The term “snowboard legend” is tossed around pretty loosely these days, but if there’s one man who embodies the true essence of this title, it’s Terje Haakonsen. Before Scandinavia was an obvious origin for snowboard talent, Haakon came out of Norway and stormed the kingdom, beating out greats like Jeff Brushie and Craig Kelly as a mere teenager and quickly becoming the winningest rider in existence. People would see him coming and whisper to each other. You could tell there was something different about this one-a strange, otherworldly talent-and to witness him ride was like sipping on the future.
Well, here we are, fifteen years later, and Terje’s story is still relevant. He might’ve disappeared for a few years in the past decade and attended to things like life and family, but he’s back now and still riding and ripping. Peek into three days in the life of a legend, as the Sprocking Cat joins fellow heroes Bryan Iguchi and Jamie Lynn to shred the Jackson Hole backcountry.-J.S.
What was the vibe like in Jackson?
Vibe! It was the normal Jackson vibe. I’d ridden with Jamie a year and a half before in New Zealand and saw Bryan in Norway last year before the Arctic Challenge. Jamie and I met up in Colorado a few days before this trip and did a few laps. Before that, I’d only had two days inside the Tokyo Dome this season, so I was looking forward to real snow.
What’s the best thing about Jackson Hole?
My favorite thing is that Guch lives there-he knows the resort and where to get the best food and drinks, and living at his house instead of a hotel is nice.
What bands were you listening to a lot?
I don’t think I was listening to music, other than Jamie playing the guitar while I was playing my PSP and stretching.
Did you have any goals for this season?
My goal was to get some good powder-not a really big goal, but I’m not so hungry these days.
How did you feel about the Volcom film project? How was your part coming?
Well, when you film, you’re always hoping for epic conditions so you can get sick stuff, but I knew we weren’t gonna stress about it if it wasn’t good. It was pretty nice snow at the resort, but there was very flat light. I think we got like a day and half with sun.
What was making you happy during this time?
It was really nice to have Guch showing us the resort. I’ve never really ridden the Jackson backcountry-there’re definitely some big-mountain options out there.
What number was dialed most often from your cell phone during those three days?
Home-to see how the fam was doing.
What are some of your other recent obsessions besides snowboarding?
I got a PSP for my birthday from my girl-I play a lot of soccer on that.
What are the top five things you spend your money on?
Plane tickets, food, housing, redecorating, and lots of gadgets.
When was the last time you thought you were going to break under the pressure?
I never really have thoughts that, like, I’m going to break.
What’s the last new trick you learned?
Never leave a doo-doo diaper in the bathroom trash.