Unpack your leather jacket and toss up your devil horns, because the inaugural Danihell Hanka Invitational is coming like a bat out of Hell to pay tribute to freeskiing’s raw and rowdy origins.
From 14-20 March 2022, Czech freeskier Dan Hanka will host a select crew of 13 invited riders at his home resort, Skicentrum Deštné v Orlickych Horách. Each invited skier will be accompanied a filmer of their choice. At Deštne, riders will have five days to ski and film their hearts out in a custom snowpark built just for this purpose.
Dan Hanka has already established himself as a freeskiing style icon. Now the shifty master is debuting his own invitational event. Photo: Oskar Hall/Faction
Classic core events are gone, the core scene is being neglected and everything became dominated by FIS. I want to fill the void and bring back the spirit of a good old filming session and invitational, with a modern twist to fit today’s standards.
- Dan Hanka
Will the ´68 Wildcat be in attendance at the Danihell Hanka Invitational? We need to know. Photo: Noah Wallace
When the session is over, the rider-filmer teams will have all summer to create their best two-minute edit from the event, showcasing the spirit and vibe of skiing as they see fit. The edits will be released online in October, with public voting to determine the fan favorite before the winning videos are announced.
However, fans won’t need to wait all summer long to see the action. The Oakley Eyecatcher Challenge will keep online content coming hard and fast throughout the week by rewarding riders for their best daily clips posted to Instagram.
A diverse field of top freeski talent is expected next month in Deštne. Riders who have already confirmed their presence include Matěj Švancer (AUT), James “Woodsy” Woods (GBR), Lukas Müllauer (AUT), Simon Bartik (CZE) and of course, Dan Hanka himself. More invitees will be announced in the coming days.
On Saturday, 19 March Dan and the invited riders welcome all comers to Deštné for a public park session. No competition, no stress—just a day for local skiers and fans to enjoy a unique chance to meet and ski alongside the pros. The public day will end with an evening party program featuring live concerts, a DJ and of course, plenty of Czech beer.
“I want to support the sport in Czechia and the local community,” says Hanka. “The public day gives people the opportunity to meet their heroes, ski a custom park setup and experience what it feels like to be part of a filming session.”
Think you’ve got the game to join the crew as an invited rider? Dan Hanka is offering one invite to the skier who submits the most hellacious video. Find out how to enter the Ticket to Hell video contest at downdays.eu/tickettohell.