By Joni Malmi

The story is just too perfect. Is it luck? Timing? Fate? Whatever the answer, Andreas Wiig has some explaining to do. His game is too clean-suspiciously so. Are we supposed to believe that this soft-spoken Norwegian shredder just randomly ended up in Mammoth? And then haphazardly bumped into a Mack Dawg filmer?

The four-pack of sequences we ran last year in his Forward(tm) feature were almost inhuman in their precision-flawless. And like everyone else who’s seen him ride, we knew this would happen-Andreas blew up! So now it’s big checks, crazy nights, and global travel-the dream life of every cold-blooded Scanner kid. Snowboard superstardom!

“Mandreas” is locked in-we may never know who he really is now. Luckily, his friend Joni Malmi helped us out. In their exchange we gain a little insight into the man behind the smiley face. Just don’t count on any explanations.

Who gave you the nickname “Mandreas”?

My previous team manager Chris Saydah came up with it. We were in Mammoth filming for Mack Dawg in the pipe, and I was trying to get a good Haakon1080, but I just couldn’t land it. Eventually, I got the 1080 dialed-he was stoked, and yelled out “You did the man-80!” After that, he started to call me “Mandreas.”

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Asker, Norway, which is a small place right outside of Oslo. It was a really good place to live-my friends and I always had something to do. In the winter we had snow, and in the summer the sea was ten minutes away. Besides going to school, I spent a lot of time playing soccer-my plan was to become a soccer player, but when I was sixteen I quit to snowboard.

What was the snowboard scene like in Norway?

When I first started it was really small. Almost nobody in my hometown was snowboarding, and we didn’t really know what was out there. Even though the conditions were pretty shitty and icy, we rode a lot and always pushed it as much as we could. I didn’t know much about the scene those first few years, because I didn’t watch many snowboard videos or read magazines. Terje Haakonsen and Daniel Franck became great idols for me, though.

When did you first sneak into the U.S.?

Two years ago, which was the year after I quit school. I went to Mammoth with some friends of mine. I had seen the place in the videos and it just looked amazing.

What was your first impression?

Everything was really big and commercialized compared to Norway. Everywhere I looked there was some kind of advertisement. The first place we went to was actually Los Angeles-South Central bus station in the ghetto, and it was weird to see people living in paper boxes on the sidewalk. My impression got way better after I arrived in Mammoth, and people treated us really nice.

It seems like you popped up onto the big screen in snowboarding from out of nowhere. How did that happen?

Nathan Yant, who I’d accidentally crashed into earlier, was filming Tara Dakides in Mammoth, and I was riding there at the same time. He asked me if I wanted to film for a day, and it worked out pretty well. After that we filmed for a couple of more days, and it turned into a small section in Stand And Deliver. Ian Ruther also helped me out a lot. Nathan and Ian, also known as Double Trouble Productions, are the best.

What are the first things that come to your mind when you think of the U.S.?

Hollywood, Ricki Lake, McDonald’s, Tahoe, my snowboard bag, fat, Jerry Springer.

What’s the best thing about the States?

The snowboarding! Weather conditions are really good and breakfast is really fat and juicy! The cars are big and so are the Silicon Valleys.

Do you think snowboarding is too much about looking cool and milking the hype?

Sometimes. I don’t like it when people dress up and act super “yo” or punk rock only when the camera’s there.

What’s the deal with Jeenyus and the make-yourself-look-stupid pe of image?

Most other companies are trying to make their riders look as cool and marketable as possible. Jeenyus is going in another direction and wants to focus on the fun part of snowboarding. We’re just a bunch of normal people, just as goofy as everybody else.

Have you ever Rollerbladed?

Yes, I’ve tried that a couple of times. One time I was going down a pretty steep road and tried to stop at the end of it. I was used to stopping by making a sharp turn from playing hockey and tried that on the Rollerblades-not a good idea! I stopped momentarily and then was thrown up in the air. I landed flat on my back with my feet pointing in the air. That day I found out Rollerblading is really hardcore!

Do you trust your future in snowboarding, or do you also have plans to do something else-like male modeling?

