Professional freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, 21, has been on a hot streak the past few years, blowing up almost every contest he enters, be it a slopestyle, halfpipe, or big air event. He's averaging around 50 contests per season, training with the U.S. Ski Team for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and trying to squeeze enough time to shoot his own solo film project. He recently won the 2013 Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Skiing Invitational (WSI) at the 18th Annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC, and took second at the Red Bull Playstreets urban slopestyle competition in Bad Gastein, Austria, as part of the Red Bull Signature Series (airing again on May 4 at 2 a.m. EST on NBC Sports Network).
It's safe to say that Gus is pretty nomadic. He even got rid of his apartment last year and started showing up early for contests, then sticking around to see the sights before jumping off to the next one. "I love getting to a new city and just walking around for a few days to get a feel for the area," he says.
Although he spends the summer chasing snow in places like Austria, British Columbia, and New Zealand, Gus says some of his favorite ski town haunts are fun all year round, even in flip-flops. Here's a wrangling of Gus's offseason recommendations.
Whistler, British Columbia is Kenworthy's favorite resort town, hands-down. It's a glacier, so there's still skiing in the summer, although it's a trek to get up to the snow. "You have to ride three chairlifts and take a little bus, so it's kind of a process," he says. "But then you're up there and it's just sun and slush and T-bars and skiing in T-shirts. It's super fun."
The biggest offseason attraction is Crankworx, a 10-day multi-disciplinary mountain bike festival with insane jumps and rowdy crowds.
"The village is super busy with people and energy and lots of events," says Kenworthy. "They have such great bars and restaurants in town." One of his favorites: The Longhorn Saloon, at the bottom of the mountain, has a large outdoor patio with a full view of the Crankworx course. Kenworthy's drink of choice: The Stoker, a famous Crown Royal, ginger ale, and apple juice cocktail named after a local former bartender. Also on the hot list: Sushi Village, which, according to Kenworthy, serves the best sushi he's ever had in his life.
Credit: Getty Images