Real Snow Backcountry 2014: Iikka Backstrom
Real Snow Backcountry has changed format. The winner will be chosen by the five competitors and their filmmakers -- instead of a panel of industry judges and a global cadre of rabid fans -- and announced during an in-depth, Mack-Dawg produced Real Snow behind-the-scenes "World of X Games" show, airing Sunday, Oct. 12 on ABC. We are rolling out each contest video online every other day leading up to the broadcast. So check back regularly and enjoy.
Whatever Iikka Backstrom rides, he makes it look like he's having a good time. The Finnish wizard has teamed up with the legendary Devun Walsh in recent years to make the popular "Get Outta Town" webisodes, proving beyond a doubt that he has taken to his adopted winter homeland in the Canadian backcountry with a fury all his own. Whether dropping stacked pillows in waist-deep snow or sending it off super-sized kickers, the only thing more fun than watching Backstrom ride is surely being Backstrom.
XGames.com: Do you think movie parts are what define the best snowboarder?
Backstrom: Not really. There are so many people shredding so hard that don't care at all or haven't had a chance to film a video part. But movie parts definitely show a lot at the same time.
What's your opinion on music and video parts?
Music is a big one to me. That's how you connect with the rider, I think. Song has a lot to do with your personality and riding style. It should always be the rider's choice. I have a part in "Double Decade" with the song "Whip It!" and it makes me want to puke. That song has nothing to do with me or my snowboarding. I hate watching snowboarding with bad music ... but everyone has their own opinions on music.
Real Snow Backcountry 2014
The X Games all-video contest, known as the Real series, is evolving, and this year's Real Snow Backcountry features just five snowboarders, no fan vote, and winners are selected by the competitors and filmmakers themselves.Videos will roll out on XGames.com starting Monday, and the winner will be announced during a "World of X Games" show on Oct. 12 on ABC. The show will take an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the making of each video, the riders competing and the filmmakers responsible for the contest edits. Now let's meet the players.
Where did you film your Real Snow part?
Mostly in Whistler and a bit in Japan. We had a late start to the tough and short winter we had [in Canada].
Describe to the average snowboarder what it actually feels like to fly 100 feet through the air.
If everything goes like it's supposed to, it's the best feeling in the world. It feels effortless and free -- sometimes it feels like everything is in slo-mo. I can't describe the rush I get from it.
And what about crashing on that same huge jump?
Scary! Slo-mo as well, just waiting for the hit and how much it's going to hurt. But you gotta pay to play.
What do you think of the new format this year, with you guys picking the winner, not judges?
I think it's a great concept. It's the only way snowboarding should be judged, if ever. There should be opinions, but I think judging snowboarding is kinda weird, to be honest. I think you should just be your own judge.
How did you pick the winning segment?
I picked based on what made me want to go snowboarding and the kind of riding that I respect in snowboarding: creativity and style. That being said, that's my opinion and others have different opinions, so I don't think anyone should take judging snowboarding too serious.