Tanner Hall

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All Stars 0204

The New School Poster Boy, 22

Tanner Hall's pant cuffs drag on the ground. He wears white-boy dreads. He slouches. When he talks, his hands flail about, Flavor Flav—style. "They can just talk whatever it is they talk, says the notorious park-and-piper. "That's okay. We know we can ski. People look at us like rollerbladers or something stupid, but it's not, Kid. True to the hip-hop ethos that makes Tanner Tanner, the gangsta hucksta travels with a posse. There's the team manager, the teammates, the curious groms who hang on his every word. As he gives his interview, one prepube whips out a baggie and rolls a five-inch spliff. But for all the urban wannabe bluster, Tanner Hall is just an earnest athlete from Montana who crossed over from freestyle when he was 16 and vaulted to fame by landing a switch rodeo seven (taking off and landing switch with an inverted 360). He racked up metal at the World Superpipe Championship; the X Games Big Air, Slopestyle, and Superpipe comps; the U.S. Freeskiing Open; and Japan's Core Extreme Games. He has appeared in ski flicks for Teton Gravity Research, Poor Boyz, and Matchstick Productions, snagging a lucrative sponsorship from Rossignol along the way—and then gave it up in 2002 to found the Armada Ski Company with five other jibbers. "Kid, I don't even care about contests anymore, he says. "Everyone working for Armada is part of something. Not like Salomon that has like 700 people working for them all over the world, yo. It's ridiculous.

The Vision: "The whole program is changing. We need more rider-driven companies that are dope. Out with the old, in with the new. We're not even at the beginning of it, man. You're not comprehending…we're coming.