It’s getting hard to not hear an echo when bringing up the name Cole Drexler. With a fresh diploma in his hand and a recent handshake with Line and Joystick, Cole is getting all the arms he needs to reach the top on his way up the ranks.
Originally hailing from Waterloo, Ont., Cole moved to Collingwood at the age of 11, quit racing when he was 14 and checked into the park scene with a one-way ticket. Cole is not your average jibber’s delight and best known for the “deadlung, pivot” landings and the “off that” trick inventions. Opposed to the addictive compulsion of dialing in a comp run day-in-day-out, he’s creating next year’s trends and documenting the rights to his own success.
Cole’s had support getting here, too. Growing up in a family of skiers he may be one of the only kids whose parents approached him about spending his grade 11 year in Whistler—where he logged over 120 days on the slay mission. Last season he took his quiver of tricks and entered the first two rail jams of the season in Collingwood, winning both. Suddenly the local lift line for Cole got a lot shorter even on a busy day.
After making noise online, It was inevitable he would link up on a trail of destruction filming for the Voleurz family. With his local band of misfits behind him and the industry turning heads and pages, just make sure you get front row when he comes to a city near you.
Photo by Dan Brown courtesy Line Skis
So Cole, where are you resting your head these days?
In my rez building at McMaster University, here in Hamilton, Ontario. Single beds aren’t fun though, no room for movement. I’m studying multimedia and communications, which is probably one of the easier programs only. I only have one midterm!
Where do you see that taking you?
Hopefully somewhere in the ski industry, whether it’s with filming/editing of some sort or even design work. I want to stay in this industry because it’s pimp and I’d be working with something I am actually passionate about. I don’t care for huge pay cheques as long as I’m doing something I love, skiing, and am able to live comfortably.
If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. What’s your plan for the winter?
This semester I’m sticking to school, because it was the easiest thing to do for rez as first year student. That being said, I’m gonna shoot every single thing on and around campus with my homie Ralph Damman. I’m also planning to ski Blue Mountain every weekend and get in some Christmas and reading week trips. Once school’s done, I want to spend my spring in Whistler or Mammoth.
Oh and get some shit rolling with Traveling Circus again.
Photo by Dan Brown courtesy Line Skis
Who else from CASG will be spending their winter in Ontario?
Everyone will be around at some point or another. Max and Jessica are popping off doing their thing out west, but other than that the rest of us are here. I have a good feeling Matt Brindisi is going to blow up this year and I think Ralph wants to make more edits so we’ll see how that goes. We never end up filming as much as we want to but hopefully we get some more tape rolling.
How many edits do you guys plan on dropping? When can we expect the first one?
15. Realistically though, probably 4 or 5. That’s my goal at least. I want to get as many as possible out there, but at the same time we aren’t going to be putting out edits for the sake of getting something out there. If that makes sense? We have to get some good shit before our first edit drops but you guys can defintiley expect some bangin tricks you’ve never seen before.
“The first edit will be dropping November 11th, 2010. Remember the date.” – Max Hill
Pretty big claim. You guys going to be doing anything different this year? Any new riders you want to work with?
Filming more! But seriously, we’re probably going to stick to the same style of skiing and editing, but just change up our tricks and the spots we film. Hopefully more urban, which should be easy having a school filled with dope rails at our disposal.
I wanna get Jeff Keisel, and John Ware in front of the lens, even though they are not necessarily new faces to skiing, they’re always coming up with some new new shit. Max will probably film with that whole crew out in Utah while he’s out there, and maybe actually film Jessica this year. She’s doing doubles and we we’re pointing our cameras the other way…idiots.
Many would say last year was your break out year, what do you think was the main catalyst?
I think there were a few things that helped me with that. Max has been a huge help getting me recognized and hooked up with sponsors. He also played a big part in getting me a Radar in last years fall issue of SBC Skier. Other than that, filming with Traveling Circus out in California was really big for me and I embraced the invite and got as many bangers as I could. I think a lot of people heard my name when that episode won “Best Webisode” at IF3 2010, so I’m grateful for the opportunity.
What would you like to see more of in skiing?
People caring less about what’s cool to wear. Just go fucking ski in what you feel comfortable wearing, cause style isn’t always about how your outerwear looks or how new your shit is; you’ve got to have a lot of control as well. I guess I’d just like to see more kids being themselves, because isn’t that what really allows our sport to progress?
What do you think separates skiing from other action sports communities?
Very little to be honest. Too many people think their sport is the shit and that they are pushing it the most, when in reality every action sport has similar attributes and they are all progressing at similar rates. If you think about, we tend to take tricks from skateboarding, snowboarding, rollerblading, etc. and at the same time these sports are all based off each other, surfing, and something else that came before. That being said, skiing does have its own unique tricks and I think that we have a tighter knit community than a lot of more, popular, action sports out there.
