Inka Salmirinne - Freestyle Skier/Longboarder (FIN)


Your Age: 23 

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Finland

Weapon(s) of choice: Custom made wooden skis by a small Finnish manufacturer called Puuppolan Suksi or PuSu as we call it.

What’s an average day for you like? First things first, morning coffee and delicious and healthy breakfast at home. Then I have morning training with my coach. After that studying and working depending if I have lectures at the University, if not you'll probably find me shredding at my home resort. Every day includes good music, workout and playing guitar and laughing with my best friends and playing with her dog.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? The most difficult part for a beginner in freeride skiing is finding friends to shred with and being relaxed. The easiest thing is having fun and enjoying!

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best thing: I think it's a bit easier to get sponsors since we are not that many freerider girls in Finland and yeah, people think you're cool, haha! Also you get the shred with guys which is for me a big thing since they really push me forward with my skiing. The worst thing: In Finland there's not so many girls doing freeride skiing so there's not that many people in the competitions.

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I would like to see more camps and clinics for girls only so that we would get more talented and passionate girls into the sport overall and to the competitions as well.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? My style is sporty but also a bit bohemian, depending on the day I guess! I like to feel comfortable in any outfit I wear so I'm not a fan of high heels or skirts. One of my friends calls me hippy-g, hehe. That's reflects my style pretty well!

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? My all time favorite brands are definitely Roxy, Billabong, Hurley, O'Neill, Nike, Burton, Armada, Rip Curl, SheShredsCo, Ehotodesign, Vans and Adidas. Haha oh my god so many!

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? I would turn this around. When I feel good I know I look good ;)

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Like any other extreme sports freeriding can be quite dangerous I think, there's no denying on that. Avalanches are a real deal and you can fall down in high speeds and drops and crash hard on rocks.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. I prefer not to talk about them, I get goosebumps every time I think about them.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? The great people, outdoors and adrenaline I think. And of course it's a looooot of fun!

What is your favorite trick? I don't really have any tricks so far. Just some fun jibbing on small jumps and drops at the moment!

Do you own any other toys? Well I have quite a lot of skis actually. I used to race in alpine skiing before so I still have my pair of slalom and giant slalom skis in the garage. Of course not to forget my skateboard and longboard and my surfboard. What else, oh yeah, ice skates!

What gets you pumped up for the day? Fresh powder, sunshine, coffee and great music!

What are three things you could not live without? My skis, my camera and my guitar.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? I hope one day I'll compete on Freeride World Tour, that's my big dream, but developing my skills, breaking my own boundaries and winning myself is the most important thing.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My parents of course even if my mom does think I'm crazy 'cause I'm doing this, hehe. And then my sponsors Puuppolan Suksi and Ehotodesign as well as my mentors, Finnish freeride gurus, Ape Majava and Mika Fält.

Who’s your favorite rider? I don't really have any specific favorite rider, I like to follow a lot of great talents out there and get inspired by them.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? A lot! I'm studying in University of Lapland, majoring in media science and I'm a freelance creative artist. I do photography, graphic design, web design, social media and I'm a documentary filmmaker. And nowadays I also do sports media and marketing for couple of sport teams and clubs. I love playing music. I play guitar and piano and I sign and write songs and paint surfboards. And of course all the training I do outside of the hills.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? Most of the I workout with my coach, in the gym or track fields or so. I also like yoga and dancing. I golf in the summer and of course surf when I'm at my second home in Indonesia.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? My goal is to participate the Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships in Sweden. It takes it's place in May and it is a really big competition. All the best riders from Scandinavia will be there so the level is really high.

What do you do to prep for a competition? On the day of the competition? Good breakfast, warm up and maybe some yoga, shredding with my friends, listening to music to feel the stoke and just enjoy the day!

What competitions and other awards have you won? In freeride skiing I have one silver and one bronze from the biggest annual freeride competition in Finland called Free'kend. And I also have one gold from a banked slalom competition from Free'kend. Then I have regional wins during my alpine skiing career when I was younger as well as small club trophies in golf.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? Backcountry for sure but some times it's fun to go goof around to the park as well even tho I can't do any tricks there really.

Favorite conditions? Fresh snow and -5 celcius, and sunshine of course!

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? Japan for sure, I've seen so many crazy edits and photos from there and heard so many stories from my friends.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? I don't really listen any music while I'm riding, I like to listen to the nature around me and the snow under my skis. This way I get better touch to the snow and I also here what's going on around me.

What turned you on to your sport? I've been skiing since 4 years old but I got interested in freeride skiing when I was in high school and made friends with some local freestyle skier guys. I wanted to follow them but I'm not crazy enough to ski slope style or pipe so I decided to buy backcountry equipment and I was sold.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? Learning new stuff all the time and shooting, always cool! And for sure winning is always nice because I'm so competitive hehe. Also being part of the Protect Our Winters Finland organisation as a team rider is a big thing for me.

What other extreme/action sports are you into? I love surfing and also longboarding and a little bit skateboarding as well.

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I would probably do more music. But this is actually a difficult question because my work also is pretty much all about extreme sports since I'm a sports photographer. But yeah, music I guess.

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? My PuSu skis of course! But my surfboard is 5'11 Warner and my longboard is from Globe, I love them as well.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Realizing your limits I quess. Although it's difficult to try to learn more at the same time. Also in my sport you need to know about the avalanche risks.

How would you describe your riding style? Relaxed and creative, fun and powerful at the same time. If it's possible!

What would you say is your signature trick? I wish one day I'll have one!

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? Coffee, yeah. Or then ginger tea.

What do you want to be when you "grow up"? A happy person who is able to do what she loves and fulfill her dreams and live with passion.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / My Website / Vimeo