Where are you from? Moscow, Russia
Where do you live now? Zurich, Switzerland
Sponsors: Santa Cruz, Volcom, Vans, Red Bull, TSG
He’s Russian born, he lives in Switzerland, and he was the TTR leader for most of the winter until Kevin Pearce bumped him at the Arctic Challenge. We caught up with Iouri and it turns out he’s not just a pretty name, he’s the “Rocker Of The Spot.”
1. You were leading the TTR for four weeks. When did you first start to win contests?
Two years ago. It started when Terje invited me to the Arctic Challenge.
2. How did you meet Terje?
I met him first at the Burton European Open in 2005. I was competing in Juniors and ended up ranking tenth in Pros. Terje told me if I did good the rest of season he’d invite me. This was back when the Arctic Challenge was all invite.
3. What was that like for you?
For me I couldn’t believe it because two years before that I was dreaming of being there. It was pretty special. It was the first time I was hanging out with the super pros. I was nobody.
4. Who’s in your crew?
My crew is guys I go to school with. It’s kind of crazy when I see Danny and Mason hang out together … my crew isn’t that good yet so they can’t travel all together. My school friends are Thomas Frank and Gian-Luca Cavigelli.
5. Wait, what grade are you in?
I’m in twelfth grade but we have thirteen grades. But it’s a sports school. We have half as much school as everyone else and we can travel as much as we need to. We have different kinds of people in our class like skiers and hockey players who are serious and we’re not, so it’s really funny.
6. Do you take snowboarding seriously?
I was always the first guy to make fun of the word athlete. I would never call myself an athlete. It’s completely the wrong word. I’d say it’s not a “sport” it’s a lifestyle.
7. What are your goals in snowboarding?
I want to prove myself in contests before I can film a video part that I can look at in 30 years and be proud of. For myself, to have a video part is a big goal.
8. Do you do much backcountry?
As much as possible. It’s kind of hard cause I’m working on the contest thing … the first step.
9. You memorized everyone’s run from the Nippon Open halfpipe … which really helped me when I went to write the story. Thanks. Are you the ultimate snowboard fan or do you just have a really good memory?
I’m sometimes very surprised at riders who have no clue at what happens in the snowboard scene because I always try to remember everything, like who had what trick in which video part and who did what in the contest.
10. What’s your main event?
Halfpipe. My best result in TTR is second in Burton European Open and second at the O’Neill Evolution. But really my actual best result was at Giacomo Kratter’s Rock The Spot event. There were just twelve invited riders and it was held the same day as the Olympics had been the previous year in the same halfpipe in Bardonecchia. There were some legit riders. I won it-some money and an electric guitar. “Rocker of the spot!”