Talking Points

The Question – Influences

We decided to get under the skin of an assortment of pro riders by posing one question and seeing how they stack up. For this instalment we asked: “Which rider influenced you most as a kid and why?”

Feel free to add your own answers beneath!

boris mouton

Boris Mouton on a Sölden monster. Photo: Roland Haschka/QParks

“It was Seb Toots I guess. Because he was goofy and I always wanted to do the same tricks as him, it was the same feeling.”

Niklas mattson

Someone told us Mattsson rides a 166, which is crazy. Photo: Thomas Copsey

“When I was little I didn’t look up to pro riders, I was always riding with my brothers, so they were my biggest role models. When I was like 15 and I got up there all my classmates asked me who my favourite riders were and I always said my brothers. I had to study some snowboarding when I got into the snowboard academy, when I was 16 just studying all the pro riders to get to know what contest they went to and when. I was so busy with my own riding before I didn’t focus on anyone else or what tricks they were doing.”

Seppe Smits

Seppe Smits at the Nine Royals. Photo: Mike Brindley

“My brother. I grew up with him, we did every sport together, we learnt to snowboard together and he was always just a step ahead of me, then we we’re just pushing each other. Always good times with him. I still ride with him from time to time but not that much since he kind of quit professional snowboarding and is more focussed on just enjoying life and travelling.”

Stale Sandbech

Ståle getting low.

“My brother Frode has always been my hero and I think he kinda knows that, but I know that he’s not superman. Almost, but not fully superman.”

Silje Norendal

Silje on her way to winning the X Games Norway. Photo: Mike Brindley

“There’s two. Kjersti Buass and Jamie Anderson. I still look up to both of them, not just because they’re both amazing riders, but really good role models and good human beings. I use to fan out pretty hard. I remember watching Kjersti at the Norwegian champs, being the kid who was too shy to say hi. We had the Norwegian Champs in my home town one year so the local newspaper took a picture of me and Kjersti, that was crazy for me, I was so excited and asked her to sign my jacket but she didn’t want to because she was scared of ruining the jacket, she did eventually. That’s crazy looking back on that.”

Christian Haller

Classic Haller Method. Photo: Thomas Copsey

“Probably Nicolas and Freddi as their career started to kick off right when I really got into snowboarding.”

Roope Tonteri

Roope Tonteri boosting in the Laax Open 2017 slopestyle semi finals. Photo: Sam Oetiker

“Of course Sami Saarenpää because he was from same city as me but also Heikki Sorsa with his mohawk at the Olympics and of course Eero Ettala in his video parts he always rides everything. And he’s also amazing skater.”

Cheryl Maas

Cheryl Maas launching in Mayrhofen. Photo: Matt Georges

“It wasn’t one person. It was the whole Forum team!”

Enni Rukajarvi

Enni Rukajärvi dropped this slinky back 5 Stale between two sevens and a fine bit of rail riding to win the 2017 Laax Open. Photo: Thomas Copsey

“Probably Heikki Sorsa or Antti Autti because they were really famous in Finland when I was young and I only got to see them on the Olympics and that kind of stuff from TV. Also some local riders who I saw riding in my home resort.”

Pat Burgener

Pat Burgener. Photo: Thomas Copsey

“There are too many riders that inspired me as a kid, not only riders but personality (Athletes,Musician,Actors etc) i just took anything i liked from all these people to become myself. But Danny Davis, Ipod, Danny Kass, Markus Keller were for sure my favorites in snowboarding.”

Benny Urban

Benny Urban’s Vans First Layer ender from behind. Photos: Matt Georges

“JP Walker and Louif Paradis. JP because he basically started the whole Street thing and I was always so impressed of what’s actually possible. Louif because I’ve always been a big fan of his style, creativity, spot and trick choice.”

Mario Kaeppeli

Mario Käppeli. Photo: Matt McHattie

“I think way back in the days it was Gian Simmen. He won the Olympics and was pretty much the man for snowboarding here in Switzerland… as more and more I got into filming and riding back country I looked up to Gigi, Pat Moore or Müller and I’m still inspired by them now… but there are so many other riders I’m hyped on, like Mat Schaer or Fredrik Evensen, these kids are killing it. But I’m not only inspired of riders because of riding! There is so much more! Like Jake Welch, he is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met!!!”

Will Smith

Will Smith SENDING it on the unnatural hip. Photo: Matt Georges

“A lot of people influenced my snowboarding growing up, the main guys are the ones I looked up to when the dry slope scene was still really good. Dudes like; Wayne Taylor, Stu Edwards, Damian Doyle, Tom Percival, Col Myton, Stuart Horsham, Ben Wall, Ian Ashmore, Tom Honey, Matt Higson, Matt Mcwhirter John Weatherly. So many people used to influence you then because you’d see different people at all the contest through the summer on all the dry slopes round the UK. I would have to say my biggest influence was Jonny Russell though, I really don’t think I would snowboard in the same way if I never rode with Jonny. He has always been just so good and so proper with his riding so it kind of put me in a good direction and hanging out with older dudes makes you have to not act like a little shit or they will let you know about it haha.”

Lens Jorgensen

Lenny powering. Photo: Sami Tuoriniemi

“Mikkel Bang, he was from the same area, he was the guy I wanted to be.”

Eiki Helgason

Eiki Helgason chasing waterfalls for Island Born.

“It was JP Walker for sure and the whole Forum team back then, because the first snowboard movie I saw was The Resistance.”

Eero Ettala

Eero Ettala back 180s the Baltic in Helsinki Transitions. Photo: Pasi Salminen

“It must have been the local heroes back then, Heikki Sorsa and Eero Niemelä. Also Jussi Oksanen and Joni Mäkinen from the Standard movies. Just seeing someone from Finland being that good live or on a video was amazing. It really made me want to learn the tricks they were doing.”

Nicolas Muller

Nicolas Müller in Fruition. One of the most unique snowboard movies ever made. Photo: Silvano Zeiter.



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