interview – Thomas Feurstein

interview - Thomas Feurstein opener

Montafon resort in Austria has been quite a name out there on the web in this past season, thanks to Nike’s Chosen Series final event that went down there. Montafon is though already quite a name here in Europe, since it is known among the riders for hosting one of the sweetest spots to chase perfect pow pow. Quite imaginable that there is also some good snowboarders coming from this Austrian pow Mekka and indeed there is! One of the local riders from Schruns to be more precise, is young Green Peace activist, furniture designer and pow cannon Thomas Feurstein. Thomas has been enriching several productions in the last years with his skills and that’s also one of the reasons why the 21-year old can look at some solid spots in multiple European Teams among his sponsor list and why he just won’t stop shredding. We wanted to know more about this suspicious pow ripper nest from Austria, Thomas skills to walk over water, what he thinks about global warming and even some more snowboard related content like his plans for this upcoming season and some more stuff that you will enjoy reading. Get stoked .

Thomas rides for: Nitro, Volcom, Deeluxe, Electric, Sajas, Level and Love skateboards.

ShredOn Mag: Hey Thomas! How are you, what are you doing right now?

Thomas: Hey Mike. I’m great, thanks. I’m enjoying summer with my girl friend and besides that I’m working here and there a little bit. Tax collection at the duty, Montafoner Summer (local festival), but mainly I help my dad out, who always has got some work to do.

SOM: Would you please introduce yourself once, for our readers from overseas?

Thomas: Alright, I’m 21 years old and prefer riding powder when I’m out there. When going to shoot, I also enjoy seeking some more creative street spots or some cool park features. I’m super aware of our environment and so there is just very few times, that I don’t come back home with my pockets filled with some garbage I picked up. I hate finding garbage on the mountain, such things piss me off! But besides that I’m a very happy, but also restrained person.

Thomas walks the line

Thomas walking the line.. | picture by: Christoph Schöch

SOM: How is that working when growing up in Montafon? Does everybody pick the powder skills automatically from the cradle, or what’s going on there?

Thomas: If you really enjoy Winter, it’s definitely cool to grow up here in Montafon :)

But real core pow riders aren’t that many here to be honest. We’ve got our tour guides and we’ve got a few snowboarders only unfortunately. Basically all of the locals or most of them at least are freeskiers and for them our local park (Novapark btw), is heaven you can say. On real powder days you see them digging out the rails in the park and they might take a few turns on the slopes but that’s it. I’m totally cool with that ..more powder for me :)

SOM: Not too bad. When looking at the mass of video parts you’ve got, we could assume that you’re quite often on the road, hu? Is it really like that or do you also shoot at home sometimes? When looking at your spots in Euro Teams like Volcom or Nitro, people would think probably that the dude is quiten often on the road. How many days do you ride at home and how many are you shooting somewhere else for example?

Thomas Method Air backcountry

..while the freeskiers got the local Novapark, Thomas enjoys having the Montafonic backcountry more for hiself and sends it with this steeze Method | picture by: Christoph Schöch

Thomas: Actually it is super different. I never got aware of these days really how many they really are more or less. Being more the pow rider, you probably should go where good heaps of snow are and where you’ve got a cool backcountry. Around Arlberg, you basically find both of them if you know the spots and everything. That’s the reason why I enjoy being here. But it’s also cool and important to get to know and ride new spots. Another extra is, that you also get to know cool new people, who are cool to hang with or who might be important for your future career as well.

SOM: When looking now on your sponsor list, it is quite impressive to see with who you are under one and the same top, don’t you think? Especially in the Volcom team for example you really get the chance to ride sometimes with the big names from overseas?

Thomas Feurstein hand plant Lorenz Richard

why hit the park, if you got the biggest playground on a foot step away ..planting the Arlberger backcountry | picture by: Lorenz Richard

Thomas: Of course it is rad to ride with people you might have looked up to when growing up. But to be honest, I rather more prefer looking at our guys from here. Real powder cannons like Gigi (Rüf), Nico (Müller), (Marco) Fichtl, Wolle (Nyvelt), Terje etc. They really can read and ride the terrain, you know?

SOM: Yeah, totally. You’re shooting per season quite a lot as we already mentioned. Last season was the perfect example for that. Nitro team movie, Loveolution 3 and the M.O.G. flick ..not much of a private life or what?

