Chris Letterle: As a child, did you always want to be a snowboarder?
I didn’t find snowboarding until I was around 11 or 12 years old. Before that I tried soccer, basketball, a lot of different team sports that didn’t work out. Like, for soccer I played goalie, but it wasn’t because I wanted to. It was because I was picked last and that was the only open position. So you can get the picture of what school was like. But then I found snowboarding, and I made a whole new set of friends. We all met on the mountain, just kids from different schools. After that I took the bus to the mountain every night, and it was the best vibe ever. I got hooked and that was it. Finding snowboarding was a serious life changer.
Todd Mcadam: What’s your biggest career achievement?
Winning the Readers’ Choice award for the first time. That was a big one because it seemed like it was a result of starting up my site [torstein.net] and putting a lot of riding out there. It was cool seeing the fan base build and was a statement that the site was working. Winning that award was really motivating to keep going and keep giving back, but winning it again this year was just unbelievable.
Kris Mosdale: How did you come up with the game In Your Face?
Damn, I can’t remember how I came up with it really. I think I was just cruising one day, trying to play a SKATE type of game that wasn’t just hiking a rail. I wanted to try a game where you could use the whole park and finish it a little bit faster. The name had a little bit to do with the spray too, you know? Honestly I didn’t plan on keeping it going after the first time, but kids were super down with it. They hit me up all the time on Facebook, telling me that they’re playing it and how it makes them better snowboarders. I think that’s super cool.
Frederik van den Berg: How much has your online presence pushed your career? Is it another source of income, something your sponsors want, a fun pastime, or is it merely a PR tool?
Well, you might have noticed that I don’t have many logos on my site or in the videos. I’ll wear my sponsors’ logos or have stickers on my board, but the site is all me. The first year I paid Toby, my filmer, out of my own pocket. That wasn’t something I called my sponsors to do. The site came out of something that I felt was missing when I was growing up, just a way to give back to the kids. I wanted to try it and see what the response was; if it was a positive response, and I was getting inspired, I’d keep it going. And now 90 percent of the kids that hit me up when I’m on the mountain usually refer to the videos on my site. Like one in 10 will yell from the lift something like, “Yeah triple cork Torstein, yeah!” But the other nine will yell something like, “Truck that rail” or “What’s up with Nicole, man.” That really stokes me out.
Charlie Cilensek: Do you ride a rocker board or a cambered board?
Strictly camber. Except I did try a flat board at the end of the season, and I might try that out next year. But for the most part I need a cambered board. I like to ride a smaller board in the park. I ride a 147 to 150, and I try to ride that for everything. Sometimes when I need more support I’ll ride a bigger board like a 154.
Mat Huber: Do you still name and treat your boards well?
Yes. Well, Nicole and I had a complicated situation after last season. We were on a break. She’s going to come back soon I hope. Frank is an old buddy of mine, but I don’t think I’m going to be cruising with him for a while…
Ryan Gormley: Do you think riding with a solid crew helps you push your riding, or do you prefer to ride alone?
A solid crew. Definitely a solid crew. It’s the shit. Going through the season, filming those video projects, and doing all of those contests, I get to ride with a bunch of different people from all over the place. It’s awesome.