Freestyle Ski

Aerials: Some people call it crazy. I call it my life.

by Travis Gerrits on November 21, 2012

Aerial skiing : An extreme, amateur sport, where the goal is to huck yourself off of a 4.5 meter jump at 68km/hr to fly 55 feet in the air, while completing 3 flips and up to 4 or 5 twists, in 3 seconds. Just try to imagine it…

Some people call it crazy; I call it my life. The thrill of pushing your physical and mental limits every day, keeps me coming back for more. With my ultimate goal to represent Canada at the Olympic Games in 2014, in Russia, I find myself pushing harder than ever before and enjoying every minute of my journey to the Games.

I started this sport 10 years ago, after reaching the podium at a big air competition being held by Nicolas Fontaine (4 time World Cup champion). He then invited me to start water ramping in Lake Placid, New York. I learned my first flips on the water ramps at 10 years old and then progressed to building jumps in my own back yard where I did my first inversions on snow. I started gymnastics at 2 years old and skiing at the age of 6. I ended up becoming a National level trampolinist and then decided to put all of those sports together, and do flips on skis.

I made the National Development Team when I was just 14 and then the senior team at 19. I foreran the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, which is still one of the coolest things I have done in my life. I then placed 6th at my first World Championships in 2011 and was awarded the FIS International Rookie of the Year.

Last winter season I only competed at three World Cup events. After making finals at all of them, I ended my season by tearing my medial collateral ligament and meniscus in my right knee. I had surgery, and fully recovered for another summer of water ramp training in Quebec City. I won the International water ramp contest and am more stoked than ever for my winter season.

I train 12 months a year for my sport, but on some of my downtime, I am at my computer, studying. I am a student at the University of Guelph and have never actually been to a single class. All of my courses are through their distance education program. What can I say… I’m living the dream!

Follow my blog on this awesome platform for National athletes, and my journey to the Olympic Games. I’ll be posting about the good, the bad and the ugly! The training, the traveling, the tricks, the people and the sport. Give me some feedback and let me know what you want to hear! I’m an open book.


More from Travis Gerrits