We catched Nico on his way to Baldface for Trice's well expected Ultra Natural this week-end, and right after he got voted Rider of the Year at the TWS Rider's Poll Awards. A well deserved prize, after too banging parts in one season, with Absinthe and with the Pirates. That's already a few questions to ask him right there...
Nico, Rider of the Year at the TWS awards: is it the first time, and what does this mean to you?
This is the first time I got the award indeed, and it feel good of course. My personal goal has always been to have as much fun as possible so it's rad to see all my fellow snowboarders vote that kind of riding. It's an honour and pretty huge deal over here in the States. People high 5 me left and right, it's funny.
You also recently rode the Mt Baker Banked Slalom, what did you think of this experience?
Best experience in a long time. I think every pro snowboarder should at some point do that event. The amount of different people that come together from Pioneers, Legends and young riders is incredible. The Mt.Baker Banked Slalom stands for riding, no matter who you are let's see how you turn your snowboard and may the fastest win.
We’ve recently seen more and more snowboarding legends participate to contests – not only Mt Baker but also at Air & Style etc. How do you see that yourself?
It's great, I see these events more like festivals. Like cultural snowboard gatherings and it's always best when generations clash.
Another trend at the moment is splitboarding. Have you tried personally?
I just got one and I feel like once I really go for a mission I won't want to do anything else anymore...
Next for you is the Ultra Natural. What do you remember from last year’s edition, and what do you expect this time?
My memories from last year are nothing but an amazing time up in one the most beautiful lodges in BC with a roster of legendary snowboard friends. It's like the dream event. And for the next few days to come I don't expect anything else. It'll be lots of fun in the pow and for sure some adrenalin once it's on and time to drop in.
On this event, what is you tactics: do you pick a line and decide all the tricks in advance, or you more keen to let your instinct do it for you?
I will know what I'll do once I drop in but at this point I can't even think about it. It'll drive me crazy. You wanna stay calm untill you see the course from the side on the warm up day. It's a long run so there will be moments of improvision for sure. The strategy has got to be to just enjoy yourself and go with the flow.
If you still haven't seen Nico's part in the latest Absinthe flick Resonance and want to find out why and how Nico got his Rider of the year Award, just watch this: