Interview - Cody Townsend
– On combining professional skiing with family life
After making an impact on the Freeride World Tour, Cody Townsend left competing at 2014 to pursue life as a truly free skier. With his joyful attitude and insane lines, he’s racking up millions of views on Youtube. As far as equipment goes, Cody is quite particular when it comes to his gear, and he’s been riding in Hestra gloves for a long time.
“I tried on my first pair of Hestra gloves 14 years ago when they were still kind of rare in the US, and I was immediately blown away by the quality. I dug up some obscure info-email-address in Sweden and wrote them: ”Guys, I really want to ski in your gloves, is there any way we can work together?” Today I use Hestra gloves not only when I ski but also for bike gloves, work gloves and golf gloves – the quality is amazing throughout. From the fit and the craftsmanship, you can really tell that they’ve been doing this for some 90 odd years, there’s just so much pride going into the product” says Cody.
The past few years he’s been working on “the Fifty”, a project where he’s skiing the 50 most classic back country lines in North America. But the biggest challenge in his life right now is becoming a father for the first time, as he and his wife and fellow free skier Elyse Saugstad have a newborn baby boy at home.
“Family life will probably affect me in ways I don’t know yet. But I hope that we’ll be able to travel together with our son and keep doing what we love. When it comes to taking risks, I’ve had to learn the hard way about safety. I’ve lost a number of friends over the years and I have my priorities straight: my number one goal is always to come home at the end of the day.”
As a sponsored athlete, Cody receives new gear for every season, and through his career he has tried on tons of different glove models. But over the years he has developed a different mindset when it comes to trying out new gear.
“At some point I felt that – you know what: these gloves are still really good so I don’t need a new pair just for the sake of it. I decided to use the same pair of Fält Guide Gloves for the entire ”the Fifty” project. It’s a good thing from a sustainability point of view, and the gloves work really well. Honestly, they become more comfortable the more I use them.”
This winter season Cody is planning on completing the project, with a number of challenging descents primarily located in Alaska and Canada.
“This whole enterprise took quite a while longer than expected due to the pandemic, but now things are slowly easing back into normal, and I’m really looking forward to a lot of skiing again this winter.”