Name: Niklas Hollsten   Birthplace: Kimitoön Finland    First Mountain: Meri-Teijo Years riding: 28 Background: Former Scandinavian Freeride Champion and has a freestyle and boardercross background. Currently works as a guide in Finland and Scandinavia.

Welcome to the Stranda family! Let’s start from the beginning, where did you grow up and how did you get into snowboarding?
Thanks! I grew up on an island in the Finnish Archipelago. 25km from home we had and have a ski resort with 80 vertical meters. But it had a good park and halfpipe. Actually it had the 2nd pipe machine in Finland.  
I built my first snowboard by myself when I was 9 years of plywood, where i put ski bindings on. When I was 10 I got my first real board as a premie for selling “jultidningar” = Xmas magazines. And from there on I was 100% hooked. 

Whats your home mountain?
My home mountain is still Meri-Teijo ski. Also Ankogel in Austria feels like my 2nd home mountain after been spending 9 winter’s there.

Favourite place to ride?
Where is nice variated mountains with good and stabil snow. I really like northern Norway, Hohe Tauern in Austria and Sár mountains in Balkans. 

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
Reliable, driven time optimist 

What´s your favorite trick to watch?
Method, but it has to be a real proper tweaked method. That actually surprisely few persons can do

What is your favorite book?
No real favourites,  maybe The Lyngen alps book. Right now I’m reading Pentti Linkola ihminen ja legenda (human and a legend) That book everybody should read.

Best splitboarding/snowboarding Hack (advice) you have?
Safety first, ride to have another good day!

Who have been some of your biggest influences as snowboarder?
So many of the former Finnish pro riders from 90’s to beginning of 2000. Like Sebu Kuhlberg, Aleksi Litovaaara Markus Hurme, Ingemar Backman etc Also Jarkko Henttonen and Johan Olofson. From these two latest guys I got that speed and fluidity is the key to success;)

What boards have you gravitated to in the Stranda line up and why?
For overall use, a board that can handle everything I use Descender split.
For serious big mountain speed riding and tricky conditions or to carve in the slopes I ride Shorty
For deep pow pow or tight trees the Tree surfers is the weapon of choice 

What does the future hold for you? Any goals, trips or projects for this season?
To stay healthy and hopefully be able to ride many years more. And follow my little girl proceed on snowboard. Otherwise plan for upcoming winter is to go and work as splitboard guide in Lofoten February to April. 

Boards of choice: Shorty
Stance: Depending on board and mood

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