Interview with Ivika Jürgenson

Honey, honey, how you thrill me

Rail queen Ivika Jurgenson left us all wanting more after her banger in Jess Kimura’s all-female snowboard edit ‘The Uninvited’, and we’re thrilled that the wait is finally over. This lady just dropped ‘HONEY’ – and it’s just as jaw-dropping as you’d expect it to be.

“We used to have these tiny little snowboard parks in the city with a towrope, a couple of rails and a couple of jumps”

We caught up with Ivika at the Vans Snow Night early November and discovered her soft spot for IPA’s and how it was to grow up snowboarding in Estonia.

Ivika Jurgenson. Photo: Tim Schiphorst.

‘HONEY’ had its premiere a few weeks back in Innsbruck. How was that?
It was really cool. It was the first time I ever saw anything of mine on a big screen. To be honest, it was quite overwhelming. We also finished the video sometime in May, so I hadn’t watched it for almost half a year and had I kind of forgotten everything too.

Where have you been after that?
Now just here [London]. I don’t think we’re going to have more screenings since it’s just a five-minute video. Although the guys in Estonia really want to organise something just because they know me, and they’re so hyped on it.

How’s the snowboard scene in Estonia?
It used to be super cool. We used to have these tiny little snowboard parks in the city with a towrope, a couple of rails and a couple of jumps. Everybody just went there after school. It used to be really nice but now, since it doesn’t really snow anymore, we can’t build those parks anymore. It has definitely died a little, but if there is snow there is a scene and everyone comes together, which is still really fun! But you know, it doesn’t get as cold anymore so they can’t produce any snow either. Everybody should just go vegan and preserve the snow. That’s my mission there [climate change people!].

Ivika Jurgenson. Photo: Tim Schiphorst.

What was it that got you into snowboarding originally?
I basically started snowboarding because of my dad. We used to go skiing in the local resorts a couple of times a year. Then one time he was like ‘why don’t we all just try snowboards’ and then we all started snowboarding, me and my sister and my dad.

“I had no idea how to do it, maybe a 180, somehow, and then the guys told me to hit this fat box, ‘just turn 90degrees and do a boardslide on it. Easy’”

I changed schools after that and at the new school, there were a couple of people who went snowboarding after school. We had this small hill next to the school where they’d built like an insane drop in, extremely high, so you could get a lot of speed for a tiny jump. We had a couple of boxes there too. So, since I already knew how to get down the mountain, I decided to give it a try.

One day I showed up with my snowboard and they were like ‘yeah okey’. I had no idea how to do it [ride park features], maybe a 180, somehow, and then the guys told me to hit this fat box, ‘just turn 90degrees and do a boardslide on it. Easy’. So, there I was with a directional board, never done anything like it before, with no idea how to do a boardslide, so I just jumped and slipped out and hit my head on the box. Then I just got a helmet and kept on going. It helped. It definitely boosted my confidence a little.

Ivika Jurgenson. Photo: Tim Schiphorst.

Do you remember what board you had back then?
It was a Rossignol board. I really liked the graphics on it. I think I was 12 or so when I got it so obviously, you’re like ‘that’s a pretty board and matches with the bindings – cool I’ll have that’. After that, I got my first twin-tip board, I think it was a CAPiTA. After that, I started riding Dinosaurs [Will Die], and I’ve been riding Dinosaurs ever since.

“I think I was 12 or so when I got it so obviously, you’re like ‘that’s a pretty board and matches with the bindings – cool I’ll have that’”

They are getting more known in the UK, a lot of jib kids ride Dinosaurs…
Yeah, they’re more like a core brand so I feel a lot of kids, especially the ones who do indoor riding, ride them. You don’t really see people hitting big kickers on Dinosaurs boards.

They’ve got a good story behind them, rider owned.
Yeah, I love that brand. That was one of the many reasons I wanted to have this board. Also I really, again, love the graphics haha. But honestly, the board is really sick. And I really like the idea behind the brand.

