Even though summer has come with the swing my season is not done yet.
I’m going to Svalbard with in my opinion the best female rider on Earth Enni Rukajärvi alongside with in my opinion the best shooters: photographer Rami Hanafi and filmers Teemu Lahtinen and Iisakki Kennilä. Our plan is to go to film this short documentary with a working title ¨Svalbard Unplugged¨ and of course also film for my more core audience aimed project Closer. This type of expedition could never be possible without support and help from the best. I’m super excited that Arctic Guides are again willing to help our crew to make it happen!
Last season, as I visited Svalbard, I felt like I just got the taste of the potential of the place. There were so many lines and places I saw that I could not have stopped thinking about them. It was that same obsessed mind that Arctic Lights was focusing on, but now I can say that the obsession and passion has turned more in to these certain places: I want to go back to and ride them!
While last year Arctic Lights was all about getting deeper of who I am, this year’s project in Svalbard is going to be all about taking a viewer along the ride. I think that’s super important thing when watching action nowadays. It feels sort of boring to be a viewer who is watching the line from far when nowadays camera equipment can be used much more creatively. We want the viewer to feel with the picture. For me, that is the main goal with the both projects.
¨Svalbard Unplugged¨ is a brainchild from me, Rami and filmer Mikko Keskinen who unfortunately had to pull out from the trip right in the end because of an injury. The project will follow me and Enni while we explore the west coast of Svalbard using a boat to find good spots. Once we see something to spend longer time we setup a camp there to really get to know one certain area better.
Timingwise spring is really good for riding in steeper terrain, and I can tell you there are a lot of beautiful, steep lines in Svalbard – and you can hike them pretty much straight from the fjord. Also it’s a great time to shape features, and now that Enni is joining us we’re planning to build a few cool things to have a session.
All and all, even though big lines are the priority, this trip is not only about them. What really makes me want to go back there is the fact that you can also film some really amazing freestyle shots in those Arctic backgrounds. That’s also something that you haven’t really seen so much – and you definitely should! I really hope we can get a good weather window for some airtime as well.
However, the best thing for me in Svalbard is the fact that you are at the spots all the time. Being able to create your daily life only around snowboarding and Arctic nature without any hassle from outside world is the best thing. It’s like a meditation on the move. We don’t have cell network over there and while I’m fully addicted to my digital world (and it’s part of my job nowadays), it really feels so good to be able to leave it away for a couple of weeks and only focus on the act itself. Would be good for a lot of folks out there…
I have to admit that last year in Svalbard I wasn’t mentally ready for some of the bigger lines and felt overwhelmed of the possibilities the place is holding. This year I feel more focused and ready to attack the stuff that I’ve seen there. The only thing we need is some good weather and stable snow. If that does not happen we can always go watch polar bears, slash few banks and just enjoy the camp vibes. That’s cool too – and totally worth it.
since there is going to be some amazing stuff coming out when our crew returns back to civilisation in June 10th.
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photos by: Rami Hanafi