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 in Vermont at the 1990 Burton US Open.
As well as three wins in the now defunct ISF World Championships in 1993, 1995 and 1997, he took three golds at the US Open and is one of the most successful riders to have competed in the Legendary Banked Slalom at Mt. Baker.
Perhaps his most famous association with a snowboard competition is one which he wasn’t even at. In protest at the International Olympic Committee’s decision to give control of snowboarding to skier-run FIS rather than the ISF, he boycotted the ’98 games at which he would have been the heavy favourite. He continues to call for more riders to do the same, and get control back in the hands of those most passionate about the sport. He’s not just shouting from the sidelines, though, and helped to set up the TTR (now the World Snowboard Tour) and The Arctic Challenge to show how events should be run.