Skiing caught up with Chilean freeskier Chopo Diaz to talk about creating an all-Chilean team for this year's Eye of the Condor, and joining forces with the media crew from last year’s winning team.
How’s the snow?
The snow is getting better. We haven’t had much snow this season but there are some storms coming. We have a good base for the beginning of the season. We’ve had a good two or three snowfalls. It’s dense and kind of wet so the base is really solid. We definitely need a couple inches of pow.
How did you guys meet and form the team?
The Chilean ski community is pretty small. There are a few freestylers and a few freeriders but not a really big freestyle community, so the good skiers and riders are well known because they are the only ones. The team we have this year, the first Chilean team, is pretty young. A few of the guys are 16 and 17. They are really good freestylers, really stylie skiing. My sister Sole is also on the team.
The photographer, Juan Luis de Heeckeren, and the videographer, Alvaro Zurita, worked with Dubsatch Collective last year. They both won so that’s good, but their riders were all Americans. This year they wanted to have a full Chilean team.
Have you skied together before?
Vincente, Sole and I are on the same team, we’re North Face athletes, so we kind of ski together sometimes. Matias Muñoz is my cousin too, so I’ve skied with him a few times. I’ve seen their progression over the years. It’s funny how they ski right now compared to when they were small.
Do you think you have the home mountain advantage?
I don’t know. It’s very small and every rider knows it pretty well. They get a whole week to explore. We might have a little advantage. I don’t ski there, but my sister and one of the other guys on the team do. It’s not a big place. It’s not small either. It’s one of the biggest in Chile, but you can get to know it really well in a couple days.
Teach me some Spanish. What do I need to know for EOTC?
How about “¿Donde está el baño?”
Yeah, what about “¿Donde está las cervezas?”
Yeah, that one too, that’s first, baño comes next, and “Me gusta” is a good one too.
What’s the plan of attack?
We definitely want to win, but we also want to make really good material. We have these two new guys who are really good riders, no one really knows them, but we know these two guys are good. We’re going to do our best to be the best and get the best footage possible.