Telemark big mountain skier Erik Nordin brings home two first place finishes this spring in prominent Scandinavian telemark events. His first place finish at the Ride The Cow event took place over the weekend of April 21-23, 2016 in Hemavan, Sweden. His next first place finish was at the Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships (SBMC) May 10-12, 2016 which was at the small resort of Riksgränsen, Sweden, located above the Arctic Circle on the border between Sweden and Norway.
We caught up with the 21 year old freeheeler about his recent wins, his trip to compete at the Freeheel Life Cup and what his plans are heading into the summer and beyond.
Telemark Skier (TS): You just finished up wins at Ride The Cow and the Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships. Break down your approach to each event and what helped you get the win.
Erik Nordin (EN): Yes! Super stoked to finish off the season with some good results. Ride the Cow is a 2-day competition in Hemavan, Sweden. Coming into the comp I knew what cliffs I wanted to hit, however, during first inspection I realized the snowpack was lower than usual and everything was bigger. I decided there was no time for being a wussy and it was time to man up — it worked out perfectly!
The SBMC is definitely the most prestigious comp in this part of the world. It’s a 3-day competition with 3 different faces, all very steep. The first day is qualification and the remaining two days are finals. My qualification run was not that good. I had good technique and fluidity but I was too slow. However the judges liked it and I made it through to the finals. The remaining two days went really well, especially the last day. It could have ended with a massive face plant at the end, but with an acrobatic recovery it ended up being all good.
SBMC Highlights on Finals Day 1 (Erik can be seen starting at 0:35)
TS: You lived in Italy this past winter. Do you think that helped with your approach to the mountains this year?
EN: In some ways yes and others not so much. I spent three months in Italy with very little snow. So the skiing was actually really bad but I don’t think I have had this many days on skis ever. The big help was that I was injury free and healthy all winter long.
TS: This season was your first North American competition at the Freeheel Life Cup in Grand Targhee, WY. How are tele comps different in Europe vs. the US?
EN: Well for starters, I have never seen so many good tele skiers ever at once so there’s a huge difference in the number of participants. Another thing is the inspection part of the venue. In 80% of the competitions in Europe you only get to inspect from below the venue and at the top starting point. That means the snow will probably be better since you aren’t sliding down it during the inspection, but it is way harder to scope out your line.
TS: Who were some of your toughest competitors this year?
EN: The guys over at the FHL Cup in Targhee. Everybody killed it and I got really inspired to see so many different techniques and styles. Some of my favorite tele skiers from the event were: Ty Dayberry, Paul Kimbrough, Carl Heath and Bennett Drummond. Ty had what I thought was the best run of Day One and that was, in my opinion, the best run of the comp. Paul had a super solid style and it was cool to see someone not have a single mistake in his run. I didn’t see Carl on Day One but he sure did a big air on Day Two and if it wasn’t for the snowy goggles after the drop, he would have been top 3 at least. Bennett had the best style and his 360 on Day Two was a very technical trick because of the downward take off.
TS: What’s up for next year? Will you be competing?
EN: I just moved to Tromsø, Norway. Here I will work and live for 6 months and after that I hope I will cross the pond and stay in Canada for a few months! Currently deciding if it should be in Kicking Horse or Revelstoke. I really want to be at the FHL Cup again next year too! It was a big boost and gave me tons of motivation for next year!
Follow Erik on Instagram @eyriknordin