Ralph Damman Photo
In your opinion, what is the best type of exposure? Video segments, competition results, magazine tears, web edits, knowing the right people, etc?
Any type of exposure is usually good, it just depends on what kind of skier you are and what kind of name you want to make for yourself. I’ve always focused on getting different shots of tricks people aren’t really used to seeing, so competition results really aren’t a big thing for me, in fact I don’t care much for competition. I always thought good video segments that leave a lasting impression are the best type because those are usually what get you good contacts and get your name out there.
How would you separate am riders from pro riders?
The easiest way to put it, in my opinion, is to consider pro skiers those who actually make a living off the sport. While ams don’t necessarily make money, they do have sponsors, travel budget, etc. I guess ams can be making photo/video incentive and all that, but pros are the ones who get huge pay cheques along with all the travel budget, incentives, etc.
Gotta hit you with a classic question. Where do you to see yourself in the next few years?
Trying not to be cliche: I just enjoy the sport and want to be able to travel as much as possible. I’d like to see myself with some sort of segment that makes all these kids wonder how the fuck I did this and that (something like Delorme’s segment in Eye Trip, that guy fucking kills it). It’s hard to say exactly what I want to get out of skiing.
I just want to ski and do me.
Photo by Dan Brown courtesy Line Skis
Many people have been wondering why there aren’t any shots of you hitting jumps, what’s the deal with that?
I don’t know what it is with me, I just never found the same thrill in jumping as I do hitting rails. When I lived in Whistler I had a good mix of the two, but ever since then I’ve just never liked it. This past winter I tried dedicating amazing soft sunny days to jumping, but I always ended up back in the rail park (laughs). I guess it might be because I get a lot of my inspiration from skateboarding and snowboarding and there’s not really much jumping in either one of those? I’ve tried shooting on jumps but if it’s not fun for me I really don’t see the point. I have nothing to prove.
On a side-note, I do have a fear of heights. For some reason when I’m on the chairlift or even a balcony that’s high up, I run a vivid picture through my mind of me falling off and that always scares the shit out of me. I don’t know if that’s weird or not? Maybe that’s why I don’t see the fun in jumps.
Who do you look up to in terms of their rail game? Any recent edits that have gotten you stoked
The list could go on and on, there’s so many people killing it these days. Hornbeck, Jeff Kiesel, Max hill, Compton, Casabon, Delorme, Downey, too many to fucking name! And I literally look up to everyone of these guys. Other than that, I try to watch a lot of snowboarding and skating, because watching guys like Scot Brown, Mark Edlund, Chris Bradshaw, Chris Cole, Dylan Reider and anyone that’s doing something creative inspires me. The part that I’m most hyped on is my homie Scot Brown’s segment in the new Flow video. It’s free online and he has the opener. Simply put, it blew my mind.
Skip to 4:20 to see Scot Brown’s segment – JM
How important is music in your life? How do you choose the perfect song for an edit?
Music is a huge thing for me. If I don’t have an ipod for skiing or even walking around campus, I lose my mind. I’ve lost so many iPods and no matter how broke I am, I always manage to scrounge up enough money to buy one the next day. When I’m riding, I’ll listen to anything from old Jay-Z and Johnny Cash to Kanye West and Iron Maiden, it all depends on my mood. Choosing the perfect song for an edit takes a while. When Max does it, I swear he changes the song 10 times and ends up back with the original. I always want a song that not everyone knows but is a complete banger.
Favorite movie and segment growing up?
I grew up ski racing so I hadn’t watched too many park movies, just the annual Warren Miller flick, but the first movie I did see that I was stoked on was probably X=Ten and Peter Olenick’s video game like segment. Another part I was stoked on (yes I know, it’s not super old) was Sammy Carlson’s part in Ski Porn, he killed shit.
What was your first pair of twin tips?
The purple camouflage Salomon 720’s. Those went along with a white digi camo jacket, blue pants, and a bright yellow Hermen Maier race helmet.
Where would you go on a dream trip? Who would you take with you and what ski would you ride?
I’ve been in love with Bear ever since I saw the first “Sunday in the Park” on Transworld Snowboarding a couple years ago. So it was pretty much a dream come true when I went there this past winter with the Traveling Circus crew. The only thing I would have changed was bringing all of CASG along and extending it from 1 week to the rest of my life. What ski would I take? The most fun pair of sticks I’ve ever ridden on: Afterbangs.
Any words of wisdom for those trying to make a career in skiing?
Be yourself and do your own thing. Don’t always work at what other people are doing but try to create your own style and ski because you love it not because you want to get a sponsor.
Here’s your chance to call the next big trend.
Thanks for the interview Chili C, we’ll be catching up again soon.
Cole is sponsored by Line Skis, Voleurz, Joystick, Causwell and Bula.