Big-mountain pro skier Johnny Collinson usually spends the off-season playing as hard as he works on skis. It’s just the mediums that differ.
However this summer he’s squeezing in as much fun as possible before he has to slow down for shoulder surgery. We hung with Utah-based Collinson on a hike in Boulder, where he was representing The North Face, and he later told GrindTV about what a typical off-season looks like.
“I will be on the heavy rehab program, but normally I spend most of my time climbing, running and just hanging out in the mountains,” Collinson says.
What are you doing before you head to the hospital?
Right now I’m packing up to head up to Nootka Island in BC to go surfing for a week!
What are your favorite off-season “leisure” activities?
Leisure?! Leisure is hard. A lot of time you can find me around the house we built doing projects, as well as exploring Little Cottonwood where it is located. There is epic climbing, running and ridge scrambling around here.
Do you train much in the off-season?
I find training to be fun. I find most things to be fun really. But hopefully I will be headed out on a couple The North Face photo shoots, where we always do fun out-of-the-ordinary stuff.
Oh, and I’m also headed out later in June to do a Red Bull Performance camp … not even sure exactly what it’s all about, but other athletes say they are epic.
Do hang with other pro athletes or regular Joes?
A lot of my friends in Salt Lake are pros, and I always end up traveling a bit with other pros that are good homies, but I do have a group of friends that aren’t necessarily pros, but they’re not regular Joes either! Haha!
What are some favorite summer spots in Salt Lake?
Home base is Salt Lake City for sure. My all-time favorite summertime spot is Lodestar Burritos. Get some epic Mexican food and beers after long days. Then the Sugar House Pub is also a good hangout spot for beers and pool. There’s usually a good crew that lives in the area hanging there.
What’s your role as an ambassador for The North Face?
Being an ambassador for The North Face is amazing. Basically we are supposed to take out some of the best-quality gear and put it to the test. In summertime we are usually trying to beat up shoes, tents, packs and sleeping bags.
Then after a trip, we let the development teams know how it worked, what was great and what we think could be improved. TNF is always taking our feedback and putting it into products — it’s amazing.
What are the biggest benefits of taking some time off?
After a summer of taking some time off, I’m always super hungry to get back skiing. That saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is definitely true. I mean, I’m already wishing for skiing pow — and it’s only June!
What’s your favorite outdoor venue for summer?
I really enjoy the mountains. There is something special about getting to the top of a ridgeline and looking out at a whole range, at all these new places to explore. I also enjoy getting beat down at the beach. Surfing is super fun and I like to get kooky whenever I can.
When you really want to chill, what do you do?
When I really want to chill, it’s definitely at sunset out on my deck. We built a huge deck at my house that is epic for late summer-night barbecues and beer drinking.
Plus there are really no neighbors so the parties can last awhile. As a matter of fact I want to do that tonight before I head out to BC!
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