrow skis, foot-long mohawks, and an introduction to the counter-culture of skiing that would forever revolutionize the sport of snowboarding. Extreme skiers Scott Schmidt, Glen Plake, and Mike Hatrup are featured in the film. You’ll hear mentions of this movie in many of the following films, as it is widely regarded as the inspiration for generations of freestyle skiers. It’s hard to overstate how important this film is to the sport of free-skiing, and it’s hard to put into words how much of an impact it has had on the sport.
2. Claim by Matchstick Productions
All-star skiers from 2008, with a single message: “put your hands up and claim you’re the best!” ‘ One of the funniest ski movies ever made features an all-star cast of skiers including Shane McConkey, Mark Abma, Simon Dumont and Hoji. Skiing is a sport in which everyone feels they’re the best, and they’re all out to prove it. This film features some of the best big-mountain and freestyle skiing to be seen in a ski movie, as well as an incredible singing performance from Colby West and a cringe-inducing crash real.
3. Few Words by Candide Thovex & Quicksilver
Candide Thovex is, in my opinion, the greatest freestyle skier ever to have lived. Candide’s life is depicted in this film, which focuses on the man who rarely speaks. In the sport, Candide is a humble, calm, and natural talent that is rarely seen. In the early 2000s, he revolutionized freestyle skiing, and he continues to astound even the best pros with his skiing edits to this day. In order to appreciate how effortless Candide makes skiing look, I strongly recommend viewing One of Those Days 1, 2, and 3 (each only 5 minutes).
4. Refresh by Level 1
This one’s for the skaters, urban aficionados, and freestyle skiers. Big lines, big tricks, and big cities are all here. With Tom Wallisch (Tommy Walnuts), Henrik Harlaut’s inventive ascent, and Warren Miller’s nostalgic narration, this collection is sure to bring back memories. For those who prefer their ski gear to be as stylish as possible, there is also an abundance of baggiest ski gear ever seen. Even if you’re solely interested in urban skiing, there are still plenty of backcountry routes and massive kickers developed by the crew. This film focuses on a group of skiers that are recognized for their afterbang and innovation in freestyle.
5. Drop Everything by Matchstick Productions
Drop Everything is a personal favorite of mine, and the best ski movie start there is. Elyse Saugstad and the rest of the cast put on a funny show while also demonstrating some of their best skiing skills. For a genuinely amazing watching experience, these skiers put their individual personalities and skiing techniques front and center. If you’ve ever wanted a music to go along with the awe-inspiring runs, fluffy pillows, and massive kickers, here is it.
6. All I Can by Sherpas Cinema
When it comes to skiing, we rely only on the weather, and that might be taken for granted at times. All of the most classic ski portions, from JP Auclair shredding through a small hamlet to Hoji plunging down deep lines in distant areas, are featured in this film. There is a message about climate change woven within the action sequences, epic soundtracks, and breathtaking scenery. The theme of skiing’s connection to the environment and the necessity of safeguarding it is at the heart of All I Can, a unique ski film. If you want to continue to enjoy skiing in the future, this film is a must-see for anybody concerned about the future of the sport’s beauty.
7. All In by Matchstick Productions
Skiing has traditionally been dominated by men, therefore few movies have shown the incredible female skiers out there. Today, for the first time in a long time, women are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their daring stunts on the big screen. For the first time, All In features an all-star cast of female big-mountain skiers, all of whom are world-class. It’s characteristic of Matchstick Productions to feature some of the best big-mountain skiing and tremendous humor from the riders. A must-see for everyone, this film features Michelle Parker and Tatum Monod as well as Elyse Saugstad and Angel Collinson.
8. Winterland by Teton Gravity Research
This is the most current film on the list, released in 2019, and it serves as an excellent example of how ski movies have evolved over the past decade. No matter how amazing the skiing or the breathtaking images, the cast has effectively been “unmasked.” Our eyes are freed from the goggles, allowing us to get to know the skiers as individuals. Ski videos are showcasing more and more of the minutiae that go into skiing the terrain shown in any ski movie, offering us mere mortals a glance into the unique lifestyle of a pro skier, both the good and the terrible elements… Winterland is a great place to get up close and personal with both the skiing and the skiers.
9. G.N.A.R by Unofficial Networks
In a lift line, have you ever heard someone proclaim, “I’m the best skier on the mountain!” and wondered, “What the hell is going on with this Jerry?” That question will be answered for you in this film. It tells the story of a group of friends in Squaw, California (known as Squallywood) who invented a game to see who was the wildest skier in the bunch. You get 500 points for claiming to be the best in the Game of G.N.A.R. (more if you do it naked). Here, you won’t find a lot of massive mountain routes supported by dramatic music that emphasize the true epicness of what professional skiers are capable of accomplishing. All about finding fresh ways to enjoy a day of skiing with friends without taking it too seriously.. This is not a toy for children.
10. McConkey by Matchstick Productions
If you haven’t heard the saying “saving the best for last,” then you’ll understand why I’m going to list these 10 movies in no particular order or ranking. That’s true here, too. No one can argue that McConkey is the best ski film of all time. It depicts the beauty, history, and risk of skiing in all its glory. Shane McConkey, the greatest skier of all time, is the focus of this film. This is the one to see out of everything on this list. Anyone who has ever skied knows who Shane McConkey is, no matter how long they’ve been doing it. This film comes the closest to capturing Shane’s life and the impact he has had on skiing, but if you’ve seen G.N.A.R. or Claim, you already have some notion of his shenanigans. A biopic of Shane’s life, however, nevertheless boasts some of the best skiing ever seen on the big screen.