By Aleksi Vanninen
Just a half-hour drive away from Helsinki, the capital of Finland, the tiny resort of Talma is like a skatepark. The hill itself is so small that you need to point it for a single good carve at the bottom. Needless to say, freeriding is out of the question-you have to jump and jib around to get your kicks, which is why there’re so many talented freestyle snowboarders coming out of our country.
The park setup is pretty sweet-three hips, a jib run with four rails in a row, a few different-sized jumps, a pipe, and some mini tabletops for the beginners. Plus, they just made a little snack bar at the bottom of the park where you can chill and check out your buddies jumping like frogs.
The owners of the ski hill have always helped us out whenever they’ve had a chance. It says a lot that Talma was the Finnish ski-resort of the year a few seasons back-a tiny hill from southern Finland beating out the big resorts of Northern Finland and Lapland.
Talma is where almost every Finnish pro rider is from and goes to whenever they’re home. It’s the perfect place to get the early season warm-up and mid-season check-up, and learn new tricks and variations because of the repeat factor. Where else can you get a jump in every two to three minutes?
The drawback about Talma would probably be the weather in southern Finland-one day it’ll be zero degrees, and the next it’s raining. I mean, the rain is okay-kind of like the Finnish equivalent to a powder day. Kids go nuts when it gets soft and slushy. But then the next day it can be freezing again, and then there’s no use riding because it’s bulletproof. But the convenient location near Helsinki is a big plus.
It’s nice to see a new generation of riders coming up every year on these slopes-practicing their skills on a daily basis because that’s what they love and what keeps them going. A few of them get picked up to travel the world as sponsored snowboarders, the rest keep hitting Talma up like there’s no tomorrow. Five-to-seven days a week. All season long.
Average Annual Snowfall: Very little-almost everything is man made.
Vertical Drop: 180 feet.
Number Of Lifts: Six.
Snowskate Parks: Yes.
Nearby Skateparks: Several indoor and outdoor parks in Helsinki.
“Talma is as close to as skatepark as a snowpark gets. The hill is so small that it’s easy to keep in good shape-always the same jumps, corners, and hips groomed each night to perfection. It’s the breeding ground for the next generation of Finns, and a great place to learn tricks and have fun with your mates.”-Joni Malmi