Interview by Will Radula-Scott. Photos by Howzee.
Sup, Hitsch how’s your summer been? What’s been keeping you busy?
All good over here, thanks! I’ve been busy with some studies and a little bit of boarding. I’m definitely excited for winter to ride some fresh snow.
So we just watched ‘Distant Relatives’. Looked like some beautiful days in the land of Laax. How would you describe those few days?
Yeah, Giro is doing this Distant Relatives project, where a small crew of the Giro team gets together at a local spot of a team rider. It happened to be me and I showed the boys around Laax. It is not originally my local spot but I spent a lot of time there the past decade so I know some spots around there. Unfortunately we were not too lucky with the snow conditions so we had to make the best of it. Laax is always a fun place to be at so no complaints here.
With the pow at low tide you found yourself in the pipe and park. How hyped do you get riding park these days? Do you like to take a different approach to it than before?
Indeed, as the snow situation was not the best we took advantage of the park. I still really like to ride pipe but not necessarily in a “contest” approach. So I actually still ride quite a lot of pipe but not as serious as I used to, but once a wall gets a bit slushy it can happen that I throw in some tricks. Also the format of snowparks has changed quite a bit over the few past years and especially in Laax you can have a lot of fun riding the transitions in between/side of obstacles ect. So I’d say that still gets me pumped.
What's the key to making the best of it?
Not taking it too serious and having a good time with your friends. Sometimes drinking it blue works too….
How’s it riding with Sebbe (de Buck) and Nils (Mindnich)? Ridden with them much before?
I know those guys for quite a long time. Nils used to be on Burton way back so I know him since forever and we’ve been on multiple shoots together over the years. Sebbe also once had a go in the U-Ditch so I also have known him for a long time. I think the crew was balanced quite well as we are all generally really different characters but get along perfectly. Also I feel like we can all ride every terrain, so that’s kind of a plus. Of course there’s always one guy that calls a certain terrain home but in general it was an all-terrain crew. Both of them have really good humor so that makes it really entertaining. Sebbe had this contest commentary going for the week and it was epic, he did a good job and might be the next Sal Masakela. Who knows…..
The Laax community is pretty unique, what's the best part of this melting pot of snowboarding to you?
Besides the Engadine Valley I call Laax my home resort. It is great to see that a big resort like Laax sets so much focus on snowboarding and the younger generation. In general the resort has all it needs, from good backcountry terrain to the best snowpark worldwide (I believe), but what makes Laax unique is the vibe. Not only snowboarding plays a big role but also cultural activities such as art shows, concerts and night life. This makes a huge difference because it’s literally the only place you can find something like that. So there’s always something going on and with the new Riders Hotel this approach got extended.
Do you have a favourite goggle from Giro and if so why?
Yusss - I usually ride the Method, its a new model that exchanges lenses really quickly and I like the look and feel of it. Also I like the ZEISS lenses that come with it :)
What else have you been up to last winter?
We released SOFT in December and I didn't line up another project besides that. We needed a little break to reflect and see how the outcome would turn out. So during the winter I jumped on some smaller projects of my other sponsors like Burton. Besides that I actually got to ride some pow with my friends and shoot here and there a little.
Is there another sensual shred project (like Glue and SOFT) in the works? Or plans for another?
There are some ideas around but it would not be a follow up of Glue and SOFT - so we’re not quite sure yet how and when :)
Do you have any plans yet for this winter yet?
I’m just about to decide on that one. I’d be really interested to visit a new country with good snow conditions that I haven’t been yet. Over the past years there’s been a big shift in snow storms and for example Eastern Europe has gotten great snow. That might be an option.
Thanks for the catch up Hitsch and see you on the hill in Laax soon!
Check out the Giro Method Goggle HERE.