For my whole adult life I’ve been snowboarding for living. From the moment I first got my hands on a snowboard I’ve been hooked. It’s been a long journey–longer I’d ever dreamed about: world champion titles, Olympic games, tens of thousands of people screaming for “Antti”. But in the end it has always been about chasing the same feeling I had when I was that 10-year-old snowboarder in Ounasvaara. For that reason, I quit competing. I needed to have that feeling more often. That’s why I chose freeriding–I wanted to be free.
But the road hasn’t been easy. I have always been demanding more from myself, and also to be a professional freerider is harder year after year. I have to be able to ride bigger and bigger hills but also to find new, untouched fields. That demands a lot of traveling, scouting and being away from home.
As I’ve got older I have realized that because of chasing the next best spot I’ve lost so much from home, the Acrtic Circle. People think that freeriding is always better somewhere else, but I have learned that there are so many possibilities here. They just have to be found.
Also, my values have changed. It isn’t my only dream anymore to travel around the world non-stop. I’m still dreaming to becoming a better rider but also I want to stay home. For a long time I thought that the only option being a professional rider is to travel a lot. But what if it’s not? What if I could stay home more and still be a professional?
I really don’t know if it’s possible, and even thought it would be possible, could I be the one to pull it. I have no idea am I able to stay still, not to run to every option there is or jump to a plane right away when I hear that there’s some good snow somewhere. I truly don’t. But I’m willing to find out.
For that reason I’m doing something I have never done before. This season, our crew is filming a documentary called Arctic Lights. It’s about my personal growth and about seeking the new options at The Arctic Circle. Our plan is to film nearby, chasing the arctic light. This time we’re not traveling to Japan or New Zealand or any other remote destination; we’re filming at Pyhä, Abisko, Kebnekaise, Lyngen, Tamok, Svalbard –at the places I can call my home.
But I also want to find my own “arctic light”. I want to find out what “normal people” do when they are at home. Is it possible for me to grow up to becoming an adult and still remain the inner fire? Is it possible to combine the lifestyle of a freerider and a family guy? Is it even possible for me to grow up? It will be one hard journey, in every way harder than any other one I have ever done.
In the Fall 2017 I’m releasing in a co-operation with Kota Collective a documentary called Arctic Lights and webisodes with straight forward riding. It will be something you have never seen before and I’m more than excited to show it all to you. The journey has began.
Here is a little taste what we’re doing with my filmers when the weather in the mountains is not co-operating. Enjoy!