The Best of the Decade: Athletes, Gear, News, and Entertainment

Lucy Ferneyhough | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Marcel Hirscher bursts into color for a celebratory slalom run.
Marcel Hirscher’s celebratory slalom color run with Red Bull after winning his fourth straight overall World Cup title in 2015. — Credit: Red Bull Snow

The skiing and snowboarding industry has taken off in the last decade with more and more athletes pulling off incredible feats and pushing the boundaries of how we interact with snow. From new tricks to world records being smashed and jawdropping camera footage amazing fans worldwide, we’ve collected some of the greatest stars, gear, moments, and movies from the last ten years to take a look back before we move forward into 2020 and another decade of amazing action.

Male Athletes of the Decade:

  1. Marcel Hirscher: No ski racer has dominated as much as Hirscher this decade, earning eight consecutive overall World Cup titles as the best Alpine skiing all-around champion, along with a silver medal at the 2014 Olympics, and two gold medals at the 2018 Olympics.
  2. Shaun White: Adding to his previous seven X Games gold medals, in the last decade White also captured four more X Games gold medals, contributing to a record-breaking total of eleven golds for snowboarding. In addition, White secured his second and third Olympic gold medals for halfpipe in 2010 and 2018.
  3. David Wise: Wise only began his career freeskiing in 2011, but he has easily become one of the most accomplished halfpipe competitors of all time, securing two Olympic gold medals, four X Games gold medals, and one World Championship gold in the last decade.
After over 400 races, decorated skier Lindsey Vonn has retired at 35 after sustaining many injuries over her career in the last decade.
Lindsey Vonn posing with some of her greatest medals at her final race before retiring this year. — Credit: Marco Trovati, The Associated Press

Female Athletes of the Decade:

  1. Lindsey Vonn: With the announcement of her retirement in 2019, Vonn brought an end to the most successful decade of her career, finishing her professional ski racing years with three Olympic medals, eight World Champion medals, and an unmatched 82 World Cup titles, a level of accomplishment that no other ski racer has reached.
  2. Mikaela Shiffrin: A newcomer this decade, Shiffrin began ski racing in 2010 when she was only 15 years old and has proven herself to be a formidable competitor every season since then with three Olympic medals, seven World Championship medals, and over 60 World Cup titles, 16 of them she secured in a single season, breaking the previous record of 14. Shiffrin was the most dominant ski racer of the 2018-2019 season and she shows no signs of slowing down.
  3. Jamie Anderson: Since the introduction of the snowboarding slopestyle event in the 2014 Olympics, Anderson secured gold in both 2014 and 2018, leaving her the undefeated Olympic slopestyle champion, on top of being the most successful woman in X Games history with 16 medals, never missing the podium whenever she competes.
Drone technology has vastly improved the quality of skiing footage in the last decade, allowing viewers to live the experience with the skier.
Improvements in drone technology have brought ski movies to a whole new level. — Credit: Cape Productions, Fast Company

Best New Gear:

  1. Camera Filming – GoPro HD Hero and Drone Footage: With the rise of social media and online fame, the improvement of GoPros, especially the release of the GoPro HD Hero in 2010, was one of the most important advancements of this decade because it allowed amateurs and pros alike to have even more creative freedom and record their own experiences and lines to share with the world and open up the snow community. Similarly, recent ski and snowboarding movies have taken advantage of new drone technology to produce eye-opening shots in the most remote locations on earth.
  2. Alpine Touring equipment: In the past, alpine touring or backcountry skiing was a sport reserved only for the most extreme athletes, but in recent years the industry has exploded as new technologies including hybrid ski bindings for both touring and riding, and advanced avalanche safety gear expanded alpine touring to the general public.
  3. Lib Technologies Snowboard structures: One of the greatest advancements in the snowboarding industry in the last decade was changes to the structure of the board. Since 2010, many snowboards were designed with the magne-traction or banana technology designs created by Lib Technologies, which changed the face of snowboarding by introducing boards with multiple points that touch the snow, allowing the board to have less “dead space”.
Slopestyle was introduced to the Olympics in 2014.
Marcus Kleveland competing in Slopestyle for snowboarding in the 2018 Olympics. — Credit: PyeongChang2018

Top News Moments:

  1. Addition of Slopestyle and Halfpipe to the Winter Olympic Games (2014): Following heavy lobbying from Sarah Burke, a pioneer of superpipe skiing and slopestyle for skiing, slopestyle for both skiing and snowboarding was officially added to the Winter Olympic Games in 2014. Unfortunately, Burke passed away in 2012 following a training accident so she was unable to participate in the first slopestyle event; however, she is remembered by slopestyle fans internationally who are thrilled with the addition of the sport as an official Olympic event.
  2. Cody Townsend’s Line of the Year (2014): Fans were stunned when Red Bull released a video of Townsend shredding a terrifyingly tight chute in the Alaska Tordrillos Mountain Range in 2014 and the line is frequently cited as one of the most amazing lines ever skied.
  3. Chloe Kim wins back-to-back X Games gold medals before age 16: One of the biggest new snowboarding stars currently holding five X Games gold medals and a gold medal in Olympic halfpipe at only 19 years old, Kim made headlines in 2016 when she secured her first back-to-back gold medals at the X Games, making her the only person under the age of 16 to achieve this feat.
Use GNAR to compete with your friends while skiing.
GNAR: The Legacy of Shane McConkey, brought to life in 2014 at Squaw Valley and all across the US. — Credit: Ski Peak


  1. GNAR: Inspired by Shane McConkey’s chapter of the book Squallywood, detailing a Numerical Assessment of Radness system to allow skiers to playfully compete with each other, Unofficial Networks created a real-life game of GNAR in 2011 in memory of McConkey and then filmed the entire experience to create an epic ski movie adventure. The purpose of GNAR was to bring creativity, passion, and fun back into the ski community, and the GNAR movie perfectly captures this essence and joy.
  2. Few Words: In 2015, Quiksilver produced one of the best ski documentaries of all time, showing the rise and fall and rise again of world-renowned freeskier Candide Thovex, revealing how he developed his skiing style, his relationship with the mountains, and his recovery after breaking his spine in 2007, all combined with stunning shots of some of Thovex’s best skiing in jaw-dropping locations across the globe.
  3. The Jeremy Jones TGR Trilogy (Deeper, Further, Higher): From 2010 to 2014, Jones embarked on a massive mission to produce a trilogy of snowboarding movies with Teton Gravity Research, all centered around pushing far beyond the traditional boundaries of snowboarding and exploring the most remote mountain ranges, without helicopters or snowmobiles in order to promote environmental protection, one of Jones’ biggest passions after he started his non-profit called Protect Our Winters in 2007.

In the last ten years, we have seen the snow industry grow and evolve into an even greater community, bringing together the competitiveness and caliber of any Olympic or professional sport, while also retaining the playfulness and creativity that allow skiers and snowboarders to continue evolving and pushing the boundaries even further. With athletes, technology, and movies improving every year, we can’t wait for the next decade of great snow news!

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