Recently, 5ones got the chance to hang out with U.S. Open Slopestyle, Quarterpipe winner and Most Valuable Female Rider, Kjersti Østgaard Buaas.
Kjersti’s list of achievements are longer than we have space for here online, but she’s also an Olympic bronze medalist and very well respected female rider. She originally hails from Norway will be looking to kill it at the Roxy Chicken Jam, hoping to claim the title of World Champ on the final stop of the Women’s Ticket to Ride series. Take a gander to read what makes one of the top female riders tick including some travel tips and ways to amp up your riding.
(Writer’s note: I also called it that Kjersti would absolutely destroy the Open: two firsts, a fourth and an MVP award, go me.)
Leading off, what’s the U.S. Open mean to you?
The US Open is a six star TTR event with a lot of good riders, tons of media and a big crowd, and for me to compete in such an event is fun, challenging and progressive!
How stoked were you to win the Volvo (XC60)? It must be such an honor to be named most valuable rider. Are you going to go do some donuts with it?
Being rewarded for my overall riding performance feels amazing because it has been my main focus the last few years. I was already happy with my results and what I had achieved and winning the Volvo was icing on the cake!
The conditions for the Slopestyle were insane. What were you thinking when the snow started to fall and the guys were having some serious trouble with that third kicker?
Well, I was not too affected by that because I had my first run before the heavy snowfall came in and made the course slow. I felt bad for the guys that had to ride in those conditions though, because you can’t really do anything about it, but you still have to try! It cleared up for our next runs and with some magic wax from my “Swixman”, Kenny I made it through the course without any problems!
You’re probably also thinking about the 2010 Olympics. What was it like to get the bronze in 2006?
I am trying not to put to much thoughts and time into focusing on just the Olympics, because when it all comes down it’s just another contest. If I get to go, I am of course going to be stoked and try my best, but for now I am just going to enjoy the ride!
The 2006 Olympics in Italy was an amazing experience. I learned a lot and got some of the best memories of my life!
I remember this photo of you from Transworld Snowboarding (I think). It’s when you rode for Burton, and you were in this cowsuit, shredding in Europe. Can you tell me a little bit about the photos? And do you still have the suit?
Ha ha, yeah that was a suit I had to wear for a commercial I did for a dairy company in Norway, and somehow that photo ended up in Transworld! I don’t have the suit anymore, so if anyone knows how to get a hold of one please let me know!
Coming up, you must have had a role model. Or now, there must be somebody that you really admire. Is there anybody snowboarding today or in the past who you look up to?
I grew up when Stine Brun Kjeldaas, Daniel Franck and Terje Haakonsen were still riding, and I have to admit that I was pretty obsessed with them! I got to meet them at some national contests and I remember being the kid that would do anything to get to talk to them! They are still an inspiration to me! I admire people who do things their own ways, are creative and ride with a big smile on their face. That motivates me and makes me smile!
Ok let’s talk gear now. What’s your current set-up, waist width and angles on your board?
I ride for Roxy outerwear and goggles, and I have my own signature line! My board set up is the Rossignol Diva Magnetraction 148, and Rossignol HC200 bindings. My stance is 21.5 inches, and my angles are +18 front and -6 back!
So Rocker/Reverse Camber technology is the big deal now in snowboarding. As a long time competitor and rider, what’s your thoughts?
I am riding a Rossignol board with Magnetracton that I really like. I haven’t really tried the Rocker yet, but it seems like a pretty cool invention!
Roxy is well known for its surf products. As a perk, do you get to do a lot of surfing and traveling with other Roxy athletes like Torah Bright, Sarah Burke or Sophia Mulanovich?
The Roxy team is such an amazing team of girls, and we get to go on photo shoots with snowboarders, skiers and surfers! It’s such a privilege to get to travel with these girls. We learn a lot from each other, and sometimes we switch gear and the snowboarders get to go skiing and the other way around! I get to travel a lot with Torah when we are competing or doing Roxy PR tours, and she an awesome person to hang out and ride with! I haven’t been on to many surf trips yet, but I would love to come and watch some of the contests in the summer!
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where’d you be and who would you be with?
Well, I like to live in the moment so that would be exactly were I am right now: In a car, driving to Mammoth for the Roxy Chicken Jam with two of my best friends: Lisa Wiik and Chanelle Sladics! I am also looking forward to go home for Easter and hanging out with my family and my boyfriend!
You must have a lot of gear to schlep around. Any travel tips in light of the crazy airline lockdown with fees and board bag weights?
I always pack way to much when I got on trips and the best way to get around paying for it is to either smile when you check in or put your backpack under your board bag when it’s on the scale. It takes off at least 20 pounds, haha!
So picture this. It’s right before the big contest. Any pre-competition rituals? Or special requests?
Yeah, I definitely have my “good luck” rituals before a contest, but I try to keep it simple and not let it be a big part of my riding! I like to listen to dance before I ride, it makes feel good!
I’m sure everyone wonders this: how do you psych yourself up to keep trying new tricks after taking a big slam like the one Elena Hight took (Good vibes to her)?
I just try to be reasonable and do things that I know that I am capable of, like build everything up from the basics so that I actually know what I am doing! It also helps to listen to music before a contest, that psyches me up big time! And by the way, Elena is sick!!!
How has the recent economic downturn affected you? Contest changes, sponsorships being canceled for sick new riders, things that you watch out or are worried about?
I think everyone is affected by the economic situation that is going on right now, but my sponsors have been nothing but great to me. They always make sure that they value me as a rider. That makes me feel not to worried!
Explain this sentence to me from your Roxy bio: “Never give your phone number to a monkey!” There must be a story there…
Haha, let’s just say that I would never do that again!
OK. It’s word association time. Tell us the first thing that comes to mind (We asked Torah almost the same questions)
Australia – Torah Bright and kangaroos!
Chicken – Food
Powder – Snow
Vermont – Matterhorn Inn
Pipe – Fun
Skateboard – Summer
Facebook – Addictive
Torah – Monkey
Buaas – Family