An interview with Elisabeth Gerritzen Freeriderin of the Peak Performance Team
The 22 years old Elisabeth Gerritzen, born in Switzerland, is the former winner of the Junior Freeride World Tour and got the second place of the Junior Freeride World Championship in 2013. We spoke with Elisabeth about her life as a freerider and her career plans…
Since when dou you ski and who taught you skiing?
I’ve been skiing ever since I can remember, I must have been around 2 or 3. At first I was skiing with my older brother, then with my parents. Pretty soon I joined the local ski school and ski club in Verbier and I would say that was a turning point. The frustration of training gates on perfect powder days and not doing very well at races is what pushed me outside the slopes instead, hungry for more. The rest is history.
Was makes freeriding special to you and how does it feel like?
First of all, being an adrenalin junkie, freeriding fixes my daily dose necessary to my well-being. It also gives me a sense of total freedom: there aren’t any rules to freeriding. Basically, if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always about taking a lot of risks and doing crazy stunts. That’s what I like about skiing, you can adapt it to your daily mood, confidence level, physical aptitude etc.
Describe a normal day of training!
The fact that I’m not sure how to answer this question is what makes freeskiing so great to me. I never feel like I’m actually training! I just wake up, put on some skis, meet up with friends and ski. Objectively I suppose it could be considered as training, but I really don’t see it that way. Of course, during the pre-season and on down days I still put in a lot of work in the gym to be physically prepared, like more „conventional“ athletes.
What are your future goals concerning your career?
I don’t have any career-oriented goals; being a Freeride World Tour rider and being able to travel the world to do something I’m passionate about is more than enough to keep me satistified. I feel so lucky and greatful about everything skiing has brought me. I can’t let competition results affect this satisfaction. In the grand scheme of things though, I have a some goals, like being able to ski for as long as I can with the same spark as when I was a kid and not forgetting that skiing was a simple passion before it became a career.
Where would like to go freeriding?
There are still so many places I dream to ski. At the moment my mind is fixed on Greece and Turkey. Basically anywhere that hasn’t (yet) been spoilt by the resort-building frenzy is super attractive to me.
Did you ever got in a tricky or dangerous situation while skiing?
Proud and greatful to answer no to this question. Knowing how to stay safe in the mountains and always being both mentally and materially prepared for it not to be is still the most important part of freeskiing for me.
Any tips for beginners?
If you’re not crashing you’re not learning 🙂