Words By: WIlliam Eginton / Photos By: Tal Roberts / Artwork By: Mark Kowalchuk    
   
 

Parker White, at 23 years old, is on the precipice. He’s cut his teeth competing on the East Coast, logged full segments with Level 1 Productions, and successfully launched his own production company with close friends Chris and Sean Logan. He is on the verge of becoming an elite, dominant force in the skiing industry.

But it’s all organic, this rise to prominence; from the beginning, it’s always been about the skiing. Perhaps it was the people around him that molded his style and cultivated his personality; or maybe it’s the years spent in Mammoth, a half-step removed from the pro-laden hills of Salt Lake or Summit County; whatever the reason, Parker exists on his own plane. He is out to have fun, pure and simple. It’s because of this downplayed attitude tempered by an innate drive to ski that elevates the Vermont Native to a level in skiing often reserved for more experienced and storied veterans.

Will Eginton (Bomb Snow): You’ve got some pretty heavy East Coast roots. Before you came west, who would you say was the most influential on your skiing?

Parker White: The Montage guys have always been the biggest influence on my skiing. They were the ones back east that were pushing things so hard at Mount Snow from the get-go. I would always see them getting after it.

That period was huge; not only for me, but for East Coast skiing, as well. Guys like Sean Decker, Liam Downey, and Sean Logan were huge. And then there was Wicked. Before Montage even existed, there was Wicked. I still think it is one of the best ski movies ever.

They were the guys that I really looked up to, and the guys whose style I tried to emulate. I wanted to do everything the way that they did – dress like them, ski like them, you know?

WE: When was the last time you watched Wicked?

PW: Uh, It’s probably been a couple years. I know I was in Mammoth at that point. But it was so ahead of its time, too.  You don’t forget a movie like that. Not just the skiing. The production and editing aspect of it was mind-blowing at that time, and even now.

I actually hanging out with Neil Sotirikopoloulis this past winter during the Orage Masters, because he’s still doing a bit of film work with them, and I totally fanned out on him. I kept saying, “It’s the best, man, it’s still the best! It’s still so fucking good!” Just acting like a kid.

But it is, man, it still is the best in my opinion.

WE: Do you think that the original Mt. Snow scene is the reason you ended up heading to Mammoth?

PW: Yeah for sure. I looked up to them, and after a while, they were just my friends. I wanted to ski with my friends.

How did that shake down? Did you drop out of school, or graduate early?

PW: Neither, actually. I had already been going to Mount Snow Academy since 8th Grade, which allowed me to ski every single day. But I was 16 and wanted to move to Mammoth. Those guys, the Montage Boys, were a bit older, but still pushing it really hard. So I started taking online classes for the second half of the year from that point on.

Don't do it in the Park Parker.

WE: Would you say that was the point in your life when you realized that skiing could be your career?

PW: Ever since I was a little kid, that’s all I thought about doing, you know? Who didn’t? It was something that I really wanted. I was working towards that in high school back in Vermont. But it didn’t really become my main focus until my parents got on board. When I talked to them about spending half the winter in Mammoth, they were super supportive of what I was after.

At that point, I was surrounded by really good people that were helping me pursue skiing. All of my friends and family were extremely supportive.

I guess that would be the point where I really decided to pursue skiing in that avenue.

I saw it as a possibility, and I made a huge step to make it my main shit.

WE: But now you’re based out of Bozeman. What made you leave Mammoth? How did you end up in Montana?

PW: Basically because of my brother. He came out to Bozeman for school, and I would tag along on my way out to Mammoth for the second half of the winter. I had some other friends out here already, as well.

It was really funny, though. When my brother moved to Bozeman, I thought Montana was like North Dakota – just nothing there. A bunch of flat farms frozen over. But as soon as I got out here, I was like, “this is definitely not.” These mountains, man. I fell in love with the place. It’s so rad.

Between that and skiing with Adam Delorme and Tanner Rainville down in Cooke City, It seemed like a natural place for me to end up.

WE: What inspires you now?

PW: I don’t know. I guess who do I like watching now, and like what they have going on?

WE: Yeah, Sure.

PW: I’ve always looked up to Candide. He’s been one of my favorite skiers for a long time.

I got to ski with him a little in France this year at the B&E Invitational. I kind of figured he’d come and ski a little bit of park, but mostly take things pretty mellow. I don’t know why I assumed that, I guess because he’s a little older or whatever – he’ll just shred and do his thing but nothing crazy.

But he was going harder then everyone there. He was just getting after things and crushing it. I was just sitting there thinking, “Holy shit, Candide really is the best.”

WE: Why?

