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WATCH: How these guys street ski in Detroit is insane

December 9, 2013

When you think of Detroit you don’t necessarily think of skiing. Snow maybe, but skiing probably not. The people at Poor Boyz Productions have a different idea.

All those abandoned warehouses, schools and buildings are not an eyesore for the extreme skier but uncharted terrain for some street skiing, also called jibbing.

We wanted our audience to see this video that already has more than 16,000 views. Let me be the first one to say I think these are pretty talented folks, but what they’re doing is also extremely dangerous. Those buildings are rickety at best and subject to collapse at any moment.. not to mention the possible issue of trespassing in some cases.. however it does make for a pretty epic ski video.

Let’s not forget that videos like this and all the thousands of videos of skiers dropping risky lines and blasting through chest deep powder are considered porn. The term is ski porn. So it comes as no surprise that Detroit with its seemingly endless supply of derelict buildings drew another sort of porn crew to it’s environs.

The video doesn’t exactly leave you with the warmest notions. It is no secret that Detroit is on some fairly hard times and this approach doesn’t help. A couple shots of the homeless and empty streets and then boom, high flying ski tricks atop a blown out building, but hey, this is entertainment.

I am sure the cast and crew were indeed nervous and probably have every reason to be considering what they were partaking in.

At the end of the day it makes for a good segment of extreme skiing and has a tight soundtrack.

What do you think?


  1. I left Detroit almost 2 years ago to live and work in Nashville. After 17 years of seeing Detroit decline into something that just wasn’t fun anymore it was time to split. I check from afar.

  2. where can i get this tracklist?

    • I know the last song is “I’m Alive” by Johnny Thunder

  3. Detroit has more soul than any other city in this country. People from Detroit (and Michigan in general) have a resiliency that you will not find anywhere else in America ( and I’ve been all over). The character that one builds through the trials and tribulations that this great state and city have been through is not found in a population anywhere else in this country. Sure it can be rough, sure as an outsider you can be taken aback by the influx of poverty – but take a moment to converse with some of these souls, and you will come away more motivated, and humbled than you could ever have imagined. “Put your hands up for Detroit! I LOVE THIS CITY!”

    • Detroit is so cool !!! I love it and will always stand up for my fellow Michiganders !! These guys are so talented and smart, they should be patted on their backs for finding something good to do in their city.

  4. Pretty good. A little too much emphasis on the “danger” of Detroit. C’mon now. Do you really think someone is going to fuck with you when you’re skiing? They probably think you’re bat **** (which isn’t a bad thing).

    The “guys in ski masks” and “black trucks” were probably the private security that patrols that abandoned hospital to keep people from going in it or around it (or skiing off it). If someone is going to jack you in Detroit they’re not just going to scope you out and do laps – they’re going to run up to you with guns drawn and make you **** your pants.

    • Yea, sounds very reasonable, security wearing ski masks or most likely some cracked out gang members who wanted to show that they were in the wrong neighborhood and not to fuck around with them.

      PS Even private security doesn’t wear ski masks as part of their uniform its common sense. Also, they would have probably approached the crew about what they were doing instead of just trying to intimidate them.

  5. Most of the footage seen is of them at the old Packard Auto Plant on the Blvd. I’ve walked every square inch of that place countless times. 35 acre complex, largest abandoned industrial site in the world. Also the first steel reinforced concrete building, designed by legendary architect, Albert Kahn.

  6. These guys look like they could be old enough to enlist and take their many talents “on the road” so to speak. Skiing in a broken city’s deserted buildings? Gee, if the best they can do is aspire to mediocrity, someone should just put out of its misery now. Sad, sad, sad…

    • Lucia,
      This movie was produced by Poor Boyz and Red Bull Media House. 2 of the biggest names in action sports. In the skiing world these guys are doing what every aspiring athlete are trying to accomplish. Karl Fostvedt, the one narrating, was just nominated for skier of the year. You can hate from afar but the truth is these kids changed the skiing world. Mad respect.

    • yeah cause killing people in foreign lands is a way better use of their talents. Seems to me these guys are rippin’ it, hardly mediocrity, and they love what they’re doing. Go boyz…

  7. Having thousands of dollars worth of equipment (cameras, skis, etc.) While drawing attention to a meth lab definitley gives somebody a reason to mess with you.

  8. Let’s see – a video about Detroit that features the actors rolling in a Toyota. What’s wrong with this?

  9. Awesome shots of skiing in this abandoned city which used to be the city I went to for shopping and entertainment in high school and my four years at “UofM”.You have to admire the adaption shown by these young people who love to ski and who found a way to do it in Detroit even when the “city” has no hills. It does have a huge lake, what use to be a lovely performing art center and I expect to see it turn around when some one with in-sight and imagination invests in bringing jobs to Detroit.

    Left the area after graduation, marriage and having two sons. Have lived in Kentucky and Montana and now settled on the West Coast in Olympia Washington.

  10. Nice and creative but no way in the world these guys don’t have broken bones, bruises, and knocked out teeth. This dangerous skiing is not necessary. They need to contact the Jim Dandy Ski Club (founded 1958) and go to a real local mountain .

    • Jim dandie ski club? Okay grandpa.

  11. Hey maybe they found a use for abandoned buildings. With some snow machines and modifications for safety they might be able to turn them into a business.

  12. I’d be more apt to share this video if the lyrics of this song didn’t have so much profanity in it. I love promoting all things Michigan, including Detroit.

  13. tracklist??

  14. The “gang” members that were talked about in the video were my security team. I asked them polietly to leave the property and they were giving me a hard time. They did not have permission to be there and are lucky that I didn’t have them arrested. I don’t know who some people think its ok to trespass on someone else’s property and do whatever they want to. I am watching this property very closely.


  16. Just gotta say that while these guys did a hell of a lot of good work to set up their sites with snow and jump structures, it seems they also over-dramatized the perceived “hostility” that surrounded them. They’re are dope dealers and gang bangers in Detroit, but they generally are neither interested in or dumb enough to harass a bunch of guys on skis and holding video cameras. I ride my bike through many parts of town and rarely encounter hostility (and when I do it’s smart ass words from teenagers), but frequently encounter friendly waves and hellos. Poverty in Detroit is no more violent or hostile than poverty anywhere. Just sayin.

  17. HAHA some of these comments are too funny.. yeah obviously it is dangerous but they are pro skiers!!! urban is the craziest and best part about freestyle skiing! You have to be mentally retarded to tell these guys that they “don’t know” what they’re doing and to tell them to go to a local mountain. These guys will know more about safety and skiing that anyone ever will. Great skiing and great editing. Well Done

  18. Between six and seven minutes they ski in the suburbs, on the steps of now abandoned Pontiac Central Highschool. I graduated from there in 1978.

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