Name: Terje Haakonsen
Home Base: Oslo, Norway
Stance: Regular: Variable Angles.
Terje Haakonsen is widely considered to be one of the best overall snowboarders in the world. His style combines a natural flow of technical lines and tricks that never cease to boggle the mind. Choosing to cut down on the number of contests he participates in, Terje has had the opportunity to increase the amount of pow days he gets each season. With this in mind, he has been working on a new board with Burtonís designers for just this type of riding. Depending on the size of the pipe, Terje still jumps on the Balance 57 or 60 to boost, and tweak down the pipe. Terje travelled all over Europe and North America this year in search of the best pow and biggest pipes to ride. He will be seen in many snowboard videos and major magazines next season, and will continue to float around and above the snowy mountains and halfpipes of the world for years to come.
WHEN DID YOU START SNOWBOARDING? 1988.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST MEMORABLE TURN THIS SEASON. In Tokyo, I pulled a clean U-turn back into the Sushi Bar.
WHAT BURTON PRODUCTS ARE YOU WORKING CLOSELY WITH IN TERMS OF DEVELOPMENT? Iíve been working with JG on the Fish this year. Itís a free ride/pow board.
WHAT BURTON PRODUCT WILL YOU BE RIDING THIS YEAR? Board: Balance Series and the Fish Binding: CFX with Team Skybacks Boot: Ion Outerwear: Tactic and Ronin
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RIDING STYLE? I like all kind of terrain, but I donít like to make jumps in the backcountry. Iíd rather find natural jumps and ride top to bottom. I have fun in big pipes with big transitions - itís safer too.
DOES SNOWBOARDING NEED TO HAVE CONTESTS? I think there are good things happening, but mostly there are crappy events with organizers that present snowboarding in a very unrealistic manner. People are misled by an unrealistic gap created by television, magazines, and politics. I believe there is no such thing as a superstarÖEveryone is there to have fun and focus on what they truly enjoy. That makes me hesitant towards competitive snowboarding. I also think it hinders the growth and creativity of a fun sport. If itís not fun, the less me.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CHANGE SNOWBOARD CONTESTS? I have been coordinating an event, the Arctic Challenge, in a joint effort with the local people of Stamsund at Lofoten in Norway, for two years now. I am experimenting with a more casual competition format that allows the riders to give their best individual effort. With bigger pipe transitions and a relaxed atmosphere, riders progress the sport in a totally spontaneous unpredictable manner. When a casual competition format exists, the sport will progress and be more interesting for people to watch. Itís not at all like an ISF or FIS competition where the same exact run used for ten years gets you the gold!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF SNOWBOARDING? I really like skating, soccer, stretching, Chess, PlayStation, cooking, and eating quality food.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY? Okay what else: Well I am just out there doing things that will make me live and learn. I think the world is out of control, and we are chasing illusions Ďtil our moment of awakening. We have a choice: Choose or Lose.
1st Place í01 U.S. Open Quarterpipe, Stratton Mountain, VT, US
1st Place í01 Tokyo x-trail Quarterpipe jam
1st Place í00 Arctic Challenge Halfpipe, Lofoten, NOR
1st Place í00 Arctic Challenge Quarterpipe, Lofoten, NOR
1st Place í00 Norwegian Half Pipe Champion
1st Place Ď99 Nippon Open, Hokkaido, JPN
1st Place Ď98 Gerlos Superpipe, Gerlos, AUT
1st Place Ď98 Gothenburg Megastar Quarterpipe, Gothenburg, SWE
2-time Innsbruck Air & Style Champion, Innsbruck, AUT
4-time Mount Baker Banked Slalom Champion, WA, US
3-time US Open Halfpipe Champion, Stratton, VT, US
3-time ISF World Halfpipe Champion
5-time European Halfpipe Champion