PW: He’s really the best in my opinion. It’s not just how well he’s skied, but it’s how long he’s been able to keep his professional career going. He hasn’t just stayed in the industry, but he’s actually remained and maintained a professional skiing career when others have taken jobs at a magazine or become a rep. He’s like Terje status, you know? He’s never fallen off or taken a step back.

Famous Sun Valley Puddle Shoot with Parker White. Photo: Tal Roberts

WE: At what point did you and Chris decide to step out on your own and do The Big Picture?

PW: I think it was on the drive to Mammoth from somewhere. I just remember being in the car, and we were talking a lot about different ways to approach presenting skiing and where we were at with our sponsors. We were just shooting the shit about all the homies we had that we didn’t do things with anymore.

We just realized we were at the point where we could pull this off, and our sponsors were so supportive of anything we wanted to do.

It’s not like we left Level 1 on bad terms at all, it’s just was an opportunity to try something new and incorporate some of our friends that we grew up with in a way we haven’t before. We saw an opportunity to take the reigns ourselves.

WE: What was the most surprising aspect of going from skier to skier/producer?

PW: Honestly, the ski industry is notorious for not paying. We didn’t get paid for anything for a while. So for almost the whole year Chris and I were doubling Sean (on our sled). We were paying for almost everything out of pocket. We basically had a dead broke filmer.

Everything did come through – eventually. But it was in March. At that point Sean was able to get a sled and a truck. But we were expecting that everything would be good to go in early December, but we didn’t really see it until later in the year. Especially Sean. I mean, Chris and I had what we get from our sponsors, but Sean’s situation was a different story.

WE: Do you think that will change over the next couple of years? Do you think smaller video projects will see better budgets?

PW: I fuckin’ hope so. We’ll see I guess.

WE: What was the workflow like with the Big Picture? Was Sean running things behind the computer?

PW: It all turned into a collaborative effort. We’d all come up with the music together, choose the shots, decide where we could realistically travel and get cheap lodging. Everything came from all of us.

But all of the creative control at the end would fall on Sean. He’d make rough cuts, and we would tweak things here and there. But that was rare. Hardly anything would change. It would never be a big change. He was just super on point with how we wanted to present things.

Sean killed it with all of the editing and graphic design – all the logos, and radio sound bites we used – that was all Sean. He did an awesome job with all of it.

WE: And you guys are going to keep going with it, right?

PW: Yep. All In.

WE: So at this point you’re running your own production, and running the ski side of things with Tomahawk International. How did that come about?

PW: Tomahawk wasn’t much of a question, really.

Honestly, the ski industry is notorious for not paying. We didn’t get paid for anything for a while. So for almost the whole year Chris and I were doubling Sean (on our sled). We were paying for almost everything out of pocket. We basically had a dead broke filmer.

Tal Roberts getting creative behind the lens as Chris Logan tears up Dollar Mountain.

WE: Do you pick under the radar people on purpose?

PW: It’s just people that fit the mold of the company. It’s not like we go out and pick up kids that just won X Games or whatever. He’s got to be a good person, a character, and someone that fits well with the rest of the crew.

It’s all people we’ve known for a long time and are doing really cool things. They just fit, man, that’s the whole game.

WE: Who are you stoked on in skiing right now?

PW: I’m super hyped on Lucas Stal Madison and the whole Bunch Crew. Those kids are all authentic people, and have this insane style. They are just genuine kids. They are some of my favorite people to watch ski and just be around.

I don’t know how much you can call him an up-and-comer now after two full segments with Level 1, but LSM and Magnus Granier are some of my favorite guys that are relative new to the scene, and I’m stoked to see what they come up with.

WE: Let’s look forward a bit. In ten years, where do you see skiing going? Are we going to be overrun by competition jocks, or will the film side of things take over?

PW: I just think with how accessible it is to make a film these days, competition skiing is in a sense on its way out. All you need to make an edit is ski equipment, a fuckin’ gopro, and friends. Everyone has those.

Who knows for sure, though. I have no idea. Kids have more and more access to film equipment, and competition skiing is become more and more expensive and difficult to get into. How many contests – real contests that can take you places – are now FIS regulated? You have to go through specific camps and ski with certain coaches. Or X Games even. Now you have to be some sort of super pro just to get invited. But any kid can go out and shoot an edit. That is where I think skiing is going.

PW: How about personally? Where do you think you’ll be in ten years?

PW: Fuckin’ Alaska in a helicopter, I hope. I don’t know. I always want skiing to be my main source of income, but even if it’s not, it will be my main passion. I just want to ski. I just want that to shine through in whatever I’m doing. If I’m still a pro putting out segments, I’d be stoked. If I’m not, it won’t be much different I’d imagine. I’ll still be skiing; there just won’t be a camera there.


Words BY: WIlliam Eginton


Photos BY: Tal Roberts


Artwork BY: Mark Kowalchuk

   
   
 

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