HAPPY A LOT

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Ståle Sandbech, 20 years old, from Norway. TTR Overall Champion 2012, Vice World Champion this year – and on a side note – youngest Norwegian to go to the Olympics in 82 years. Rather quiet (which explains the little information circulating about him), witty and happy a lot.

O: Any advice for younger riders on how to progress and get to where you are?
Ståle: My biggest advice is find some good friends who snowboard with you, ride a lot and have fun. I started riding when I was 8, so I’ve been riding since 12 years. Of course it gets a little more serious after a while, but most of all you have to have fun in life.

O: Now you basically travel the world from event to event?
Ståle: Yeah, all year long, mostly with the Norwegian National Team. I love it. The only thing is getting up early in the morning is never the funnest, but it’s not too bad.

O: I know that Oakley sometimes puts you guys up in these huge luxury chalets, like at the X Games, with pool, spa and even with your own chef…
Ståle: Yeah, that’s cool. Nice food and nice rooms. That definitely helps to get prepared for the contests and to have the necessary energy.

O: Speaking of contests – how do you stay calm and focused?
Ståle: You always visualize your trick. You’re up there with a bunch of your friends, getting stoked on the tricks they’re doing, and when the crowd is screaming that helps a lot, getting pumped up…

O: Are you really all bros or is there some feeling of competition?
Ståle: Everybody is just friends. For sure you’re not here to not win, everybody tries to win. And if you don’t of course it kinda sucks – but if your friend wins, that’s nice too. I feel snowboarding is more of a lifestyle than a sport. For sure it’s competitive, but not like in other sports where you’re hiding stuff from the others. It’s different for sure.

O: What’s important about your friends for you?
Ståle: I have friends from back home who have been really good friends for a long time. But I also travel with the guys all year, and all lot of them became best friends. A friend is a guy or a girl you can just have fun with, and you don’t have to stress about being his or her friend. You can trust them, just hang and have a good time.

O: If you would describe a moment when you were super happy…
Ståle: Oh, I have all sorts of moments when I’m super happy. I’m happy a lot. For sure if you do well in a contest you’re super happy. It’s this crazy feeling, it’s so much adrenaline and everything is just going wild in your head!

O: So what’s your biggest success?
Ståle: Probably to have won the TTR overall ranking last year. And the 3rd place at the Air & Style.

O: If you learn new tricks, how do you train for them?
Ståle: I don’t like to jump airbags or foam pits, just trampoline to get the feeling. But lately I learn the tricks straight on snow. You think about the trick so much that you have it in your head. Then if you have the right jump, the right day – if you’re ready you feel it.

O: Some quick questions that are not connected to snowboarding: If you could invent something, what would it be?
Ståle: Flying shoes.

O: If you would be reborn what would be your reincarnation?
Ståle: A monkey. (laughing). I like monkeys.

O: In which movie would you like to be a star?
Ståle: Pirates of the Caribbean.

O: Seriously? Jack Sparrow?
Ståle: Of course (grins). I love that guy!

O: OK, he’s witty. I could see you in that role. What’s your main character trait?
Ståle: Dunno. I guess I’m happy? And energetic.

O: Biggest flaw?
Ståle: Stubborn. And I don’t like waking up early in the morning. When I’m tired I’m grumpy.

O: Who inspires you?
Ståle: A lot of people. Some in snowboarding, some with their lifestyle. My older brother always inspired me. My friends for sure, just people who do good stuff.

O: Favourite music?
Ståle: I listen to a lot of different music. I never had a favourite. Lately, I’ve been listening to Deer Tick.