Hey Dan, long time no talk. I think this is also the first time I’m interviewing you, if I’m not mistaken?

Hey Jason!!! Yeah, you’re right, that is the first time.

How’s your winter been? Did you spend more time filming or competing?

It’s still awesome! This is gonna be a long one! I’ve been to many places, and met many new people. Lovin’ it!

I would say it’s 50/50 this season. I got injured this fall while filming for Smelly Socks. And when I got on skis, I did some contests like Excelent Soldiers, SLVSH Cup, Total Fight, European Cup… Once it was all over, I was finally to able to concentrate on filming, which I enjoy the most.

So this was your first West Coast SessionWhat makes it so special among athletes and content creators?

Well for me it’s that there’s so many people in such an amazing place, just having fun and creating content that people like to watch.

Talk to us a bit about Ethan Stone, one of the masterminds behind the WCS (West Coast Session)?

Pretty cool tall guy with long hair that I’ve had the opportunity to meet at SLVSH cup. And I’m so thankful to him for bringing my Czech ass to this awesome place! So thanks for that, and for doing such a great event!

Who are you most excited to ski with this year?

There are tons of people I love to watch ski, but haven’t met in person and ski with them. So that’s what I’m looking forward to the most. And just to ski with the whole crew!

It’s your first time ever in the States, how’s the skiing here compared to Europe?

The skiing is actually pretty similar. Of course, the nature and the mountains are totally different. And the jumps are more poppy, hah. The main difference is the people. Everybody is so friendly, chilled and talkative. For example, Americans like to say How are ya?, instead of Hello or something. And as I’m not really used to it, because we’re not asking strangers how are they doin’ in Czech Republic.We’re pretty much trying to avoid contact with people we don’t know… My natural answer is I’m fine, but then I don’t ask them back, because that’s not natural for me. But after like 30 seconds, once I realize it, I feel like a total douche haha!

How’s the park here at WCS? Did you get to try that crazy down-flat-down to S-rail?

The park is the best ever! There are 3 sick medium sized jump, then a line of 4 small jumps, a million rails of all kinds… My favourites are the long challenging one. And the main thing: the Tranny Land by mastermind Ethan Stone! The whole slope is just covered with knuckles, trannies, quarter pipes, small jumps… It’s just cruising paradise! The only struggle is the speed, so waxing suddenly became a pretty big thing here.

About the DFD S-rail… It’s interesting how something can be so much fun, and so frustrating at the same time! This rail was the daily offer challenge the other day, and somehow I managed to slide it first till the end, and won 5 dollars! Small win, but made me stoked!

How was your experience at SLVSH Cup? You got to play Øystein Bråten in the first round, did you have any expectations?

SLVSH cup has been just awesome! We had a blast! The hotel where we were stayin’ was good! I was just wearing my bathing suit all the time: dinners, breakfasts,beers… Just all the time! So soft and fluffy you know? Haha!

Well, expectations? I don’t even know… I was just kind of afraid that Øystein would destroy me really, really fast. He’s a contest skier, that means he’s just insanely consistent. I’m  mostly filming, so I’m used to trying stuff multiple times. But we had a good time during the game, and I hope people enjoyed it, ’cause that’s important.

A new Smelly Socks episode just came out on Monday, where and how long did you film for it?

We went to always sunny Livigno in Italy. We had a week to shoot it, but the weather was not cooperating at all, which was really disappointing. We had 2 days of filming, which is not much… But I did my best and I think you guys are gonna like it!

You’ve put out quite a few banger solo edits in the past few years. What’s your favourite one? And why?

Thanks, I really appreciate that you have seen those! It’s really hard to choose my favourite one… If you want to count also Smelly Socks in, I would say SS Recap edit. That pretty much summed up my whole season and brought back some nice memories from the trips, and I’ve been screening that one in High Five Festival Annecy right after The Big Picture and right before Level 1‘s Small World. Which made me really, really stoked!

As for solo edits, I would probably choose French Baguette at Vars Park, because that was my second trip skiing out of Czech Republic, and it was exactly how I wanted a ski video to look like: wild, fast, crazy, fun and with some Motörhead! RIP Lemmy!

Faction dropped their last We Are The Faction Collective episode ever two weeks ago. What are some of your best moments filming for those webisodes, any good stories?

Pretty much every shoot with Faction is a really good memory. I remember the time we went for an urban trip to Helsinki, and we went to this bar there, and one gay dude was hitting on me… When I told him I wasn’t really interested, he hit me in the stomach with his elbow and left, haha! That was weird.

Squad. 👌 #S03E03 📷: @mathieusoumet @factionskis

Une photo publiée par Daniel Hanka (@danielhanka) le

You’re quite active on Newschoolers, how often do you log on to the site these days? What’s your favourite edit you’ve watched on there recently?

Hah, yeah! Newschoolers is fun! I’m not a hardcore everyday user though, I usually go there through NS’s Facebook to watch videos. And if it’s a sick one, or there’s some good tricks I don’t really understand, I upvote it, or leave a comment. Feedback is a really good thing in skiing!

My favourite edit lately was Keeshy Sesh. Antti [Ollila] was trying to get me out of bed to session with them, but I was too destroyed from hot-lapping the Sunset Park. When I saw the carnage there, I realized I should’ve gone shred some Keesh too!

It’s fair to say that you have quite a unique style. What influences your skiing ? And who are some skiers that you looked up to growing up?

This is a tough one too! I think everybody on skis is influencing me at some point! I always took something that I like, and then did it my way. It’s just coming out of me like that. The way I ski is just the way I feel it. Sometimes even I’m suprised with what I’ve just done haha!  

How’s your summer looking? Any plans?

It’s looking pretty good! I’m planning to go to Camp Of Champions for the Faction Team Week. Then I want to shred Les 2 Alpes in France, and hopefully film the next Smelly Socks there, and then visit Will [Wesson] and Sämi [Ortlieb] in Zermatt. I also really wanna do some rollerblading and wakeboarding, and enjoy the summer with my friends!

#tb to the summer time, when I did a wakeboarding competition at my hometown. Oh yeah, that was fun! 🏄💦

Une photo publiée par Daniel Hanka (@danielhanka) le

What is your state on filming vs competing? Which one do you prefer? Can we expect a street or backcountry segment from you in the near future?

I’m definitely more into the filming part of skiing, but that doesn’t mean I hate competing. I’m actually really enjoying slopestyle lately, as the setups are getting more and more creative. But then there’s totally  another kind of competing, with SLVSH for example, and that’s the shit I would say!

I would definitely be stoked to film a street segment, and my dream is to film it in Prague. The architecture there is so different compared to where most urban parts are filmed. But the thing is, we’re not getting enough snow to actually hit stuff, which is a real bummer. As for a backcountry segment, I would also be stoked to make one in the future. So I would say you can expect one in the future,  not sure in how long though.

Estonia 📷: @pierreaugier @factionskis #S02E02

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What are your plans for next winter?

I’m not really sure about next winter. I would love to film as much as possible, but there’s a big chance of me goin’ full FIS and joining the World Cups to qualify for the Olympics. I’m still not sure how it’s gonna be. We have a meeting with the Czech team right when I come back from Hood, so I guess afterwards I’ll be able to make the decisions, because there are still some question marks about the budget for the World Cups. So yeah, we’ll see… But I’ll definitely be around and ski as much as possible! The one thing I would love to do, no matter what, is to rent a truck, go to Mammoth for a while and shred, then road-trip to Mt. Hood and shred there for a while. I’d also be really stoked to be a part of Windells Camp.