Markus Eder continuously sets the standard for what’s possible on a pair of skis. From an early-career win at Nine Knights, to multiple standout video parts for the likes of Matchstick Productions, and even a Freeride World Tour Championship crown, the 31-year-old Italian freeskier has cemented his name in freeskiing history, time after time.
Now, with the release of his two-year personal project, The Ultimate Run, Eder has raised the bar yet again in a display of visual excellence, versatility, and mind-blowing trickery.
The Ultimate Run finally allowed me to showcase all my skiing in one edit
"The Ultimate Run finally allowed me to showcase all my skiing in one edit, film my home resort of Klausberg in one top-to-bottom run, and finally shoot all the spots I’d been dreaming of for years," explains Eder.
Keep reading to learn how Italy’s first new-school freestyler gained the skills to pull off The Ultimate Run, how he discovered his love for the backcountry and why he owes everything to his roots in freestyle skiing.
His entire life is built around skiing
Reaching the highest echelon in multiple styles of freeskiing is a near impossible feat.
Sure, many aspects of freeskiing can be transferrable. But, strapping up to ride in the streets, park and backcountry require a vastly different perspective, set of skills and overall desire. To master all three can only be achieved through a lifetime of dedication, perseverance and passion.
“I created a life that allowed me to ski all the time,” explained Eder. “I chose to attend schools that would give me the most free time and that were closest to the mountains. It’s always been the most important thing in my life.”
“But no matter how much I ski, I rarely feel satisfied,” he added. “I think that’s an excuse to keep riding, to immediately plan my upcoming season around skiing and to prepare the firewood to fuel the fire.”
He owes everything to the park
Eder began his career with a need for speed. From the age of five to 14, he raced competitively at the his local mountain, but as he grew older, he knew his love for skiing couldn’t be confined to the gates.
“I remember my coach would always yell at me for taking my race skis off-piste and showing up to training with core shots,” he added. “I knew it wasn’t for me and when I transitioned to freestyle skiing… It was the sickest thing ever.”
Since then, Eder has dedicated his life to riding, building, filming, and progressing in the park – all while mastering a unique set of freestyle skills that help him standout in any freeskiing discipline.
“I think getting fanatic about riding the park – the air awareness, style, tricks – is something that never leaves you,” he explained. “You want to tweak the grabs, get comfy in the air, and hit features over and over until it feels natural. I think it’s a set of skills that help me add new and innovative perspectives to any style of freeriding.”
Even today, all of Eder’s favourite backcountry skiers – like Tanner Hall and Candide Thovex – come from a freestyle background and possess a unique style that was championed in the park.
Red Bull Linecatcher 2011 redefined his career
Eder comes from a freestyle skiing background, where he learned the importance of style, aerial awareness, balance, and creativity. He began his career with a flurry of wins in national championships around Italy, then in 2010, shook up the international scene with an underdog win at Nine Knights.
But in 2011, the tides began to turn. His manager secured him a spot at Red Bull Linecatcher – an innovative backcountry competition – and had to push the former “park rat” to compete. Surrounded by legendary riders, Eder eased his way into the finals, and ended up finishing second overall after Sean Pettit.
“That event was the door opener into my entire freeride and backcountry career. I never wanted to open that door, or even knew it was there, but I’m grateful for that experience. It changed everything,” he explais.
[Red Bull Linecatcher] was the door opener into my entire freeride and backcountry career
He hasn’t had a ski coach since he was 14 years old
Aside from working with a physical therapist post injury, and ski race coaches in his early years, Eder has never been coached.
“Once I started pushing myself in the park, it always felt weird to take criticism and instruction from someone who couldn’t actually do the tricks I wanted to land,” he explained. “So instead, I developed my own tools for progression.”
As it turns out, Eder’s tools are pretty straightforward:
- Watch a ski movie 100 times and study how the riders perform each trick
- Ride with friends and always have fun
- Edit, film, and watch your own clips over and over
- Ride with good skiers, as they will always be able to tell you if you’re doing something wrong or right
The entire cast of Happy Dayz are his role models
“Basically every rider who featured in the 2002 PoorBoyz Productions film Happy Dayz showed me what was possible on a pair of skis,” said Eder about the revolutionary ski film which featured the likes of JP Auclair, Tanner Hall, CR Johnson and Phil Larose.
“It was my first ski film that I owned on VHS,” he explained. “And, I must have watched that video hundreds of times. The amount of focus and concentration I placed on that movie still sticks in my mind to this day.”
He never imagined himself becoming a professional skier
Despite claiming top honours at Nine Knights, the SFR freestyle tour, and the Polish Freeski Open in his inaugural season on the international stage – never once did he foresee himself becoming one of the world’s most influential skiers
“Even though my tricks started getting harder, and the contests kept getting bigger, I always thought I was way behind the crowd,” said Eder. “I just kept pursuing my small goals, and progressing my career slowly, until one day I realized I’d created my own dream scenario.”
This moment of realisation came to him in Alaska, while filming for MSP’s Days of My Youth in 2016.
“It was the most out there I’d ever been,” he added. “An experience I’ll remember forever.”