All Photos Courtesy of Olav Stubberud for Hoppipolla Headwear
Born: January 10th, 1991
Sponsors: Nike 6.0, Lobster Snowboards, Oakley, Monster Energy, Skullcandy, Hoppipolla Headwear, Blue-Tomato.com, Neff Gloves, 7-9-13 Belts, Kaleidoscope Skateboards
Hometown: Akureyri, Iceland
Home Mountain: Hlíðarfjall
Halldór Full Part from Pirate Movie Productions‘ “Hooked”
Best part song of the year? Band: Moderat. Song: “A New Error”
Eirikur “Eiki” Helgason
Born: September 5th, 1987
Sponsors: Lobster Snowboards, Oakley Apparel & Goggles, Monster Energy, Skullcandy, Hoppipolla Headwear, Neff Gloves, 7-9-13 Belts, DVS, Blue-Tomato.com, Frontline, Kaleidoscope Skateboards
Hometown: Akureyri, Iceland
Home Mountain: Hlíðarfjall
Eiki Full Part Remix From Standard Films‘ “The Storming”
We know they can shred. But really, what else is actually known about the two prodigal snow bros from the land of Ice? Now that we mention it … Hell, what the do we even know about Iceland? Top of my head, I do remember once hearing that Björk was their #1 export in the ’90s (true), and honest-to-god, their government creates legislation surrounding their belief in Elves (true-er…). And of course, we did beat their asses in Mighty Ducks 2 (knuckle-puck time). So, yeah—kind of sits somewhere in the Scientology-region when it comes to our general knowledge of the homeland and home life of Eiki and Halldór Helgason. We rewind their enders, drop jaws to their tricks, follow their business ventures, and line up at contests to see them drop. NBDs have become mundane, spots continue to get closed down, and hyperbole flies right out the window. But that’s not all.
Just two short months into 2011, the Helgasons have flipped the snowboarding world on it’s head once again (resisting the urge to say “double-corked the snowboarding world” was much more difficult that I’d like to admit… ugh). Dropping their board sponsors, the brothers have teamed up to launch Lobster Snowboards, as well as producing their first shred movie, “Sexual Snowboarding”. Along with their exploits with Hoppipolla Headwear, it seems as though the entrpreneurial spirit is well alive for the favorite sons of our favorite sun-deprived country. Maybe it’s Iceland’s 99.9% literacy rate (highest in the world) that’s helped prepare these two young Nordics so well for their professional lives. Or maybe it’s all those hot-as-heck Icelandic honeys motivating their path. Either way, these kids are making moves.
This is the TransWorld interview with Eiki and Halldór Helgason.
… Now let’s go party with some Elves.—AH
AH: Let’s start it off easy. How have you guys been? How’s the season going along for you both?
Eiki Helgason: My season has been crap. It started out super good in November in Iceland, but after Christmas I broke my back, so I chilled for a month. On the first day back, I broke my collarbone and fucked the ribs a bit. So, it’s been a tough one [laughs]! But of course, we started Lobster Snowboards and 7-9-13 Belts, so that’s something new and exciting.
Halldór Helgason: Really good! It’s been a lot of fun. Just been riding a lot, filming some rails in Scandinavia, and doing a couple of contests. I’ve gotten last place in almost every contest—so stoked on that.
Everyone’s talking about Lobster Snowboards. How did it all come about? What’s your role in the company?
Eiki: We always wanted to be on the same team. We wanted to travel together all the time, but it’s tough nowadays. So, when I broke my back our agent got a call from Bataleon Snowboards asking if we would be stoked on making a new brand using their TBT shape. I flew to meet up with those guys the day after, and we decided to do this! That was a week before X Games, so we managed to start a company, come up with a name, logo, and few board graphics in 3 days—and we shipped a board to Halldór so he could use it on X Games! So, it happened super fast [laughs]!