Which board are you on now?
I’m on the Brat board. It’s a flat rocker and really soft. It’s not specially made for girls, just for whoever. They don’t have guys’ boards/girls’ boards so anybody can ride whichever board they feel comfortable with and I felt this was the best one for me because I have really tiny feet (EU36) and need a narrow board. It’s hard for me to buy bindings or boards or anything.

What size board do you ride then?
I’m on a 143. I like it for jibbing. Of course, I’d prefer to have a little stiffer and longer board for riding bigger spots but for jibbing around this one is perfect. It’s so flexy. I love it.

Ivika Jurgenson. Photo: Tim Schiphorst.

What about ‘HONEY’, where was it mainly filmed?
Honey was mostly filmed in Finland. I was filming for it for almost two years. The first year started out with filming for ‘The Uninvited’ but they were filming a lot around Canada and the States and it was quite hard for me to go over there and film with them, so it didn’t really work out in the way we planned initially. I ended up filming with the Postland [Postland Theory] guys and went out with them a bunch. I got some clips I was extremely hyped on but, to be honest, I didn’t get enough clips that I was super excited about. I could have put together something using the clips I was hyped on, but then I felt like no, I don’t want to do that and decided to hold on to the clips.

“I was actually supposed to put out this video part in February, but I broke my elbow on the first of January and had to have surgery”

I still had a part in ‘The Uninvited’. I gave them some clips and went on one trip with them to Quebec. We made a little part out of that, and I’m hyped I could still be a part of it. Jess [Kimura] did a great job putting all of us girls together.

I held on to the other clips and then we made the decision to film for another season. I was actually supposed to put out this video part in February, but I broke my elbow on the first of January and had to have surgery. It was pretty tough, and I couldn’t finish the project. I didn’t want to put out something that I wasn’t hyped on, so we just moved the release date and that’s why it is dropping now. I was still able to film to the end of the season.

I also had a trip to Japan planned in March and my doctor told me ‘it’s a dumb idea, you should not go snowboarding’. But you know, since I had it all already planned, I wanted to go, ‘I’ll be fine’. I had this insane cast on my arm, it was literally like a robot arm, so I just rode those couple of spots I really wanted to do. These are the clips I am most hyped on so I’m not regretting it. But it was mentally really tough. If I wouldn’t have had Tim Schiporst and Kas Lemmens filming with me, and next to me, I would not have been able to do it. Just coming back from an injury and starting snowboarding again… It was definitely a huge help having good people around me at the time.

Ivika Jurgenson. Photo: Tim Schiphorst.

You must be happy with how it turned out in the end though?
Yeah. Just the journey I went through, with the injury and all, and now seeing it all put together… I’m really hyped about it. I know that with my emotions behind it, it has a different meaning for me than for others who watch it. But all in all, I am extremely hyped on it.

“I’m planning on filming another video project”

Have you got set plans for the rest of the season or are you just going to chill and see what happens?
I’m planning on filming another video project. It’s not quite set yet, so I don’t really want say too much before I know what I am going to do. But I really want to focus on filming and keep on doing that, I feel like this in my calling, this is what I should do. I love it.

So what Vans boots are you currently riding?
I’m riding the Vans Ferra boots. They are my favourite ones. I really love the ankle support they have, which is really important for me. The Hi-Standards are really nice too, they are like perfect for buttering and so, but I really like the Ferra boots because of their responsiveness. But you need some laps to break them in.

Where are you heading after this?
I want to do some resort riding. I live in Holland, so I do a lot of indoor riding, as you do here in the UK as well. So right now, I’m riding indoors and then I want to ride somewhere in the alps as well. Do a little warm-up for the season and once the snow falls, I want to go filming. It’s hard to make a set plan because you never know where it will snow. And then by the end of the season – I love spring snowboarding! I’ve been thinking about going to Mammoth. I was there a couple of years ago for spring riding and it was the best snowboarding I’ve ever done in a park so I want to see if I can make it out there for some spring riding again. And this year, if I go to Japan, I really want to ride powder because we didn’t get any snow last year when we were out there [and you had a broken elbow?].

Fingers crossed for powder!

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