After spending some time with Halldor Helgason, it’s easy to see why he is and remains one of the most popular snowboarders of all time. Halldor is someone that is naturally talented at snowboarding, but at the same time doesn’t take riding as seriously as some of his peers. Helgason is renowned for his daredevil approach and send it attitude, which has resulted in some outstanding footage over the past ten years. When Halldor isn’t riding, he is helping to run his own companies Lobster, Switchback bindings, 7-9-13 and Atrip, which is bound to keep this excitable Icelandic in the sport for years to come. We caught up with the man himself to discuss the Olympics, running snowboard companies and his unique approach to riding – by Tom Kingsnorth
You got injured last year but now are back on board, how do you recover from injuries and do you find it tough to be not snowboarding?
I used to not do any rehab and just used to chill and party pretty much when I got injured, but I’ve learned now that rehabbing actually helps a lot hehe, especially when your getting old and destroyed like me. After my last injury – which was at Superpark 20 – I broke my ankle really bad, a small bone called the Talus, I had to rehab pretty much every day for four months to get it back to normal. Overall it was eight months until I could snowboard again, now in the future when I get injured I am going to be on it with the rehab.
As much as I hate injuries I do kinda like them, my experience has always been that I feel like I get more appreciation for snowboarding and I come back even stronger and with new inspiration because I think of snowboarding constantly while I’m injured, so I feel like I’ve learned new tricks just by thinking about them for months sometimes.
You recently rode at Super Park and most of the shared videos that came out of that were of you. Did you plan to go there and get that much coverage or does it come naturally?
I just had the same plan as always, go there have a good time and see what happens. Superpark is just so damn fun, it’s not possible for me to stay calm because you are riding with everyone, seeing everybody having a good time and sending it! So I always get way to pumped, we also had the Superpark Cream Team going on so things just happened naturally, haha.
A lot of riders now train in foam pits and on trampolines, whilst you seem to favour an old school approach of sending it off a park jump. Which training method do you think is more effective and why?
Uff, I don’t know, man. I just never liked doing the same trick over and over to have it on lock, which is one of the reasons why I suck at contests, haha. I like it when the trick looks different every time I try it again. I have just always liked to keep it loose and not to serious, that’s how I enjoy snowboarding.
You are the founder of Lobster snowboards, 7-9-13, Switchback bindings and are also the founder of Atrip. How are the businesses going and what can we expect in the future?
It’s snowboarding, so it’s definitely not the easiest business, haha, but we try our best and have a good time while doing it and as long as we don’t go minus we are happy. It’s kinda hard to be all in on snowboarding and doing all these companies as well, but luckily we have an awesome crew that helps us make it happen. What you can expect from our companies in the future is that we are just going to keep it going and try and give back to snowboarding as much as we can.
Talking of Lobster, you have the UK’s Sparrow Knox on the team. What is it like to travel with Sparrow and what secrets can you share about him?
Sparrow is one of my favourite persons, hands down and I’m so damn pumped to have him a part of Lobster and Switchback bindings, He is always happy, he has so much positive energy that everyone around him feeds on, he’s pumped to go snowboard, skateboard, party, travel he is straight up just pumped on everything, haha. He always has his diary that he writes in and he collects all the beer labels of beers he hasn’t had before. Yes, Sparrow is the man!
Are there any plans to give Sparrow a pro model and will he join you on Atrip?
We are just going to have to wait and see what happens.
You have been one of the most popular riders in the sport for a long time, what do you think is the secret to your appeal and is this appeal hard to keep up over time?
Haha, Thank you, thank you, my secret is just to be myself and ride my snowboard the way I want to.
Are you still living in Monaco and if so how do you find life there?
Yeah, me and my brother are still living there, it’s awesome, feels nice sometimes to get away from everything and just chill in Monaco and rehab your brain again.
If you could change one thing about the snowboard industry, what would you change?
No Oldlimpdicks, no national teams and no coaches. All of a sudden we are all riding FIS contests to qualify for the Oldlimpdicks, teams have random sponsor logos all over their faces and body, then when you actually ride the Oldlimpdicks you have to wear a team uniform, haha. I just think it’s too serious for snowboarding and it gets kids to go to all sorts of training camps just to train their tricks over and over again, it’s the opposite of why I love snowboarding.
Will you be trying out for the next Olympics and if not why?
Haha! No no no, I think its so funny to look back and think that me and Mr Ethan Morgan AJ Freemanson actually tried to qualify for the Oldlimpdicks last time, we were on our own program together and had no idea what was going on, living in an RV, drinking RV juice, missing practise, I don’t think we ever landed a full run from top to bottom of the slopestyle course. But we had a great time actually whilst doing it even though we never had a chance to make it in to the Oldlimpdicks in the end.
We talked about making a movie with Me, Ethan Morgan, Sage Kotsenburg, Teddy Koo and Pinkmans road to the Oldlimpdicks and all footage would be filmed by us and edited by us as well, but unfortunately we didn’t make it happen, maybe next Oldlimpdicks in 2022 or something!