Thomas: I just have a stinky messed up flat, unloyal and fucked up friends and my girlfriend is a pain in the ass. Not much that holds me back. Haha ..kidding! :)

During Winter it’s getting tough sometimes, but that’s not too bad, since I always can enjoy enough free time in summer, so it’s all good.

SOM: We couldn’t hear or see much from M.O.G. in this season on the web. But the website is under construction. Is there anything coming out or did you put all your heart already in Loveolution 4?

slaying down ..on/off the snow | picture by: Christoph Schoech

slaying down ..on/off the snow | picture by: Christoph Schöch

Thomas: Well, from M.O.G. ain’t nothing coming out, no. I was ’only’ shooting for True Color, Nitro, Love and Sebi’s (Geiger) Different Direction (web series you definitely should check out).

SOM: So we’ll see some shots of you in the Hyped! movie?

Thomas: Oh yeah. We really enjoyed the time when Bryan Fox, Austin Smith and Nils Arvidsson were here in Montafon. We’ve been cursed or something though, but tried to make the best of everything. Day #1: Bryan ill. Day #2: Nils crashed into Austin and gave him a good cut on his shoulder = Austin out. Day #3: Nils ill and day #4: Was Bryan’s turn to get ill again. We still though could shoot a nice section somehow with some massive snow and sick street spots!

SOM: Let’s focus a bit now on the actual career of the “Firestone”: You’re 21 years old now, have got pretty rad sponsors that cover you head to toe and what isn’t  always that certain as many think it is today. What are your next goals in snowboarding? Any secret plans or ideas you’re hiding from us?

Japan chill Lorenz Richard

chilling in Japan | picture by: Lorenz Richard

Thomas: Being super self-critical with my own riding, there is always stuff I’m thinking about in my head. I have so many rad ideas in my “spot book for new ideas“ which I’d love to make real. The thing is just that not all of them are that easy to do really, since the trend here around Arlberg is rather more to destroy other people’s business than helping out each other and support. Especially when being a snowboarder things aren’t easy at all – skier, football player or mono skier (SBX) you would have to be..

SOM: So is there already any idea or project for next season which is getting planned?

Thomas: Yeah there is quite a few. But I can’t tell you much though yet, I’m sorry man. All I can say is that I will be shooting quite a lot again. Sponsors will stay the same hopefully. Schneider and Schlosser are working already on 2 very fun ideas for me and I’m stoked :)

SOM: When looking nowadays through all the online magazines and especially the bigger ones from overseas, you get easily the impression as if some of them would focus on their own ’local’ scene, but not much further ..especially the own one in North America.  Not that long time ago there was a little discussion fired up, when a young Matic Zavodnik started complaining loudly how pissed he was about that situation. The result was a really sad and totally off the subject “battle“ between Euro and US snowboarders about who’s got the better skills. What do you think about such online mags that limit their focus so radical and do you think that the US riders really got more skills like many people believe they do?

Thomas Feurstein Arlberg LorenzRichard

don’t hate too much out there and focus on the relevant stuff in snowboarding: having fun like Thomas clearly does here | picture by: Lorenz Richard

Thomas: Really interesting point you got there. Basically any mag can do and print what they want, it is their money and their workload and opinion that they put in there. Back in the day it probably looked differently than now, but today snowboarding seems to be like any other business else. Cover shots are getting bought, shots for a gallery aren’t getting the best shots and photographers really, but the ones of which brands own the biggest ad space in the magazines etc. Of course it isn’t like that with every magazine out there, but in case of these who really work like that, I just find it sad man. I guess that everyone will have his reasons to have to act like that and snowboarding’s industry ain’t really growing right now as you know. All due to the ski devil and the general fear of people to actually do something ;)

But back to the Euro-Ami battle thing: As far as I follow it, the American market is simply bigger than ours. That’s probably also the reason why their market is more important to them I guess. I’ve heard a few times some lines dropping like „fuck the European market“ and not coming from any weird behaving patriots or something, no. That came from a team manager once. Generally speaking the Americans simply got a better image for snowboarding.

SOM: I read in your Nitro profile that you design furniture sometimes ..what’s the deal with that? You do have a plan B after all next to snowboarding or what? Or is it just a creative niche for you to let go and get your head free of other things that bother you and to switch off?

