[Portrait: Teemu Heljo]
[The free stream’s now closed, but you can now buy Ender on iTunes. Do it. It’s epic.]
Throughout the course of his long and fruitful career, Eero Ettala has cemented his position as undoubtedly one of the most progressive riders in the history of the game – both on and off the board. With skills and style honed on the hot-lap Nirvana of Talma, he exploded onto the scene as a young rookie with an improbable ability to effortlessly marry big spins with solid style at a time when this was still a rarity, and a rail game that seemed to get more intense every time he pumped out of the drop-in.
Over his 15 years of riding professionally snowboarding has evolved constantly, but Eero’s always rolled with the punches and come out on top. From huge park hits to backcountry stomps to nocturnal urban assaults, he’s consistently pushed the boat out. It’s not just his riding, either: strapped or unstrapped he always looked ahead of the curve and was one of the first riders to embrace the new online world with regular content delivered via his blog, ettala.com, embracing winch tow-ins to turn the urban environment into his own private funpark, and being instrumental in charging into producing high-quality free internet videos, like Euro Gap 3 and the Cooking with Gas series. He’s also been one of the most focussed, determined riders in the game; as Mike ‘Mack Dawg’ McEntire calls it: “He’s a one-upper.”
‘Dedicated’ is another adjective that concisely sums up Eero’s persona: whether it’s relentlessly perfecting tricks or style, taking beatings to get the shot or having to battle back from any of the number of serious injuries he’s succumbed to over the years, he’d put his head down and endure pain and frustration for the sake of being the best snowboarder he could be. And for a long old while that meant being at the, if not on the, peak of the narrow apex reserved for the coveted ‘most versatile rider on the planet’ distinction.
15 years is a long time to grind out ever-more impressive video parts, though. In autumn 2014 I met with Eero in Munich and, over a wurst and a spezi, he explained that he’d decided the 14/15 season would be his last filming all-in on a part. A year later, with the movie premiering across the planet, we caught up with him again to find out why, where he’s at, the intricacies of filming movie parts, and what we can expect when Ender streams free here on onboardmag.com for 24-hours on 1 November 2015 from 21.00 CET.