Time waits for no man, as a fella once said. And time, it seems, has finally caught up with the legendary Finnish snowboarder Jussi Oksanen – who just announced his retirement.
A goofy-foot on a skateboard, Jussi famously learned to snowboard regular since that was just how his first bindings were set up.
Jussi has been a phenomenally consistent pro for over 15 years. While contemporaries have fallen by the wayside or been overtaken by the next generation, Jussi has continued to churn out banger parts like a metronome – witness his latest Burton web edit that dropped just last week.
A goofy-foot on a skateboard, Jussi famously learned to snowboard regular since that was just how his first bindings were set up. The result was that he took switch riding to a new level. By the turn of the millennium he had become one of the biggest names in snowboarding. You need to be pretty special to get a pro model with Burton – especially if you have a name most Americans can’t pronounce – but Jussi followed fellow Scandis Terje and Johan Olofsson to that honour in 2001.
After several stellar seasons with Standard Films he worked with Travis Parker and David Benedek on their new RobotFood project, where his buttered take-offs in Afterbang started a mini-trend of their own. Injury then set him back for a season or so, before he returned to prominence in the Mack Dawg and Burton films. By now he was hitting mainly natural jumps in the backcountry, a long way from his roots in the icy parks of Finland. That uncanny ability to stomp tricks, however, remained.
You need to be pretty special to get a pro model with Burton – especially if you have a name most Americans can’t pronounce
Somewhere along his meteoric rise Jussi married an English girl called Zoe (who – as we discovered in a WL interview – introduced him to the joys of marmite on toast!) and moved out to California. By the last few seasons he had the whole filming process down to a fine art, making efficient bursts into the mountains between family life and surfing.
In hindsight we could probably have guessed that it wouldn’t be long before he hung up his snow boots, but since his backcountry freestyle skills were still up there with the best it looked like Jussi’s career twilight just could not be dimmed. Perhaps he was just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up before retiring on top? As Travis Parker, himself no slouch in the progressive riding department, put it:
Jussi man… he completely blew our minds because he was so far ahead of us in terms of talent. He was real technical with his jumping; he could do anything switch, and everything came so easy to him that it made us try extra hard. We wanted to be as good as him!
So without further ado, let us present various highlights from Jussi Oksanen’s video career, as made available by the gods of Youtube.