Half pipe skiing is undoubtedly one of the most difficult niches in all of skiing.  In order to be a successful pipe skier one must  possess a rare set of skills. The carving ability of a ski racer. The air awareness of an aerials skier.  The ability to ski backwards as well as they ski forward.  The athleticism to grab their skis while corking. Noah Bowman possesses this rare skill set.  Bowman also brings another vital element to the world of professional halfpipe skiing – Style.  Widely regarded as the most steezy man in halfpipe skiing, due to his unique trick choice and his ability to combine highly technical switch double cork rotations with low rotation tricks that look incredible and wow judges.

Noah Bowman performs in the mens ski pipe during the Winter Games at Cardrona Alpine Resort, New Zealand on August 29, 2017 // Miles Holden / Red Bull Content Pool

The Makings of Greatness

Bowman joined the Canadian national halfpipe team in 2011 at the age of 19.  He joined legendary team mates like Justin Dorey, Matt Margetts and, Mike Riddle.   “They were my idols and they taught me so much,”  Reminisces Bowman.

“The skier I tried to emulate the most though was definitely Duncan Adams. I always loved the fact that he did his own completely unique runs and showed us that more spinning and flipping isn’t the only way to make a statement and achieve results. His approach really resonated with me because, although I am a competitive person, I have a strong drive to be unique.”

Fast forward to the 2022/23 winter season, Bowman was on an absolute tear.  He attributes his success to a shift in his mind set that occurred after the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

“I was focusing less on the outcome and more on the moment. Each day I would simply ask myself what I was capable of and then do my best to ski at that capacity. This took the pressure off of feeling like there was an external need to perform & progress and shifted it to an opportunity to discover what I could do in that moment. On top of all of this I have become so much more appreciative of the experience and opportunity as a whole, realizing that this life of travel with amazing people is so much more than just about results. It’s really a unique gift to live this life while having the support from my team and sponsors in the process of building the best version of myself. For sure it’s special to have your medals as symbols of your past success and the effort you put in but I find that my fondest memories are rarely directly correlated with my medals or results.”

A Stark New Reality

Bowman was on pace for his best season to date until he took a catastrophic crash at the 2023 winter X-Games, not only injuring his knee but absolutely destroying it.

Heeding the advice of his doctor and physiotherapist, Dr. Heard and Isabel Witt, Boman waited until two months post-injury to go under the knife.  Medical experts across the board now recommend waiting until swelling dissipates before getting surgery in order to allow for smoother post-op recovery

“I made the effort to embrace my new reality and ground myself in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta. I enjoyed the consistent time with friends and family and took the opportunity to invest in myself outside of skiing.  In things like music, art, school, and even new business opportunities.”

Dealing with injuries is a difficult time in anyone’s life.  Of course, the physical implications are bad but there is also the mental side of the experience to wrestle with.  In situations like this it is imperative to adopt a positive mental attitude, roll with the punches, and focus on what you CAN do instead of what you cannot.

Noah Bowman competes in the FIS Freeski World Cup Halfpipe Finales during the Audi Quattro Winter Games at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Wanaka, New Zealand on September 7, 2019. // Vaughan Brookfield /

On Top of physiotherapy and working hard at the gym, Bowman has been keeping his mind active as well.  Noah is a musician who plays guitar and writes his own original songs.  He is also an artist, in fact he did the art in this feature.  He has been creating patches and Toques that he will soon be selling.  He has even been taking some business classes and is leading a real estate development project in Calgary.  If all that is not enough Bowman has used his down time to do something even more terrifying than blasting 25 feet  out of the pipe and throwing a “Bone-air.”  He has taken to the stage and performed his own original songs in front of a live audience.  Yikes…         

    “I have tried to maintain the mentality of “what am I capable of today”. This headspace has kept me from getting envious or impatient in regards to skiing and allowed me to progress in other areas. Overall this injury has been a blessing because there are many things I’m passionate about outside of skiing and this injury has given me time to explore those interests and plant seeds for other opportunities.”
“I recently played a gig and it was my first time playing my own stuff. It was an amazing experience, even with the fumbles and mistakes. I loved it.  I definitely see myself exploring this area more in my future. Making music and art is such a special thing because it allows you to be present in the moment and there is no right or wrong way to do it – you make it and it’s a piece of you. You can say the same thing about skiing, which is what makes skiing so awesome, but less so in the competitive world that I’ve spent the majority of my time in, so music and art give me that freedom.”

Looking Forward

Bowman is a two-time X-Games medalist and three-time Olympian making him one of Canada’s most decorated halfpipe skiers.  Everyone who pays attention to half pipe skiing wants him back in the pipe, laying down hammers, but after such a serious knee injury is returning to the incredibly dangerous sport of half pipe skiing feasible? Does he even want to return to competition?

“At the moment I can’t say for sure one way or the other. Currently my focus is simply on getting back to 100% for the 2024/25 season and branching out into other areas of skiing buuut at that point we will only be one year out of the Olympics so we might just see this guy take one more swing at that gold medal.”