My roommate, friend and riding buddy Irian van Helfteren is definitely worth an Interview. He was the first dutch man to compete in the Freeride World Tour, is a talented photographer and mountain guide – who knows the ins and outs of the Arlberg region. He has been living in Ausrtia for over 10 years. He divides his time up between guiding, riding 4* qualifier comps and just shredding with friends.
I am happy to have Irian here for a Snowbrains Interview.
Irian van Helfteren (IvH) Interview:
Snowbrains: So how did you get into snowboarding being from the rather flat Netherlands?
IvH: On the way to school I often past by a travel agent. By the age of 14 I noticed in the window a photo of a snowboarder making a big spray. I thought ‘I want to do that too’. So I found the cheapest possible snowboard holiday and motivated my two best friends to join.
Snowbrains: When did you start competing professionally and what is your motivation?
IvH: I never believed I would be good enough to compete against locals from the mountains. Besides that, I had no money and no time. I worked my first season 2003 as ski teacher in Austria. After that I finished all the courses and became a mountain guide. Later on I got invited to ride a competition in Brand. I was surprised when I found out that I won. From that moment it went really fast. I never had the goal to ride in the Freeride World Tour. But friends, good atmosphere and sponsors motivated me to keep on competing.
Snowbrains: You guide quit a lot in the winter, what are your qualifications and what clientele do you cater to?
IvH: After I studied sports in Holland I did the Staatlicher Snowboardlehrer and Führer in Austria (the highest level snowboard teacher and winter mountain guide). My clients come from everywhere and I guide them all over the Alps, often in the Arlberg region. My guests are beginners to very experienced freeriders. I find it’s great to share my passion. There is so much to discover, the awesome beauty of winter landscapes and your own possibilities and limits. Of course safety comes first, but I think there is nothing more fun than cruising down in powder snow.
Snowbrains: You are also a photographer – how did you get into that?
IvH: My dad is a photographer and it always fascinated me. I like to observe things intensively, sometimes photography helps me.
Snowbrains: What is a perfect snowboard day for you?
IvH: For me there is not one recipe for the perfect day. But often a perfect snowboard day is a day with one of these aspects: Friends, fresh powder, sun, improving my or others people skills, discovering the beauty of nature or good film/photo footage. The variety makes it so addictive for me.
Snowbrains: How has your season been so far?
IvH: Good: no injuries, good powder days, a few competitions, a bit of exploring new areas, nice guests, good footage to publish next autumn and good riding at home with friends.
Snowbrains: Thanks for your time and good luck for the rest of the season! By the way its dumping hard right now!
Sponsors: Nitro, Mountain Hard Wear, Mons Royale, 10Peak and Teeschnabel.at
Check out Irian’s Blog for more info irianvanhelfteren.com