Growing up on the harsh West coast of Norway, he honed his skills on the slopes of Voss where he developed his “unflappable style”. Like most ‘Wegians, his consistency and technical ability came from the fear of shattering bones on icy landings on bailed tricks, so he learnt quick and he learnt fast under tutelage at one of Norway’s pioneering snowboard schools.
Jan Petter Solberg made his first assault on our audio and visual senses in the 2001 Absinthe Films release ‘Transcendence’ with a lofty BS180 that a magician would struggle to pull out of his hat. He has a rail game to match and his segment in ‘Transcendence’ has been described as influential for backcountry freestyle as Johan Olofsson’s in TB5.
For his breakout season he was rewarded with 8 covers on various snowboard magazines across the world in one season, as well as being voted Rookie of the Year by TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine. An impressive achievement for a movie segment filmed in two days.
He followed up this defining film with an appearance in the classic ‘Afterbang’ from Robot Food, a hook-up onto the Burton Global Team and leading the second invasion from Norway on the snowboarding world after Terje Håkonsen.
His meteoric rise continued with partners in crime Gigi Rüf, DCP and Romain de Marchi until suddenly in 2008, they were all dropped from the Burton Un-Inc program and were left out in the cold in one of the most scandalous moves in snowboarding.
JP, recovering from a shoulder injury, now had to prove that he was still in his prime and find a new sponsor. Together with the ousted Un-Inc riders, they created the ultimate payback to Burton and set up their own snowboard company YES and sculpted the perfect press release to accompany the new brand, clearly giving the two fingers to Jake Burton and his cronies.
4 years down the line and JP continues to be an industry heavyweight, showing that although he’s been around for a decade, he’ll be saying YES to a few more seasons yet.