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Sponsored: The stories behind the skiers

Updated 3 days ago

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Sponsored is a weekly show hosted by Mike Powell that goes deep into the lives and stories of professional skiers. Each show will include an interview with a different skier, and discuss how they moved up the ranks from amateur to professional, and wherethey are now. Throughout these conversations, we'll find out the obstacles these skiers had to overcome, the experiences that defined their careers, the injuries, and regrets.About Mike Powell: I’ve spent my career in action sports athlete management and worked with the best skiers in the world during a 16 year career at K2 Skis. I’ve also MC’d events around the world for K2, Redbull, and POWDER.

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Sponsored is a weekly show hosted by Mike Powell that goes deep into the lives and stories of professional skiers. Each show will include an interview with a different skier, and discuss how they moved up the ranks from amateur to professional, and wherethey are now. Throughout these conversations, we'll find out the obstacles these skiers had to overcome, the experiences that defined their careers, the injuries, and regrets.About Mike Powell: I’ve spent my career in action sports athlete management and worked with the best skiers in the world during a 16 year career at K2 Skis. I’ve also MC’d events around the world for K2, Redbull, and POWDER.

iTunes Ratings

42 Ratings
Average Ratings
40
1
0
0
1

Awesome

By Jahration - Jun 06 2017
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Please do a season 2...great content, wish I would have found it sooner

Ski

By Dylan Maurice - Mar 01 2017
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Great interview. Glen Plake needs a podcast of his own.

iTunes Ratings

42 Ratings
Average Ratings
40
1
0
0
1

Awesome

By Jahration - Jun 06 2017
Read more
Please do a season 2...great content, wish I would have found it sooner

Ski

By Dylan Maurice - Mar 01 2017
Read more
Great interview. Glen Plake needs a podcast of his own.
Cover image of Sponsored: The stories behind the skiers

Sponsored: The stories behind the skiers

Latest release on May 10, 2017

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 3 days ago

Rank #1: Sponsored, Episode 9: Glen Plake, part one

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Glen Plake, the most recognizable skier ever, is still punk. Despite the fame and his perspective on skiing is still humble, interesting, refreshing, and honest. On this episode of Powder Radio's "Sponsored" podcast, the first in a three-part series with Plake, he tells host Mike Powell talks about the influence of the hot-dogging era, and the loss it represented to skiing, when an over-litigious society destroyed it.

"All the innocence and freewheeling spirit of skiing was basically ripped out from it it and basically goes into this stagnant, awful world or interpretation, unfortunately, we're still in," says Plake. "We chipped at the foundation but haven't made a big difference."

Plake also recognizes the influence of that era, especially Bobbie Burns. He thinks nothing happening today is as original.

"I have a hard time thinking that I started anything. I was just another link in the chain," says Plake. "I really don't think anything Tanner did was revolutionary, I don't think anything going on today is revolutionary at all, it's simply an extension of the hot-dogging era."

Show Notes
2:00: South Lake Tahoe: The early days
3:51: The Hot Doggers
5:50: Racing
9:30: Insurance screwed the Hot Doggers
11:30 Ski Hall of Fame
16:50: The future is bumpy
19:00: The image and the Hawk
22:00: Polluting Brad Holmes
30:29: Leg break
33:50: Denied access
38:07: A lot of trouble
39:30: Crashing Blizzard of Aahhhs

Nov 01 2016

42mins

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Rank #2: Sponsored, Episode 10: Cody Townsend

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Cody Townsend, who was fresh off a "jungle skiing" shoot as the stunt double for Vin Diesel. Townsend talks about how, as a kid, he followed the stars of Squaw, like Shane McConkey, JT Holmes, and Kent Kreitler, until they let them ski with him.

"I literally would tail them, two or three chairs behind them, and follow them around," says Townsend. "I remember I had a pair of GS skis, and I bent up the tails with irons so that i had my first pair of twin-tips, and those guys are on fat skis on a pow day, ripping turns, and skiing lines and I would just straightline everything because I had such skinny skis on, to try to keep up with them. Eventually, that day, JT came up to me and was like, 'Dude, you got to get some fat skis.' The rest is history. JT and Kreitler took me under their wing."

