Contrary to what Tony Hawk might claim in Occupation: Skateboarder, talent isn’t everything. It’s a great deal, but hardly everything. Don’t you reckon that it takes more, at least in snowboarding, to make it professionally? You need a big bag of talent for sure, but if you are a complete social retard, what sponsor is going to take you on? Basically what I’m saying is that in this industry, nice guys don’t finish last. Secondly, you are not going to last long if you are a work-shy space cadet with extreme homesickness. This is why I’ll put my money on Niklas Byström. Blue-collar work ethics and talent, all mixed up with a fair amount of humbleness. Now that’s a recipe for a successful snowboard career.
Niklas started riding when an older friend kindly advised him to ditch the skis and poles and take on snowboarding. He was hooked from day one. But things like school and ice hockey hindered Niklas from getting his shred on. That, as well as having to take a 6-hour bus drive every Friday, to Tärnaby, Sweden, to be able to get some decent riding, and the same bus back on Sundays. It wasn’t until he turned 18 he finally found all the time he needed, when he went from being an ice hockey player to just having a fanatic obsession with some obscure little ice hockey team.
This year he has been shooting with his production company called Skullfilms Productions in the States for their new release entitled Frienemies. Stay tuned.
Years riding: 13
Sponsors: Dragon, Bataleon, SEPIA, Haze, SP, King Dmnd
Stance: 62cm wide, +26 –15
Hobbies: In the winter it’s all about hanging out in the slope with my homies from SFP.
Music: I like a lot of different sorts of music, hip-hop and techno are always good. Super heavy techno beats are nice when we are chillin’ in Haze’s pimped Volvo.
Favourite resort: This winter I have been in the States and the parks there are so nice. My favourite resort must be Keystone in Colorado, super good rails and not as windy as Breckenridge. In Sweden it’s Tärnaby, this little resort in the north part of Sweden – it’s super funny. Tärnaby’s attitude to snowboarding sucks but we build the rails and jumps by ourselves and the park has been pretty good. Tärnaby is the home base for the SFP crew.
Favourite trick and why: All flat jibs. Riding with some friends and doing flatland jibs at the end of the day is so much more fun than hitting these super big booters that you’ll kill yourself on if you make a mistake.
Shout outs: Pagen, Haze, Tina, SFP, sponsors and my family.