From humble beginnings in Tumut, Tim Myers has worked his way up and through the Australian Ski industry. Originally earning his name as a cameraman in the Perisher Media department, Tim was instrumental over the years in giving winter sports and our athletes the limelight and exposure they deserve. Now the founder and director of The Toyota One Hit Wonder at Thredbo, Tim spends his time working between America and Australia, filming, creating, and keeping the dream alive.
CF: How did you get into skiing?
TM: You could probably say I was born into skiing. My grandfather Col – who just hit 91 and still skis – put in the first lifts at the site of the old Kiandra goldfields, which were later moved to what’s now known as Selwyn Snowfields. I went to school in Cabramurra whilst living with my family at Selwyn during the winter months, so I literally had a ski resort as a backyard. I feel very lucky to have had that kind of childhood.
When and how did you start filming?
I started doing multimedia at Charles Sturt University. During my final year I was spending the semester holidays skiing for the Perisher cameraman, which scored me a free pass. He was filming me ski some lines in Sun Valley when he got hit by a snowboarder and that ended his season… With two months of winter left, Perisher panicked and, knowing I had half a media degree under my belt, hired me on the spot.
When and how did your passion turn into more of a business?
Technically, I guess when I started getting paid for it. Honestly, I have trouble agreeing with the adage “find your passion and make it your profession…” I’m scared I might lose the passion for skiing if I associate it with business.
What is it about the ski industry that keeps you involved and giving back?
Skiing has allowed me to travel the world, experience adventure and connect with people in a rewarding way that is surely unique to the mountains. There is something profoundly special about dragging an engorged ski bag behind you in the shadow of the Pyrenees, more so than lining up for a selfie in front of a feigned tourist attraction.
Well the Toyota One Hit Wonder for one thing. When and how did the idea to put on an event come about?
After spending a succession of northern winters riding the famously big Mammoth and June park lines, it was a bit underwhelming coming back to Australia where 70-plus foot big air jumps were still considered a liability by the resorts. I knew that local Charles Beckinsale had a great reputation for shaping the Whistler end of season photo shoot booter. That was the key really, knowing that he could build it. I created the One Hit Wonder Down Under in 2009 as an excuse to build myself and some mates (including now event director Andreas Gloor) a fun 90-plus foot end of season session under the guise of a media event, which was the sell to the resort. . I think one of the reasons it became so successful with athletes is because while other sports events or festivals focus primarily on the bottom line, our focus has always been on the angles of the jump feature. Reuben Cameron has been shaping the jump for the past two years now, and the calibre of world class athletes lining up to hit it is a testament to just how good his craft is.
Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn’t have called it the One Hit Wonder if I’d known we’d reach eight evolutions and counting.
Do you still get to ski as much as you would like?
I’d ski everyday if I could, though the past few years I’ve been on-snow more or less year round. I’m based in Los Angeles now, so Bear and Mammoth are an easy weekend away, Squaw when I have a spare week, the Valdez backcountry for a rare doco shoot.
The Toyota One Hit Wonder was the first big air of its kind in the world, boasting the biggest jump in Australia and the first triple in southern hemisphere competition, but it still has a lot of room to grow. We quickly established a world tour event that became renowned among the world’s best freeski big air athletes, and I believe we are entering into “longest running Australian freeski competition” territory, so I would like to keep up the momentum. Watch this space.
Chillfactor talks to three passionate skiers who are injecting energy and ideas into different areas of the Australian ski industry.