I was born and raised in a little town up in Arctic Circle called Rovaniemi. There weren’t that much else to do so I rode at my small local hill all day, every day. I must say that I wasn’t that talented – but I was ambitious. There were tons of better riders than me around, but I was so hooked on riding I just couldn’t get enough of it. It wasn’t long after those endless days paid off and I found myself traveling around the world, and as my friends were still playing their Nintendo’s, I was competing against the best riders. But I didn’t want to be another challenger. Every day, I wanted to ride my snowboard like never before. That passion gave me quite a ride: world championship victories, first European to win at X Games, Olympics – and yet the road was just began.
When I was still in the top of contest circuit I did something that many thought was insane. I followed my heart. Still, I wanted to ride better every day and I felt I wasn’t able to be what I wanted if I kept competing. So I quit doing so and went to backcountry. I told I’m not coming to the Olympics, I go to ride powder.
For a Finnish rider, it was at least an interesting move. Finland isn’t known for producing freeride slayers, and even fever makes it as a pro. But I felt I wasn’t just a stranger in my homeland: only few riders in the world also produces their own films.
And that’s exactly what I did. I wanted to get things done by my own way: I needed to make kind of films that got me stoked when I was young. Films that were filled with passionate riding and amazing soundtrack. And I guess I wasn’t the only one: in 2014, Approach & Attack was Onboard Magazine’s most viewed film.
Still after 15 years, snowboarding is the thing that inspires me every day – and I’m grateful that I’ve found my passion and I get to live it. Keep searching for your own passion, and when you do, never let it go.