Baltic Ski featuring Tom Wallisch and Good Company
Get on a train, go skiing
It was a simple concept. "Go get on a train, go skiing," says professional freeskier Tom Wallisch. And from that concept sprung an idea. Wallisch and the Good Company crew decided to take trains and buses across Finland and Sweden in search of new adventures, new spots to ski and new memories. 'Baltic Ski' is the result, airing on ABC's "World of X Games" on April 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET. This is a behind the scenes look at the trip.
In the middle
"My name is Tom Wallisch. I'm a professional freeskier from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I'm 29 years old," says Wallisch. "Getting to come to a city like Helsinki or Stockholm or any of these cities, you end up in the middle of the city with everyday life. It's just an exotic experience."
From left to right, Tom Wallisch, Mike Hornbeck and Khai Krepela take a break from the hectic train schedule to squeeze in some ice skating.
"Trains and buses offered us a new perspective of the city," says Wallisch. "You'd get to see a new rail or part of the city that youd want to check out."
Like skateboarders and BMXers before them, the crew discovered that city-based playgrounds offer up unique opportunities to adapt their skiing to. Here, Mike Hornbeck safety grabs over a playground in Helsinki.
By train, bus and bike
Correction: the crew used trains, buses and bikes to get to their destinations.
Khai Krepela takes some spare time to explore an abandoned ship in Helsinki, Finland. "Before this trip, Tom and I were both filming for Real Ski," says Krepela. "Finishing that project and going on this trip allowed me to slow down, take a few breaths and experience it all. It brought me back to life."
"Getting around by trains and buses had its challenging points for sure," says Khai Krepela, taking a moment to reflect on the language barrier here.
Filmmaker Kyle Decker takes a moment to shoot landscapes for 'Baltic Ski.'
Accessibility is key
"To me, one of my favorite aspects of urban skiing is the accessibility," says Wallisch. "You can live in any city around the world that gets snow and go skiing every day. It doesn't get enough credit in our sport."
Not just in and out
"Normal trip, you're in and out," says the Good Company crew. "Showing that you can take a train or bus to any of these locations helps to show that this skiing is accessible to anybody."
Friends in far places
Nikas Eriksson, 270 nose tap on a piece of newly discovered architecture. "It's crazy how you can know someone all over the world. Having friends in Helsinki makes it a lot easier to film urban rails and things out here," says Wallisch.
Light at the end of the tunnel
"Before this, I was working in Michigan with a bunch on my plate, knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel because I knew I'd be going skiing for ten days in Finland," says Mike Hornbeck. "I put some long days in, saved up and came out here."
In a heartbeat
"I would do this all over again in a heartbeat," says Wallisch. "I love traveling for skiing. It's my hobby, passion and job, but this trip, I got to really experience a different place."
Tom Wallisch, tailgrab air to late rail in Stockholm, where school children volunteered to help cart snow to the bottom of the stairs for a smoother landing.
Tune-in on ABC
As part of ABC's "World of X Games," 'Baltic Ski' captures urban freeskier Tom Wallisch and the Good Company crew traversing Finland and Sweden via trains and buses in search of new, undiscovered ski setups. As with all great travel stories, its more about the trip than the destination. Tune-in as Wallisch and company create new setups and new memories while spreading the gospel of urban skiing to new audiences.