Infatuated and influenced by the first heavy wave of snowboarding in the ’90s, Erik Traulsen moved from Orillia, Ontario, to scratch at the pro-boarder dream manifesting out West. After immersing himself in the industry for years, he took a break from riding to “grow up,” as he describes it. After a period of neglecting the board, Erik fell in love with it again, "Why the fuck would you grow up if it means you can't do this?" said Erik about snowboarding, “Can't I grow up and do this? And then I did a 100-day year... a real one.”
Listen to the FNRad Podcast
The now 100-day-a-year podcasting postal worker is exercising his elephant-like memory for a nostalgic state of snowboarding while riffing with heroes like David Benedek, Bert Lamar, Damien Sanders, Terje Haakonsen, Sean Kerns, Sherman Poppin, Mike Basich, Johan Olofsson, and catching up with the next generation of legends. Erik speaks with conviction and passion when he talks. And he can talk, we spoke for the first time on a “15 minutes” fact-finding call while over an hour flew by.
FNRad is entertainment, educational, and constantly progressing. A pure DIY passion project that has become the real deal. The greatest thing about the snowboard industry has always been the stories and the people behind them. Erik is a natural at bringing these legends to life.
Why did you start FNRad?
So, I did a 100-day year riding, and being the mailman, listening to podcasts all the time, and then I just put two and two together. Like,
I didn’t want to be a podcaster, I just wanted to hear those stories.
The podcasts I was listening to weren't putting the guests on that I wanted to hear. When I think of Mike Jacoby or Keith Wallace or Shawn Farmer, Shaun Palmer—these are celebrities to me. The main thing was it wasn't happening. I wasn't hearing those guests and I was like, "I'd better get to it before somebody else does." Because inevitably, that's going to be a great podcast–hearing Shawn Farmer talk about being Shawn Farmer?
You’re not solely focused on riders that influenced your generation though. There’s a younger group of riders from a more current generation in the mix.
I don't focus on just those guys I looked up to anymore because I think it's better for the listener if we get snowboarders who are really passionate about snowboarding. The culture and the support that people give each other these days is next level. That's why snowboarding is so unique and so cool. Snowboarding was in such good hands in the ’90s and it's still in such good hands now.
Have you found a common thread between what keeps on coming up between all the snowboarders that you talk to?
There's a big theme of loss. Which is surprising, and it's underneath everything. There's a lot of loss in snowboarding. The risk is huge and we don't talk about it a lot and when people will talk about it on tape it's not the most comfortable thing to hear. You know, like most major snowboarders who’ve had a pro career had to deal with someone very close to them being killed, like near them or be there to witness someone who was killed and that's... I don't think you have that in many sports, I really don't.
For real. Who’s on deck for the upcoming season?
Okay, so here's the list. Tell me if there is anyone on this list that doesn't make you stoked: Daniel Franck, Iikka Backstrom, Marc Morisset, Blaise Rosenthal, JF Pelchat, Andrew Crawford, Mikey Leblanc, Mike Michalchuk, Gaetan Chanut, Sean Pettit, Dionne Delesalle, Joey McGuire, Jussi Oksanen, MFM is going to be on it again, Dale Rehberg, Roan Rogers, Paul Culling is kind of a deep cut but I love that guy, he's dope, Emmanuel Krebs has an incredible story too, Spencer O'Brien, and then Devun and then Chris Roach and Shaun Palmer, Terry Kidwell, and Damien Sanders, again.
That is the podcast I would want to listen to. That's the thing, I don't know what other guys are doing for their guestlist but if they're not talking to those guys, then they're blowing it.