Photo: Sami Tuoriniemi
The art of conversation is dead, and being online means we can tap-tap away without ever having to transcribe from a Dictaphone. Onboard caught Finnish ripper Jukka Erätuli on Skype and said mitä kuuluu, wadup and voi vittu.
Onboard How's summer been treating you?
Jukka Erätuli Really good. I just got home from New Zealand and it was a great trip. So good park there and incredibly nice scenery. But summer in Finland was awesome. I was hanging out with my kids a lot and I was decorating the house we bought a year a go.
OB Aha! another guy who's been to NZ! It seems that every man and his dog heads down there now.
JE Yes, there was like half of the whole snowboarding scene but I will go there next year as well. It was so good there. I’ll send you some of my shots.
OB Thanks, they look rad! How come everyone goes to NZ nowadays? Is it because all the euro summer camps are shutting down?
JE Yes I guess so. And it is so much cooler to go to NZ.
OB So what were you up down there? Filming? Contests? Getting the legs ready for winter?
JE Just riding for myself. It was so good. I had some injuries last year and was only riding in a photoshoots pretty much. So it was soooo much fun riding with my friends and learning some fun stuff. Lots of good organic food and somehow calm feeling to be there. It felt kind of like Finland but looked all different.
OB Did you do any of that crazy Kiwi shit like jet boating, shark wrestling or bungee jumping off giant bridges?
JE No crazy Kiwi stuff. Just some crazy Finnish-style drinking one night with the Finns but it was fun. Other than that I was eating a lot of healthy organic food there and they had some coolest organic restaurants ever. And they had the best liquorice there that I have ever tasted, it stopped my candy break that I had for two months.
OB Hey, what is it with Finns and candy? I mean I can understand boozing, but lots of you guys really like your candy, eh?
JE It is just an addiction for some people and I feel like I’m getting rid of that. Sugar is pretty addictive. I’ve been eating really healthy but stopping eating candy has been the hardest part. It has been so hard to eat little bit of candy. If I had candy I had to eat it until I felt sick and that was not really worth it. It’s like when ever I call you guys at the Onboard office you are always going for a beer.
OB Hahah, true! I was gonna ask you how the knee was. Word on the street is you were riding without any ACL for a year, then you got the surgery?
JE Yes I was riding two years without my ACL and it was actually all good. Then I just landed flat from a hip and ripped my meniscus and they fixed the ACL at the same time. After the operation it got pretty bad and they had to do another one at the beginning of last season, so it took quite long. But now it’s all good and I am so stoked on riding again.
OB Being injured must be hell for any athlete. How do you stay motivated when you're out for a while?
JE Well, for me it is really nice to be home with my family. I have son who is 6 years old and daughter who is 3 and my wife Susanna. We have really nice life here in Finland so when I’m injured I can stay with my family. But injuries really suck. Only bad thing in snowboarding
OB Yeah, having a family must be a help for sure.
JE Yes. It might be hard to handle otherwise because I am so used to do something all the time like skateboarding, kayaking or tennis and it really sucked when I had to just go running in a pool to rehab my body.
OB Ok. But now your body is feeling all good?
JE Body is good and I am happy. It is crazy how eating healthy actually helps. I was getting colds so often before, but now I’ve been sick maybe once in two years.
OB So with the knee better and you fully of healthy food, what have you got planned for the coming winter? Anything specific you wanna focus on?
JE Yes, I want to go shooting more and do less contests if any. Do some magazine trips and we are doing movie again with Storbis so I will be filming for that again. I hope to get a full season this time.
OB Pretty over contests then?
JE Yes, you know I’ve been doing contests since I was 13 years old so that is 13 years now. Now I get more stoked on riding powder and doing some more creative stuff.
OB Hear ya for sure. Long time to be in a bib.
JE I really loved doing contests before and they are still cool. But I kind of had enough.
OB So will we see Jukka turning into a bearded grizzly powder hound some time soon? Riding 184 boards?
JE Hehe, you never know. Don’t admit it yet though.
OB I guess powder landings are easier on the knees than Talma ice
JE Yes. But riding Talma is so much fun. They had really icy and flat landings on the jumps in NZ though, and that was not feeling too fun. I was riding more pipe and rails and it was so much fun riding pipe again. But dude that 29 hours on the plane was crazy. Helsinki-London-Bangkok-Sydney-Christchurch-Queenstown
OB Wow. That’s some airtime.
JE And I was travelling alone. I kind of enjoyed just being still and alone and got some time to think through so much stuff.
OB Back to Talma. You still ride there a lot when you're home? What's so special about that place? *voice-over guy deep voice* “5500cm of extreme radicalism!"
JE Hehe, 5500 cm. Talma glacier. It is just really good place. 55 meters high but they still fit in three jumps on a row. They also have rails and pipe there. Most of the good Finnish riders are riding there and you can see other guys riding when you take the lift up. You ride two hours there and you are exhausted. And we live 10 minutes drive a way from Talma now.
OB It must be a pretty inspiring place for the groms to be hanging out too, seeing all that crazy progressive riding.
JE Yes for sure. And those kids are getting really good.
OB If you were a team manager and had to hook up some young Finnish super grom, who'd be on your hit list?
JE There are like 10 sick kids now. Maybe 20. I can’t just pick one.
OB No way. You wanna chuck any names out there?
JE I don’t want to forget anyone.
OB Ok, that's cool. But, as if anyone really thought otherwise, the future of Finnish riders is pretty good?
JE Ok. There is this kid Matti Kinnunen who is doing double rodeos and everything on the kickers and he does not have any sponsors. Yes, the future looks good.
OB Fucking hell! You heard it here first. If you guys gave your kids American names like Dirk Radcooler I reckon it'd be hard for riders from elsewhere to get a look in…
OB Ok, let's finish up.
JE Ok, Dirk Radcooler. Haha, can’t believe that name that you came up with.
OB I’m rather pleased with it myself actually. Right, I know you've been getting into playing the drums, and seeing as we have a music issue coming out soon I'd like to finish off by listing your 5 favourite drummers.
JE Oh shit. Who would that be? I need some time for that. Those drums are awesome though.
OB Ok. 5 favourite bands then.
JE Omnimotion, PMMP, SBSociety, Lagwagon, Jukka Poika. PMMP and Jukka Poika are Finnish artists singing in Finnish but they are so good.
OB Thanks Jukka. Ok. Get your props cannon firing…
JE Thanks to my wife Susanna, my kids, and my parents, Ingrid, Alex and Pike from Head, Graham, Erwin, Thierry and Zinnia from NIKE ACG, Jimmy from Nokia, Cyril, Steffi and Hasi from Anon, Dave Oshana, Rasmus Villawool, Storbis, Tuoriniemi, Copsey, Lundström, Lystad, Talma, Toyota, Thank you!
Name: Jukka Erätuli Age: 27 D.O.B.: 11.02.1980 Nationality: Finnish Hometown: Sipoo Stance: Regular; +18, -6; 63cm
Board of choice: Head Transit 161 Boots: Head 5 Star Bindings: Head PX7 Outerwear: Nike ACG Goggles: Anon Realm