Words: Marko ‘AustroYank’ Grgas.
Photo: Daniel Kundernasch
OB: Hey Seppi, what’s up?
Seppi: All is good. I’m a little tired though. Been doing some night sessions.
OB: Oh cool, where did your nightly excursions take you?
Seppi: I could tell you, but it wouldn’t really help the secreteness of the spots.
OB: Ok, I understand.
Seppi: I hope that cool?
OB: For sure!
OB: I saw you at the Graz Rail Jam. How did you like it there?
Seppi: It was super fun! The obstacles and course were pretty cool, and since there weren’t that many riders you could take many runs without having to snake or be bummed about waiting.
OB: Do you prefer rail contests to kicker or slopestyle contests. Or does it all depend on how the setup is?
Seppi: It’s all about the set up. Any kind of contest can be fun, where you can ride and have fun. The more tricks you can do the more fun you are gonna have!
OB: What about you personally? What kind of riding do you prefer when you are riding for yourself? I mean disregarding pow, because everyone knows that it’s the best thing in the world…
Seppi: It depends. I like to ride everything. It’s all about the flow and the gut feeling you have on some days. On a really bad weather day I was up on the mountain and was hitting up small little flat boxes. I was just practicing old and new tricks, and had sooooo much fun. On another day I was hitting up a little kicker line, and was doing no grab frontside 3s. I was so stoked. It’s really an amazing feeling when you do ’em with no grabs. You should try it out. You’ll never want to stop!
OB: Other than us two and the dudes from SP, there is not that big of a snowboard scene coming from Vienna. Why could that be?
Seppi: I wouldn’t necessarily agree. I mean check out Marc Swoboda! In my eyes he is definitely the newcomer of last year. I mean he is not directly from the city, but from nearby. Close enough though.
OB: Shit, your right! I totally forgot that he is from lower Austria. Tulln is it? He is super good. Sooooo smooth!
Seppi: For sure! I mean, there are not super many, but a few. I think it has a lot to do with the geographical location. It’s obvious that kids that live at the foot of a mountain have a better predisposition. It’s hard for a 12-year-old kid to get to the mountains from Vienna. Unless he has got enough money for transport or really nice parents. It’s difficult.
OB: Speaking of kids, I just recently watched ‘Up in the Sky’ by Factor Films and was blown away by the level of riding. Do you think it has anything to do with the Scandi’s having snowboard schools.
Seppi: Oh, for sure! There are other ingredients that one needs to have such as talent and healthy ambition, but the schools definitely play a big role in creating amaazing riders. You need the right surroundings to be able to progress. The US is also a good example for this phenomenon. There you’ve got little 12-year-old kids that are riding on such a high level that it is mind-boggling. It’s because they have perfectly groomed parks that they hit all day.
OB: Coming back to Austria. It’s a country with lots of mountains to ride and valleys to explore. Can you explain to yourself why it is that the Zillertal has produced so many good riders?
Seppi: Like I said before the surrounding set up is just good. They have a great park set up in Penken, which you can session quite efficiently the whole day since the lift is perfectly set up for park runs.
OB: That’s true, but I was thinking about riders that have been on top of the game for years such as Wolle, Steve or Beckna. When those dudes started to shred there weren’t such perfect conditions.
Seppi: Those dudes are just on a different level. They’ve just got snowboarding in ’em. Lots and lots of raw talent. They were there at the right time. They started shredding and exploring the endless terrain around the Zillertal, when no other – or at least very few – snowboarders knew what was up. They are for sure some of the best and most experienced backcountry freestyle riders.
OB: I agree a million times! A lot of riders move to the Zillertal. Would you do it?
Seppi: Aaaahhh, I don’t think so. I’ll stick to the east and my city. Home is home, and I can reach the mountains in an Ok time. So it’s all good.
OB: Ok, next topic. You recently started up a company called ‘Love’. Could you tell me a little bit about it, what it is and what you do?
Seppi: Sure. I’ll give you the short version. It actually consists of two companies; Love Skateboards and Love Streetwear. We just started and are a little company aiming to keep our head above water. This is our first year, but we already have a good momentum going. We have a sweet deal with a wood manufacturer in Canada for our skateboards and a good deal with a textile dude for the clothing line. Our main goal is not to make a huge profit, but to share the ‘love’ and support various social projects that are aimed at helping out people in need. Especially kids.
OB: That is so cool. I admire you for doing something like that. Especially in a time when snowboarding is going corporate and bigger companies are taking over, who only care about increasing profits, market growth and count every cent they make. They would never dream of actually supporting someone other than one of their money making marketable ‘athletes’, as they call ’em nowadays.
Seppi: Thanks. It’s always good to hear. It motivates me to keep on going.
OB: Why is it that it’s always the smaller companies end up having to do the philanthropic work, and the big ones, which could make a huge difference, turn their shoulder?
Seppi: Don’t know. It’s just the way things roll I guess.
OB: I did some research and stumbled upon the ‘Love’ team. Not bad! Not bad at all! Marc Swoboda, Roli Scharmer, Diz Pichler, Dominik Wägner, Flo Mausser and you! That’s a pretty killer team if I may say so!
Seppi: Thanks again! Now you’re getting me stoked!
OB: You should be!
OB: Ok, last question. What are your thoughts on global warming. This winter we got proper snow again, and I was wondering if you think that due to that the issue is going to be swept underneath the rug again. Do you think that the collective consciousness is over it again?
Seppi: Hmmm… that’s a difficult question. I think that global warming was being really hyped last season. But, there have been shitty seasons before, and I’m sure there are still more to come. I’m trying to stay positive about it and not worry too much. Of course, I am worried about the environment and do what I can to keep it clean and sustainable. One little step at a time. People should not think about global warming as reason to be more environmentally friendly. They should just be environmentally friendly for the sake of this amazing planet! There is definitely a lot of work ahead of us! Stay positive and do what you can!
OB: Seppi! You oh so wise man! Thanks for chatting a bit with me. Wish you luck for the upcoming nightvision goggle missions. I’ll catch up with you in Wien. OTK in da house!
Seppi: OTK forever! Hehe.
Name: Seppi Scholler
Sponsors: Atomic Snowboards, Scott goggles, Billabong, Cormax shoes, Eastern boarder, Youngmountain.com, Sport-senoner, Love Skateboards/streetwear.