Thomas: On rainy days and when I’m bored it is perfect. I already pulled off some smaller “projects“, but the bigger ones are about to get finished soon. On one in particular I’m already working more than 2 years now! As soon as it is finished I’ll post it. My plan is to do a few smaller things more and then hopefully might be able to invite to an exhibition or something.

thomas feurstein montafon nova kicker schoech_christoph

sending it via Nova kicker ..Thomas brings the skills and Christoph Schöch the lenses

SOM: Sounds good. Different thing: You’ve been to Portugal recently with the *** Surf Days at the Quiksilver lodge. Could you catch some barrels, or is the real Schrunser (his hometown) inside you afraid of water?

Thomas: Yeah, I mean there wasn’t any way at all to miss my Schrunser character in these days. “King Kong ain’t got shit on me”, but when it comes up to water I turn to a princess for 5 Mario Bros games. I’m really not that water guy, not at all. I don’t have anything against warm water with a bit of gas maybe , but when it gets cold I’m gone man, haha. Maybe that’s also related to that one time when I was close to get drowned when I was a kid. Almost saw myself already in embryo pose floating down somewhere.

SOM: Damn. How is the rest of Thomas Feurstein’s personality ..I heard you’d be quite shy. Do you need a certain time to warm up with new people?

Thomas: Yeah, true story. I’m not the type of guy, who claims to be homie of everybody after two minutes. Being shy might be having some advantages, but mainly I’d be happy if that would be different.

SOM: What do you do in summer to keep your stoke on?

Thomas Feurstein Japan Lorenz Richard

hittin‘ urban streets in Japan | picture by: Lorenz Richard

Thomas: It helps me a lot in summer not going much to snowboard. I mean you always drift to do stuff that you don’t have really :) During winter I’m so much on the road, that I’m super happy when taking a day off of everything and chill. I’m just too motivated for anything else. If I’d be on tour during summer like I am in winter, I probably wouldn’t be that motivated when the season starts again and would have a wallet that could compete with the Greek economy. But I also enjoy the trampoline a lot, as well as the skateboard, mountain biking etc.

SOM: Do you have further plans for vacation now for summertime?

Thomas: I will do a little road trip with my two babies. Goal is wether Barcelona or Côte d’Azur, or maybe Italy and Croatia. We’ll see it on the road. Oh, my two babes aren’t unfortunately what you are thinking, it is my girl and my Abarth race machine :)

SOM: Of course I knew what you were talking about, haha. Okay, we’re coming closer to the end here. Some more useful stuff for our readers please: Your top 10 playlist to go shred?

Thomas: When shredding I don’t listen to music, but on the way there:

  1. Goldfinger – Superman
  2. Ten Years After – If you should love me
  3. Aquarius – Let the Sun Shine in
  4. Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
  5. Muse – House of the Raising Sun
  6. Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg
  7. Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer
  8. Bob Dylan – Hurricane
  9. Method Man – Things they say
  10. RJD2 – Ghostwriter

Niseko Japan Lorenz Richard

urban Niseko fully covered in white gold | picture by: Lorenz Richard

SOM: Now things get serious here:

Mc Donalds vs. Burger King?

Thomas: Shrimps of Mc Dough! – but otherwise none of them

SOM: Mayas vs. Aztecs?

Thomas: Mayas

SOM: RUN DMC vs. Beastie Boys?

Thomas: puuh, rather Beastie Boys

SOM: Three Stripes vs. Swoosh?

Thomas: White Stripes ;)

SOM: Downdays: PS 3 vs. Facebook?

Thomas: X-Box to the fullest!

SOM: Canadian vs. Japanese backcountry?

Thomas: Canadian

SOM: Awesome, thanks man. We’re through it. So what, wasn’t that bad after all, hu?

Thomas: Yeah, I probably won’t get any sleep in these next days. Thanks!

SOM: Some last words, shout outs, or is there anything else you want to talk off your chest?

Thomas: „I got three hairs on my chest, I’m a bear,“ huh huh (German song).

SOM: Haha ..alright then. Thanks for your time and this interview Thomas and enjoy summer!

Thomas: Thanks to you man! Enjoy summer too and we keep in touch!

SOM: PEACE! keep in touch and follow Thomas on his journeys and shred days check out his blog and show him some love on his fanpage!

..check out here Thomas‘ full part of Nitro’s 2010 team movie „TURN ON, TUNE OUT, DROP IN“ courtesy by Lorenz Richard and Christoph Schöch.

Interview done by Mike Wiedemeyer.

| Thomas Feurstein | Thomas Fanpage |


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