Caught up with JONI MALMIMay 30th, 2011 by admin received Comments Off Tweet
Joni Malmi sure needs no introduction. A super star pro snowboarder, one of the vaunted Forum’s eight original members, upping the ante in each one of his video parts and definitively bringing the sport to a new level of progression. Now, after more than a decade of shred-destruction, he’s coming up again with new cards to play – he founded Makia, an Helsinki-based clothes company which is gathering contributions from a lot of pro riders and artists. We have the pleasure to have a talk with Joni speaking about snowboarding, business and even more. Check out!
[Serena / noseblunt 2010/ Pic: pasisalminen.com]
1.Hi Joni! Welcome to Candiesmagazine.com! How’s going in cold Helsinki at the moment
Actually Pretty nice outside. Sun is shining 20+ C
2.You have been one of the most influential urban riders of modern era of snowboarding and we can say it’s thank to your effort if now Helsinki’s street rails are almost a staple in any video. Once I heard you saying “Helsinki is for snowboarding what Barcelona is for skateboarding”. How’s actually the scene in the city?
The scene is good I guess. Little out of the loop at the moment. It took me a couple of years to convince everyone that we have a rail gold mine here. I wouldn’t want to focus on it too much though. In the end snowboards are meant for coming down the mountains, rails are just a cool extra feature.
[Makia Office Opening Party / Helsinki May 2011 / Pic. S.Heino]
3.There are more and more riders coming out from old Europe (check out latest’s Malmi snow flick’s “Eurogap”). Is it going to be the end of the USA egemony?
No. It’s nice to see younger kids stepping up to the plate though. Would be even nicer to see more kids that do their own thing, instead of the contest merry-go-round.
4.You were still cruising the shred stratosphere when you decided to quit pro snowboarding. How went that? Any reason in particular or you just got bored?
I didn’t get an offer from my old sponsor or anyone else in the matter, so instead of kicking a dead horse I decided to have fun and film the last season for myself and keep progressing myself in other areas of life.
<-[Helsinki 2010 /wall 50-50 / Pic: pasisalminen.com]
5.Have you still any contact with your sponsors?
Not, really. I mean most of the companies have such a fast change through in their staff anyways that I probably wouldn’t be dealing with the same people anyways. All the best for everyone I’ve dealt in the past with though. Good times.
6.Then You launched this project with Makia (www.makiaclothing.com). Can you tell us something about it?
Yeah we printed our first T-shirts around 10 years ago. I started it with my good friend Jesse Hyväri, our lead designer. From there on, we now have around 10 people running around in the office and warehouse. We sell in 300 stores in 25 countries and keep growing slowly but surely. We make streetwear with a Scandinavian twist, less is more.
7.I’m glad that an icon like Scotty Wittlake appears in the project. Are there other pro riders who help you or contribute with the project?
Yeah we got quite an incredible cast for our new catalogue. We wanted to feature some of the most influential people for our generation of kids. You’ll have to wait and see.
Method / Talma Pipe feb 2011 / Pic. Samuli Ronkanen ->
8.We have hundreds of clothing companies worldwide. Some of them are rider-driven, others just follow the latest trends. Does Makia give something different to the market? What in particular?
I wouldn’t describe us as rider driven. We are for sure rooted in these sports, music and fashion, defined by none, influenced by all. Our first thought was to make a more “mature “clothing line that you can wear from skating to work to the nightclub and still look good. Our generation is growing up and we are there to bridge the gap between letting loose and the office.
9.What are your plans with the brand for the future? Are you developing a worldwide distribution?
We already sell worldwide. At the moment we are working of making our business and distribution as efficient as possible. From the beginning our goal was to be recognized worldwide.
[Helsinki 2010 /switch 50-50 / Pic . © pasisalminen.com]
10.Is Makia a full time project? Do you think one day you’ll enter into the decks and hardware stuff too?
Yeah Nowadays Makia is a 100 % full time job for us. For the last year I’ve been involved full time. We might do some hardware collabos and special editions, but for now we’re focused on strictly making quality streetwear.
11.Coming back to snowboarding, the technicalities are huge than ever – I guess the triple stuff has been a staple in any contest this season – but I heard a lof of riders complaining about the loss of vibe and fun, all being so serious and focused on “being the number one”. What’s your opinion about that?
Just watch the new commune project video (watch the video above) ,that’s what I’m talking about. Deep pow on a powder fish.
12. Do you ever miss the adrenaline rush of the pro snowboarder life? Are you still riding on your own or with some of your buddies?
Yeah, I rode probably 8 times this season. A couple really fun pipe sessions and even won the highest air QP at the Finnish Open, haha. I miss the whistler backcountry and snowmobiling the most. Might have to do a trip there next winter. I love surfing and try to go on a couple of surf trips every season. That’s a whole new challenge for me. Big waves are intense.
<- Fuerteventura / Jan 2011 /Pic J.Mikkonen
13.Take a quick look back – is there anything you’d like to change in your career? Can you still remember the very best moment snowboarding gave you?
It’s about the “life” in whole, that snowboarding has enabled me to live. The whole journey has been a trip and I can’t be more excited about life than I am right now. New challenges, putting myself out of my comfort zone and learning something new almost daily. All I can say that I’m grateful of everything that’s been given to me and gonna keep on charging.
14.Thanks Joni! We’re at the end of this nice talk. Last line is for you:
Follow you passion, and a great summer for everyone.
Guys..Joni is amazing. Keep following his project: www.makiaclothing.com!