The Nicolas Müller Hump Day


All photos:

Dogsled rides with Terje to exotic Greenland powder stashes. Flying around in Red Bull helicopter rides with Travis Rice. Encountering communities of people whom have snowboarded for 200 years in remote Turkey. All in a days work for one Nico Muller. While you can’t speak to girls in three languages, save a ton of Brazilian rainforest, or snowboard even remotely like Nicolas, soon you will be able to purchase his boots, the Nicolas Muller Nike Kaiju. If these boots don’t help you snowboard like Nico, then nothing will. But seriously, the two-time Snowboarder Rider of The Year with cat like reflexes on natural terrain, epicly smooth style, and a seriously thick stack of rad video parts of the next dimension is a snowboarding genius.

Do you have big expectations for yourself going into the New Year?

Last year was a big year for me filming wise. I was working hard, as much as you can say that. This year, it won’t be much different. I don’t really feel like I need to panic right away. My goal is to stay here in Laax till the end of January. No matter what, ride here, sleep in my own bed. Then, hopefully keep staying here in Europe, film a little bit more in the Alps, which would be nice for once in awhile, you know? I love British Columbia and Alaska, but it would be nice to get some footage from the Alps, which are amazing mountains, but just have been low tide for a while. We’re also going to do a team video with Nike, which is exciting, and Absinthe is always on my schedule. It’s like a family business.

Which trip or experience most sticks out from the 2010/2011 season?

Turkey was pretty special. In Turkey there are big mountains. I didn’t expect anything traveling there. Big ass mountains, long valleys, snow down to trees, pillows — they’ve got it all. It was new to me. We had a fun week there. Got a good little part for Absinthe’s Twelve there. The most memorable part of this trip was going to a town where they had been snowboarding for 200 years. Those people were so rad. They shred and it’s not about the gear, or the tricks, it’s just about gliding down the mountain.

Turkey — Good snowboarding and lots of Turkish hash?

Yeah (laughing). It’s funny that you mentioned that, but I don’t drop any names because you never know who’s going to read this stuff (laughing). Somebody on the trip, I am not going to say any names, but you can figure out who it is, it wasn’t me, it was the other person I went there with. We were in the Istanbul airport and hadn’t cleared customs yet. He mentioned, “Dude! So gnarly I saw this movie, Midnight Express” And he talked about it. I thought it was gnarly. You don’t want to get into a situation like that. We cleared customs and started the trip. Then, on the last day of the trip, my buddy is really white in the face and he’s like, “Dude, dude, you can’t believe it dude. In my travel bag, I opened this random little pocket and there was a bag of weed, man.” I almost fainted. You stupid idiot! It was pretty sketchy. We asked a local guy and he said getting caught was bad shit.

You can’t do a Japan this well rightside up. Photo: Blotto

Does your raccoon beanie help get you covers and have special powers?

Definitely special powers. Wearing that beanie you bond with a lot of beings of another dimension.

What’s Nico Muller’s spirit animal?

My spirit animal? I guess it’s some bastard between a cat and a monkey combined. I’d throw in some eagle wings.

Your new Nicolas Muller Nike Kaiju comes out soon. What’s up with it?

It’s got some swifty Nicolas Nike inspired graphics. It’s black and white. It’s sort of like Totem pole art a little bit. Alaskan inspired.

Sounds like the Vancouver Airport.

Yeah, I’ve been there a lot the last year (laughing). More than anything I think the Nike video will really tell a better story of the vibe.

Made possible by Kaijus? Photo: Blotto

Will the kids ride like you if they put these boots on?

Well, there’s a chance that some sort of portal to a new world might open up (laughing). You put them on and they’re instantly great. After two days of riding you feel like they are the boots you’ve been dreaming of for sure. The Kaiju really is the best boot I’ve ever had, and I don’t say that just because.

I feel like the Kaiju is like wrapping a nice vagina around your foot before you go snowboarding. It’s a wonderful experience!

Wait till you see the video. It premieres tomorrow. Thursday is when it goes live on the web. Make sure you watch it with headphones or a heavy sound system. I don’t want to say too much but there will be lots of animals in there as well.

Sounds like I should do some psychedelic drugs before I watch this.

Get ready. You don’t need to take acid; it will be great just like that.

Surfing the frozen wave. Photo: Blotto

After winning rider of the year do you feel it’s tougher to exceed expectations or it’s opened more doors?

I didn’t feel like I had pressure after winning rider of the year. I felt more like, wow, I am in a good place, you know. I had fun, which obviously if that doesn’t translate you are never going to get rider of the year. It’s just more satisfying a little bit. It just makes me even more stoked, going on the mountain and strapping in. It more opens doors out there on the mountain. I don’t need to have a list of tricks and stress about how many shots. If I feel like butters, then I do butters. If I feel like building a jump, then I build a jump, or otherwise I just go hike for a line.

I know you bought Brazilian rainforest. Have you been to your land?

Yeah, I’ve been there. A good friend of mine has a house down of there, Chris Bachmann. He’s the founder of the Atlantic Rainforest Institution. So I know first hand that forest, and it’s a great piece of land. Only 9% of the Atlantic rainforest still exists. Last time I was there I went with a bird watcher really early in the morning and the amount of birds that I saw there was mind blowing. It was good to know.

Travis Rice’s Supernatural contest is coming in February to Jackson Hole. Should snowboarding have more contests like this?

