On Sunday, February 19, 2012, the world lost a visionary, iconic leader, whose kind-hearted, free-spirited demeanor helped guide the sport of freeskiing to where it’s recognized today.
Brief history of your relationship with Jim Jack We were competitors from 1999 – 2003. I started to judge full time with JJ starting in 2005 and spent the next six years going to virtually every freeskiing event together. I was lucky to be called his right hand man for all those years.
First Jim Jack encounter Kirkwood 1999, epic event as we were both watching Geoff Small and wanted to be half as good as him.
Best Jim Jack memory Too many to pick from… JJ ripping lines in Tignes, France with rental boots and jeans was quite entertaining. (His luggage made it the next day) Being on the road together was amazing, I couldn’t pick a greater person to travel with.
Many competitors may not know, but in 2005 with your support, Jim Jack brought consistency to the IFSA judging with a new line scoring platform. Explain what you guys did. Essentially it was all about obtaining consistency, which is difficult when there are 100+ competitors per day. We did this by assigning a line score “value” to all the features/zones on the venue. Once we determined the values (prior to the event and as the lines were skied), we could assure that a skier that skied a line early in the day received the same line score as a skier that skied that same line late in the day. This helped keep the judging quick, and really helped to distinguish small variance between lines that were similar but a little different. Using decimals on the ten point scale was also critical.
What do you think JJ’s favorite competition run was? Favorite competition venue? Favorite run for sure was Arne’s winning run at Revelstoke in 2010. Favorite venue has to be the Cirque at Kirkwood. He had even grown to like “Jim’s broken face rock” as we called it, where JJ, go figure, broke his face in 2000.
How old is his truck/camper? The truck was Norm’s (JJ’s dad) originally. Norm bought it new in 1994 and gave it to JJ in 1998; it was perfect for JJ’s defensable space business. Shortly after he bought the camper for a whopping $325. Thanks Norm for that info.
Have you ever had the Jim Jack burger at Uncle Uli’s in Leavenworth? Unfortunately I have not had one, but from what I’ve been told, it’s all about the Jim Jack Sauce. So I picked up a case and I can’t wait to give it a go.
Do you have better dance moves than Jim Jack in his Leavenworth commercial? Ha-ha, I’m going to say that skiing style relates to dancing style. As most of us know, JJ was one of the smoothest skiers on planet, and well, they call me the Rubberman – so the undisputed answer is no- Jim was the dancing king. We definitely both loved to dance at those after parties, and thank god there are mostly pictures and not videos of the dancing.
How many pairs of lederhosen (Bavarian attire) does Jim Jack own? None, he rented them every year. Thanks Tiff!
Who was better at poker? Who was better at golf? Golf was the only thing I had a leg up in. JJ was amazing at everything… poker (smart, cagee guy), billiards, shuffleboard, horseshoes… you name it, he was the best.
Worst place you ever lodged together? It was usually pretty plush, but we had one night in Verbier where we found something that resembled twin mattresses that were put on the floor. The room was so small that they overlapped so my head was above his feet and we couldn’t open the door. My dad was with us sleeping in a twin bed that was partially above us. This room was a closet at best, as they often are on the other side of the pond.
Any on-hill or off-hill rituals? We always took a moment just before the start of the competition to essentially pray for the safety of everyone. And we never missed a high five from the entire panel at the end of the day, usually at the beginning as well.
What’s up with you guys loving the New York song by JayZ/Alicia Keys? That’s so funny, between stops at Telluride and Crested Butte in 2010, we decided to drive to Arizona and Palm Springs to visit both of our parents. It was probably 15 hours each way and we only had one CD that my fiancee had made for us. Thankfully it’s a great CD, I’m guessing we played it 25 times and sometimes we just had to hear that song twice.
Favorite ski trip together that was not for an event? Extended trips to Verbier, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d’Isere. People did anything and everything for JJ in Europe, like the heli ride from Tignes to Les Arcs, and practically a limo ride back to Chamonix. We had an epic day at Powder Mountain with a big crew as well.
Your favorite moment with Tiff and JJ? I loved being at their house in Leavenworth, seeing their lives at home. As well as every hot tub and room we shared together.
The freeskiing community has been mourning the loss of Jim Jack. What do you think his advice would be for the community? Live, Laugh, Love. I’m sure he can’t wait for the show to go on and I know he’ll be watching every second, keeping us safe as always. I hope we can all live a little more like Jim Jack, we all have a little JJ inside of us. He took the loss of friends very hard, but just like we have to do now, he moved forward by carrying the spirit of his lost friends with him every second of every day.
Jim Norm Jack, Jimmy Jam, The Storming Norman, The Mayor, Superman, my hero will shine through all of us who he touched. JJ had thousands of best friends. I was lucky to share so many great times with a legend, The Legend. I miss you pal.
Jim Norm Jack Give Forward www.GiveForward.com/JimNormJack