Legendary Australian freestyle skier Russ Henshaw is one of the biggest names in the business. Russ travels the world competing in the world circuit, making a name for Australians in the extreme world of big-air competitions. He secured 2nd place in this year’s FIS Freestyle World Cup at Copper Mountain, Colorado. Russ is set to cement his place on the world, snow sport stage with Slopestyle added as a discipline for the first time at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He recently took some time out to chat with Sydney Unleashed.
How did you get started in the industry?
I started out ski racing when I was about 5 years old. I did that for quite a while and decided at 12 it was just a little too boring and I enjoyed jumping a lot more. Even when I was racing I was always finding things to jump off. At 13 I started doing some slopestyle and big air events and ended up doing quite well. At 15 I went to Europe for a season and did every event I possibly could with my former coach Nick. I ended up doing quite well over there and soon after I found myself having a few big sponsors. It kind of snowballed from there.
Best and worst part of what you do?
The best part is definitely all the good times I get to have, traveling the world with my friends. The worst part would have to be injuries. You have to push yourself to be the best but you are walking a fine line with pushing yourself too far and hurting yourself. It sucks, but it’s definitely worth it.
Any interesting experiences you can share?
There are a lot! I think one that sucked at the time but now I look back and laugh at it is when I was in Alaska. I ended up crashing and I had to be taken off the hill in a medical stretcher. The guy who towed me from the event to the medical centre had flung so much snow from the back of his skis onto me that by the time I got to the bottom of the hill I looked like a snow man. I couldn’t do anything to get the snow off me either because my arms were tied down and I couldn’t move!
Favorite album of all time and why?
I don’t really have a favorite album. I listen to a lot of different music. I don’t even think I have a favorite song. I like it all (maybe not country music or opera, but you get the idea!)
Favourite bars/clubs/pubs to hang out in?
I’m not drinking at the moment so I haven’t been out all that much. I would have to say, from back in the day, the bar I had the most fun at was Bygett. It’s a bar in Sweden which holds the after-parties to the Jon Olsson Invitational Big Air. Jon Olsson, the host of the event, organised free drinks for all the athletes each time there was a party and things definitely got wild!
Take us through a typical day in the life of Russ Henshaw.
Well I usually wake up early and the first thing I do is check the weather. If it looks bad I go back to sleep for a bit but if it looks good I get ready as fast as I can and head straight to the mountain to go skiing. I usually get home at around 2pm and then play guitar or maybe go for a skate until the gym opens at 4pm. I then work out for an hour or an hour and a half and then it’s back home, have dinner, climb in to bed and hit the repeat button for the next day!
How do you keep your energy levels up with such a demanding training regime?
As you can see, I do a lot. It’s tough to make sure you can keep your energy levels high to make sure you get the most out of training. Before skiing I will have a can of Red Bull Zero on the drive up and then have another half a can half way through the session. Doing this helps me get into doing tricks faster and I feel more alert and awake. It also sets me up for the rest of the day and I find heading into my work out later in the day, my energy levels are still firing and I am ready to smash it at the gym.
Any news or final comments?
I just want to thank my girlfriend Laura and my family for helping me to get to where I am today. I’d also like to thank all my sponsors because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t being doing what I do on a daily basis, so thank you Red Bull, Volkl, Adidas, Leki, Dalbello, Kibs, and finally Perisher!
© Danny CanakSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.