There was a time when ski shops sold mostly race gear and carving skis. They might have had a pair of twin-tips in the corner or some fat skis for people to look at in bewilderment, but no shop before FRESH looked to the future and focused solely on freeskiing. Built on the idea that regular skiers want the freedom to explore the entire mountain, Fresh, the original freeski shop, opened in 2001. Freeride skis are Rockies skis. People here want to ski powder, groomers, and park all in the same day. It seems obvious now, but those words were prophetic when the shop first opened.
As the world caught on to the fun and freeskiing grew, so did the influence of FRESH. The shop became the hub of an otherwise fragmented Alberta ski scene. FRESH encouraged the early growth of freeskiing contests in the Rockies by connecting organizers, ski resorts, and sponsoring companies. The shop also supported local movies, skier-friendly terrain parks, and freeskiing clubs.
In 2003, Fresh decided it was time to build their own event; FRESHtival brought all the major movie companies, brands, and their athletes together for three days of ski movies, autograph signings, and product giveaways in downtown Calgary. The goal was to stoke the local audience and shine a spotlight on the city’s ski culture. On all points, it was a success, and seventeen years later, FRESHtival continues to be a pre-season highlight for skiers.
Athletes have always understood what FRESH stands for and have wanted to be a part of it. Even non-Albertan skiers like Mike Douglas and the late Sarah Burke have supported the shop. Local-born skiers like Eric Hjorleifson, Rory Bushfield, and Chris Rubens got their starts with FRESH, and today the shop continues to support the current generation of young skiers.
Nineteen years after “The Original Freeski Shop” opened its doors, FRESH is still passionate about the future of skiing and as stoked as ever on our sport!
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