Maddie Jones grew up in the regional NSW town of Bathurst, the skiing seed planted by annual family trips to Perisher from the age of six. After leaving school, the mountains called and Maddie ended up instructing in Perisher. That path led to the terrain park and freeskiing. And now Maddie is a regular standout in the Perisher parks.
CF: How do you see yourself as a skier – what motivates you?
MJ: I honestly see myself as a skier who has a long way to go and a lot of room to grow. But also, one who has a lot of fun. I’m fortunate enough to know some incredible people in the industry, they all push me and I learn from them everyday. Shout out to all the homies!
Just skiing in general motivates me. Women’s skiing in general motivates me. We have a lot of room to grow and a lot to prove, so crews like Diamond Annies and Lost Girls (look them up!), and other ski girls in general motivate me to push myself and get out there more.
What about comps and events – is that something you’ve been interested in?
This is something I discuss quite often. There is a kind of segregation in the ski world – comp skiers and everyone else. Comp skiing is where the money is, and undeniably it draws some of the biggest talent we have in the industry. But I rarely watch competition skiing. Watching people ride the same course, two or three times, quite often taking bails, I find that hard to watch. I watch some of our best skiers, pushing themselves to the limit, for an arbitrary number given by a judge, and it doesn’t seem like the most rewarding path. Not to me at least.
But give a skier free reign to travel where they want, with who they want, film what they want, how they want – that’s where you see the magic of freeskiing. Events like B&E Invitational, Creation Nation, etc., that’s where you see the passion, the love, the dedication, the fun, the creativity, the spirit. How can comp skiing compare with that?
How did you get into skiing?
We used to go on family holidays, the rest of my family got over it pretty quick, they were never very good at it (laughs), but it always stuck with me. I have friends who can recall me saying very early in high school that that’s what I wanted to do. I even skipped out on some year 12 classes to head down to Perisher for a ski instructor recruitment course.
What path led you into freeskiing?
I was actually an instructor for a few years at Perisher and one season these two English boys moved into the locker room and it went from there. They pushed me into the park and I fell in love. I had become pretty sick of instructing and would have given up skiing for good if I hadn’t wandered into
the park. So shout out to those two boys, Aidan and Brad, they hold a special place in my heart! Also, side note, Aidan just beat cancer and is getting his ski legs back, which is incredible.
You’ve just spent another winter in the US. What did you get up to, where’d you ski?
I’ve been based out of Breckenridge, Colorado, but been lucky enough to travel to Utah and Oregon and ski some other resorts. Oregon was a totally new experience for me, and it was incredible. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been! I’m lucky enough to have friends spread all over USA, so trips tend to just pop up, which is awesome.
I hear you’re into shooting and editing videos?
Ha, yeah I’m into it, but that definitely doesn’t mean I’m any good at it! I made a little web series last season in Australia for newschoolers.com, which did alright. There are some amazing edits and series out there, which is always so inspiring, but definitely makes me realise I have a lot to learn.
How do you support yourself so you can ski?
During the Australian winter I work at the Bowling Club in Jindabyne, which is the ultimate set up. I’m never working too late, and don’t work days, so I get so much time to ski. I only get a three month visa for America so I usually spend October to January working a retail job in Sydney saving for my trip, and then April to June I’m back at said job paying off my accumulated debt (laughs). My bank account fluctuates more than the tide, but it’s definitely worth it to be able to ski seven-to-eight months of the year! This last year I got picked up by Armada skis, Full Tilt boots, and Sontimer goggles. That support has been incredible and made everything so much easier.
What constitutes a perfect day on the hill for you?
Sunshine, a good park, a good crew, and a backpack with some beers. Bliss.
“Give a skier free reign to travel where
they want, with who they want, film what they want, how they want – that’s where you see the magic of freeskiing.”