[Markku Koski at our Send Off Session in Levi last year. Photo: Sami Tuoriniemi]
Over the course of his long career, Markku Koski has consistently thrown down at the highest level in pretty much every facet of snowboarding. From movie parts with the Pirates to Olympic pipe medals; from backcountry booters to mean street jibbing. Koski’s done it all and, though his career is starting to wind down, it’s safe to say he’s still a better all-round snowboarder than 70% of the people who call themselves ‘pros’.
We faced off with Markku to talk about how his career evolved over the years and the secret of a long career in an often youth-obsessed game…
You’ve had a long career in snowboarding. When did you turn pro?
I turned pro I guess after I finished in the army in 2001, so it’s been a while.
Like many, you started by making a name for yourself on the contest circuit. Did you get into contests when you were pretty young? What drew you to them?
The first time I saw snowboarding was through a snowboard movie, but contests were kind of a big thing at the time as well. It was kind of even between the two. So I went to some contests like the Finnish Cup – 1993 I think was my first contest – and it kind of started from there.
In the early days was that all you wanted to do? Get paid to travel the world and hit up contests, win cash, party, girls. Or were you always aware that you wanted to get into more sides of snowboarding?
When I was young I didn’t really think about the money or anything. I didn’t even want to go outside of Finland, I just wanted to ride in Finland and just have fun. I wasn’t really into partying or getting money or any of that, I just wanted to ride basically. But yeah when I did the first Junior Worlds, after that I picked up some sponsors and started travelling, but still pretty low key – going to contests and riding for fun.