The mean backcountry-slashing Swiss machine
Don’t take this personally, but you might not be the best-known rider on the planet, so you have to tell us who is Nicholas Wolken after all?
– The son of an Australian nurse and American ski bum who got stuck in a small Swiss village while traveling Europe, I enjoyed a pretty active and open-minded upbringing. Since my Dad was working on the hill and both my parents liked spending time in the outdoors, this meant easy access to nature and all its goods for me. I started riding when I was 9 and racing gates at 10 years old but got bored with it and quit competing. Coincidence was, that I was attending the same school as Markus Keller, and many other Swiss talents with whom I hung out and ended up riding quite a bit. That definitely pushed my own riding and I spent pretty much all my free time and money on snowboarding.
At some point I felt it was time to do something serious with my life and I enrolled in the University of Innsbruck (Austria) to study psychology. The best thing about Innsbruck was the fact that I got to ride even more while doing something for my future on the side. My main focus these days is on backcountry riding, and my dream is to ride Alaska some day. So that’s basically were I’m at now…
Antti’s been working a lot with Finnish crew only. So what’s your deal – how did you end up in this project?
– We ran in to each other in Revelstoke (Canada) while filming this winter. Our film crews were working side by side, so we rode a few spots together and had a good time up in the mountains. I guess we have a similar approach to snowboarding these days so that made it a lot of fun. He was telling me about going to Tamokdalen and I have been wanting to go there for a while now, also to visit my friends Ile, Janne and Timo. When he actually asked me to join his helicrew I was honored to say the least, but still concerned about getting the cash together. I came home and started counting pennies and bought my ticket with a strange feeling in my guts since I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Looking back it was worth it and one of the most exciting trips for me by far!
Would you suggest people to go to Tamok–did it answer to your expectations?
– The Area has an incredible potential, and it answered to all my needs… I would definitely suggest it to people, but then again you should keep the good stuff secret…
How did you sit in the crew? Was it hard being the only foreigner?
– It wasn’t hard at all. They are all very polite and friendly guys those Finns, well, as long as they are sober.
Since you brought that up, how is it when their not…
– You never quite know what you’re going to get. It’s either Jekyll and Hide, “Lights on but Nobody Home“ or the “Loose Cannon Effect”.
Was it somehow different working with these boys besides the language barrier?
– Not in the least, they were very professional. Miikka and Antti had it all sorted out so everything went very smooth. We were all on the same mission so it was just a lot of fun. Well maybe the language barrier made me kind of a bystander when discussions were hot. I didn’t really get it, and was later on informed about the group decisions. This fact made it kind of more relaxing for me since I was just in for the ride.
What does this all Relate To It thingy mean to you? What do you relate to?
– We all enjoy a similar style of Snowboarding and for me it was a dream come true to be able to ride terrain like that. So I can relate a lot to the approach of things. I’m sure it wasn’t any different for them especially after seeing those smiles. Maybe we relate to each others passion of Snowboarding.
You have a part in True Color Films’ new masterpiece. Can you tell us something about the film and the crew?
– This year was hard sometimes since we had a few unexpected problems to deal with, but a lot of good things came together as well. For example we got Stephan Maurer on our crew who has been a dear friend of ours for a long time and this made the whole experience really authentic.
What are the things you want people to know about this project? Make yourself heard!
– I think “Truecolorfilms” stands for friends–especially on powder days! Being yourself, making the most of the moment and enjoying the beautiful mountains all over the world. So I, hope the new films will reflect just that.
And to the end, what do you want people to know about Relate To It?
– I really like it a lot, and hope I can spend more time with the boys next winter!
Home: Küblis / Innsbuck
Sponsors: Fanatic, Thirtytwo, Spy, Etnies, Union, Clast
Board and setup: 156 Fanatic Snowsurf (swallowtail)
Dream crew to ride and shoot with: All my friends, just riding no shooting.
Best places to ride: Haven’t been there but I guess it’s Alaska.
Music: Fleetwood Mac, Albatross
Other hobbies: climbing, surfing, camping, psychology
Last words: Thanks to Alva, Antti, Jerry, family, friends, sponsors and the whole Tamokcrew!