I pretty much spent the whole season in Whistler, from right after Christmas until the beginning of April. When it’s good, there’s really no point in going anywhere else, cause you have access to so many different zones. There’s so much terrain that you can go year after year and always find new stuff. It’s definitely one of the best places in the world to go. And rather than chasing snow all over the world and getting super tired; it’s going to be hit or miss. It’s better to just stay there, and we know where to go when it’s good.
But it’s also known for not as many bluebird days.
Yeah, there are a lot of down days. But these days everything has to be bigger, and the terrain in Whistler allows you to build bigger stuff. In Tahoe, it’s kind of hard to find stuff now. It doesn’t have the same big terrain, with some exceptions.
Was this your first winter in a while that you were coming in to it feeling one hundred percent and not recovering from an injury?
Actually no. Last fall I popped my ankle out of the socket, in October… all the way out. I had to pop it back in with my hands. I was fooling around on a trampoline, landed on the side, and one of the springs was missing, so the whole mat flipped and my ankle just followed. It was bad; I thought I was going to be out for the season. So it was kind of a brutal start.
Was that the same ankle you had hurt before?
No it was the other one. I was struggling with that in the beginning, so it definitely took some time to get back into it. So January was really hard. February was a hard month to get stuff done in Whistler anyway, weather wise. And then it didn’t snow for a few weeks. But then in March everything just kind of fell into place and that’s when I got everything done. Pretty much shot my whole part in March.
Do you feel like it’s one of your best video parts ever?
Yeah I feel like it’s going to be one of the best. I was stoked on my video part last year, but I think this year is going to be hopefully a little bit better. I don’t want to claim it before people see it. I haven’t seen the final, final [at the time]... so it’s always hard to tell before you see it. When’s it’s all smooth and everything’s polished up, that helps. It’s hard to tell without the music, and it’s hard for me to watch my own footage anyway because I‘m so critical of it. But yeah, we had a good year. We made it work, and it was kind of a hard snow year. Whistler had a lot of snow, they just didn’t have any sun. Either you didn’t have any snow, or you were in a place where it was cloudy.
You probably had some pretty fun powder days though…
Yeah, we had a lot of powder days! That’s really important as well, just to have fun with it. Without that, you lose your motivation. If you’re just sitting around, waiting for the big jump, you’re not going to ride well when you have to.
How do you feel about not competing anymore?
It was the smartest thing I could have done. The last year and half I was doing contests, it just wasn’t into it as much. I had done it for so many years, and it was just so much impact doing all those contests all the time with all those landings…. day after day after day. It takes it out of you. It gets to a point where either you have to go one hundred percent for that, or just move on. I felt like I had done a lot of the things I wanted to do in the contests, and it was time for me to do whatever I wanted to do.
Do you feel like the progression that contests breed carried over to stuff you want to do on the mountain?
Yeah I felt like that. When I doing the contests, I felt like it was hard to combine the two and get a good video part as well. I just felt ready to focus more on the video and try to get some of my best parts. So I thought that was a good way to do it — take some of the tricks I learned in the contests and take them to the mountain.
How do feel about the contest kids now with the triple corks and crazy doubles?
Its kind of a natural progression you know? That’s the way it is. As long as it’s looks good, I’m fine with it. The level of riding right now is amazing. So many kids are getting so good; there are more and more kids that are at such a high level. It’s going to end up being very small differences between number twenty and number one.
So how do you feel about your new boot this year?
It’s the best boot I’ve ever had. This year the fit is even better than before, the liner is a little thinner. There are no pressure points at all, and I used one pair of boots for the whole season. I help out from the beginning, come up with some rough ideas and then the designer designs the boots and shows me the first draft, and we’ll just go from there. So whatever I want to do, they’ll do it.
It still has the adjustable flex with the tongue stiffeners. ?
Yeah, which is good because I kind of hurt my ankle this spring again, and I put them in and it made my boot really supportive, so it kept my ankle safe. Normally I take them out, because I like my boots to be a little more flexible, but it’s good to have them if you need it. Maybe if you use your boots for a couple months and they get softer, you can put them in and then it stiffens up again.
What’s the best thing about riding for Vans?
They’ve been one of my longest sponsors throughout my career, and there’s a really good vibe with everyone that works there. They’re really supportive; they just have your back. They have a really long history of sponsoring snowboarder and skaters, and they’re known for taking care of their riders. And I feel the same way, like they want to carry on that history.
So what’s up with ASWM?
ASWM started out as a crew that Torstein and I started back in 2009. We just basically made a crew as a joke at first, just having fun snowboarding and we made some stickers, and nothing happened for a year or so. And then we decided to make a brand out of it, because people were asking what it ASWM? SO we made some belts, which is the main thing, and it’s doing really well. So now we have backpacks, Tee shirts, hoodies, we have a lot of stuff. It’s just built around snowboarding and having fun, and not taking it too seriously. I always wanted to start my own thing, and it s a good feeling to have your own thing, and see that it’s working and take your brand in the direction you want to take it. So, it’s cool.
For more info, check out AndreasWiig.com.