Townsend is also candid about his setbacks and doubt of fulfilling his dream.

"I remember going to Shane McConkey's house... putting the VHS in... watching it and just wanting to cry because [my footage] was so bad," he says. "I definitely remember, man, maybe I'm not going to be a pro skier, because I suck. I was really down at that moment. This has been my dream since I was 6 years old, since I watched Scot Schmidt movies and was like, oh my God, I want to be a skier."

Nov 09 2016

43mins

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Rank #3: Sponsored, Episode 8: Sammy Carlson

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Sammy Carlson's start began with a fateful powder day in which he missed a ski training on Mount Hood. On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, Carlson tells host Mike Powell that after he missed the training, his coaches wouldn't let him ski in a big race. So he and a buddy hiked over the backside of the hill where the park was.

"We were sitting in the trees, watching, and we saw [Eric] Pollard roll through with a couple buddies and it was slow motion the way he made it look. We were blown away," says Carlson. "We followed him down and shadowed him for a couple laps and we both just decided, alright, we’re done racing. That’s when it started."

Carlson also talks about how, after his sponsorship with APO skis dissolved, he cold-called Armada simply looking for a pair of new skis.

“I didn’t think I would make it this far as a pro skier. I’m just going to call Armada and hope that I have the relationship in the ski industry where I can at least get some free skis from them and I’ll just go skiing," says Carlson. "Because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. Just skiing. It still brings me a lot of joy.”

Show notes:
1:00 Premiere season
2:15: Getting into skiing
4:30: Inspiration to get out of racing
6:15: The beginning of a career
10:45: School as a pro skier and tough decisions
17:45: Competition, Apo and the end of traditional contests
32:45: Personal projects
39:40: Why isn’t Sammy looked at as one of the best ever?

Oct 25 2016

45mins

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Rank #4: Sponsored, Episode 11: Greg Stump

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Greg Stump, who is among the most influential people in skiing ever. The man behind Maltese Flamingo, Blizzard of Aahhh's, and other classics, Stump changed the way ski movies look, feel, and sound.

Stump talks about his growth as a skier and then as a filmmaker, shooting Scot Schmidt, Mike Hattrup, and Glen Plake, who was always pushing the boundaries of, well, everything.

Show Notes
2:27: Getting into skiing
4:35: Hotdogging and winning competitions
5:44: Sponsors
6:54: Partying during the ski days
7:50: Skiing in for Barrymore and Miller
10:53: Why make your own movies?
13:04: Afraid of Plake
17:30: Blizzard and money
20:30: POV Camera’s
24:34: Lucas Nelson
25:39: Tony Hawk
28:12: What’s next

Nov 16 2016

31mins

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Rank #5: Sponsored, Episode 12: Hadley Hammer

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, host Mike Powell interviews top big-mountain skier Hadley Hammer. A Jackson Hole local, Hammer stands out for her intelligence and ability to drop massive cliffs effortlessly. A Jackson Hole local, Hammer stands out for her intelligence and ability to drop massive cliffs effortlessly. The two discuss her background, how she made it as a skier, and the difference in being a female professional skier.

"I think it's way easier to be a female in action sports," says Hammer. "When you really think about it, they're aren't that many girls out there. There are maybe 10 that can really crush. My bigger concern is, where are all the girls coming up?"

Hadley Hammer Show Notes
1:00: Running Marathons
2:25: Growing up in Jackson Hole
7:30 New Hampshire
11:00: Working as an 8 year old
12:00 Washington DC
14:00: Back to the mountains
16:00: Taking Skiing more seriously and breaking her back, then what happens?
17:30: Competing
26:44: Transitioning to filming
29:50: Going to Windell’s with Angel
32:04: Line and The Traveling Circus
33:06 Gender and Skiing
38:00: What’s on tap for Hadley

Nov 22 2016

42mins

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Rank #6: Sponsored, Episode 3: Andy Mahre

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On this special episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Andy Mahre—who, alongside Seth Morrison, was recently let go from longtime sponsor K2. This summer, Mahre also had a baby with his new wife, Shannon, and he speaks openly about the context of K2's decision for both himself and the company. "The timing right now is not ideal," says Mahre, "but it is what it is."

