Little known fact… We’ve got some heavy hitters when it comes to park & pipe skiers. Some of the industry’s up and coming riders are from the midwest and when we found out Michigan native Hunter Arbaugh got selected for the 2012 Dew Tour, it was time to show some love. Read on as we find out what it takes.
What’s home for you and where are you hanging out now?
So, I grew up in Harbor Springs Michigan, but I’m going to college in Gunnison, Colorado, right outside of Crested Butte.
I’m 18 years young, and wish I could stay this old forever.
Any current sponsors you want to shout out to?
My sponsors are Rocky Mountain Underground, a small company located in Colorado, who makes an amazing product, So I’d like to thank Luke Allen and Bill Kirkhoff for that oppurtunity. I also ski for the Don Thomas Pro/Am team in Michigan. Also would love to thank Hans for that!
Give us the lowdown on your setup.
Right now, the best set-up in the game, hands down, is the RMU “The Diam” in 178cm, with FKS 180 bindings, Tom Wallisch Full Tilt boots. The skis are lighter than a cloud, the bindings are tougher than nails, and the boots, well. Floss.
What about music, anything influence your skiing?
I am heavily influenced in how I ski by the music I listen to. I HAVE to have music to ski, or else I think to much about tricks or just skiing and fall. But, my music is split into 3 genres. I really enjoy different rap…for instance, SonReal, Kid Cudi, ASAP ROCKY Oncue, Domo Genesis, J. Cole, Weezy, and Earl sweatshirt. Next on the list is jazz/blues. Charles Bradley has to be my top favorite, heard him in a Matt Walker Mt. Hood edit, and haven’t stopped finding new music by the guy. Check it out. Finally, I love some good reggae. No, not a pothead. I listen to Sizzla, Cali P., Collie Buddz… not so much Bob Marley when it comes to skiing haha!
How long have you been skiing, give us some background.
I’ve been skiing for a while now. I think I was almost 2 when my dad put me on his shoulders and that was my first introduction. My mom worked in the ski industry for years with Obermeyer and my dad rep’d Smith for a while as well – so skiing was big in my family. I started out with the local ski academies at Nub’s Nob, which pushed me to slap gates. That, in my mind, got very boring, very quickly. Same old thing, and everyone looked the same. I remember seeing Mike Hornbeck and Trevor Vandenbrink filming at Nubs one day, hitting rails and jumps on skis, and I think that was my first real intro to the sport. Trevor V. later helped me out a lot, and he was my first real mentor.
How did the opportunity for the Dew Tour come about?
It’s really comical actually. What happens, is the Alli Alliance opens registration for the Dew Tour, and anyone can apply. They offer slope and pipe, and I signed up for both, pretty confident I’d get denied. Without realizing it, they pick in waves, and in the 3rd wave, its “random” picks from the registered field. So the other day, I hopped in the car after skiing my first day at Crested Butte, and got an email saying I was denied for Slope. I had completely forgotten about this anyway, so I just deleted the email like any other. I had completely forgotten about my pipe application, and a few moments later, another email came through labeled, “Official Dew Tour Acceptance Conformation.” Needless to say, I then remembered I hadn’t skied pipe in literally years, but it didn’t matter, I was chosen for Dew Tour quals, and still, I’m freaking out! So basically, I got accepted to Dew for a discipline I gave up years ago, which is fine with me. I’m playing the card I’m dealt you could say. The most stressful part hasn’t been getting ready for the pipe, but sorting out my classes around this contest, because like you’d guess, it landed RIGHT on exam week. But thankfully my teachers here are pretty cool, and i’m gonna have to commute to Breck and back a few times during Dew week – 2.5hr drive.
In the end, its crazy to me, because I was stoked to even go watch Dew tour before I went home for Christmas break, and now I’m a part of it. Whether I get last, or somehow make it past Qualis, I’ll be just as happy. I get to ride the best pipe, with the best in the game, doing what I love. I am extremely excited to represent Michigan out there, along side Ty Wellman and Spencer Milbocker, two great friends of mine who are from Michigan and rep Mitten Media, a rising film crew out of GR. I think I speak for all of us, when I say this is a dream come true. Last place, or first.
So what gets you absolutely stoked on the sport?
The thing that gets me most stoked on skiing is realizing how lucky we ALL are. I guess if I had one dream in skiing, it’d be to be able to put out an edit or video segment that got people talking, or stoked on the sport. The doubles and all that jazz is cool because of the scare factor and difficulty, but its become a cliche now to say, “I’d rather see a right cork 9 blunt, rather than a double 12 hucked.” And I completely agree with that. Kids today learn switch doubles before they can do a unnatural (opposite way) 540’s.
Just a little edit while filming with Mitten Media last season in Michigan.