Team Rider Josh Randich has secured his niche with 4FRNT as a big mountain spine skier, skiing some of the longest and gnarliest fingers in his home state of Alaska. With a hip injury sidelining him for most of last Spring and early season this year, Josh has opened the doors on a new realm of the sport, allowing him to explore totally new terrain.
"Today is my first down day in weeks. I haven't been able to stop. I'm hooked! On Tuesday I returned home to Alaska from a 3 week trip to Valfrejus, France to train with the best speed-riders in the world at ATAKA speed-riding school. Frankie, the owner of ATAKA, is a true pioneer in the sport and has helped shape it into its current state of radness. It's a real cowboy atmosphere out there and Frankie knows exactly how to push the envelope and keep you progressing. "
"Before this trip I was a self taught beginner speed flyer. I start messing with the wing after hip surgery when I wasn't feeling strong enough to hammer big terrain like I wanted to. Speed flying seemed like the safest option after surgery because you spend most of your time in the air rather than on snow. Now after more than 150 flights in France I can get back to incorporating my style of skiing into my flying. Speed-riding is really starting to feel like a videogame for me."
Valfrejus is a small ski town where everything you need is within walking distance. Speed-riding is a huge part of the everyday culture there and everyone does it. From 12 year olds to Pierre the Legend, an 87 year old badass who is still flying everyday, at anytime you can spot multiple people in the air. The atmosphere is pure stoke all the time as you watch pros brush up their skills to beginners taking off for their first flight. We spent our trip speed-riding everyday and indulging in delicious bread, cheese, and wine every night. People were psyched to see that we came all the way from Alaska to develop our skill and bring them back to a place where Speed-riding wasn't as big."
"Coming off hip surgery last year it has been such a blessing to find Speed-riding. I can still ski big aggressive lines without have to worry as much about the stability and impact on my hip. I'm still babying my hip and it is not quite ready for full big mountain skiing like I'd like, but it feels great with the wing overhead. This has opened up my mind to what I want to be doing with skiing. I haven't felt this motivated to get after since I first discovered my love for skiing big gnarly spines. I'm totally stoked to combine these two aspects and start exploring what I can do Speed-riding spines up here in AK."