For 22-year-old Finn Eero Ettala, 2006 was a good year: He won a big-air event in Switzerland; TransWorld Snowboarding nominated him for Rider of the Year (though Shaun White won); and, during the coveted closing segment in the Mack Dawg film Follow Me Around, he became the first person to throw a double backside rodeo 1080. (That's three rota

Oct 16, 2007
Outside Magazine

OUTSIDE: We understand you're huge in Japan.
ETTALA: The fans are totally crazy. Everyone wants your autograph. Flights and five-star hotels are paid for. People walking down the street are freaking out when they see you. It feels crazy, like you're a movie star. Then you get home and come right back down to earth—it's a wake-up call.

What are the terrain parks like in Finland?
When I started it was horrible. There was a terrain park that had one jump basically, and they would only groom it once a week. So we'd always have our own shovels, because the resort didn't want to keep it in shape. We would build little side jumps. But now it's getting better. Some resorts actually groom the parks every day.

There seems to be a lot of urban jibbing going on.
Yeah, there's a really good urban rails scene in Helsinki. Unlike in the U.S., the cops show up and are like, "Oh, what are you guys doing? Can we take photos?" They're really cool, and most of the time they're just happy to see people snowboarding.

Any advice for snowboarders who don't have a film crew trailing their every move?
When Heikki [Sorsa] and I ride, we use our Nokia N95 cell phones [$699;] to film stupid, funny videos on the mountain. Then we use iMovie [$79;] to edit them on my laptop and stick 'em on YouTube. It's pretty easy.

Any new tricks up your sleeve?
Oh, yeah. I'm trying to do a switch triple backflip. I don't think anyone's ever done a triple flip on a snowboard. It's one of those tricks where you either land it or you eat a lot of shit. The last time I tried, I bailed pretty hard.

Any broken bones?
No. Just a face plant. [And no video, it appears.]

Filed To: Culture, Snowboarding