Coming hot on the tail of last week’s profile of Torstein Horgmo and Sebbe De Buck, comes this week’s look at last season with Iikka and Brady. Make sure to watch both their boiled-down highlight reel, as well as the full DC TRANSITOR: LONG PLAY video, before diving in below to see what makes both of them tick, and for insight into what went into the filming process of the film, and their trip to Austria. Make sure to check back next week, as we continue to peel back the film on the DC TRANSITORS series with continued highlight reels and profiles with the rest of the DC crew.
Who are your biggest influences?
Iikka Backstrom – Larry David.
Brady Lem – T Funk, Kuzyk, and snowboarders from Minnesota. I’m a big fan of their style.
Where did you grow up? How do you think that influenced your snowboarding?
Iikka Backstrom – I grew up in Finland. Growing up there made me a freestyle snowboarder and led to a lot of jumping in the park. After leaving Finland, I had to work on getting comfortable with big mountain riding.
Brady Lem – I grew up in Chanhassen, Minnesota. My local resort, Hyland Hills, is extremely small but has two rope tows for the parks. The conditions were never that good and the park features were pretty sketchy, but the fact that you could lap the park 100 times a day was unbeatable. You got in a lot of repetition in bad conditions, so anytime you got a slushy, sunny day or rode a park out west, you went nuts. Also, growing up watching some of the local pros like Jonas Michilot, Jake OE and all the Make Friends or Die guys definitely influenced me a lot.
What board do you usually ride?
Iikka Backstrom – I ride the Space Echo because it is a perfect standard snowboard without all the extra bells and whistles.
Brady Lem – I usually switch off between the PBJ and the Mega. I prefer the PBJ for riding rails–it’s a softer camber board and that can press but still has good pop. The Mega, on the other hand, I think is better for riding park. It’s the perfect board to cruise jumps and rails all in one run.
What is your stance? Does it change depending on terrain?
Iikka Backstrom – I am regular with a 22″ to 23.5″ wide stance, and I set my angles at 18 degrees in the front and -3 degrees in the back–typically usually about an inch set back.
Brady Lem – My stance is usually 6 degrees in the front and -6 in the back, and set back a little bit. When riding powder I'll switch it up to a more directional stance–usually 9 degrees in the front and 0 in the back, and I’ll set it back at least an inch.
What boots do you ride?
Iikka Backstrom – I ride the Tucknee boot. I like the soft feel of it and that it still comes with a bit of support.
Brady Lem – I ride the Judge boot. I like a somewhat stiffer boot so the Judge is perfect, one pair can last me all season. I also am a fan of the boa system, easy to get in and out of, and I feel that it can get your boot tighter than traditional lacing.
What outerwear do you usually wear?
Iikka Backstrom – Mostly I ride the Sympatex line because I am mainly in the backcountry and I like to stay warm and dry.
Brady Lem – I really am down for the Rampart Jacket and the Nomad Pant. I like the anorak style jacket, it's a looser fit and doesn't feel constricting. The Nomad pant has a good straight leg/baggy fit with a cinch at the bottom of the pant to keep your snow pants tight on your ankle. I also wear anything from the Resistance series.
How did you get started with DC?
Iikka Backstrom – Devun, Lauri and myself left Forum to start DC’s snowboard line.
Brady Lem – I was riding for the Burton Knowbuddy program up until it got cut in August of 2015. About a week later, Cody Lee hit me up saying DC was looking for some new riders. So I emailed Bobby Meeks and things went from there, a couple months later they presented Jordan Morse and I with "Somebuddy" boards and welcomed us to the team.
What was your favorite part/trip of the season? Why?
Iikka Backstrom – I really enjoyed our trip to Canada because it feels like home there, and we got really good snow and weather.
Brady Lem – My favorite trip of the season was to Austria/France. It was a low key crew with just Iikka, Froni and I. I'm used to going on rail trips, so going on a primarily powder trip midseason felt like a vacation. We got to cruise around to different resorts and ride powder for two weeks and ended the trip with a couple days in Meribel to catch some Aprés.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the season? How did you overcome it?