My plan is to study after I’m done snowboarding and get a good education. Right now I’m taking a class in philosophy, and it’s good to have something to think about besides snowboarding. We were just in Milan, but unfortunately, I didn’t hook up with any modeling agencies-not yet.

Did you graduate from high school?

Yes, two years ago.

You went to the army for half a year. How was it?

It was pretty boring-for some reason it seemed like I was there for longer. People think the army means full-time action, but it’s also a lot of waiting. We did get to play with automatic weapons and throw some grenades, though! Actually, I have a lot of good memories and don’t think it was a total waste of time. But, it is definitively wrong that countries spend so much money on their armies.

What do you do at home in Norway when you’re not riding?

I’m mostly home during spring and autumn. In the spring I mostly just chill with my girlfriend and friends. In the fall I try to get prepared for the season-skate, jump trampoline. Sometimes it’s a little bit boring when everybody else is at the job or in school during the daytime. I’m good at filling up my day, though-either I train, play a little bit of soccer, read, try to catch some fish, or just hang out.

To get in shape for the season, do you “pump the iron”?

Yes, especially in the fall. Snowboarding is reaching a high level, and there’s a lot of impact on your body. I think it’s important to work out and be in shape before the season starts. It keeps you away from injuries and makes you ride more confidently.

Are snowboarders underpaid compared to athletes in other sports?

Considering the risk and impact on your body, you could say so. But, I think we make good money for traveling around the world and snowboarding.

What do you think about American girls?

I’ve noticed that they talk a lot.

How are Scandinavian girls different?

Scandinavian girls are really beautiful, and they don’t talk quite as much.

What do you appreciate in a girl?

She should be down-to-earth and honest about everything. She should stand up for her own opinions, be independent, and not just follow the flow. Besides that, she shouldn’t be materialistic. Of course, I appreciate beautiful eyes and a great body, too.

How is it traveling with the Fourstar crew?

It’s really a cool gang to travel with. Everybody is open-minded, and that makes it easy to be the new team member. There’s always something fun going on, so it’s hard to get bored.

Why do people always want to know who farted?

Because it’s funny when somebody farts, and everybody wants to know who the funny guy is. It could also be that we always need someone to blame-that’s just how we are.

What are your plans for this winter?

I’ll be going to the States and pretty much staying there the whole winter, maybe ’til May or June. My plan is to ride in Tahoe and Mammoth and shoot as much as possible. The rest of the Jeenyus team and I are going to work on next year’s video called, Video Gangs. I’ll work as hard as I can and try to get a good part.

Why don’t people film more in Europe?

Most of the industry is located in the States, and that’s also where the biggest movie productions are. I wish there were filmers in Europe, too, and I’m sure things will change in the next few years.

You have free space. Any message to the readers?

I hope you’re doing well wherever you are. I hope you’re having fun snowboarding and inspiring your friends to ride. Look at snowboarding with an open mind and respect that people have different styles and opinions. Other than that, you should just be yourself and try to see solutions instead of problems.

Do you want to say any thanks?

Mom and Dad, Kristin, Lene, Gunnar Mjaugedal, Nathan Yant, Ian Ruther, Tommern, Pelle, Kevin Jones. My sponsors-Jeenyus, Special Blend, Vans, Electric, Level.

I’ll work as hard as I can and try to get a good part.

Why don’t people film more in Europe?

Most of the industry is located in the States, and that’s also where the biggest movie productions are. I wish there were filmers in Europe, too, and I’m sure things will change in the next few years.

You have free space. Any message to the readers?

I hope you’re doing well wherever you are. I hope you’re having fun snowboarding and inspiring your friends to ride. Look at snowboarding with an open mind and respect that people have different styles and opinions. Other than that, you should just be yourself and try to see solutions instead of problems.

Do you want to say any thanks?

Mom and Dad, Kristin, Lene, Gunnar Mjaugedal, Nathan Yant, Ian Ruther, Tommern, Pelle, Kevin Jones. My sponsors-Jeenyus, Special Blend, Vans, Electric, Level.