Strategic in almost every way, David Wise rarely acts without reason. He also rarely skis while listening to music. Why? “I like to hear the sounds,” says Wise. “Unless I’m having a really bad day, and just feel like I need to get in the zone, then I will listen to music, but most of the time I don’t.”

In and around the pipe isn’t the only place where Wise methodically listens to music—which, when he does decide to turn something on, he prefers to use a speaker in his collar versus a traditional pair of headphones. Karaoke has proven to be a secondary place where his creativity shines, but only when forced.

David Wise On Rotation

“If I have to,” replied Wise, begrudgingly, when asked if he does karaoke. “If I’m along for the ride, then I’ll do Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson, some of those guys that don’t sing very well so that I can kind of get away with it.” Wise paused, “It’s not that they don’t sing well, they just have that drawly ‘yar’ to them.”

When Wise will listen to what also involves a bit of strategy. Be it around the house or in the car, Wise’s world is anything but a free for all. “Everything in my life is somewhat bent around what we all like,” explained Wise, “My kids have been really into Andy Grammer lately. My son likes Post Malone a lot, too. We mix it up. Most of the time when I am driving in my car I am by myself. That is when I get the chance to listen to all of the folksy, banjo-y Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers type stuff.”

If it were always up to Wise himself, it would be mellow tunes at all times. Though he has come to realize that his relaxed taste is typically not the expectation that his skiing reputation has created for him.

“My first musical influences started with ski movies… I have kind of stuck with some of those old-school favorites.” — David Wise

“I’ll listen to hype music when I’m trying to get excited or hyped up for contest, but most of the time I listen to pretty mellow music,” began Wise’s explanation in musical taste. “People are always kind of surprised because I’m a professional halfpipe skier, so they think I’d listen to intense music all the time. Most of what I choose to listen to is actually pretty mellow.”

His taste for the mellow may surprise some, but his original indoctrination into music is a familiar path to most everyone with an action sports background.

David Wise On Rotation

“My first musical influences started with ski movies,” said Wise. “Watching movies over, and over, and over again. Those videos all had a similar style of music–RJD2, The Roots–all those types of bands I got introduced to through the ski industry. I have kind of stuck with some of those old-school favorites, the old-school hip-hop that was in ski movies backing the day.”

Still to this day he finds himself being turned onto new music by way of the ski industry, as well as by those near and dear to his life.

“I saw Santigold live at the Woodward [Park City] grand opening, and I had only heard her on the radio before without knowing who she was, but I’ve been listening to her since seeing her perform.”

“Now I’m influenced by the people I’m around. Whoever is into something, I’ll listen to it. I’m kind of influenced now by my kids and what they like,” continued Wise. “My daughter loves Taylor Swift, and so does my wife, so I can’t help but listen to it… even if I don’t want to. Then in comes on shuffle when I’m alone, and I’m not going to hit skip.”

On Rotation is a new weekly series that shows off a sample selection of what the world’s best athletes are listening to. Each week a new playlist will drop on the Dew Tour’s Spotify account along with a few words from the riders themselves, giving you personalized insight from the pros while you turn on their customized selections.

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