Terje Haakonsen

Terje Haakonsen

The man, the myth, the legend. Many words have been written about Mr Håkonsen/Haakonsen (depending on how well you know your keyboard) since he first dropped into the scene on a cold morning into the Stratton Mountain Halfpipe for Burton US Open in 1990.

He quickly established himself as THE recipe of the most versatile snowboarder. He started with a base of three wins in the now defunct ISF World Championships in 1993, 1995 and 1997 before crushing up the European Champs and adding it to his cauldron of talent in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997. He then added in some exotic US Open wins in 1992, 1993 and 1995 before smattering some Mt. Baker Banked Slalom in 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2012.

It’s difficult to comprehend just how much of an influence that Terje has had on snowboarding throughout his career. From the plethora of wins listed above, he holds the record for the highest air which he boosted back in ’07 during one of the qualifying rounds at the Arctic Challenge in Olso…which he also set up in 1999 with Daniel Franck which rapidly became the most prestigious competition on the planet.

Terje has never shied away from doing what’s right for the sport. He famously boycotted the 1998 Nagano Olympics in protest of the IOC awarding the FIS the rights to run the Olympic qualifiers despite being a favourite to take the top spot. He was also an integral founder of the Ticket To Ride (The World Snowboard Tour) which first came to fruition in 2002 as a response to the FIS fiasco and continues to be an advocate of the ‘for by snowboarders for snowboarders’ competitions.

Terje is what we would call ‘A National fucking Treasure’ in his native Norway. He continued his fight against ‘the man’ when he built a halfpipe in the backgarden of his house in an affluent Oslo suburb. The neighbours complained about the noise and eventually he had to take it down….which he then replaced with a 20ft statue of himself as a Viking.

He’s also an avid Chelsea F.C supporter, which this author found out to his dismay when meeting him for the first time (Not due to supporting a rival football team, but because he knows bugger all about football).

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