Halldór: Yeah, it was pretty random. We just got such a good opportunity that it would have been stupid of us not to at least try it out. It happened the week before X Games, and we planned the whole thing on like two days, so it was next-level last-minute! Our role in the company is to tell them how we want the boards and how we want the graphics, but I’m stoked on how everything has turned out so far. It’s going to be a lot of fun to try out something new and see what happens. We actually started a belt brand as well, called 7-9-13. 7-9-13 is the lucky number everyone uses in Iceland. It’s the code for “knock on wood”, so when you don’t have the wood to knock on you can just say, “7-9-13”.
This has nothing to do with the Helgasons. But it’s hilarious.
What’s it like to finally be on the same team with your brother?
Eiki: It’s sick. It’s so nice to be able to travel with your real family and do what ever you want to do.
Halldór: Im so stoked on that. I grew up riding with him, of course, so it’s always fun to ride together. We always end up with getting a lot of stuff done!
You’re both involved with Hoppipolla Headwear, as well. What’s good with the hat company?
Eiki: We got involved with Hoppipolla and started to design some beanies. I think it turned out sick, and people seem to be stoked on them!
Halldór: Yeah, it’s fun! We’re co-owners, together with a good friend of ours, Petter Foshaug, who made all of the Factor Films movies. He’s the main man behind it. Eiki and I mostly just come up with designs, while Petter takes care of the business side. People seems really stoked on the brand, so that’s fun to see.
Hoppipolla 2011 Team Edit/Announcement
Sounds good. So … you have to choose: Björk or Sigur Rós?
Eiki: That’s a hard one, but I think I’ll go with Sigur Rós.
Halldeor: Sigur Rós, for sure. It’s nice to listen to them when your not thinking about anything. So, pretty much all the time… [laughs]
Sticking with strange Icelandic beings, we need to hear your explanation of the Icelandic Elves phenomenon.
Eiki: I’ll have to see one to believe it! But yeah, I don’t believe in that stuff. …I hear that a lot of people do, though.
Halldór: Yeah, I don’t really know the whole deal with that, but some Icelandic people are always claiming that there are Elves in the nature. There’s actually many people that believe in them, but i haven’t seen one yet.
Gulli Gudmunsson’s been a big part of your crew this season. How’s he fitting in?
Eiki: Gulli’s been a part of the crew since we started snowboarding. We used to ride together everyday, and now we’re all filming for Standard Films, so we can film together a lot this year. I’m pretty stoked on this season—except for all the injury crap I’ve been dealing with …
Halldór: It’s been so sick this season—as long as you take out the fact that Eiki has tweaked his knee, broken his back, injured his ribs, and broken his collarbone … Other than that, it’s been so fun, because I grew up riding with Eiki and Gulli. So, it’s the same crew from the beginning, and we’re all filming for Standard and for “Sexual Snowboarding”. Gulli’s been killing it this whole season, so be ready for his part.
You mentioned “Sexual Snowboarding”, your new film dropping in the Fall.. Tell us a bit about what to expect.
Eiki: It’s gonna be our side project, dropping maybe in december. We don’t have the final plan worked out yet, but we have a few ideas that can be cool, so stay tuned on www.helgasons.com.
Halldór: “Sexual Snowboarding” is going to be a movie that follows us through the whole season. So far, we’ve been on an RV trip in Scandinavia, and ended up with a lot of stuff from that. We’ve also been filming in Iceland and Oslo, Norway. Only rails so far, but i guess the next thing is to go to the USA and film backcountry in Tahoe. We’re not going to have have any unnecessary nature shots, lifestyle, time laps, or serious voiceovers; it’s just going to be snowboarding of the whole season, and we’re going to keep it like 20-25 minutes long. So, it’s hopefully going to be a good movie to put on when you’re putting your boots on!
“Sexual Snowboarding” Teaser #1
What’s the snowboard scene like in Iceland, anyway? How often do you get to be home?
