Torkel Karoliussen, Tromsö - Stranda Snowboards


Birthplace: Tromsø, Norway First Mountain: Mountain: Tromsø Years riding:
 10 years

Welcome to the Stranda family! Let’s start from the beginning, where did you grow up and how did you get into snowboarding?
I grew up in Tromsø, Norway, way up north of the arctic circle. It can snow a shit load up there and winter is long, so we kids were basically skiing from when we could walk. Went ski touring with the family every weekend and skinning up peaks to shred down on skinny sticks with my dad. Lived life as a professional freeride skier for over ten years, chasing fresh snow around the world, filming ski movies and winning the Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships. Then one day I figured out life is better sideways.
I had been riding with snowboarders a lot, evying the surfy pow turns and style. I first got some gear from my home mountain friend Daniel Mikkelsen, who was on the Burton team at that time, and I got to snowboard a little bit in between skiing obligations. After being based in Stockholm for a while, meeting with Stranda founder Mats Drougge to snowboard Hammarbybacken inbetween flights to ski the Alps or across the pond, I moved to Hemsedal where one day my last contract as a sponsored skier ended. I got a hold of a snowboard and never looked back.

What’s your home mountain?
Hemsedal, Norway.

Favourite place to ride?
Wherever the snow is deep and fresh.

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
Stoked to get out there!

What´s your favorite trick to watch?
Backside 180.

What is your favorite book?
Barbarian Days, Wiliam Finnegan

Do you listen to podcasts, if so what´ your favorite podcast?
The Joe Rogan Experience, when he has some of the really smart people in there; scientists, doctors, Musk, Snowden and so on. Havent really gotten into episodes with comedians, fighters, bow hunters etc.

Best splitboarding/snowboarding Hack (advice) you have?
Skinning up when it´s really, really cold; put the poles away on the backpack, when the terrain is mellow, to get more blood out to the hands.

Who have been some of your biggest influences as snowboarder?
Probably just all my snowboarding friends whom I rode around with for years, envying them always looking like getting a little bit more surfy than I was able to on my telemark skis. Nowadays I think maybe surfing is the biggest inspiration for my snowboarding.

What boards have you gravitated to in the Stranda line up and why?
The Tree Surfer is what first got me totally hooked. The feeling of surfing on snow is so present on this board, borth on piste, and in pow. 162 cm turning so easily in between tight trees, staying afloat and always keeping what I’ve nichnamed “the survival nose” above the surface no matter what kind of snow conditions makes for so much fun. I remember laughing all the way on my runs when I first got to test it on demo day. Had to get it in both solid and the split. It is much fun on pow days touring in the trees or in mellow terrain when many other boards would feel kind of boring.

I got the 161 Descender split just in time for a trip back to my old home stumping grounds up north. A tool to handle some more serious terrain compared to the Treesurfer, but definitely also a board to have loads of fun on. The stability and grip gave me an immediate feeling of confidence, yet it’s still floaty, playful and very easy to manouver in all kinds of snow. Can’t wait to get lots of more riding in on the solid 162W too!

What does the future hold for you? Any goals, trips or projects for this season?
Last season was fully dedicated to riding around my home valley, Hemsedal, except for the one traditional Easter trip up north to my old hood. Luckily, Covid-restrictions coincided with great snow conditions in Hemsedal that winter, so staying home was probably something I would have done anyway.  Staying within a radius of only a few kilometers from my home, I got to tick off so many back country lines that have been on my list for years. Being lucky enough to live in the mountains and ride every day, my main goal is basically just to continue that. Still hoping to go on a few trips though, a trip to to the Alps maybe, and to the west coast of Norway. Going up to Stranda would be awesome. I have not been there for years, but it is such a great spot both when it comes to the lift based and the back country terrain. 

Boards of choice:

162 Tree Surfer
162 Tree Surfer Split
161 Descender Split
162 Descender Wide

Stance: Regular.

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