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Artikel: FLOW i Finland


FLOW i Finland

Finland, is known as “The land of a thousand lakes”, and as we found, also “The land of a thousand good snowboarders”. A land where night and day fight each other off most of the year, where complete darkness is way of life, and complete sunlight brightens your total being. The land of the North and a free country liberated from the outside counties is where the Flow Team’s heart beats for several weeks of the season.

Antti Autti, Risto Mattila, Miikka Hast, and Tuomo Ojala, find life between the 60th and 70th parallels of latitude, to be quite peaceful and comforting, making this the perfect escape for an end of the season shoot. So the crew packed bags and joined with Photographer Ryan Hughes, Flow Team Manager Andrew Mutty, and Flow Sweed rider Viktor Ardfors for “Fifteen days of Finland”.

The two American’s, and the Sweed, were welcomed with open arms, by the Finish team, as our Journey began to one of the Northern most resorts in Finland, LEVI. The Northern region is the perfect place to find, crews from all over Finland merging to capture true Finland snowboarding. The first 5 days were spent watching epic sunsets cascade across rolling hills of the North, which became a perfect atmosphere, and provided the backdrop for some of the worlds most sought after snowboard photography. Rumors of other crews at nearby resorts were buzzing, while a 50 foot true gap style jump was build by Marko Peltola, just for the Flow Crew.

The days are long when riding in Finland, as the light seems to last forever. For three days straight the crew, managed to fit in two separate day sessions, go home for dinner, eat and go back out to finish off the night with a three-hour sunset shoot. Highlights included stylish switch methods from Tuomo, BS 180’s buy Risto, Cab 9 nose grabs by Antti and Cab 5′ from Viktor. In true Finish style, local bars and dance clubs keep you out all night, until your left falling asleep to sunrise.

From Levi the crew packed cars and migrated south, just south of Lapland to the famous snowboard destination RUKA. Ruka is known for its 360-ski hill, training ground for the next batch of rippers, but also home of the end of the season event, Wappulounas. This event is a time to spend with friends and snowboard purely for the intentions of having fun.

It also was the perfect 7 days we needed to fill our time. It’s a part of the year that all riders look forward to get together and just let go of the season. Nights of partying followed by days of partying and snowboarding while partying, begin to pile on tope of each other until you just can’t manage to move. Rauli Kangas, is one of the guys who puts on the event, and in greeting says “Welcome,… Are you ready”. The available terrain was the highlight of Wappulounas, and it’s the centerpiece of what makes this fun.

A playground of features, like Giant house sized “jib-able” snowman, Finish timber high jumps, and park rails everywhere, made for one fun time. Flow rider Tuomo Ojala made an impression with having amazing style and riding all day to impress the judge’s. Following this craziness was a slope course contest. Antti Autti took top mention with impressive “molester” grabs all day, on just about every spin imaginable. The third day of Wappulounas carried into the group event where people teamed up and rode together all day.

Due to heavy partying the night before the Flow Team was labeled “The Drunks MIA Antti Autti”. Tuomo, Risto and fellow team rider Joel Lahti were dressed to impress with stylish suits to match their stylish riding. The day ends with a giant water skim contest, which is mandatory for the group to participate in for contention in the overall “best team” award. IN true “drinks fashion the day ends with a “night cap” and a few more to celebrate the overall best Rider “master of style” Tuomo Ojala. If you find yourself in the northern Hemisphere during early May, than make this one event something not to ever miss, and if you’re from Finland and you snowboard, you all ready know.

Just down the street from Ruka, and very close to the Russian boarder is a small resort called Sallah. A group called Triple Hit Productions, run by Timo Aho, created arguably two of the biggest hips ever found in Finland. The crew managed to show up just after a hip contest and we able to session the two hips all day with a t-bar for easy access. Warm ups on both hips happened in full sun and continued late into the day. Time was set-aside for diner and rest while the crew watched the sun settle into position. After hours of sculpting and hours spent waiting for the sun to fall, airs began to fly. Risto and Antti charged the hip and pushed the sun well below the horizon. When all was said and done, the results were now saved on cameras for timeless memories.

A trip to Finland is not complete with out a visit to the capitol city of Helsinki. Our last three days were spent experiencing the culture of City life in Finland, and getting to know all the hot spots of the nightlife. With Local Risto Mattila by our side we were sure in for a good time. Helsinki has a historic feel to it with stone streets and old architecture. The population is a good mix of cultures and ages, making for a very diverse and entertaining experience.

15 Days in Finland is not enough, but provides for a lifetime of memories. If you’re interested at all about what’s happening in the snowboard world of Finland, 15 days should fill you in.

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