Kevin Kok is making a name for himself as someone who can not only shred the park but also throw down in the backcountry as well. Kevin was brought up in Italy, where at the moment it seems riders are missing out on the spotlight. Kevin is aiming to change that by means of his own crew, HWCLS, which follows himself and his friends on their snowboard journeys. We caught up with Kevin to see what makes him tick.
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Italy has a fine collection of mountains but there doesn’t seem to be a huge influx of Italian pro snowboarders, why do you think this is?
I guess its because Italian media doesn’t really value our sport most people in Italy don’t even know that freestyle snowboarding can be a professional sport. It’s all about football here but with the new Internet revolution things will change.
Which local riders did you look up to when you were growing up?
Definitely looked up at the Kratter brothers Filippo had some epic video parts and Giacomo was killing in contest, it was a big motivation. Giacomo eventually became our national team coach, which was pretty epic but moved to the Swiss national team unfortunately. That is how bad snowboard institutions are in Italy.
What is your local hill and how is it there?
I grew up riding in Courmayeur next to the imposing Mont Blanc no parks but big mountains. I later moved to Finland to a sports school with no big mountains but a decent park. I guess I consider both my home resorts love both.
I’ve seen you hit park kickers and also big backcountry booters. Would you rather ride 30 cm fresh pow in flat light conditions or a perfect park jump?
If it’s just for a day I always go for that sweet white gold. No better feeling than hitting some pillow lines and slashing some pow with your homies.
You are one of the driving forces behind Hwcls. What exactly is hwlcs?
hwcls, which stands for HOWCOOLiS, is a filmmaking project I started 5 years ago. Right now myself, Marco Grigis and Simon Gruber, form the crew. I have always been passionate about filming and editing and with snowboarding it fit just perfect. You can follow our adventures here.
One of your Italian buddies Marco Grigis surprised everyone at Spring Battle with his accordion skills, what is your secret talent?
Yeah he’s got some mad skills. Haha if I would tell you it wouldn’t be a secret talent anymore. Ha-ha you might discover it through our videos.
You get called the Italian mafia when you are with your friends. Do you watch mafia movies and if so is this an accurate portrayal of the Mafia?
Since I am studying cinematography in university I have to watch some mafia movies although they are not my favourite genre. They are quite a good portrayal of how we roll. Ahaha not
You are a keen rock climber, is the adrenaline rush you get from climbing similar to the one you get from Snowboarding or is it totally different?
The rush is a bit different but one similarity is that feeling of pushing your limit and being immersed in the nature. They are a pretty awesome combination.
Where is the best place in the World to get a pizza?
Everywhere in Italia ok maybe not in South Tyrol, get a Schnitzel there!
What are your plans for next season?
Bring hwcls to the next level film a bunch in powder with my friends and do some fun comps. Thankfully there is no more Olympic pressure so we will let our creativity flow full on.
Follow Kevin on Instagram here.