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The Spirit of Flatness with Janne Lipsanen and Axel Thelen

An insight film to snowboarding in Finland

We know it’s been quite a while since The Spirit of Flatness with Janne Lipsanen and Axel Thelen was released but none the less we never really got around to giving it the amount of attention it deserved – so better late than never ey? This snowboard film takes us above and beyond the corners of Finland, giving us a glimpse of what it means to be a snowboarder from so high up north and whether it’s intentional or not, we also find this film to be a great example of sustainable riding (take the car and discover your home country instead of flying over to the alps or wherever you get your big mountain fix).

“What happens next may just be one of the most epic scenes we’ve ever come across in a snowboarding film”

The boys start their journey in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Anyone who has ever wondered why people are so stoked on riding street this far up north will be given their answer while watching this film. It’s not every day you get to ride on a UNESCO World Heritage Fortress (Suomenlinna) without people giving the good old police a ring. In true Finnish spirit, people simply mind their own business while the guys are setting up their spots. The rule is: as long as you clean up after yourself, take down the kickers you’ve built and clear the snow from the stairs, you’re free to ride whatever you please.

Janne Lipsanen jumping over the adandoned shipwreck. Photo: Risto Järvelin.

From Helsinki the boys travel up north, where the days grow short and the sun simply becomes a myth during the dark winter months. The next spot is a frozen lake, and we wouldn’t expect any less of the riders from the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’. What happens next may just be one of the most epic scenes we’ve ever come across in a snowboarding film with Janne Lipsanen and Axel Thelen stomping a various set of tricks over an abandoned shipwreck found in the middle of a frozen lake.

“The view is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, pure gold for the soul”

Finally, after hours of driving, the crew makes it all the way to Kilpisjärvi (try pronouncing that), where they travel through Norway in order to get to the highest peak of Finland (which is no more than 1,324m and a pleasant 50km drive from the nearest road), Halti. Once they hit the peak, the view is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, pure gold for the soul, and not a single person in sight – snowboarding has never looked so peaceful.

Janne Lipsanen. Photo: Pawel Jaworski.

The gang are on a mission to make their way to the Finnish mountains (or hills more like), and we discover that driving all the way from Helsinki to Lapland takes more than a few hours, but during the drive you can find some of the most epic spots, whether it’s in the cities or outside them. Finland hasn’t got any massive mountains, but the guys still managed to have a sweet trip through the country, and we’re keen to see if this inspires others to try similar things.

Directed by Bornonboard/Pawel Jaworski.

Filmed by Michal Schwiercz.

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