Big Mountain Skier

Thomas Rozsypalek

Tell us about you! How did you get into sport? Where are you from? What is your story?

I grew up in Pemberton, BC and started skiing at 3 years old. It quickly progressed from a fun family activity into driving around BC during the winters for big mountain ski competitions and chasing ski sponsors. For every kid that grows up here, we dream of being a pro skier. I found my love in skiing big lines in the backcountry. The challenge of using snowmobiles, skis and ski mountaineering skills to ski lines has become my passion. The added challenge of documenting it on photo or video in a creative and engaging way is where some of the fun also lies. I'm still learning and will always continue to learn these skills. It's pretty sweet to see a peak on google earth, figure out how to get there and climb it. Then do it, ski it and make a short video of the adventure.

What is a fun fact about you or something not many people know about you?

While I'm not a large crowd person, I absolutely live music.

What has been your biggest struggle throughout your career? How have you dealt with or overcome that?

During my ski career the biggest struggle was when Dave Treadway died. He was not only like a big brother but also a mentor who made me feel like family. Loosing a close friend to the mountains is tough. I got to share my first day back in the mountains with a close friend, Tim Grey. We both were really close with Dave and sharing our first day back into the mountains after loosing him was pretty special and helped both of us heal immensely. It imprinted what we already knew, if we stopped, Dave would never let us hear the end of it.

Injury is a part of life, and sport - how did you deal with yours?

I am currently going through my first long term injury. I blew my knee and had my ACL reconstructed 6 weeks ago. (Surgery date September 17) The first 4 weeks were tough. But with more movement and strength it has gotten a lot easier. Just have to remember that it's a marathon not a race. Slow and steady wins the race and it's been a learning curve slowing down.

What’s your favourite pre/post sweat snack? Your must have treat?

Dark chocolate and dried mangos.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I haven't stood in the start gate in a while but I used to focus on my breathing and try to keep my nerves calm. Quick pole tap and out the start gate. When I am filming, I do a big wave with my arms over my head, tap my poles and drop in. During competitions, I was never really able to get into the same flow state as I am filming, shooting photos or free skiing.

What gets you most excited about being a part of the Stoko Ambassador program?

The product. I am amazed at how it supports my knee and gives me added confidence that will improve my return to sport. I highly recommend the K1s because of how much they are already helping my recovery and I can't wait to try them on the slopes!

Career Highlights!?

I stopped seriously competing when I graduated high school. My heart was never in the comps. It's always been in the backcountry and shooting. Winning 2nd place at the Deep Winter Photo Challenge with Kieran Brownie was sweet. Other than that, I had a winning line at the first ever Powder Crown at Whitewater ski resort but crashed on the flats from a snow snake. Lastly, making the first episode of Dave's Truck with Tim Grey was awesome. It was shared more than I thought and the response was awesome. I'm stoked on how it turned out and can't wait to do more.

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