Tom Smith. Owner of AS
Here is some old history of how Ski Punx began...
It all started in the early 1980s in the mountains outside of Los Angeles. We were the kids showing up at the beach and valley punk rock shows from the mountains. For those not familiar with Southern California, there are 10,000 and 11,000+ ft. mountain peaks within about an hour or so from the Pacific Ocean. So living in a mountain town was different here than most other places. If the snow was shot, or if the weather sucked, we could just bum a ride to the beach which was only an hour and half away. This also allowed us to go down the hill to all the big punk gigs that were happening in Orange
and L.A. counties at the time. We were there for all the big shows along with the small ones too. We saw all the happening bands, FEAR, Black Flag, D.O.A., Circle Jerks, Youth Brigade, Wasted Youth, Agent Orange, DI, GBH, DKs, Exploited, Bad Religion, X, Social D., Agnostic Front, Blast, MDC, Red Kross...the list goes on and on! Punk Rock shows back then were raw, non corporate, and pretty rowdy for sure! These were the days before MTV, "moshing", and snowboarding, had any relevant meaning or influence. You see back then MTV was not the media monster it is now, in the pit we would SLAMDANCE...not "mosh", and snowboarding was barely on the map. All of us would pile into a van with our heads freshly spiked, hawked or buzzed, sporting combat boots, vans skate shoes, old converse and bleached jeans. It was a good bet that the stereo would be blasting some Minor Threat, Discharge, or Black Flag. When our crew would show up at the shows "down below" (The Valley, L.A. O.C.) we made friends and probably a few enemies with all the other groups of kids from the region. There were beach gangs, and punk crews with names like Vicious Circle, FFF, L.A.D.S. (Los Angeles Death Squad), South Bay Skins..and of course the Suicidals from Venice beach. So who were we? We were the kids from the mountain towns and would be eventually be known as SKI PUNX a.k.a. SPX, but instead of fighting with all the other crews we got out our aggression on the hill, and in the pit. Hardcore Punk went well with aggressive skiing! I do know that about this same time there were skier kids from Tahoe who would go down to Sacramento or Reno for punk shows as well. This was probably the case in a few other places; Local kids in some Canadian ski towns probably saw a little action as well. Hard Core Punk Rock was big in Canada then too! The punk scene was independent, and so was a fringe sector of skiing's underground.
In the last few years aggressive freeride skiing has fought back lame stereotypes and has returned to the core. It is returning to its roots where legends like Peterson, Schmidt, Ruff, Plake, and many others laid tracks for skiers like "The new Canadian airforce" who then helped to influence a revolution. Now, it's the skiers TURN again! From California and the West Coast to Canada, Colorado, Utah, and Japan, The East coast to Europe, and Australia to Alaska, newschool skiers are blowing minds worldwide! Now for the most part, segregated hills are a thing of the past. Skiing is again getting the respect that it always deserved. With this clothing company I want to connect the sheer power, and progression of newschool skiing to its independent roots and aggressive style. Remember to always respect the mountains, scare yourself every once in a while, and keep charging hard!
Enjoy the designs!
Years later in the 90's the scene had died away. The Skiing Industry seemed to be in a rut. At the time, myself and others were working on the hill doing what ever we could for a pass. Grunge, rap, and snowboarding were the new so called "cool." On many occasions I can remember being asked "So bro...do you ride?". I would always answer, "Yah...I ride skis" (this later became the inspiration for the SPX "I ride Skis." t-shirt and hoodie). For some reason people who I met at a party or in the lodge after a day on the hill would always assume I was a snowboarder because the way I dressed. That was the way I had always dressed. To them skiers were supposed to wear some lame one piece jump suit or something. Somehow skiing was supposed to be "uncool" now that marketing executives brainwashed them to think so. The truth is skiing at its core has always been punk rock! It always seemed to me that most of the people I knew who didn't rip so hard were the one's who dropped skiing all together. These were the dark days of skiing when we would almost come to blows with snowboarders at other resorts because we would poach "their" park and go twice as big! The sign read "No Skiers" We said "screw that," and dropped in!