Finland is like a snowboard talent pool that just keeps picking winners. The portfolio includes blue chips like Eero Ettala and Heikki Sorsa, plus big cheque winners like Roope Tonteri and Peetu Piiroinen and many more. Heaps of video riders are emerging and Jani Sorasalmi, 26-years old from Espoo is the latest to go public. Jani became everyone’s hot tip after his who-the-hell part in Ero One’s “La Cassette”. In this season’s “Golden Years” by KBR he kept sticking to his formula of urban rail game mixed with backcountry booters, which saw his stock keeps soaring. We caught up with him for this Milk Teeth Interview.
Sponsors: DC, Union.
You are part of the Finnish KBR crew, which includes Janne Lipsanen, Sami Luthanen, and Teo Konttinen among others – where does the name KBR come from?
It means Kobra crew, it has something to do with Toni Kerkelä playing Counter Strike with his friends back in the days. This is just what I heard; he doesn’t talk that much about it…
Before KBR you used to film with the French Ero One crew. What’s the difference between filming with a Finnish compared to a French crew? Less red wine and more vodka?
I guess pretty much everybody prefers beers, so the biggest difference is the language barrier.
What snowboard videos have you enjoyed recently?
I’m kind of stuck in the past. I still enjoy the old videos the most. It’s hard to beat movies like Afterbang [Robot Food’s 2002 classic].
The snow conditions in the Alps weren’t that phenomenal this season. How did this affect your traveling?
This winter was the worst one I can remember in Finland, so we had to travel a lot to get some footage for our movie. It was the first season ever, that I didn’t film anything at home. We first went to Canada to shoot some rails, then Switzerland for powder and just last week we were in Levi in Northern Finland for some springtime park shoots. Now I’m having a little break at home and after Easter we are going back to Levi. I think the highlight is still ahead: Wappulounas in a few weeks [classic end of season party in Ruka, Finland].
Finland’s educational system always shines in comparison to other countries. Here’s what I don’t understand: If the school kids are so bright in Finland, why are the winters so dark?
Haha, I guess they have nothing else to do than study during the dark winter.
I saw one of your edits from Levi – looks crazy cold. Do you have any tricks to deal with the cold?
Yeah, it was damn cold there in January. Just pack yourself full of clothes and don’t try to look cool with an open jacket. And when your toes are freezing, it helps to put some extra wool socks between your inner and outer boots.
What would be a better fitting name for your son DC or KBR?
If those were the only options, I would rather have a daughter.
Would you rather wear a Native American feather headdress and shout “Geronimo!” every time you drop in for a jump OR quote the entire lyrics of Justin Bieber’s song “Baby”, when you drop to ride a rail?
For sure wear the feather headdress, those guys were the bosses! Can’t really say same thing about Justin Bieber… By the way Geronimo would be better answer for the previous question.
Your home hill Serena Ski is all about jumps and rails. If you had to pick: no more jibs or or no more kickers, which one would you go with?
This is hard one, I guess no kickers. Could I still do some cliffs in the backcountry?
Sure, all the Finnish backcountry cliffs you can find. So you are riding rails all day everyday and hit the occasional cliff in between. Would you prefer to not be able to tell the difference between day and night or between up and down?
Day and night. It’s already pretty hard to tell the difference in the summertime here in Finland. Mixing up and down would be pretty random.
Days and nights are becoming a blur, but the elders of the space-time-continuum grant you one wish. Would you use this wish to be able to stop and rewind your life, or to have a cheat code to jump ahead in life?
Rewind of course. I feel already now that I don’t have time to do all the things I want to do.
Interview by Franz Langer
All photos by Ville Lahtinen