Eiki: The snowboard scene here is not good. We don’t have any parks or anything, so that’s why we grew up hitting street rails a lot. But now there are a lot of kids riding over there, so it’s slowly getting bigger and better every year. I have a girlfriend at home, so I try to go there as much as I can, and lately, I’ve been there a lot because of my injuries. Usually, I’m out traveling most of the year.
Halldór: The snowboard scene in Iceland is not big at all, but it’s cool to see that there are so many kids starting to snowboard. When you go to our home mountain, everyone is snowboarding—there’s not one freestyle skier in the whole of Iceland, I think! Skiing is dying out there, for sure. After X Games, the media started noticing it more and more, so that helped a lot, as well. I’m not home much at all during the winter (pretty much away the whole time), but sometimes I’ll go over just to chill for a week, meet up with my family and friends, and party on the weekend. Then, I leave again!
You guys both can do some pretty insane doubles, jumps, and then also a grip of rail tricks that not many others can. What’s your favorite, personally?
Eiki: I like doing street rails the most. It’s so chill—you can just wake up whenever you want, go out when you want to, use generators and lights to control how everything looks, and you’re in the city! So if you get hungry, you can just order a pizza to the spot, or if you’re cold, you can just jump in the car.
Halldór: My favorite is to just cruise around in the park. After that, it’s rails, and then jumps. It’s fun to try and do a little bit of everything, so then your always stoked!
** For Individual Deep Thoughts From Eiki and Halldór, Click On To The Next Page **
So Eiki …
We heard you just got broke off! How did it happen? How long are you out?
Eiki: I broke a bone in my back at the beginning of January. I took a month off, and then on the first day back to filming, I broke my collarbone and fucked my ribs! The doctor told me to chill for another month. It’s not my best season … [laughs]!
Damn, dude. Well, you already spent a year filming for the Rome movie. Will you still have a part, after switching to Lobster?
I won’t have a part in the Rome movie. I only went on one trip with them last year, to Japan, because I was filming for Standard and Pirates last year. This year, I’m filming with Standard again, and then “Sexual Snowboarding”.
In your mind, what makes a good video part in 2011? What do you set out trying to do, personally?
I have some tricks that I’m working on, but i’m gonna keep that a secret…! I like to watch street parts way more than pow, but I do like to see some crazy new jump tricks in there. What I want for my own video part is a lot of rail tricks, and then some mini-shred fun stuff. For jumps, I like to get some doubles and stuff. I like to see new tricks, so that’s what I try to get—but it’s really hard to come up with new stuff nowadays!
So Halldór …
At the China Air & Style, you made a bit of news by just throwing huge backflips. Then at the Munich stop, you turned it on and threw down hard. Why the difference?
Halldór: I don’t really care about contests too much. It’s fun to do a couple each year, and it helps your riding so much—when you see how good the contest guys are, you really try and step it up. But yeah … I don’t send it all the time. Sometimes, like at the China Air & Style, I just felt like doing mellow stuff, so [that’s what] I did. But then, when I’m stoked on the setup and everything, I try and send it. I just ride the way i feel, and i think everyone should do that! No need to feel any pressure if it’s not good for you … always do whatever you feel like doing.
How much longer do you see yourself competing for?
I want to keep doing contests each year, but I try and just enter four big contests during the season, and then focus on filming as much as possible—because that’s what I’m more stoked on. It’s good to do both for sure, though. It’s so insane how much higher the level of contest riding has stepped up from last year to now! People are sending like there’s no tomorrow—it’s hard to keep up on that…! People have to start giving me a break here and not thinking that I’m going to win all the time. I’ve been in last place so many more times than first this season … that’s so much more chill, because you don’t have to do all the media stuff after the contest!
Fair enough. Last thing: a lot of riders cop your style these days. What’s it like seeing all these kids rocking your look?
It’s really cool to see! [It’s] always fun to see that other people seem to be stoked on what you’re doing, and it makes you wanna keep on going!