What is it like for a European athlete to film in the states?
I really enjoy being in the US and riding your mountains. The tricky thing for me as a backcountry rider is to get to the really good spots, and to get to the good spots you need to have a sled, a pickup truck and people to show you around. For sure you could do cat-boarding or heli-boarding up in Canada or AK, but in the end you need to have the budget for it.
Are you happy with the current direction of snowboarding?
Hmmm… not really, but I think that’s the way humans are – everything needs to be bigger, higher, more money, more wins, more, more, more! When I started snowboarding the biggest tricks had been 900s and 1080s. Now the level is so high so that snowboarding turned into some kind of gymnastic sport, where a lot of riders have their own trainers, are using trampolines, and have their own energy drink to be able to keep up. Sometimes I’m thinking about the youngsters. They have to do crazy tricks if they want to make it in snowboarding. The risk of getting badly hurt is way higher nowadays than it used to be.
What has impressed you lately?
Definitely Arthur Longo’s run at the X Games 2013 in Tignes. I am filming with him for the pirates and he is such a nice guy and an extremely talented snowboarder. When he told me that he wanted to compete in the Olympics, my first question was “why are you stopping filming?” The second question was (just to make sure) “Have you seen the level of pipe riding?” I knew that he could definitely ride pipe, but actually seeing him at the contest killing it – plainly awesome. I was so stoked for him, because he trained very hard and he deserved to be on the podium. Go big my friend!
What does snowboarding need more of?
It would be nice to see more young backcountry riders.
Basically everyone should ride what they love, but in my opinion there could be a little less park riders – go and enjoy the backcountry!
What is your opinion of the Olympics?
I personally do not care about the Olympics, but it helps the sport to address a bigger audience and will hopefully brings new, young, motivated kids to start snowboarding. Nevertheless, to all my friends who compete at the Olympics, Good luck and have fun!
Do you have an agent?
No. I really like to be in close contact with my sponsors so there was never really a need for me to get one.
What was your best day on snow?
If we are talking about this season: I had crazy good times in Japan – lots of powder and outstanding weather. If we are talking about my years as a snowboard pro I am not able to pick just one day. Over the years I had the chance to see so many different spots in Japan, US, Canada, Russia, Chile, Argentina, and all over Europe. Each and every location had its moments – plenty of good memories I enjoy looking back to!
What’s the most fun trick for you?
There are so many cool tricks I love to do, but I would say the most fun trick for me is still a big, fat ollie!
Sum up how snowboarding makes you feel in one word.
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