Yes, definitely. Then I will be doing more contests (laughing). Last one was really something else of a contest. It was twenty of the best riders who will meet somewhere for a week and get after it when the weather is good. Everyone picks their line. It’s a contest with your buddies, which is exciting, because you really want to show what you’ve got. I don’t not like contests. I just don’t do them anymore. I’ve been there and kind of done that. It was just a little bit like Groundhog Day. In between, I just wanted go free ride and maybe that’s why I didn’t build jumps for a long time. Then a year is gone, and you’re there again, and maybe you don’t have a new trick, and there’s all these kids who are as hungry as you have been 5 years ago and you’ve got to admit that everybody is stoked that you’re there but yourself.

Single or triple, doesn’t matter, Nico makes it look good. Photo: Blotto

Your dirty 30s are quickly approaching. Where do you see yourself at 30 and beyond in snowboarding?

I don’t really feel that old. I think I want, can, and will do this for a few years. I will be out there in the snow. I just went riding today. Once you’re out there nothing matters. It’s just good times. Snowboarding keeps me young.

Age isn’t as easy on professional snowboarders as it is on professional skateboarders.

Well, I think skateboarding is almost a little bit more about style and creativity. In snowboarding it’s there as well, maybe less, but maybe less snowboarders get that. When I was like, fuck this, about not doing contests, I could have been like I am done. But no, I still had so much fun and there are endless mountains out there. It’s that eagle eye, or just that eye, maybe not that many riders have it, and I don’t know why I have it, I can’t really — I can talk about it what I see in a mountain, I go with Gigi (Ruf), for example, and I know we see the exact same shit, and then you go with other riders and there just riding past things that I am going, “Oh my god! How can you not see that?”

You describe your riding style as, “Skateboarding down the hill, while surfing frozen waves.” What skateboard tricks would you bring to the frozen waves if you could?

We can’t do any kickflips, so, what new tricks, huh? That’s the thing. Maybe it goes back to the question before. Skateboarding has more tricks (laughing).

Skateboarding has more tricks? God damn it!

You don’t think so?

No, I agree with that completely. Skateboarding has way more tricks.

So, maybe in snowboarding that’s why there’s not so many old snowboard pros because after awhile you have your bag of tricks and maybe you still could learn some new ones, but then you know Mark McMorris and his generation comes and they do a triple cork. Every year I still learn a couple new tricks. That’s maybe because I never really did all of them from the beginning. After awhile it’s all about the location and going after the new location. It’s hiking new mountains. It’s maybe not everyone’s deal, you know? It’s more the search for the new frozen wave, then inventing a new trick. I say it’s not really the trick that wins the competition. It’s up to each and everybody what trick for himself gives you the most fun. Whoever has the most fun wins. You can do ollies all day in skateboarding and that’s all you need.

Fun. Photo: Blotto

If your style most emulated a professional skateboarder right now, who would that be?

Well, right now it would probably be the young pool shredder on Nike — Grant Taylor.

Good one! This year’s Thrasher skater of the year, Nico.

Growing up I was a huge Tom Penny fan. Tom Penny or Grant Taylor I would say. All Tom Penny needed to do was a huge frontside Flip, and….

Eat a bag of mushrooms and call it a day.

What motivates you to keep sliding on your snowboard sideways?

It’s being out there in the mountain. Clean air, you use your body, every part of your body, and you get to be creative.

I wish I could use my penis more when I snowboard.

True (laughing). Totally. I love my life as I snowboard pro knowing that feeling in the mountains and how beautiful snowboarding is I want to motivate as many people as possible and maybe that’s why my career took a turn and it felt good. It’s not necessarily about me and being the best all the time, It’s more about the style and the lifestyle and people always commented on that. It’s the little things in snowboarding. And that always feels so much better.

Best advice your parents ever gave you?

Watch what you eat. When I was becoming I pro snowboarder and at the same time I just wanted to eat ravioli out of the can because my buddy down the road did and I just thought it was so cool and it makes your body feel like crap. I am glad I like good food and I know what good food is. Now I am a good customer at the local organic store.

18 replies
  1. raccoonhatsrawesome
    raccoonhatsrawesome says:

    how does this interview have no comments?! its fuckin sick. and where can i get that raccoon hat nico has in twelve?

  2. jake burton
    jake burton says:

    i’d prefer a vegetarian meal with nico, followed by 3-4 hours of plundering pillow lines in the BC backcountry. we’d finish the day with hot toddies at ski apres. maybe a light snack? followed by a showing of pink floyd’s the wall in it’s entirety in my film room. maybe we could play a little bit of indoor soccer? xoxo, jake.

  3. TR-H-town
    TR-H-town says:

    Oh man I couldn’t ask for a better Hump Day!

    When I first started snowboarding Nicolas was my favorite rider. His parts in Futureproof were INSANE. Six years later and I haven’t missed an Absinthe film since and Muller is still my favorite rider, no question. And his part in Twe12ve is seriously his best work yet! His first three shots in Constantinople bring tears to my eyes, every time.

    Thanks for all the inspiration Nico!


  4. ShredBot
    ShredBot says:

    What’s great about Nico is and what will give him so much longevity in the end is that creativness that he, Gigi, Terje and Blauvelt all have. Not many else out there have that –sure others can huck and stomp, but they cant seamlessly draw the lines that those dudes can.
    Rice for example–I put Nico ahead of him–Rice just looks ungamely compared. One a huge superkicker, sure–another story. If you could meld Nico with Rice or Kazu or one of the Jackson Bros—there ya go–end of story!

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