One look at Jussi Oksanen's accomplishments and it's easy to understand why he's the Finn with perma-grin. He's hammered out groundbreaking video parts with Standard, Robot Food, Kingpin, Mack Dawg, and Burton. He's won four Winter X medals, stood atop the podium at the U.S. Open, Air & Style, and European Open, and he's an Olympian.
Oksanen is a legend, hands down. However like many legends, he isn't coasting on his past accomplishments, he continues to put out jaw-dropping video parts and show up in all the major magazines. When it came time to choose which of the world's best snowboarders should compete in the first Real Snow Backcountry, he was an easy pick. Two awards -- for Fan Favorite and judges choice for Winter X bronze can't be wrong.
ESPN: Do you think exposing backcountry snowboarding to the general public is a good thing?
Jussi Oksanen: I think it's a good thing. I love the concept and think it's really cool, but at the same time I think it's really hard to film your best part in that timeline. Early season is always really tough, so it's hard to put a legitimate part together. As far as the mainstream seeing it I think it's good, but I think it should be spelled out a little bit more that we only had a few months to film these parts. We only had like four sunny days that whole time.
Everyone put out amazing parts, though.
Yeah, I think so too. I know all the guys wish they could have had a little more time because they thought they could have filmed better parts. Everyone is really critical of their own stuff, though, so I think overall it was really impressive that everyone put out such amazing parts in such a short amount of time.
I know Sollors and John Jackson were filming together. Were you filming with someone else or rolling solo?
I was out filming with Mikey Rencz most of the time. We were going to be one big crew, but we had two filmers, so we thought we might as well break it into two groups. I ended up being in Whistler with Mikey the whole time and, like I said, I think we got like four sunny days. Luckily those days were really good.
Did you hear about what anyone else was doing while you were filming, and did that fuel any competitive fire?
Well, we're all good friends, so I was only wishing the best for everyone. John and Mark and I were all together when we weren't filming so it wasn't really competitive. We got to see each other's footage. It gets you hyped, but not just to win.
You and Devun Walsh are legends and have been putting it down in the backcountry for years. Is it cool to see guys like Sollors and John J following in your footsteps?
It's really cool. It's great to see these guys coming up. A lot of guys are coming up and learning about filming natural terrain, and I think it opens up a lot of new possibilities for them.
Are you still having as much fun filming parts at this stage of your career?
It's hard. I have been doing this for a long time and you go through different phases. At this point I just feel really lucky to be with a great crew that is motivated and hungry. I don't have anything left to prove, so now I can just enjoy being out there and having fun.
What will you do with the money you won?
[Laughs] I've got a wife and two kids so it won't go towards anything fun. Maybe a college fund?