American Fischer ambassador Brody Leven has come a long way since he started skiing at a small ski hill in Ohio. Now based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Brody has become an experienced and passionate year-round adventurer, but he still puts skiing first (specifically backcountry skiing). We caught up with the athlete about why he wanted to join the team and see what the future holds.
Why did you choose to join Fischer?
In 2020 I climbed and skied the Notch Couloir on the north face of Long’s Peak in Colorado with snowboarder Josh Jesperson. I used the Transalp 90 and noted the weight for skinning the long approach, how it stayed out of my way for the technical climbing and the way it skied confidently and held an edge on the very steep and exposed line. That’s what really convinced me to continue to ski Fischer, particularly in the high-risk terrain which I travel the world to find and in which I test myself. But only once I returned home—where I obviously don’t ski that terrain on a daily basis—and started my regular schedule of daily ski touring, I really began to notice that I was happy on the same skis each day. That’s what hooked me on the product since I really just see skis as a tool. But that’s only why I use the gear.
Why I actually wanted to become a part of Fischer is because Fischer is doing important work to get more people outdoors, like through the Fischer Grant program, and setting important examples, like using repurposed castor oil in boot manufacturing. The climate crisis is hitting us as skiers and I’m proud to see individuals, athletes, and brands like Fischer stepping up to lead on climate. Fischer and its team is steeped in real alpine history. I grew up in Ohio. The contrast couldn’t be starker. At the same time, their evolved touring collection speaks to a shared desire for elective hardship. And for those of us privileged to have less inherent hardship than others, the individual pursuit to cope with voluntary struggle unites us. Fischer makes the products some of us need in order to search for that struggle. But not every skier wants to struggle while on skis, and Fischer makes products for all of us to have meaningful experiences outside.
What was the best part of growing up skiing in Ohio?
My rural hometown didn’t have sidewalks, a central hangout zone, or a place in town for kids to congregate. The nearby ski hill filled that void. If my mom dropped me off after school, I knew that, on any given day, I’d run into some friends. And to do that outside of school was valuable and affirming—skiing would always be where I find community. But hopefully, skiing wouldn’t always involve that much rain.
How did you go from a park skier in Ohio to a skier who doesn’t ride lifts anymore?
Honestly, it’s probably just a phase. I love chairlifts, I love lapping the ski resort, I love running into friends in the liftline. I’m just currently excited to learn and practice what it takes to ski mountains that don’t have lifts whizzing me to the top. It’s almost an intellectual exercise, figuring out and learning the skill set necessary to safely get up and down these mountains. Plus, it’s a great way to see more of the world. And by seeing it, we grow to care about protecting it.