K2 has a history of letting go of legendary skiers, including Glen Plake, not to mention Andy's father and uncle, Steve and Phil Mahre, two of the best American ski racers of all time. Still, Andy Mahre handles the situation with grace and an understanding that, even if the brand felt like family, it's still just business

Mahre also talks about skiing the national parks with POWDER's Monumental project. He is also candid about fatherhood. "It makes you feel like a real man... you're a real man doing cool stuff in the mountains, but create this new life and watch it grow and learn, it's pretty amazing," he says.

Sep 22 2016

21mins

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Rank #7: Sponsored, Episode 17: Karl Fostvedt

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, Karl Fostvedt talks to host Mike Powell about pursuing his dream of being a professional skier at all costs. "I always wanted to be a pro skier. I've always wanted it and have been working for it." Powell talks to Fostvedt about how he finagled his way into a variety of contests, including how he showed up to Cold Rush unannounced.

"Cold Rush had this crazy sketchy railroad feature, and nobody wanted to hit it. Pep (Fujas) rolled through and I had noticed that nobody was hitting that thing and rails have always just come naturally to me. I had asked him to let me into the competition and there was nothing he could do, so I was like, 'Hey man, can I please just guinea pig that rail?' I think he had a sigh of relief, like, he didn't want to hit it. I think I had my powder skis on at the time and never hit a rail on them, but I was feeling a little pressure from a childhood hero and decided to send it and ended it up greasing it up and landing it perfect. Right after that, everybody started sessioning it.

Show Notes
2:00: Problems at the border
4:20: Growing up
10:30: After High School
15:00: Relationship with ON3P
19:00: Getting into Dew Tour
23:00: Detroit
28:00: Tamashii Project
32:00: Hollywood
40:00: What’s next

Dec 28 2016

42mins

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Rank #8: Sponsored, Episode 16: Clayton Vila

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Clayton Vila is one of the hardest working and most accomplished street skiers in the world. On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, Vila and host Mike Powell discuss how he got into street skiing as a kid from Rhode Island, and the consequences of pursuing creativity over competition.

"The K2 team had a bunch of dudes and none of them competed," says Vila. "These people are backing people who are just doing what I want to do and skiing with the utmost integrity and pushing skiing in other ways beyond competition, which was why it was like, 'wow, if I get in with these dudes I might be able to make it."

In addition to being one of the most influential contemporary skiers in the world, Vila is also a filmmaker (at the 2015 Powder Awards, Vila took home Movie of the Year for his role starring and producing For Lack of Better. He now lives in LA and works on the show "Scandal," but he has no intention of not skiing urban.

"It may be one of the more wearing sports mentally, in terms of the work ethic, and just being in crappy cities, being in hotels, it being negative 20 in Minnesota filming your friends and your fingers are falling off and you have nothing to show for it at the end of the day," says Vila. "That whole thing wears on you, but I don't see myself stopping anytime soon."

Show Notes

2:00: Last Season
4:00: Block Island
5:00: How did Clayton get into skiing on an island?
6:00: Waterville Valley
11:05: Meeting the Stept Crew
13:00: Getting on K2
15:55: It’s not about skiing
19:20: Injuries
22:30: Filmmaking
24:29: Finances
26:30: Powder Awards Movie of the Year

Dec 20 2016

29mins

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Rank #9: Sponsored, Episode 5: Chris Benchetler

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Chris Benchetler, one of the most successful athletes in skiing, who is known for his style. The two discuss food, marriage, and tragedy. When Benchetler was 15, his dad died of cancer.

