On December 27th, 2006, Johnny B met up with Alta local and high-profile skier Jeremy Nobis at his home at the base of
Little Cottonwood Canyon. Read the contents of Johnny and Jeremy's discussion or listen to the MP3 podcasts which are
segmented into three parts:
Johnny B: Hello skiers, welcome to AltaCam.com. This is Johnny B. and today's special guest will be professional free skier and former Olympian Jeremy Nobis. Good to see you Jeremy. How's it going?
Nobis: Good. Good to see you Johnny.
Johnny B: Alright. Happy holidays.
Nobis: Happy holidays to you.
Johnny B: To start, I gotta ask you this question. Since you bought a house over here across the street from Dave McReynolds, how has your life changed?
Nobis: (laughs) Well, I guess first of all now I get to be a baby sitter, finally. He got himself a little dog, so we're always having a little terrior over here to take care of.
Johnny B: Right. Right.
Nobis: But I think, for me it's just the access to the mountain.
Johnny B: Nice.
Nobis: He's my ride.
Johnny B: Alright. So you guys ski together a lot.
Nobis: Sometimes we do.
Johnny B: Alright.
Nobis: We're always calling each other for the weather report and see what each other think and then I'll grab a ride with him...
Johnny B: Right on. Right on. Cool. What's a typical day like in the life of Jeremy Nobis?
Nobis: In the winter, right now, it's mostly just watching the weather and getting up everyday and going skiing.
Johnny B: Alright.
Nobis: You know, it's the time of year, it's kind of a good time to get your feet down here and get fit. You know, in January I have to start, you know, film and photo, I start coaching people and you know it starts to get busy. The first month through the years and all these holidays, your time. So, right now I've been enjoying that.
Johnny B: Just getting the legs under ya? Getting ready for the season.
Nobis: Yeah. We knew. You know, a couple of weeks are really hard skiing, we really feel like your back on the game.
Johnny B: I hear you. I'm still working on that myself. Getting there. What was your childhood ambition?
Nobis: You know, I lived in Wisconsin when I was young and I moved to Utah when I was seven. And skiing was described to me when I was young and I did it once in Wisconsin before I moved here. And I think from the time I was four years old on I wanted to ski. And then once I started skiing here I think that I didn't really know what skiing was going to bring but that's all I ever wanted to do, well, ski. And it turns out that you can have a whole career in skiing. And so, you know, I went on to race on the US Ski team and in the Olympics. And I've been lucky enough to make a life out of skiing.
Johnny B: That's awesome, man. That's awesome. Other than skiing what's your favorite activity?
Nobis: You know, I love to golf and also I spend a lot of time in Alaska and I like to fish. So I do a lot of guide fishing and guide skiing up there.
Johnny B: Alright. You did pretty well up there, then?
Nobis: Yeah. It's all part of the lifestyle.
Johnny B: Right.
Nobis: Being in the wilderness and that's what my heart loves.
Johnny B: Yeah. Downtime fishing.
Nobis: When I'm not skiing I'm fishing.
Johnny B: Alright.
Nobis: When I'm not fishing I'm skiing.
Johnny B: That's great. That's awesome. Here's a question a lot of people would want to know the answer to.
Johnny B: Let me ask you this, we've all had those moments on skis we're not too proud of, what's your most embarrassing moment on skis?
Nobis: I think the most embarrassing moment on skis, you know, I haven't had many in my free ski time, but it was in 1991 World Championships,-
Johnny B: Uhuh.
Nobis: Second run, I was winning the run, I knew I was having a good run but I didn't know until after that I was actually winning the run.
Johnny B: Yeah.
Nobis: (coughs) Excuse me. And I was just going a little too fast, came in the third to last gate, crashed and there's about 25,000 people in the finish, it was really crowded. And I gotten some tag from the side of the course hooked on to my ski boot and I just came in the finish turning, GS turns, this hundred meter long plastic tape was following me in the same turn.
Johnny B: Yeah.
Nobis: And there I was thinking everybody was cheering for me and they were all cheering, in fact -
Johnny B: Noway, dude.
Nobis: ...this big old long tag behind me like I was in some parade.
Johnny B: Oh, wow.
Nobis: You know, I think when you're just about do that well and you crash and burn the all of a sudden this thing sticks under you.
Johnny B: (laughs) Yeah, I know.
Nobis: In front of 25,000 people. It's almost like walking out of the bathroom with some toilet paper stuck on your heel.
Johnny B.: Right. That's what it reminded me of. Alright. Wow, that's better than I expected. Tell me this, how did the skis that you used in Alaska compare to the skis you used to thed ownhill when you were on the ski team?
Nobis: The only similarity is that the skis I've been using for the last five or six years have been making the race turns, they have a similar side cut to the old GS skis. But beyond that the downhill skis were 220s, they seem 230 when I race.
Johnny B: Sure. sure.
Nobis: And that just has gotten shorter, too currently. And I'm on 194's now, 30 centimeter shorter and a lot fatter. I think you probably had 65 centimeters, there's 65 millimeters in waist to the downhill ski and now a hundred and ten millimeters ski in the waist.
Johnny B.: I see.
Nobis: Shorter and fatter.
