Last time we touched base with free skier Russ Henshaw he’d made a miraculous recovery from a knee reconstruction to get himself a fifth at the Winter X-Games. This time around, he’s just made an equally impressive recovery from a five-week, end-of-season “working holiday” in Whistler…
Red Bull: Russ! You’re finally home…
Russ Henshaw: Yeah! I’m pretty stoked actually. I’ve been back for two weeks now and it feels good. I’ve been skiing like everyday.
RB: You’ve spent that much time in Canada in this year you’re almost eligible for citizenship. Did you just say “aboot”?
RH: I was actually in Whistler for a fair while, ey. Ha. I was there for a competition and ended up staying there for six weeks for a shoot I was doing with Match Stix Productions. But because of the weather, it kept getting pushed back and we had to wait about two weeks before doing the shoot.
From there, we were meant to go to Alaska, but because of avalanche danger and weather up there, we had to wait in Whistler for another three weeks – so I spent a shitload of time there!
RB: Did you even make it to Alaska?
RH: Yeah, finally! But when we did get there, it looked promising and we sorted out the jump and stuff but then we had to wait a week because it was raining! So we finally got one day on the jump and then I came home to Australia.
RB: That’s a lot of time away. We’re guessing there was plenty to keep you occupied in Whistler but…
RH: The partying in Whistler is crazy! Everyone there wants to party every night and I don’t know how they do it. And for some reason all the Australians just go there – it’s like I was in Jindabyne. Every second person you run into is Australian.
It was actually pretty good though, because of all the travelling, I hadn’t had one spot to base myself all season so it was good to just hang out in the one spot for a while.
RB: The knee looks to have held up, too. No ongoing issues?
RH: I haven’t got any injuries but the body could do with an oil change I guess you could say. A trip to the physio and some work in the gym will take care of it. I actually had a crash when I was in Alaska and my back’s a little bit sore. It’s not serious, just muscular.
RB: So when’s this video come out and what can we expect?
RH: The world premiere of the Match Stix film is in September but I don’t know what it’s called yet! All I know is, it is their 20th anniversary and I don’t know what spin they are going to put on it. I have no idea when or where my segment will run but it should be pretty fun. At the jump in Whistler I had a few good tricks, which I was pretty stoked on, and then the jump in Alaska I ended up crashing third or fourth hit and winded myself and hurt my back a little, so the rest of that shoot was really taking it easy – doing fun tricks instead of EXTREME tricks, if you know what I mean.
RB: We’re hearing the slopes aren’t the only thing you’ve been shredding since you’ve gotten home…
RH: Yeah, I’ve gotten back into guitar! It’s not huge but I’m pretty stoked. I started off acoustic and moved to electric guitar when I was 12 but when I started travelling it sort of went on the back burner. I didn’t touch a guitar for about five years, but when I got injured last year I got back into it and since that’s all I’ve been doing.
I’ve actually been learning a heap of blues at the moment which is weird, because I don’t actually listen to blues. But I love playing it.
RB: So what’s the go-to tune…
RH: I’ve been playing a bit of AC/DC like Thunderstruck and stuff like that. Most of the stuff I know is just sick riffs from songs but not the entire song. I can play so many different tunes but when someone asks me to play a song, I’m like ‘ahhh, no’.
RB: And did someone mention they spotted you on the mountain on a snowboard the other day… Sounds like you’ve been spending too much time with Scotty James.
RH: Haha. I actually did go snowboarding the other day! I’ve been twice up the mountain snowboarding now. But let’s just say I’m not going to swap over any time soon – it’s way too hard!
RB: So Scotty hasn’t been in your ear…
RH: He wishes. I haven’t seen him for a while actually. I stayed with Scotty for three weeks in the US last year and while he is only seven hours away from me now, the stupid thing is the next time I catch up with him will probably be in New Zealand and not Australia.
RB: Now, we know you love planes almost as much at Matt Hall or John Travolta. Where in the world are you off to next?
RH: Yeah, I get around huh! I’ll be in Jindabyne for the next two and a half months and then I’ll head to New Zealand for an event, then Argentina, back home, Zurich… It’s just back and forth. I’m pretty stoked to be home for a while.