At the ripe age of 23, Torstein Horgmo has already been around the block more than a few times. Bursting onto the scene barely 4 years ago, he’s quickly risen to the highest levels of pro riding, with countless big-time podiums, film parts for Standard, memorable covershots and essentially taken over as the public face for many of his sponsors. Hell-just his epic park run in “Aesthetica” alone blew people’s minds. The best thing about the young Norwegian however, isn’t his list of accomplishments or his unparalleled versatility-what sets him apart is that the fire is still burning. He’s outspoken about the industry and current scene, an almost masochistic personal critic to his work, and has long been widely considered to be one of the hardest-working snowboarders on the planet. He’s even leading the way on the digital level this season, with the launch of www.torstein.net.
We caught up with Torstein during the film shoots for the new TransWorld 20 Tricks production. After riding Northstar with him for a few days, it’s hard not to have a great time on the hill with the kid. He truly loves to ride-regardless of terrain or conditions-and the energy he’ll put into every last detail is pretty damned inspiring.
After a year spent traveling the world on the contest circuit and filming what figures to be one of the best all-around videos parts of the upcoming movie season, he stops to looks back on it all. All I did was press record.
Let’s start 'er off easy. How the hell are you these days?
Real good right now, thanks! I’m back in Norway, chillin’ at my apartment. Doing some work on my pad and hanging out with a lot of good friends. Oslo is crazy this time of year…
This past season seemed like a pretty damned good one for yourself, especially with all the contest podiums. What were some of the highlights for you, personally?
Filming was sick this year, because I got to ride so much while doing it-not just one hitters everywhere. We got to do laps in the backcountry. Same with the park filming and street stuff, too; I learned so many new tricks this year. Contests were sick this year also, especially the X-Games Big Air. Riding and being on the podium with Mikkel, and seeing Halldor slaughter it was a lot of fun. I was psyched on that.
Looking back, how did this season compare to the others?
Well, the last three years I really haven’t gotten hurt that much at all, so it seems like they kind of blend in together. That’s been my main focus anyways-just trying to stay on my feet. Contests have felt pretty much the same every year and as far as filming goes, I’ve just been trying to do as much as I can until I’m psyched on what I got, you know? I think this season was maybe a lot less serious, in a way.
You’re mentioned being back in Norway, finally. How important is your time at home these days?
It’s real nice. Just trying to enjoy it while I can right now. But, I stay in touch with old friends and family when I’m on the road a lot, too.
Did you guys get any crazy ash or anything from the Volcano? Europe went nuts.
Yeah, I had to extend my stay a little bit over in Tahoe, because it was snowing ash outside my mom’s house in Norway~ Or “ashing,” if u could call it that… you probably can now! Imagine in a 100 years when all the snow’s gone and resorts have to rely on Iceland to explode all the time so they can stay open! 'Damn, I wish it would ash soon so we can go hit that rail by that school…’
Ha! Ashboarding… Love it.
Well shit… Back to the filming, I suppose. You filmed with Standard again this year. Hyped on your part?
Psyched on that man. Again, I’m knockin’ on wood for making it through this year. It was a lot of fun shooting with Lonnie, Halldor and Eiki, and I felt like I learned a lot from those guys and got inspired by their riding. I think I have a full part again, without sayin’ too much… We’ll just have to see how it comes together.
Anything super misty the kids should prepare for?
Smoke and mirrors, man! I’m glad we got those next-level after-effects so my shots can look a lot gnarlier! I think I have more street stuff in my part this year, and most of it from my hometown-up north, in Norway and Oslo. Got some pow and park, too… So, it could be an OK mix…
Last time we talked, you mentioned how you see contests and filming as actually helping each other, as opposed to taking away form one another. I was hoping you could explain.
Well, you probably got other riders feelin’ the same way. I just think mixing the two together like that helps the two be more fun overall. Contests help me film, because I learn all my tricks on hard-ass snow, and filming helps me to not take it as serious when I’m at a contest. It helps me just ride a lot of different things, all the time, with a lot of different riders.
Where do you see snowboarding-especially contests-going from here? Besides kids trying triple flips, where do you hope to see it progress?
Just style, in general. I see double-corks already being thrown with style in the contests, and you’ll always see different riders doing things differently. I see a lot more claiming in the future… Maybe I’ll start to claim super hard at the bottom of every run!
With the summer fast approaching, what are your plans?
Chillin’ for a while now. Got nothing planned for this summer except Camp of Champions, up in Whistler. I’m probably gonna jump on an ultra-random vacation at some point, too.
Real quick - I wanted to ask you a few of your personal favorites.
Contest? The Arctic Challenge.
Park? Anywhere with a perfect down-bar, a good jump and some trannies, all in the sun.
Trip of the season? Going home to ride The Arctic Challenge and then heading straight back to Tahoe powder.
Last one: Crew? Lonnie and the Helgason brothers. …And I miss filming with Mandreas!