Skiing in Finland? You bet. But who are we to tell you, take it from Juho Kilkki from the “Real Skifi” crew.
INTERVIEW WITH JUHO KILKKI
Where did you all meet?
JK: We’re all from the same hometown, Jyväskylä. Me (Juho), Ilkka and Verneri would ski together at the local ski hill Laajavuori back in the day. It’s 100 meters tall. That’s basically where we met and spent most of our time back then. Filming video parts was a natural part of the hobby but filmers didn’t grow on trees. Ilkka and Verneri knew this guy Janne from school who was a filmmaker and who had some decent camera gear in his use. They pretty much just asked if he could film with us and he said yes. The first time I saw Janne we simply shook hands and started filming. Little did we know back then how much we would end up seeing and doing together. A year or so later Anton would start joining on our shoots as well. He was a good friend of Janne’s and he too knew how to operate cameras.
What resorts do you ski at?
JK: We’ve mostly just shredded the same old local resort all these years. Nowadays they changed the name of the resort to Laajis. The park there is nothing special. With the short t-bar, you get lots of repetitions though. Our hometown has always had a tendency to produce more rail skiers than jump skiers.
Do you collectively ski more street, park, or all-mountain?
JK: We don’t really have any mountains around here and we haven’t traveled much either in search of pow. So it has definitely been more park and street for us in the past and still is. However soft snow is something that we’ve slowly started getting interested in more and more.
How do you determine if something is a ski-able feature?
JK: There sure are a lot of variables to consider when searching for urban spots. And each skier might look at things in their own way. Ideally, we look for spots that are unique, fun, and easy to build. We often look for spots that are somewhat safe too. I mean we don’t really like to do super dangerous stuff. We also try to avoid damaging public or private property. In the end, you always just have to build and try a feature to see if it actually works. Planning is great but it only takes you so far. And naturally, there are times when you want a certain trick or a certain feature that requires you to step outside of your comfort zone.
You seem really creative in your hits – have you always thought this way?
JK: I guess the answer is more yes than no but maybe it’s a bit of both. It was never like a conscious decision or a strategy that we chose. And you can’t really point out a date when we started doing creative tricks or whatever. Since day one we just wanted to learn new tricks and see what’s possible.
Anything you’re itching or have planned to tackle?
JK: Nowadays my personal number one goal for my ski career is to just stay healthy. Also, I simply want to keep on having fun on skis and learning new things.
What is the ski scene like in Finland?
JK: I think each resort has its own scene pretty much so I can’t really talk about all of Finland. But we sure have tons of amazing skiers that are sending it harder than ever! Our hometown Jyväskylä has a strong history in urban skiing. The Solid Powder movies and Nipwitz episodes have had a strong impact on the scene here. And it’s also pretty awesome that we still have here some of the classic rails that were hit by Tanner Hall, Laurent Favre, and Simon Dumont in Teddybear Crisis.