The man himself tells what’s up!
Congratulations Antti! Relate To It the film is nearly ready to be published. What are you feeling right now?
– I’m feeling both excited and a bit nervous. It was again pleasure to work with Teemu and we are both satisfied how the film looks. Soon we will see how people react to this flick.
What kind of journey it has been to make the film?
– Well it was a bit easier to get everything organized compared to previous year. We had more knowledge, contacts and good plan what we wanted to do. This movie is not going to have all double corks but it for sure will have a lot of passion in it! We are taking the best out of every turn we get in the powder!
Last year you had Antiout, then webisodes. You’ve been quite busy, right?
– After Antiout I have been busier than ever. A lot of planning went through out the fall. Getting everything in order 100 percent before each trip is the key thing – such as guides, accommodation, locations, rental cars, crew, budget, sponsors, filmers and of course I still needed to fully focus on my riding as well. There have been days when I feel like I’m office nerd and professional snowboarder at same time, haha.
How does this film differ from the last one?
– Antiout movie was my ‘getaway ticket’ from competitions to powder and was based on my desires to ride natural terrain, but Relate To It has more input from other riders as well. Will Jackways showed us good times in NZ and Miikka Hast was really killing it in Tamok, Norway. We wanted to get more into big mountain riding but still keep down to earth approach so we could stick to the title of the movie.
Yeah, Relate To It. That sounds deep, and I suppose that’s just what it is. So, where did you get the idea to make a project with such a big philosophy?
– Relate To It means that no matter what the conditions are, it is still worth to go out there and make the best out of it! Usually the days when you don’t have big expectations turn out to be the most memorable ones! The film itself won’t go as deep in this philosophy because we want our riding talk more than our words, but of course there is some commentary as well. Also young and some not so young snowboarders think that to be able to ride powder is really hard and expensive. We wanted to show people that if you really want, you can go for a trip of your life and ride some really good terrain with really low budget. All you need is an open mind and a desire to jump out from park.
I think it’s not common to make films with a meaning these days. Well, Further is an exception, but besides that there’s hardly any others. Was it difficult to convince people to this? I mean, were people any skeptical?
– I think ‘meaning’ is a big word for this movie since we try to still keep it really tight with commentary. But for sure to me it is important to have more than just great riding in the movie. More passion and soul, you know… We are trying to encourage especially young riders to see every forest and hill as on opportunity to have fun! Still in the end we are doing a snowboard movie for snowboarders. However, no one from Finland based movie crews has never really tried to make a real powder movie before so I think we are tapping into this side of snowboarding with fresh mind and view.
You used to be known from your piperiding and now you’re one of the best-known Finnish freeriders. Was it hard to make the change?
– To be able to ride pipe really helps in backcountry. You need really good edge control while shredding fast in trees or lines and having a good sense of riding transitions really helps in powder. In my mind the hardest part is to get to know about the nature and dangers out there. I also needed to practice a lot my patience because sometimes you just can’t go ride stuff you want to because of conditions.
That’s so true. If you look back to the history, can you point the date when you decided you wanted to do it differently? Like you told yourself, ‘I’ve seen this, let’s do something else now!”
– There really isn’t any date when I decided this, but after I got hurt in Colorado 2009 while riding pipe too hard in bad weather I knew it was time to do some self-searching of where I wanted to take my riding. I have always loved to ride everything and I follow all aspects of snowboarding but to me riding powder is the best thing to do in snowboarding. So to make the move from contests to backcountry was easy because I knew that I’m going to try to ride powder for the rest of my life. But getting the crew and supporters behind my passion was harder. You know, people know me as a contest rider and keep on asking why did I stop it when I was doing so good. I have seen so many riders to get burnt out of snowboarding because it felt like a job for them, so I decided to leave contests so I could still like snowboarding as much as I did when I started it. With Antiout I was able to prove myself and my sponsors that I can do this. Right now I actually feel like I have just started my real professional snowboarding career!
But why freeriding? How come you didn’t transfer into a jibber? I know you know how to jib, too. Or is it still to come?
– Tell me one snowboarder who doesn’t like to do powder turn? If you include natural take off with some airtime into deep and there you go! To be able to perform a trick with just natural terrain is really hard and at the same time so rewarding! It is funny how we ended up making jumps and getting shots but in the end just doing a method or bs threes of natural jump feels more of an accomplishment. In my mind man-made jumps become more fillers than doing natural air just because it is just so much more difficult. I think that from now on I’m only going to build kickers where I can try really hard tricks or include some natural airtime ingredients before or after jump!
Well maybe freerider is a bit too limited as a term. How would you describe yourself as a rider?
– Maybe all-around freeridestyler, hah. I just love to go snowboarding even if it is just artificial snow-pump at my home resort. There is always a way to create fun when you go riding.
You probably had a lot of great moments last season, but what were the highlights? You have to come up with the best ones!
There is so many but to list few great ones… Month in Japan. The deepest snow I’ve ever experienced and I have been in Japan 12 times. Then of course onsen, only spent 50 € for lift tickets, rice triangles and Asahi beer. Shredding with Joel Lahti every day was so awesome! He is one of my favorite riders ever to go ride with!
Tamok Helidays were really nice experience as well. This place is amazing and at the same time scary! Northern Norway has some really big mountains to ride. I personally didn’t get what I wanted because in my mind we rode way too big faces. The lines we did were too long for me in natural freestyle riding at this point. I want to go back there and ride shorter but feature filled runs in between 100–400 vertical meters! Now we did like 600–900 meters.
New Zealand this year was hard with snow conditions but together with Sylvain Bourbousson we ended up scoring one of the best days of this project in Mt.Albert. It was truly amazing day. I think this segment in movie is going to stand out really well!
We’ve been traveling together for several times and I must say that your crew is always so easy – it works so well! What makes your crew so good?
– Usually I want to talk with the riders and filmers before the trips so we all know what kind of riding we are aiming to do in each trip. I’m down to ride everything but sometimes you meet these guys who only want to build jumps or just wait the perfect day for perfect line. All respect to them, but if you only have some time in each place and budget is small you got to be on point and be able to RELATE TO conditions and make the best out of it. Sometimes it works and sometimes not but if the crew has the same goal then everything goes way smoother.
Are you going to continue working with them, or is this an end of a chapter? So, what are your plans to the future?
– I really want to work with Teemu as long as he is down to do it! He is my favorite filmer and such a good rider, too! Joel and Miikka are my favorite finnish buddies to go ride with so they will always have a spot in the crew if the mission fits their goals. This season I’ve been getting more contacts from my foreign mates saying they like the projects and want to do filming missions. So I think the future is looking promising!
Give your shout-outs and greetings to those about to watch the film!
– Sit back, enjoy, have a zip of your drink and hopefully you can Relate to it!
Sponsors: Billabong , Northwave , Drake , Giro , Clast
Board and setup: Drake Green Battle, Drake SuperSport bindings, Northwave Legend boots
Dream crew to ride and shoot with: I want to ride with whom ever who is sharing the same passion and motivation for the trip ahead! For shooting Teemu Lahtinen, Jani Kärppä and Rami Hanafi no doubt! Always have so much fun with them and there is not a single day that we would go home empty handed.
Best places to ride: I really like riding bigger mountains now but treeriding is what I love the most. Japan is my favorite and probably always will be.
Music: Modern approach to classic rock of 70’s.
Other hobbies: cruising with my Duff beer skateboard and getting towed behind jetski while surfing in Kemijoki river, Finland.
Last words: Relate to FUN, friends!
words: Tuukka Tams
captions: Antti Autti