Photos: Frode Sandbech
When you think of Stale Sandbech what comes to mind? It could be anything—a halfpipe rider, a slopestyle contest kid, a video part guy, a double corker, or a dude with sick style. He’s all of that, and that's why we're so down with Stale. He can shred anything and everything. I recently sat down with Stale to find out how the season's been, and what he's up to now that summer's coming around.
Stale, this has been a pretty big winter for you. What exactly have you been up to?
This year I've been doing a lot of contests. Since New Zealand (in August) I've done 18 different contests, some of them both slope and pipe. So it's been a lot of traveling. Now that most of the contests are over, I've been shooting a little with Rome and Oakley, and will probably keep on riding and shooting different until at least June.
Are you filming for anyone this year?
No, I'm not filming for anything in particular, just different web stuff. Hopefully we can get some new RK1 edits out soon.
What was it like winning the TTR title this year? Did you think at the beginning of the season that you had a shot at winning?
I didn’t really have any thoughts of trying to go for it during the beginning of the season, and then suddenly, at I was in first. That's when I realized that it was possible, and somehow I now have the title. I'm really stoked on it!
Are you going to try and go to the Olympics for Norway?
Of course I will try. There are so many good riders from Norway these days that it's going to be a good battle. It's going to be crazy.
What’s your take on the whole Olympic controversy? Do you think people should boycott because of FIS’s lack of cooperation with TTR? Or is it more like a “It’s the Olympics, you only get this chance once.”
You know, I don’t feel like I would make much of a change if I boycotted it. But I wish they would figure something out so there wouldn’t be as many different contest tours and non-stop contest mayhem. I wish the process was a little more direct and concise.
You’re one of the only people who can do all of the contests, yet still has time to film actual legit video parts. How do you stay motivated, and make time for all of that?
I just love to snowboard. Sometimes you can get a little over it, but then you have that one day that just stokes you to the max! And then you're on it again.
If you could only snowboard on one type of obstacle for the rest of your life, be it halfpipe, the park, street rails, powder etc, what would you choose?
I haven't ridden much powder yet, but I rode a little during the beginning of January in Davos, Switzerland, and If I could ride that everyday, well, then I'd probably pick that. But I still really like to ride a slushy park in the sun. It's the combination through the season that makes it so special.
Did you go to one of those Norwegian snowboarding schools? What’s the story with those, how come they are producing so many amazing snowboarders? And if you did go to one, what other pro riders went to the same school as you?
Yeah I went to one during my first year of high school. It was the one up in Geilo. There are so many good riders that have been to that school, it's hard to name. But a few of them are Torstein Horgmo, Aleksander Oestreng, Erik Botner, Torgeir Bergrem, Sondre Tiller, Emil Ulsletten, and Len Jorgensen.
What do you have to say to all of the haters who say you're only where you are in snowboarding because of your brother? How do you deal with that type of shit talking when you know that it’s false? Does it ever get under your skin? Has that ever been a motivating factor that has helped you become better?
Well, I got my first snowboard from my brother and he was there the first time I ever rode a snowboard. He introduced me to snowboarding and has also helped a lot since then. So, for sure he's helped me a lot along the way. But no, I haven’t though about that too much. And lately, I haven’t really heard anything about it. Back in the day I'd hear some of that, but to tell you the truth I'm just happy to have my brother.
What are your plans for summer? Do you have any trips to Hood or Whistler?
This summer I'm going to try get some time in up at the Folgefonna glacier in Norway, and hopefully get some surfing in. Maybe Hood or Whistler, but I don’t know yet. It would be nice to have some time back in Norway to enjoy a little summer time.