"He was from Hungary and he never taught us Hungarian because he escaped during the revolution. He would be in crazy pain, and scared and sick and start talking to me in Hungarian and there was just a lot to deal with that I didn't quite know how," says Benchetler. "He was scared of dying and [Mom] was scared that she wasn't going to be able to take care of us financially. I had to grow up very quick. I dealt with a lot."

Powell also discusses the keys to Benchetlers long and productive career.

"It's a lot of who you know and the opportunities you can create for yourself and success comes from—you don't get what you don't ask for," says Benchetler. "If you put yourself out there a lot of times you'll surprise yourself."

2:02 Is Chris going to have kids?
3:10 Chris and his family
6:15 Early days skiing
10:35 Rory Silva
11:45 Healthy lifestyle
15:15 Losing his father
20:35 Getting sponsored
22:00 Injured at Parkasaurus
26:00 Atomic
32:00 Money to play with
33:40 Getting sponsors to help with projects
36:35 The proposal
38:45 Crazy travel experiences
42:20 Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Oct 04 2016

43mins

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Rank #10: Sponsored, Episode 6: Michelle Parker

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Michelle Parker, one of the most well-rounded skiers in the sport and an eternal optimist.

"Skiing is the most fun thing in my life. It is my biggest passion. I love it so much," says Parker. "The second that it starts to become not fun, I'm doing something wrong and I need to reevaluate. My whole thing was no pressure, have fun with it, always smile."

Parker retains her positivity despite the number of difficult injuries and tragedies she has experienced among her Lake Tahoe community.

"I don't think it's normal for someone my age to have lost more people than I can count on both hands that I consider to be close to me," says Parker. "Every death I personally deal with it differently, and the most recent one that affected me super deeply was Timy Dutton, and he was my best friend since day one and we were like babies together and our moms were super close... I haven't had the nerve to delete his name from my phone. When I think about him, I have to laugh."

Michelle Parker Show Notes

1:50: What has Michelle been up to?
2:37: Knee injuries and positivity
3:35: Mike Powell Story
4:50: Life as a ski racer and the transition into free skiing
6:00: The scene in Squaw while Michelle was coming up, getting sponsored and more
9:45: Contest mentality
11:26: The fine line between being a great skier and a professional skier
13:06: Creepy things photographers do and strange photo shoots
16:08: Contests and learning sportsmanship from her Pro Tennis Player dad
17:55: The Pain McShlonkey and growing up with Shane
19:12: Coping with death in Squaw Valley
21:24: The community of Squaw Valley
22:35: Black Panther and other call names
23:18: Winning the 2013 Female performance of the year at the Powder Awards
23:48: Losing her sponsors and then kicking ass
26:10: What does Red Bull do differently?
29:00 Michelle talks about her first time going to Burning Man
30:22: Michelle plays her Ukulele and sings us an original song.
35:50: Safe As
37:44: When will Michelle be back on snow

Oct 11 2016

39mins

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Rank #11: Sponsored, Episode 14: Glen Plake, part two

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, Glen Plake comes on for part two, recorded just after the 2016 presidential election. Plake discusses the election with host Mike Powell.

"We've had all these baby boomer presidents for years and years. They were born during the highest times of prosperity. Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll and hippies and women's rights and all this social stuff and all their agends have been played out. And yet, The Gen X's were born with divorce and energy crisis and all these kind of leftover shit. Whatever."

The two also discuss his diamond-studded tooth ("It was not a bling tooth, it was a pirate tooth!"), the intracacies of his mohawk, and his grassroots career in the face of a digital world.

"I'm old school, hand in hand, and I love that," says Plake. "I meet so many people that say they are my fans and I tell everybody, I might only have 10 to 15,000 followers, but I tell you what, you call one right now, tell them you have a dead battery, and they'll be on their way."

