WIN a trip to Norway with Oakley Pro Rider, Eero Ettala!
The mountains are calling! Fancy winning the trip of the lifetime for you and a friend in Norway, snowboarding with Oakley Pro Eero Ettala?! Well, now is your chance! Oakley has got the whole thing covered, we’re talking flights, accommodation, food, ski passes and snowboard hire all included, along with an Oakley prize pack, to get you kitted out, ready to hit the slopes! Contest open to intermediate snowboarders and above – head here to enter.
We sat down with Eero Ettala for an exclusive interview to find out where he started, his passions, what inspires him and some of his favourite winter essentials from Oakley!
Surfdome: Hey Eero, you’ve been on the scene for a while now with some of the most creative video parts we’ve watched. But how did you grow from riding Talma to be being one of the most respected snowboarders on earth? What’s your story?
Eero: Thanks for the props! I think Talma is a perfect resort for getting good at snowboarding. Its tiny, which means you will end up getting hundreds of laps a day, that being said you will end up hitting the same jumps and same rails hundred times a day…and you know that practice makes a champion, hah. I also think its beneficial for us, that we mostly snowboard under the lights when its dark…so no matter what the weather does we will be always able to ride and see on the hill, cause of the lights.
For a European rider, filming with US productions is always a big accomplishment. How do you react the first time when you get a call from Mack Dawg Production or Standard Films? And how does filming with US prods compare to doing web series like Cooking with Gas for instance?
Eero: I was honoured of course for getting the chance to film with MDP! I had two seasons of filming with Standard Films before I made the switch to MDP, so I was already pretty used to filming in the US at the point. MDP films were the once I loved watching the most as a kid, so it definitely was an unreal feeling being able to film for their movies. Filming for an American production compared to your own web series. I always enjoyed the freedom of doing my own thing. SO doing my own web series, I could decide who I wanted to ride with and where I wanted to ride and film. I think it was also a great learning experience for myself to be a producer of my own film projects. Deal with ski resorts, Find and buy music, find the right filmers and editors, make some sort of a script and plan.
Some of your street parts are super inspiring, and really have something creative thanks to the features and spots. How do you visualize what you’re going to execute: you think how best you can utilise the feature first and then think about the trick? Or is it always about the trick first?
Eero: It always depends. A lot of times I have an idea of a trick I want to do and then I’m trying to find a perfect spot to do that trick on…or if I end up finding a cool spot I would just figure out either the coolest looking trick to do on the spot or the hardest trick I could possibly do on it. So it could go either way.
You skateboard a lot, and we saw you snowboarding actual bowls and skate parks in your video parts. Has skateboarding always been a big source of inspiration to try new things on a snowboard and take snowboarding to new spots?
Eero: Yeah, it actually has. To be honest I watch way more skateboarding videos than snowboarding videos. I do get a lot of inspiration to my tricks from skateboarding and I hope it shows as well.
Apart from the streets of Helsinki, what has been one of your favourite places you rode and why?
Eero: I have to say Japan. Riding powder there is just amazing. It will be one of those destinations where I want to go ride year after year and it just never gets old! I’ve been there already over ten times and I’m always as excited to go back there.
Outside of snowboarding, you set up Black Eye Lens with some of your friends. How did you come up with the project? Do you have any other project outside of being a pro rider?
Eero: My friends and I were shooting a lot of skateboarding and snowboarding stuff on our phones, but there was no way to create that” GoPro” or POV feel. So we looked into it and started producing our own fisheye lenses for phones. At first, we sold them only in Finland and in 4 years we have expanded quite a bit and are already selling in 20 countries. So it has been a cool learning experience to be involved with building Black Eye. Besides, that I have been hosting some TV shows in Finland in my spare time from snowboarding. Trying to stay busy for sure and do a lot of different kind of things to stay occupied.
There are a lot of young rippers out there, and with all those video edits dropping every hour, it can be hard to keep in touch… Who has been impressing you a lot recently?
Eero: Pretty much every pro rider these days drops hammer footage on their social media channels on a weekly basis so it’s pretty hard to just name few riders, that impresses me, cause I feel like they all do. Stale, Seb, Sven, Marcus Kleveland. They’re all dropping legit stuff for sure.
You’ve been a source of inspiration for a lot of riders and still are. But who did you look up to when you started riding?
Eero: I was a big fan of the Finns, that had made it back then before I made it pro. Jussi Oksanen, Joni Mäkinen, Joni Malmi and Heikki Sorsa of course.
How important is wearing the right gear when you are riding? Are there any new products from Oakley you’re really excited about?
Eero: I need to have the gear, that feels right and looks right. And of course, it also has to work right. The better I feel, the better I will ride and Oakley outerwear and goggles check all those boxes! I’ve been riding a bunch of the Oakley Gore-Tex outerwear lately. Really digging the fact that it will keep you dry all day long! And my favourite goggles these days are the Lineminer and Flight deck with Prizm lenses.
Surfdome is based in of the UK. How much have you been riding the snowdomes here in the UK? Do you feel like there any similarities with the Finnish scene, given the lack of Alps style mountains in both regions?
Eero: I’ve ridden two different domes in the UK and I really liked them both. It does remind me of riding back home in Finland. I wish we had a snowdome to ride at during the summers.
Finally, do you have any film projects coming up that you could tell us about?
Eero: I do have a new project in the planning phase right now, but I can’t tell too much about it yet. But it should be dropping this upcoming winter in the world wide web.
Discover the winter Oakley Collection here.