Anna Segal grew up in Melbourne, Australia, charging the mogul fields of the Victorian Alps. She had a lot of talent as a mogul skier, that’s for sure, but soon realised the challenges of slopestyle skiing were her true calling. She moved to Aspen, Colorado and that’s when her career as a competitive freeskier took flight. She podiumed in practically every high-profile event on the international circuit, including a bright and shiny gold at X Games in 2009. Eventually her hard work and focus took her to the Olympics in Sochi, where Anna came back from injury to achieve a hugely commendable fourth place. Anna’s ability to invert her tiny frame off huge jumps and ride rails with impeccable style is certainly impressive, but it’s not the most special thing about her. Anna is a diligent and determined skier who tackles all her goals with a giant smile on her face, which is what OYUKI®  loves about her. Now she’s shifted all this talent and happiness into the backcountry, which makes us love her even more. Keep reading for our catch up with Anna, who is currently living the dream in Whistler, Canada:

Anna Segal Launches in the Backcountry

O: Since the Olympics at Sochi you’ve had a huge shift in focus. More and more we’re seeing you hiking in the backcountry and slaying big mountains. Why the change in pace?

A: In the lead up to Sochi, I just knew deep down that it was going to be my last competition. I had competed at an international level since I was 16, first in moguls and then in slopestyle. Competing had taught me so many skills, but I had the urge to move my skiing past a predefined course. I have always loved the mountains and I knew there was so much more for me to learn about them. So, I followed my instincts and left the competition scene behind.

O: How much of what you learnt as a competitive slopestyle skier has translated into big mountain riding?

A: I think the mental side has been most transferable. Controlling stress, anxiety and nervousness is a big one. When you’re standing on top of a big line, it feels very similar to standing in the start gate. So many buts and what-ifs running through the mind. I use techniques that I learned from competing to control this.

Anna Segal Rides Japan

O: Finding the Line, a movie that you shot with your sister Nat, is about finding a balance between staying in your comfort zone and pushing things too far. Do you think you’ve found that line?

A: Mmmm, I don’t think I’ve perfected it yet, but I think my approach to skiing is a lot more precise than it used to be. I choose my days to push myself more carefully and I’ve also become better at taking rest days when my body isn’t feeling it.

O: How has shooting the movie helped you better understand yourself as a skier?

A: While shooting the film I definitely went through some rough patches and these were usually connected to me having huge expectations of myself and not meeting them. I started to learn that these expectations weren’t helping me at all and if anything they were destroying my love of skiing. So I began to learn to put expectations aside and enjoy the process. I stopped taking my goals and myself so seriously and this made a huge difference to my skiing!

Anna Segal Explores Japan

O: Another huge (possibly the biggest ever!) project that you’ve been a part of is Warren Miller’s latest movie ‘Face of Winter’. What does it feel like getting the call up to be part of such a legendary production?

The call up was completely unexpected. I was asked if I’d like to join the crew only three weeks out from the trip. I had other commitments at the time, but I cleared my plate and just said YES. I felt honoured and extremely lucky to be part of such a professionally run operation. 

O: Your section is shot in Iceland, what was the skiing like there?

A: The skiing was fun and quite cruisey. I wouldn’t say it was the most extreme skiing I’ve ever done, but enjoyable and scenic. Wide open faces, with silky smooth corn snow and stunning views.

O: What about the country as a whole, did you enjoy it?

A: I loved Iceland! The culture and people were probably the best part. I knew very little about the country heading over there and I learned so much during my stay. Iceland has a really interesting history with the beginnings rooted in monks, who were then enslaved by Vikings. I didn’t meet one rude or mean Icelandic person. They were all so warm, welcoming and I loved their sense of humour.

Smashing Pow

O: So you’ve been on some epic adventures lately! What’s an OYUKI product that you never leave behind?

The Chika Mitt! It’s my favourite Oyuki product. I get cold hands, even in the spring, so these are essential for keeping me warm.

The Chika Mitt

O: Here is your chance to make us jealous. Where will you be going on your next backcountry excursion?

Hmmm… Well I’m currently recovering from a knee injury, so my first backcountry excursion after I get back on snow will probably be local - up into the ‘Duffey’. This is a mountain pass just North of Pemberton, BC. You can park your car on the side of the road and have great access to your choice of epic backcountry skiing - trees and high alpine. There are a bunch of huts out there that you can ski-tour to and set up camp at for a few nights.

O: And finally, what big project will you work on next?

Nat and I are talking about a project that we might start on next winter (2019/20). We’re still in the process of mapping out exactly what this will look like, but we both really enjoyed producing a film and want to use what we learned to make something even better.