Caught Up With Jussi Oksanen

Sledneck jousting? PHOTO: Joe  Carlino
Sledneck jousting? PHOTO: Joe Carlino

Caught Up With Jussi Oksanen

Jussi is a veteran by all means. He helped pave the way for a new breed of Finnish snowboarders years ago. He brought back butters and upped their ante with big spins. He broke down snowboarding’s seriousness with a goofy persona and big teeth. He made riding fun, again. With a stack of technical tricks and standout style he’s pushed snowboarding in every way. From banger parts in Standard, Mack Dawg, Robot Food and TransWorld videos, to a grip of global contest golds, Jussi has crushed it all. With two kids at home, a company (Mizu water bottles) to run and a full-time snowboard career to handle, he’s still going full steam ahead.

How was your season, Jussi?
It was great. We filmed for the Burton movie Standing Sideways the whole year. It was just me and Mikey [Rencz] and we mostly filmed in Canada and a few trips to Tahoe. Yeah, it was chill. We got a lot done just cruisin’ with Mikey.

Jussi Oksanen's Full Part from TransWorld’s In Color remixed for Burton’s

How was the snow for you this year?
We haven’t had this much consistent snow in long while. This was the first year we filmed hard in February and January. I usually don’t get anything done around these months; I’m lucky to have five shots before February. This year we got most of our stuff then though. We got in the groove early. In March I only filmed two days because it was snowing the whole time. Definitely an epic season!

This is a beast of a gap. PHOTO: Colin Adair
This is a beast of a gap in B.C. PHOTO: Colin Adair

Who are some riders that you really like riding with, that you see coming up these days?
It’s hard to say because I see people a lot, but I never see them ride. We snowmobile and do our thing with the crew, and they’re off doing the same thing. But I mean Mikey has been around for a long time. He’s a super good shredder, a hard worker. He Just has a really good attitude. No drama, super chill. I went out a few days with [Mark] Sollors, too. He’s always ripping.

What was a season highlight for you?
The first trip Mikey and I did to Tahoe. The first of January. It was good, it just happened to work out. We filmed half the day then would go shred for the rest of the day. It was killer! No one was around. Normally we don’t get to ride a lot, but we got a lot of free runs. It was a nice way to get into the season; it got us in a good groove, just some time on our boards.

Twice as nice in the B.C. backcountry. PHOTO: Scott Serfas
Twice as nice in the B.C. backcountry. PHOTO: Scott Serfas

How important is a crew?
I think for the most part, as far as for what I do with filming, the crew is a huge part of it, the most important part. If you have a crew that’s down to work hard and stay positive it’s awesome. At the end of the day so much stuff that happens is out of your control. So if people stress, things get sidetracked. If people are down and have a good time and good attitude–it’s awesome! You’ll realize we have it pretty damn good. The more you realize that, the more fun you’ll have.

You’ve been with a lot of good crews over the years, like Robot Food.
Yeah, that was an amazing crew and what we had at that time. Everyone was on the same page–lets film, but lets have fun, too. And I had a period of time where snowboarding got too serious, where I was just counting shots and whatever. That wasn’t fun. Now that I’ve been filming for 12 years, I’ve seen it all and know that nothing is worth stressing or worrying about. I feel like through all that time I’ve found I can enjoy myself more and not pay attention to the little details. I can just go out and enjoy the surroundings…

Where dreams come from. PHOTO: Colin Adair
Where dreams come from. PHOTO: Colin Adair

Do you ever go ride with any of the old posse like [Josh] Dirksen or [Travis] Parker?
We’d always meant to get the Robot Food crew together. Everyone is pretty scattered. [David] Benedek is doing his thing. Travis is, too. It’d be cool to get everyone at a lodge or something someday.

Tell me a little more about this goggle company you’re a part of?
Yeah, I’ve been involved in this goggle company YNIQ. Jon Olson started it. I saw the product a few years back and it had a different style and really stood out. So, I got involved with the company by investing in it and riding for them. This was the first year selling the goggles in Europe, hopefully the States next year. Right now we have all these high-end products made in Italy. They’re sick, but we’re thinking about pulling the price down, making them more affordable and accessible.

La la land. PHOTO: Joe Carlino
La la land. PHOTO: Joe Carlino

What’s next for Jussi?
Just go home and chill with the kids. I look forward to spending time with the family. I need to work on my surfing, too. That’s pretty much my next mission.

See what else Jussi’s been up to at