Iikka Backstrom – The biggest challenge last season was being stuck in the US waiting for my green card and not being allowed to leave the country. In the end, I just left.
Brady Lem – A couple weeks before heading to Austria I taco'd a rail in Minnesota and fractured some ribs. But the snow was good in Austria and it luckily didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Definitely was taking some ibuprofen and tried not to jump anything to flat though.
What is your favorite part of traveling for snowboarding?
Iikka Backstrom – Being all over the world with your friends riding the best snow. As well as all the ups and downs that comes with being on a snowboard trip.
Brady Lem – People watching, trying new food, and binge-watching movies on international flights.
What is a non-snowboarding item that you always bring with you when traveling?
Iikka Backstrom – My cellphone.
Brady Lem – I always bring a leg roller–the thing is a lifesaver on a long trip. Roll it out the night before and you're fresh the next morning.
What is something outside of snowboarding that you are passionate about?
Iikka Backstrom – Skateboarding and surfing.
Brady Lem – I've been getting back into skateboarding the past few summers and have been having a lot of fun with it.
What is your regular morning routine when on a trip?
Iikka Backstrom – I like to Ice someone in the morning and then talk shit all day.
Brady Lem – Usually I wake up pretty tired from the day before, make some breakfast, pack a lunch, drink coffee, stretch, get a dump in, try to rally everybody into a car, ride around or drive to find what we want to hit for the day, shovel for a couple of hours, snowboard, usually head straight to dinner, pick some bevy's up for the way home, and then wrap it all up by watching some footy or videos.
What do you want to improve in your riding?
Iikka Backstrom – I kinda wanna be better.
Brady Lem – I would definitely like to improve my riding in the backcountry and jumping into powder. I've always been drawn to hitting jumps, and finally have been able to get out in the backcountry a couple of times the past two seasons. I'm a total rookie out there but I am excited to continue figuring it out.
Outside of snowboarding, what are your talents?
Iikka Backstrom – I can chill pretty fucking hard.
Brady Lem – Bowling, ping pong, and cooking up veggie scrambles.
What music do you like to listen to when snowboarding?
Iikka Backstrom – Death metal.
Brady Lem – I usually listen to rap or some mixtapes when I am snowboarding.
What is your favorite part about snowboarding in Austria?
Iikka Backstrom – All of the people watching–it’s insane.
Brady Lem – The snow and terrain are insane. By far the best snow I have ever ridden. I was surprised at how much terrain is accessible from the chairlifts, just bring some snowshoes and you're good to go. I also love the schnitzel.
Have you been riding in Austria before, and if so, how has your experience changed over time?
Iikka Backstrom – I have, but I feel like Austria always stays the same.
Brady Lem – I had been to Austria before, but not to snowboard. It was really an experience to actually get to ride there. I would constantly see photos and videos from there when I was growing up, so to finally snowboard there was a dream come true.
What are your favorite things about riding with Brady/Iikka?
Iikka Backstrom – He has a really good sense of humor, and it makes the trips really fun.
Brady Lem – You know it's going to be a good trip if Iikka going. He's always saying the most ridiculous sarcastic shit, nothing but laughs with that dude. It’s super low key riding with him. But when it comes down to it he's insane on the board. Finally watching him in powder this year was absolutely psycho, I-man is a freak out there. I like to refer to him as "Lil Monster." Also, he's always down for the Aprés bevy's. He’s a true legend on and off the board and for sure one of my favorite guys to ride with.
What is your favorite Brady/Iikka story?
Iikka Backstrom – He pissed himself in the gondola in Austria, and didn't tell anyone till we got home. The impressive part is that he rode like that all day.
Brady Lem – At the most recent SuperPark in Mammoth a couple years ago, Iikka and I went to the top of that massive 100-foot jump session just to see what the vibe was like at the drop in. It was a pretty serious squad up there, with Bridges calling drops for everybody. Without saying anything, Iikka just dropped into the big jump in front of everybody. People up top were freaking out while he was riding into it, like somewhat worried/excited for him. At the very last second, he turned off and psyched out everybody. So funny, good one I-Man.