Name: Paavo Tikkanen

Age: 22
Country of citizenship: Finland
Sponsors: Rossignol, Volcom, Active Ride Shop, Iris, Wildcats
Stance: Regular. Twenty-one degrees front, minus-six back, and 22 inches wide.
Hometown: Helsinki
Home mountain: Talma
Years riding: 7
U.S. arrival: ’97, for Board AID.

What was your first setup?
Flick-Flack Mamboo with hard bindings.

How did you get noticed?
First it was the Finnish quarterpipe contests, then
I went to Europe, and that’s how it all started.

Who did you ride with back then?
It was mostly with Joni Malmi and boys in the contests like Tero Ainonen, Juha Tenkku, Jesse Hyvari, Sebu Kuhlberg, and so on.

Which past Scanners have influenced you?
Joni Malmi-we used to ride together every day-and other Finnish riders-Terje, Ingemar, Sebu, Kelly, Brushie.

Did you have to do a compulsory military service?

You have to do at least six months, but I haven’t done it yet.

What American riders do you like watching?
Nate Cole, Nate Bowsnuts (Bozung), Jeremy Jones (Forum), BJ Leines, John Jackson, Peter Line, blah, blah, blah …

Any crazy travel stories from visits here?
Well, the first time I came to the U.S., I hitchhiked from downtown L.A., almost the whole way to Bear Mountain with a big-ass crackhead, and he made me drive. I was kinda scared with all my stuff in his car, but I made it.

Was it a struggle to adjust to landing tricks in powder?
First it was pretty hard, but then after a while you get used to it. You just have to do your tricks a bit different.

Who are your picks for up-and-coming Scanners?
Iikka B ckstrà®m, Eero Niemel , Lauri Heiskari, and there’re some Norwegian kids like eleven years old-all good.