Dew Tour Q&A: Talking Dew Tour with Devin Logan, U.S. ski slopestyle veteran
December 8, 2016
A miniscule number of humans have skied in, around and all over Fenway Park, the holy land of Red Sox baseball in the heart of Boston. Native East Coaster Devin Logan is one of the lucky few.
Back in February, 23-year-old Logan joined pros like Vincent Gagnier, Nic Goepper and Emma Dahlstrom for the Big Air at Fenway, a freeski World Cup contest held in the heart of center field at the historic ballpark on tons and tons of trucked-in snow. It was her second (yes, second) time hucking it for friends and family in Fenway — and it felt just as good as the first time. Oh, and did she mention how the run-in for the jump was perched on a piece of scaffolding some 140 feet tall?
"The crowd itself was chanting," said Logan, who moved from New York to Park City, Utah right after high school to train with the U.S. Freeskiing team. "You'd stand on top of the scaffolding and look out and see it all. It was a crazy sight."
It's one of a dozen highlights in a young career teeming with them. In 2012, she took silver in slopestyle at Winter X Games in Aspen, all in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where she took home silver in the debut women's ski slope competition.
This weekend, Logan goes up against veterans like Kaya Turski of Canada and total newcomers like Kelly Sildaru, the 14-year-old Estonian skier who came to Breck last year as a 13-year-old rookie and left with a surprise gold — only to repeat with gold at X Games a month later. It'll be a tough field for sure, and making the Dew Tour podium has been a long time coming for Logan: her last win was in 2012 at Killington, Vermont, and in the halfpipe no less.
Between practice and downtime, the Summit Daily sports desk caught up with Logan to talk about the new Dew Tour format — there's just one big-air jump and four jib lines, not a traditional course with multiple jumps on a single run — and what comes next after hanging up her competition skis.
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Summit Daily News: Dew Tour is shaking things up this year with a modified slopestyle course. What first went through your head when you heard about the format?
Devin Logan: It's exciting, you know. After a couple years of a normal course — three jumps, three rails — it's fun to mix it up and get creative. They're working with the lack of snow and pulling it off. That means they just have one jump, and the rail garden is four whole sections. You can really get unique with it. I'm starting to find my line and practice is going well.
SDN: What makes you more nervous: the single big-air hit or the four jib lines?
DL: I think the rail garden, just because I think I'm a better jumper than a rail skier. It's been challenging, but it's also cool because I've been concentrating more on the rails. I've been working on my jump tricks and have those dialed in. The rails can be frightening because there are so many good rail skiers out there. It's put me out of my comfort zone.
SDN: How so?
DL: I think I've just been jumping more. I'd rather fall off a jump than 2 feet onto a metal rail (laughs). It's just something in my head, but I've been working on rails and hopefully now will be a good time to showcase what I've been doing. There's a difficulty to rails. When you have a normal slopestyle, you're looking for a clean, consistent run. With just a jib course, you have to show you can spin on, spin off, mix it up — just not repeat tricks.
SDN: These days, is one skill more important — or maybe more heavily rewarded by judges — than the other on a slopestyle course?
DL: Well, in a full run, it should be weighted 50-50. At this competition though, you'll see that the rails will be weighted heavier than the jump because there is only one jump and four sections of rails. That's where you have to put your attention to get the majority of your points. But it's still so new, so I'm just going with the flow, figuring it out as I go along.
SDN: You're no stranger to big air, including the Big Air at Fenway in 2015. Did you return in 2016?
DL: Yes, I did. It was awesome to be back there. I'm from New England originally, and Fenway the ballpark is just such a big part of Boston. A bunch of my family came and it was awesome to have them there, to compete — everything. The crowd itself was chanting. You'd stand on top of the scaffolding and look out and see it all. It was a crazy sight.
SDN: What did you throw down on the Fenway jump? And can we expect the same on the Dew Tour slopestyle hit?
DL: At Fenway, my two jumps were a cork 7 tail and a rodeo 5. Unfortunately I didn't land the rodeo 5. At Dew Tour, you get four jumps, and you have to hit them forward and switch. It's a rule this year. It's kind of the same with the team event, with different rules and stuff for people to follow. They're kind of forcing you to do this, but I feel really good about it. I feel good on jumps, I feel confident in my jumping, and I can just hope to put down the tricks I want, as clean as I want.
SDN: When we spoke before Dew Tour last year, you said women's freeskiing is a bona fide international sport these days. Is it still moving in that direction?
DL: Definitely. I feel like, just with the publicity we got from the Olympics, countries are starting to get into freeskiing. There are people coming out of the woodworks you wouldn't see otherwise, and it's awesome. This is putting the sport on a higher tier than ever before.
SDN: What's the trick to staying at the very highest level when so many thousands of kids from across the world are getting into freeskiing?
DL: (Pause.) That's a good question. With everyone coming in, they're bringing more flair and excitement to the sport, and that re-inspires me. I feel like you can get stuck in a phase where you do the same thing, where you stay comfortable, but with all of these new phenomenons like Kelly Sildarua, they're lighting the fire under my butt to keep going and keep learning. At the same time, I also personally want to progress and keep getting better. Again, you look at someone like Kelly and she's pushing it. If I want to stay in the game, I have to push myself the way she's pushing the sport.
SDN: Do you want to keep competing for the rest of your career? Or will you get into filming and all of that?
DL: Well, my goal is to make it to 2018 (Winter Olympics). That's what I want to do, and I want to compete in halfpipe and slopeystle. I barely missed out on pipe in Sochi. From there, I don't know. I don't think my body can do slopestyle for the rest of my life, so hopefully I can use that as a baseline to get into the backcountry and do everything else I want to with the sport.
SDN: Without jinxing yourself, give me your Olympic prediction: Will you make the podium again? Maybe take gold this time?
DL: My goal is to ultimately make two podiums. Who wouldn't want that? It's the goal without jinxing myself. If I even end up making the team, I'll still be excited to represent my country again. It's about baby steps, one step at a time.
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