If you know anything about snowboarding you’ll know the name Roope Tonteri. The fantastic Finn recently nailed double gold at the 2013 FIS Snowboarding World Championships. One of the best snowboarders of his generation and a keen filmmaker, we’re now helping him prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Not only will he be using Nokia’s flagship phones, starting with the Lumia 920, to record his life on the slopes, he’ll also be giving us a unique insight in the world of a top class snowboarder.
With this in mind, we asked you on Twitter to fire some questions at the man himself. Here’s what you came up and Roope’s answers.
1. How did growing up in Finland affect your development as a rider? What’s the scene like there?
Growing up in Finland is really good for riding because we only have small hills. So you can take many laps in one day and you don’t have to spend your time in the lift. But it’s also really hard in wintertime because it’s so dark. Happily, we have lights on the slope so you don’t have to wake up early. I like to have mellow mornings. You can hit the slopes in the afternoon and slopes are normally open till 8pm.
2. How awesome is the pro border life and what’s the most memorable competition or free ride experience you’ve had?
It’s really awesome! I can do what I love. My best memory is from a few years ago when I won the Burton European Open. That was really big goal for me. Before it happened I never even thought about winning that kind of contest.
3. What’s the trick you find most fun?
For me, powder riding is the most fun thing what you can do with a snowboard. But if I have to say a trick I’d say an fs 360 and bs 720.
4. How did you become the snowboarding legend you are today and what obstacles did you overcome?
I just rode a lot and enjoyed the ride. That said, of course I’ve had some obstacles in my career. I’ve had a few injuries and it’s hard to become pro rider from Finland. There are so many good riders and Finland is small country so its hard to step it up from there, but I always have my parents to push me forward and lend me money to go to snowboard events outside of Finland.
5. What does it feel like to be sponsored by Nokia?
It feels great! Nokia is a Finnish brand and it’s great that they’re supporting me now. Big thanks to Nokia!
6. During the off-season, staying in top shape is important. What are the best cross-training activities to do?
I try to get fit before the season start. In the season I just do stretching and cycling. Its good for my knees.
7. Did you go to film school since you’re a filmmaker, too?
No, I didn’t. I’ve just been practicing on my own. If you like to do video clips just go do it. You get better and better, day-by-day.
8. What single piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to become a professional competitor?
Just ride a lot and try to push your limits. The most important thing is to have fun on the slope and enjoy your riding.
9. What excites you most about Nokia?
It’s big Finnish brand and they’ve given me lot of opportunities to do all kinds of video stuff.
10. Do you live by the policy to never call ‘last run’ at the end of your day?
Yeah I never want to call last run. If someone does that I always have to take one more.
11. Do you have any pre-riding or pre-competition rituals that you observe every time?
No! I don’t have like rituals, but I always wax my board before contest.
12. Have you ever had any injury scares, which made you hate the snow and never want to get back on the slopes?
I’ve had a few injuries, but after an injury I’m totally powered up and eager to get back on my snowboard and try even harder.
13. What feelings cross your mind when you are airborne and don’t quite feel right about the jump?
It’s hard to say. I just try to land on my feet.
14. Have you ever used the #Lumia while you’re on your job, to capture how fast the surroundings move?
No I never used a Lumia for that, but I will.
15. What does it take to become a champion in such a ruthlessly demanding sport, such as snowboarding?
Ride a lot, have fun and don’t take it too seriously. Of course some times I’m unhappy if I don’t land my trick but life goes on and tomorrow is a new day.
17. When did you realize that you had it in yourself to challenge the hard snow and make a blazing statement?
I don’t want to challenge hard snow because snow is my friend and I never think about making a statement. I just ride. Other people can make a statement I just want to have fun.
Whether you’re a snowboarder or not, we think you’ll agree this Twitter interview gave us a special insight both into Roope the man and Roope the snowboarding legend. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, let us know in the comments below.