Freeskiers Do It for the Thrills

Death-defying sport doesn't come with a big paycheck
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2008 5:36 PM CST

(Newser) – Freeskiing, extreme skiing, call it what you like—just don't say it's a stable career. Freeskiers admit that their work is risky and low-paying, but skiers and fans alike indulge in the adrenaline rush of danger. "It's the same reason people watch NASCAR," said Steve Winter, who founded a ski film company in Redmond, Utah. "There's always that possibility that something can go wrong."

When it does, skiers are left grieving for fallen colleagues. While skiing for a film in Utah last month, freeskier Billy Poole lost control and cartwheeled fatally into rocks. "It's like going 60 mph in a car on the way to the store and taking one wrong turn one day and dying," one skier told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.