The Viking Is Back!

PHOTO: Frode Sandbech

PHOTO: Frode Sandbech

Caught Up With Andreas Wiig
Andreas crushes on snow and sometimes, well…he ends up crushing himself. Last year at X Games he tore up his ankle pretty bad. He was out for five months and the rest of the season. With big sponsor changes and a tough injury, he had a lot on his plate. A lot of time for one’s mind to wander. A lot of time sitting, waiting, and healing. But he’s back and doing what he does best. He might even have a few new tricks up his sleeve come wintertime.

You got broke off at X Games this past season. What happened?
I got injured on one of the jumps at X Games during practice. I thought I was only going to be injured for a couple days, so I actually rode the finals two days later. I don't know how I did, my ankle was just so numb and I took so many pain pills—I probably shouldn't have done that. I thought I was going to be out for a few weeks after that, and it ended up being five months, the rest of the season.


PHOTO: Gavelda

What did you do?
I had a third-degree sprain on two of my ligaments, which is the worst sprain you can have. And I broke a few little pieces of bone in my foot and bruised some bones. The bone bruise is actually what took the longest to heal. It takes six months to a year to heal. No surgery though.

How long have you been riding now?
I had a couple days at the end of June just riding in Norway. Then went to Les Deux Alpes, France for Forum week there. Then to Whistler for a bit in July. And here I am in New Zealand.

Are, Sweden. PHOTO: Frode Sandbech

Are, Sweden. PHOTO: Frode Sandbech

What's next?
Going to Bali to get some waves, some barrels. I'm going surfing with the Norwegian National Snowboard Team for two weeks. I think it's gonna be good to stay off my ankle and get some surfing done, get some balance back with less impact.

That's some rad off-season riding. Tell me more about the Norwegian team?
It's a little different over in Norway, the national team is made up of the best riders, no matter if it's pipe, slopestyle or riders who just film. It's still contest-focused, but more open at the same time. I don't think a national team should just be the best pipe riders.

How do you get on that team?
They wanted to put me on the team for a long time, and I didn't want to be on it because I wanted the freedom to do my own thing. The X Games wins helped and they also shifted the team's focus and purpose. The cool thing now is that the national team gives you the freedom to do whatever you want.

Are, Sweden. PHOTO: Frode Sandbech

Are, Sweden. PHOTO: Frode Sandbech

You had some big sponsorship changes. What are those?
I went from riding for Nitro to riding for Forum and Foursquare. It was good timing because I was riding for Vans and they stopped making outerwear. It was also good because I had worked with a lot of Forum and Foursquare's photographers and filmers before. I had a good relationship with the people working for those companies, too. It was a good change. The team is just really tight, a lot of stuff is dialed with that team. We all travel together and we ride together a lot.

Do you feel a lot of pressure from younger riders now?
Yeah, I definitely have to catch up. If I'm out for, let's say five months, a lot of things have changed. People can do the harder tricks and land them nine out of ten times. You just gotta go for it. But that's the attitude you have to have anyways, it's what I've always had. Just to get a little better every time.

Is this the path of snowboarding you want to continue to pursue?
I think I'll still continue to do a couple of the big contests, maybe not as many as before. I'm really inspired to film a good video part. Get some more freeriding done, take it back to the roots and really try to put out a good video part.

What is one of your favorite videos?
Subjekt Haakonson. I have it on VHS and I've watched it so many times it's about burned out, it's all scratchy and looks like it's snowing in a couple shots.

Is that who you looked up to when you were growing up?
Terje [Haakonson] and Daniel [Franck]. These were huge names when I was growing up.

Now you're the big name in Norway.
[Laughs] Naw, there're a handful of others. Terje is still a big name.

A new way to pass the time: tricking fish. PHOTO: Gavelda

One way to pass the time: trick fish. PHOTO: Gavelda

You recently picked up the guitar. Was that an influence from your musically talented girlfriend?
Haha! I think it's just something new to keep me occupied on the road. Something different to do other than stare at the screen. It's a good way to think of something else and free your mind, relax.

Does Marion help you learn to play?
Actually she doesn't. It's kind of the same way if I'm snowboarding. I always want to ride the park or the backcountry and pretty much just leave her on her own. So she gets me back by not giving me guitar lessons. I think that's the way it works [laughs].