Ski racer turned freeride specialist, Sam Lee worked his way up through ranks of the Freeride World Tour Qualifier series to make his debut on the Freeride World Tour in 2017. A solid season of results, including a podium finish in Alaska, sees Sam back on Tour for the 2018 season. Sam was named Snow Sports NZ Freeride Athlete of the Year in 2016.
Career highlights: 3rd place FWT Alaska 2017, 4th place FWT Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2017; 5th place FWT finals, Verbier, 2017, 1st place The North Face Frontier FWQ 4* NZ 2016.
Sam has skied every winter since he was two and a half years old. His competitive career started at the age of eight with weekend ski racing on Mt Ruapehu in the North Island before moving south to Wanaka in his early teens. Sam stuck to racing gates until the age of 16, giving him an excellent grounding in his sport before he then moved into the freeride scene.
The 2015/2016 season saw Sam make an impressive comeback to competition post ACL reconstruction. Competing on the Freeride World Qualifier tour he won the three-star event in Axamer Lizum, skied to a fifth place finish at the Nendaz Freeride four-star event and third at the Verbier Freeride two-star. His strong results saw him finish the northern hemisphere season ranked third in the men’s ski division, earning him a spot on the Freeride World Tour for the 2017 season. With that result already in the bag Sam went on to claim a win on home ground, topping the field at The North Face Frontier four star freeride World Qualifier.
Sam's first season on the Freeride World Tour in 2017 went to plan with the Kiwi making the top 12 cut for stop four in Haines, Alaska, the Tour finals in Verbier, Switzerland and re-qualifying for the 2018 FWT. Sam finished 3rd in Alaska, 4th at the Chamonix Mont-Blanc stop (staged in Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra), 8th in Vallnord-Arcalis and 12th in Fieberbrunn, Austria. Sam's season finished on a high note when he placed 5th in the FWT finals staged on the legendary Bec de Rosses in Verbier.
Check out more of Sam's FWQ results here or follow him on social media.