Our week long look back at the Malibu Open 2013, our thoughts, take aways and impressions in no particular order. Each article will tackle different things that we thought we thought.
The Above video is of Freddy's 223 foot jump to close out the preliminary round.
While Freddy going 220 + isn't huge news on its own, the circumstances leading to that make this particular jump something that to our eyes, makes him even more impressive.
The events friday were a bit of a weird situation thought out the day, it rained in the morning, it was sort of humid and sweaty even though it wasn't particularly hot.
A few jumpers earlier Jimmy Siemers went out the front in a spectacular crash that caused him to tap out of the competition. For those of us who are not around pro skier people on a daily basis or only get to witness it once or twice a year, the speed and strength and sheer velocity of the skiers as they approach, hit and exit the ramp is stunning.
Which makes Jimmy's crash, and subsequently Freddy's, more amazing that they walk away. While the physics of landing jumps further away make the imact less intense, hitting the water at that speed at any angle of attack is going to hurt.
After a couple more skiers it was Freddy's time to jump, and just like Jimmy, Freddy's first jump was a spectacular fall. He came off the top of the jump and sort of petered forwards, eventually tucking into a front flip, there was a big explosion as he hit the water and we all sort of assumed that would be it for him.
Which, lets be honest, would be a huge bummer. With Ryan Dodd not skiing, who I would probably put as the #2 biggest draw for mens jump, losing the biggest name and face of mens jumping would be quite a blow.
After a few minutes, clearing out the cobwebs we supposed, Freddy straped back in and gave it a go...
Jump Two wasn't anything amazing, maybe 200? But, it didn't, to the naked eye, look like "Freddy"..looked more like a person who looks like Freddy, but, wasn't. Who is this imposter!!?
But, then came Jump 3.
That looked like Freddy! Whoooosh. Boom. A 223' foot leap to get into the finals. We all went bonkers and all was right with the world.
Freddy has a distinctive style, where as, in comparison to day, the Jumping Asher Brother whose style appears a more muscular, ferocious attack on the ramp, to Freddy's whose appears to be a more clinical, geometry type..he doesn't seem to generate the same height or force, but, just BOOP glides through the air and lands further then anyone else...its quite mesmerizing.
As our group was wandering off to find a bar, we happened to walk by Freddy as he was making his way to wherever the immortals go after skiing, a throne? a hot tub? and he was limping badly...walking gingerly like a dude who just got his ass kicked.
But, we wished him good luck and off we went.
Saturday evening he strapped on the skis again and went out and won. This dude who looked broken just a day before again did what he did and won another tournament. The mentality to be a great jumper has to be one of simply ignoring pain and fear and just going far, let the rest take care of itself.
That was certainly in evidence watching Freddy ski and fight through the injuries. Thats what makes him a beast.