Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
Nelson-raised Sam Kuch modestly attributes his otherworldly air awareness to his mom, a hardcore competitive gymnast and black belt in karate, who put Sam and his siblings through their paces on the trampoline and in the gymnasium. Growing up in the Selkirk Mountains, and gaining his chops competing for four years as part of Whitewater Ski Resort’s freeride team, Sam attributes his down-to-earth energy to kind-hearted parents and the under-the-radar community of Nelson. He endured two seasons of disappointment, crashing instead of qualifying for the Freeride World Tour, before a timely text on closing weekend of the 2017-18 season asked him to play local tour guide for a film crew. Sam’s demonstration of the lines that made Whitewater great became a sizable part of the ensuing film and landed him “Discovery of the Year” award at the International Freeski Film Festival. Within one season, he went from being a roofer who ripped aka the best skier no one had ever heard of, to an icon, spinning and stomping everything in his sights, winning a swag of Best Of awards. Disarmingly humble in the face of his sudden celebrity, Sam is grateful to be tending the almost-lost dream of being a pro skier, and committed to enjoying the ride, giving back, and soaking up all that he can learn, be it in the mountains or working alongside his father as a carpenter.
- 2016, 1st place, IFSA North American Junior Freeride Championship
- 2018 IF3 "Discovery of the Year" award
- Award winning Segment in 2019 MSP's Return To Send'er, Best Male performance, Powder awards
- 2019 High Five festival "Male Skier of the Year" Award
- 2019 IF3 "Best Male Segment"