Photo: Dom Daher

Dec 06 2016

26mins

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Rank #12: Sponsored, Episode 15: Glen Plake, part three

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, Glen Plake comes on for the third and final part of his conversation with host Mike Powell.
The two talk about the dawn of snowboarding and how it was pitted against skiing as a marketing ploy, but in the beginning, it was all about just being in the mountains and being creative.

Glen Plake Part three Show Notes:

1:00: The beginning of snowboarding and how Plake was involved
7:25: Skiing and how they use athletes
9:49: The old guard of skiing
11:26: Hotel and Resort Ski Areas
12:40: How Plake’s skiing has evolved
21:50: Down Home Tour
25:30: The promotional machine of Plake
29:23: The Guatemalan Persuader
38:15: Rory Silva

Dec 14 2016

38mins

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Rank #13: Sponsored, Episode 13: Mike Douglas

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This week on the "Sponsored" podcast, Mike Douglas tells his story, including the time he first went skiing—on a school trip when he was in the fifth grade, at Vancouver Island's Mount Washington.

"We went up there and felt that sensation of sliding on snow and the adventure that came with that, cruising down this forested run, I did this big long turn wondering what was coming up around the corner thinking, 'This is the coolest thing ever.'" Pretty much from that first day, that was the ultimate, and that's all I wanted to do."

Show Notes:
1:30: Film Festivals and ‘Guilt Trip’
3:30 Climate Change
4:40: Growing up and getting into skiing
10:00: The progression of his ski career
14:00: Not going back to school
19:36: The beginning of the New School
22:00: We need new gear
30:08: Technology now matches what snowboarding has
33:45: Product development involvement over the years
36:27: Salomon Freeski TV

Nov 29 2016

39mins

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Rank #14: Sponsored, Episode 4: Colby West

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Colby James West. West and Powell discuss West's career arc. Now out of skiing, West is looking for acting and voice work in Los Angeles, while experimenting with drift car racing. "I’m going to figure out my own way to do it," says West, "and I want to show how I can be unique and separate from that crowd.”

Show Notes 1:25—East Coast skiing
3:00—High North Ski Camp 9:10—Getting his first sponsor 12:15—Leaving school to chase the dream 14:20—Rory Silva 16:00—Leaving for Volkl and arriving at a career 18:17—Competitions 23:56—CoreUPT 26:35—Kastle, the Olympics and 3 pro models 30:30—The end of a ski career 32:45—The talent of Colby West 34:45—How does he “make it” in Hollywood?

For additional conversation with Colby West, the Inappropriate Questions Podcast is now available on thepowellmovement.com and android. Each week the guest on Sponsored will be asked three inappropriate questions from the mind of the previous Sponsored guest.

Sep 27 2016

43mins

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Rank #15: Sponsored, Episode 7: Kent Kreitler

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On this episode of the "Sponsored" podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Mike Powell interviews Kent Kreitler, one of the pioneers of skiing in the 1990s. The two discuss his college roommate, Shane McConkey, the challenges of making it in skiing, and moving on from being a professional skier.

"When I was younger I was very unafraid and very passion driven and really I loved all the middle and early parts of my career because they were so explorative. One of the biggest thrills for me was being a pioneer," says Kreitler. "Everything you did, going to Alaska, New Zealand, going to mountain ranges that people had never skied before. So I absolutely loved that. Doug [Coombs] had a weird accident where he slipped on some ice... I had been through a major injury, and I was like, 'What are my goals at this point? What have I achieved? And where do I take it from here? And there wasn't that much left for me at that time."

Kent Kreitler Show Notes
2:30 From KC to NJ to SV
5:43: Race talent in SV
9:00: College with McConkey
12:23 Dropping out of school + Volant and Spyder
13:48: First paid ski trip to Las Lenas
15:29: The excitement around Freeskiing and the ’93 Extreme Championships
17:35 Snowboarding is killing skiing
18:57: How much money did Kent make skiing
21:43: Scared into yoga….not really
26:07: Life after skiing
29:45 150 acres of land in Panama
31:18: What does skiing need?
35:30: Pro models

Oct 18 2016

37mins

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