Johan takes his power to powder, dropping steep pillow stacks and hitting fresh landings. This is the Canadian backcountry on full display.
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You moved from Sweden to Revelstoke a while ago, right? How long have you been in Canada now?
Well, it’s been roughly a decade now. I went to Revelstoke to spend one last full winter before studying university. Then I just never started university, and here I am, 10 years later.
Amazing. And you were filming there this winter for the most part. What’s good about riding in Revelstoke?
The thing that I’m really hooked on in Revelstoke is our Wasted Youth crew here. They’re just such a solid group of people. Always hilarious. Everyone helps each other out. They try really hard to get it and have a lot of fun up there. Also, the terrain; everything is kind of hidden away in the trees, so you have to know where you’re going. You don’t see spots from miles away. You have to research a lot to find the good riding that not too many people know about. But if you put in the work, the riding is so sweet.
Last winter was a difficult one for travel. I know there were plans for the Whistler-based riders to spend more time in Revelstoke and vice versa, but how was it when you did get to link up in Whistler with the crew?
It was the first time I was with Aaron Leyland’s crew and some of the Manboys. I’ve never filmed snowboarding with them before. Seeing how they work together was cool, and it’s hilarious to hang out with them. The all-around experience was just great. I haven’t sledded around Whistler before, so seeing the history of snowboarding and all of the places and spots was super sick. And also, being shown a lot of secret stashes around there was cool as well, and that they trusted me to come and see those places.
You have your own production company and have made some great videos. What are the major hurdles that come with trying to make a snowboard video?
With backcountry filming, it just takes so much money. People don’t get how much money you have to save in the summer to afford trucks, snowmobiles, camera equipment, and a new computer every three years. All just to be able to film five minutes of snowboarding footage in the winter.
It’s kind of ridiculous, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s so worth it. But when you’re at the premiere, everyone just high-fives like, “Oh, sick man. What are you doing next year?” But I don’t think that people get how much effort and labour you put in during the summer to stack a fat stack of money to spend on the gas and on the sleds, just how much it takes.
“Johan, I watched him do a 30-foot Method to flat, and somehow ride away from it. That dude is gnarly.” —MIKEY CICCARELLI
It’s gnarly. Is watching the end result your motivation to go get it every year?
No, definitely not. I’m super proud of everything we do when we film, but the process is the thing I enjoy the most. The adventure, being with your friends and trying to make things work and experiences exploring someplace new. I kind of enjoy when things don’t work as well, you’re out there with your homies, and you just have to solve these insane problems that occur in the mountains. When you’re up there with high technology, trying to find cliff bands on the back of a mountain, it’s always an interesting situation. Those adventures, sticky situations, and the friendships that come out of it. I just love it.