Johnny B.: Shorter and fatter. Now can that ski, that 194, can it handle the same speed? Could it?
Nobis: Oh, yeah because the shorter and fatter, they can handle the speed I think the difference in sizes and some, there's some instability as far as for raft, you know.
Johnny B: Yeah. Sure.
Nobis: Figuring how fast it can get bounced around the head, you know, the rudder out there, you know, the tip and tail, that's for raft counts because you get knocked forward and backward a lot of times. No doubt it can handle the speed but how stable you'll feel going straight sometimes, you know. I haven't gotten fat ski in the downhill course so I wouldn't quite know. But I think, you know, I'm doing 80 straight lines sometimes and I think in powder, the width of the ski becomes important.
Johnny B: Yeah.
Nobis: Because I think the longer narrow skis dig in, you know.
Johnny B: Sure.
Nobis: You know different snow conditions, different stability. I think it's a natural evolution.
Johnny B: Interesting. Well, this will be my next question, Jeremy. A lot of us don't know what this is like and you might, tell us what goes through your mind when you're totally bending and overwhelming a ski at blistering speeds? Other than the fact that you hope your bindings hold.
Nobis: Yeah, I was going to say that's the first thing, I think. I think, I mean there is that certain thing that is out of sight, out of mind that once you commit to something, I've had a few experiences where I've been racing and free skiing where I've come off faster than I've planned. but it's one of those things where you turn your mind off and trust yourself.
You know, I've been training my whole life to do what I do and I just have to trust myself that I'm going to be in the right position and be balanced and pull it off. And you know once I get to the bottom after pulling something off that I didn't expect and I looked back and I can't believe that I pulled that off.
But I think that's why you train. You train your mind to do this stuff is that if something happens unexpectedly you're ready to deal with it. I very rarely worry about my skis staying on. Obviously that's what I thought about right here, sitting here, thinking about it but those are the things that you got to trust before you do something.
Johnny B: Sure. Sure.
Nobis: You got to put that out of your mind before you do it in the first place.
Johnny B: So, you're just on auto-pilot.
Nobis: Yeah. My goal, usually, is to get it off. If I don't feel good about something, I'll pull off.
Johnny B: Okay.
Nobis: It may not be truly hard to do and I probably had some experience where I maybe should've pulled off when Iwas younger but I have learned to pull off when I don't feel right aboutsomething.
Johnny B: That's probably good advice for anybody.
Nobis: Yeah. You know, it's really easy to talk yourself out of stuff and some of us talk ourselves out of stuffmore than others. That's the differencebetween getting the stuff done and not. But if you know you prepared yourselfcorrectly to do something, you're always going to have a natural fear,hopefully you're strong enough to know the difference between not being rightand being scared and knowing you're being prepared. If you're not prepared, youknow it. that's when you make those calls.
Johnny B: I see. Alright.
Nobis: I think. You know, like ify ou're weak, if you haven't skied enough, you know there are certain things you don't do until you know you've gotten it in your head about it.
Johnny B: That reminds me of my favorite quote by Knute Rockne, "Luck is the residue of design." If you're prepared and you've done all your work, you're going to have luck. and that's kind of, you know, I think that's just something for, it's an advice for anybody, you know, know when to say when, know when to pull out, know when to, you know, you're not ready. That's what you're saying.
Nobis: Yeah. I mean, I was in all kinds of close luck. It's better to be lucky than good. I think that you get luckier the more you prepare yourself. And there's so many ways to look at that. I hope I'm not relying on luck but there's always some surreal element you think is lucky once in a while.
Johnny B: Sure. We all need a little bit of it, right?
Nobis: Yeah. Or what we perceive is luck.
Johnny B: Sure. Right. It's all relative. Before we go skiing, growing up in Utah, tell us what Alta has meant to you over the years.
Nobis: You know, when I grew up in Park City, Alta was always kind of a myth, almost, because I lived so far away and I was racing all the time.
Johnny B: Sure.
Nobis: You know, it's almost like there's another country from here and I heard about it all the time. But I knew it always got more snow. You know, I used to come to Snowbird. And I didn't really get the feel of Alta until about ten years ago and I finally realized that it is a totally different world over here. And I realized what I've been missing. And I think it all came at the right time, too. I was focused on racing at that time.
To find Alta was like finding another country in my own state. And I was a little forty five minutes away from where I was. So, it just brought back my love for Utah, maybe stronger. You know, I always loved it here. It was all maybe I moved away but once I found Little Cottonwwood Canyon for real, I realized I was still home.
Johnny B: Life beyond racing.
Nobis: Yeah, life beyond racing, it's been interesting. I've seen Europe differently, I've seen my own mountains differently. It's to hone another career and life ins kiing that's part of the dream. The dream is to ski mountains. I never got to ski enough of them when I was racing but now everything had its place.
Johnny B: That's right.
Nobis: And ski racing had prepared me for all I'm doing now.
Johnny B: Great. Great. And it's great talking to you. thanks for taking the time out. this is Johnny B. for AltaCam.com with JeremyNobis. Thanks a lot brother.
Nobis: Thank you.
Johnny B: Alright. Good to see you again.
Nobis: Let's go get the pow.
Johnny B: Alright.
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