The Grum Ripper from Innsbruck
Steve Grumser is one of the most visible riders on the Austrian snowboarding scene. He comes from Innsbruck and belongs to the local legendary Sane! crew, which has produced the notable RUMors Tapes last year. You will no doubt want to see them after this reading this interview. He is also a Horsefeathers team rider and has been on the team for the past few seasons. So we have decided to ask him a few questions...
So, when and how did you start snowboarding?
I started snowboarding in 1999 when my uncle gave me a snowboard for Christmas. The very first day I jumped on it and shredded our little hill near our house over and over. And of course there were neither lifts nor any prepared slopes. But very soon after that, Michi Schatz and I started to build our first kickers and were sliding across table tops, crates and anything else really. At that time I also actively played ice hockey. I was really into it, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep up with both hobbies as I didn’t have that much time, with all the school stuff. When I turned 16, I quit hockey and stuck with snowboarding only. You know, it was all about hanging out with my shred buddies, enjoying the party life and all that comes with it….
You mentioned Michi Schatz, your shred buddy from Sane! crew and your Horsefeathers co-rider. How long have you been friends?
Since ever! We met at kindergarten and have been buddies since. When I played hockey, he was doing speed skating. So we saw each other almost every day at the stadium. We’ve been friends for 22 years and now we even share a house!
Who are the other riders in the Sane crew? What’s the idea behind the project? How and when did it all start?
Ok, that gets a bit more complicated because we’re one big family and we’re always asking more and more people to join in. Sane! are a fluid bunch and everyone who spends some time with us simply becomes a part of the project. We want to show people out there that snowboarding is all about having a great time and at the same time giving riders a feeling of belonging to a group, a feeling of some kind of group identity and team spirit. Every rider is part of this, no matter where they are from, what language they speak, or what they look like. It’s all about sharing, and this only makes sense to those who are into snowboarding. This is how we started the Sane! crew. We were a bunch of shred buddies from Austria and Germany that loved snowboarding, we wanted to ride together, to learn tricks from each other and spend every spare minute on powder. You’ll probably get what I mean by watching our new video we’re currently working on. There’ll be lots of names in it!
Sounds good, what’s the name of it?
Haha you got me there! We don´t really have a name for it yet. But that just shows you that we’re still in the middle of the creative process. :)
No problem. Do you have time for other activities apart from snowboarding? And what is your normal day like?
I don’t have as much time as I’d like, but enough to use up all my energy. Skateboarding is my other passion. So I spend a lot of time in skate-parks or doing bowl and street skating. I also started playing the guitar in the summer and I am super stoked on it. But apart from that I’m just an average guy, hanging out with buddies, enjoying nature and partying a bit.
Does snowboarding earn you enough money to live on, or do you have a job as well?
At the moment I work as a salesman in a designer furniture store. But I’m planning to become a snowboarding coach in some snowboard school here in the Alps, and to snowboard dawn ‘til dusk.
Lots of people think that every Austrian must be a snowboarder, free-skier or whatever, because let’s be honest, you have great mountains and winter conditions. Do you think that’s true? And how difficult is it in your opinion to break through on the Austrian snowboard scene?
Well, it’s not completely true but then again, it’s not untrue either. Snowboarding’s really popular in Austria and yep, lots of snowboarders are total crackerjacks. You get to see them pulling nines and jibbing like there’s no tomorrow. But none of them are sponsored. In my opinion, it’s super hard to make it ‘cause those young stars who’d deserve to be pros don’t get a chance, the snowboarding firms just can’t afford it. There’s no budget available. The economic crisis is not over yet.
When we’re talking about sponsorship, you are one of the riders sponsored by Horsefeathers. Do you remember when you heard about Horsefeathers for the first time? What does it mean to you to ride for a smaller brand (in comparison to global corporations).
It’s so long ago. I think I’d heard of Horsefeathers for the first time when my friends Dominik Brunner and Johannes Münsch got geared up in some of the Horsefeathers stuff. I loved it. So I‘m really chuffed to be part of Horsefeathers team. You know, being part of it all. I know almost all the Horsefeathers guys and it never feels like obligation or work. It’s like spending time with buddies and I also get a chance to be involved in this rider-to-rider product creation process. Horsefeathers and Sane! are really very similar, like one big happy family.
You had a chance to test the products from the Winter 2014/15 collection. What are your favorites?
I think that Horsefeathers has a really good technical outerwear line, which is totally chic. I know I can’t have all the stuff, but if I was to choose, I’d go for the parka styles – Port and Cyclone. I also love Stadium, the street style jacket and all of the every-day jacket variations (Frank, Devon, Collision).
And the last question. What’re your plans for the upcoming Winter 2014/15 season?
Not 100% sure yet, but I definitely want to return to the States and ride in some sweet parks. But I also want to spend some time riding our Tyrolean powder and do some street-spots riding. Also, I need to get involved in our project i.e. designing our Sane! snowboards which we make ourselves. And there’s more video shooting of our trips to be done. I’d love to find some new riding destinations and cool spots for filming. And apart from traveling, I want to take part in a few contests.
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