This Finnish ninja chats to Onboard about shooting a snowboard documentary, The Scrapbook Project, life as a snowboarder in general and the next generation of rippers!
Portrait by Sami Tuoriniemi, Interview by Anna Langer
OB: Hey Antti, what are you doing at the moment? AA: Hi! I’m just having my summer ¨vacation¨ right now. Actually I just bought a new house and have been busy working on that.
OB: In the Onboard cover interview last year you said, that for the future you’d like to be part of a film crew – is the Scrapbook Project the fulfillment of that? AA: Well, filming for Scrapbook was so much fun because the people in the crew are all good buddies of mine. You can say that it was almost fulfillment since we all decided what kind of movie we wanted to make, not only the director. Of course his and other editors’ input was really important but they also really listened to our ideas. Like that we were able to work on better stuff.
OB: You have done other movie productions before, what was different in doing Scrapbook? AA: Scrapbook is a fully Finnish rider movie, which actually I haven’t done before. I think the biggest difference in this production were the riders. Some of them aren’t well known in the industry yet but after Scrapbook I hope they’ll get noticed… It’s great because these guys were able to focus only on their shots. Other better-known riders did more stuff such as contests around the world as well. So this movie is basically bringing out different aspects of snowboarding, which I think is a really a good thing.
OB: As a very home-fond person, how was it to film in Ruka, your homespot, with Scrapbook? AA: To be honest I only filmed in Ruka for five days last season. It was fun for sure but we wanted to get more stuff from different resorts around Lapland and not just the most famous ones.
OB: Besides filming – you also had great success riding contests. Having scored 3rd at the X-Games 07, Vice TTR World Champion and O’Neill Evolution Halfpipe winner – which was most important for you and what title is still your goal? AA: I’m now in a situation where I can decide what I want to do with my career. For sure the TTR is important, as well as the X-Games. But getting covers on mags and lots of editorials is a better accomplishment in my eyes. But for sure all the big contests with long histories are my goal as well. Winning contests such as the Air & Style is something not too many rider have done. That would be cool… hehe.
OB: You say about yourself that honesty and open mindedness is very important to you and that you always try to be fair and not judgmental. Do you have the feeling that others are judging you? AA: Sure people judge me. Everybody has opinions about different people. Snowboarding is such a trend driven sport/lifestyle that there will always be haters and lovers saying things about me or you. I don’t think about that, I’m just doing the things that work for me the best.
OB: What was the worst prejudice you ever heard? AA: I don’t really remember but I think people who really don’t know the nature of snowboarding think that we always get everything really easy. Such as money and stuff. Like the newspapers back home, they think that we just get salary out of having fun and hanging out… Although that’s kind of true there’s much more to it, it takes a lot of hard work as well… But somehow I like it that people think that we are just goofing around!
OB: You also said once, that you get “irritated about young boarders who expect best spots from a resort". Do you see a difference between groms back when you started and nowadays? AA: It seems that younger riders complain and pitch about features too much. When I started riding I used to fix the jump or hit if it was in bad condition. I just think that some younger riders don’t actually know how lucky they are with all the features being taken care of by the resort.
OB: What are the biggest changes since then and what do you think is the reason? AA: It has to do a lot with the fact that there are park crews at the resorts taking care of the parks now. I think it’s great… I personally take it as a gift if I’m able to shred a well-shaped park. Back in the days we had to shape all the features ourselves. If we were lucky, a cat driver would come and push some snow for us… But that didn’t happen too often! So things are AWESOME nowadays!
OB: Would you say all the hype, the money and the rock star thing is bad for snowboarding? AA: I don’t see it as a bad thing but it also depends on the person. If you get fame and money fast you have to know how to deal with it. Some dudes get piss on their heads but those guys usually drop down quickly.
OB: Do you think the industry is becoming superficial and all about looks, not so much about skill and style? AA: For sure that’s part of it. My sponsors respect skill and style A LOT though. But image is important as well. You create you’re image by doing your own thing.
OB: Thanks very much!