The following story contains movie spoilers from the brand spankin’ new Matchstick Productions ski film, currently showing in ski towns across North America. If you were lucky enough to witness one of the opening weekend premieres in Gunnison or Breckenridge, Colorado, or Park City, Utah, then you’re in for a treat: This is FREESKIER’s exclusive commentary about the movie. If you want to be surprised by the flick and what to expect, peep the trailer below and buy a ticket to a showing in your hometown.
WARNING: Spoilers Below!
Out with the bad, in with the good. With all that’s happening in the world, it’s hard to escape reality but in the new Matchstick Productions movie, we’re asked to let everything go and revel in the glory of skiing—the good times. A cameo from the legendary Klaus Obermeyer puts in all in perspective, kicking things off. “Skiing just opened up the beautiful winter fairytale world. You get speed, which is nice. You get zero-Gs, which makes you feel really good. And when you get to the bottom, you have a smile on your face,” he says.
Athlete segments fall in place after an intro that calls out the big elephant in the room: that darned COVID. This message is paired with an apt visual metaphor for 2020 and the pandemic: A pickup truck towing a trailer that’s missing a wheel, its axel scraping the ground, dragging snow through a dirty parking lot. It does seem like everything’s broken right now. But, after saying what needs to be said—boom!—we’re right back in it. Huck Yeah!
Each athlete vignette takes on its own story. There’s Lucas Wachs hitting backcountry booters, doing enough buttery 360s to churn his own batch. And, at the 12-minute mark, he sends the nose on one of the biggest lines in the film. McKenna Petersen’s story blends fishing and skiing; her summertime occupation as a fishing boat captain lets her mind wander up to the snow-covered peaks looming over the open ocean. Her advice? “Fishing makes you a better skier. And, keep your hands forward.”
Then, MSP’s golden boy, Sam Kuch takes center stage. The young gun from Nelson, British Columbia, is undoubtedly one of skiing’s rising stars. With a style equally rowdy as it is composed, Kuch navigates the depths of Japanese powder with perfect form, seemingly levitating over the snow. Slow-motion pow shots are plentiful—and keep your eyes on the screen 22 minutes into the movie for a “field goal” send that’ll have your jaw on the floor. Michelle Parker’s seggy comes next. Might as well follow the new guy with one of the sport’s longest-standing pros, eh? And she doesn’t waste any time getting right into the send-fest: Sweeping big-mountain lines and cliff hucks at every opportunity.
Matchstick’s signature humor comes out a bit more in the Mt. Cain segment, featuring longtime pros Eric Hjorliefson, Mark Abma and Chris Rubens. The “crusty crew,” as the narrator puts it, heads to a little-know haven, a small island in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Vancouver, home to Mt. Cain Alpine Park. Originally a place where the island’s loggers came to ski, Mt. Cain is undoubtedly one of the untouched gems of resort skiing, home to one T-bar, a commune of trailers and a community that puts skiing first. To start, Hoji, Abma and Rubens thrash’n’bash their way through a hefty storm cycle but the sun shines during the second part of this segment and they’re left with beautiful, rime-covered cliffs perfect for high-speed exploits. There’s some bigggg terrain just out of the ski area’s boundary and we’re pretty sure Hoji clocked in at a top speed of 69 miles per hour 33 minutes into the movie.
Next up, Karl Fostvedt, one of skiing’s most “kinetic” athletes. Throwing his signature trick, “The Hot Karl,” and the movie’s first double backie, we have to say: Don’t take a bathroom break during this part. Fostvedt is, plain and simple, one of the most exciting skiers to watch, throwing tricks and finding transitions at every possible moment. His double backflip-to-double backflip had us floored: What the hell just happened??? Then, Connery Lundin takes the stage, cruising big-mountain lines and hitting massive cliffs. His triple-hit at 41 minutes absolutely knocked us to the ground; connecting three cliff hits during one descent, Lundin proves he’s got the skiing prowess to back up his bleachblonde, pretty boy looks. We love you, Connery.
Freeride World Tour maestro, Ariana Tricomi, then brings us to Verbier, Switzerland, where MSP’s film crew captures her three-peat victory on the competition circuit. But, alas, COVID hit right at the end of the FWT season and Tricomi was handed her victory without the final event on the famed Bec de Rosses. So, what’s a girl to do? Go ski the Bec, of course. With ski partner and fellow competitor, Carl Renvall, the two navigate to the top of Verbier’s most legendary face and wrap up the season with some closure. “Pure enjoyment” with every turn.
At this point in the movie, we’ve already seen everything we wanted: pow, big-mountains, freestyle skiing. But “Huck Yeah!” ain’t over yet… MSP still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Like, bringing Bobby Brown back into the picture. After reigning over the X Games and freestyle comps for years, Brown is finding a new home in Jackson, Wyoming. Shifting his focus from competitions to film projects, Brown has released a number of flicks over the years, but this is his first appearance in a Matchstick movie in a long time—and he’s back with a bang. Massive gaps, high-flying trickery and perfectly curated backcountry booters are Brown’s newest focus, exploring Jackson’s expansive backcountry (and its rowdy in-bounds terrain).
The Blondes, a ski crew of Emily Childs, Janelle Yip and Tonje Kvivik, and Lucy Sackbauer, a Sun Valley-based ripper, all make their movie debuts in “Huck Yeah!” on sled-ski trip to British Columbia, featured toward the end of the movie. And, gosh, these girls can RIP! Party laps, big sends and good times set the tone for this session full of smiles. Congrats your first major film part, ladies.
But, all good things have to come to an end, so how did MSP sum it up? Well, it seemed like an easy choice: Put Sam Kuch in front of the camera and let the film roll. With a closing segment chock-full of certified bangers, Kuch ends the flick with a WHAM—the kid just STACKS clips—mixing big airs, top-speed descents and a calm, cool, collected style that breaks necks.
Well, shit, now you know everything that happens in MSP’s newest film “Huck Yeah!” but that doesn’t mean you can miss it on the big screen and move onto something else. No, no. This fall, Matchstick is bringing its newest film on a drive-in movie tour across the country, and it’s happening right now. Check the schedule, find a screening near you and make it happen—ski season is right around the corner and “Huck Yeah!” is the perfect way to kick it off.