Of video views, online turf wars and the second SLVSH Cup in Andorra.
SLVSH filmer Charlie Lasser with the tools of the trade.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, you’ve probably heard about the Game of SLVSH — the “S.K.A.T.E. on snow” style video series created by skiers Matt Walker and Joss Christensen as an alternate take on today’s competitive freeskiing scene. In SLVSH games, skiers go head-to-head, trick for trick, to see who can outperform the other rider — often forcing their opponent to try tricks that they normally wouldn’t go for — while Walker, Christensen and their team film the match from all angles, and post it online later for their thousands of fans to enjoy.
SLVSH has become immensely popular in the scene over the past two seasons, but you might not know it to judge by the paltry coverage from the ski media, who have more or less ignored SLVSH’s rise to prominence. Here’s why they’ve done so.
Good luck keeping up with Antti Ollila’s tricks – like a misty 540 blunt.
The team behind SLVSH play their cards close to the vest when it comes to video sharing. They keep their games on their own player on their own website and don’t allow third-party companies (like us, for example) to embed their games on their own sites, and get a share of the online viewership.
The end goal is to turn SLVSH into a media platform in its own right, which the crew is well on their way towards achieving. But this doesn’t sit well with others in the insular ski-media community, particularly with those ski websites that rely on video embeds from content creators like SLVSH for a significant chunk of their online traffic. SLVSH doesn’t share their views with other websites, so in return, those websites give SLVSH no love.
To paraphrase Walker: why should they share their views with those who just repost the videos and feed off of others’ productivity, selling ads on their own websites but creating nothing themselves?
As their popularity continues to grow and the team wraps up the season with its second SLVSH Cup tournament, we knew it was past time to break the radio silence on SLVSH — because this is one of the best things in skiing right now.
The SLVSH Cup venue at Sunset Park, Andorra.
So, now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s talk about the SLVSH Cup II. Sixteen skiers from different backgrounds—from comp jocks to ninja-turtle Bunchtaskiers—sliding around the slopes of Sunset Park, Andorra, trying to out-trick each other on the way to becoming SLVSH Champion. The games have all been filmed and are are now dropping, one each weekday, until the final is released on April 26.
Six games have already been released and the matches are starting to heat up. The last two games released—Vincent Gagnier versus Colby Stevenson and Magnus Graner versus Joona Kangas—are worth a watch in particular. Anyone want to try Magnus’s game-winning hand drag pretzel 180 at home?
Joona Kangas warms up for a match.
We were on-site at Sunset Park last week to catch the action at the first SLVSH Cup on European snow, and to give these guys the coverage that they so richly deserve. But we can’t well report on the Cup and give away secrets until all the games have come out, now can we? We’ll post our full feature on the tournament when the final game drops, but until then you’ll have to keep guessing: who will win the SLVSH Cup Sunset Park?