Woodsy, Steffen and Szczepan about The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open

Last weekend of January we will have a unique chance to see top European freeskiers competing at The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open 2011 powered by FIAT. Meanwhile we asked best riders from last years of their PFO impressions. James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, Steffen Hamre and Szczepan Karpiel-Bułecka answered our questions.


How did you find out about Polish Freeskiing Open?

 Steffen: I heard of it from some friends who had seen it on newschoolers.

 Woodsy: Through the freeskiing scene, people talking and its part of the AFP ranking system.

 Szczepan: Since the beginning it was the only respected and well done contest in Poland so me and most of my friends took part in it. It wasn't really a problem to find out about the contest. I did that through my friends.


Was participation in the contest any kind of a turning point in Your freeski career?

Steffen: Yes, it felt good winning something big for the first time. And the competition-format made me realize it´s good to know a bunch of tricks. 

Woodsy: The winter 08/09 (when I competed at the PFO) was a huge turning point in my career, this was the year when I went out of my way to do as many contests, shoots, and generally get as much exposure as I possibly could - so I guess you can count the PFO as that...

Szczepan: Yes indeed since PFO started being well known and when more people from different countries started participating then of course other international media started to "talk" about it which helped me a little bit also.


Did you enjoy the Polish Freeskiing Open atmosphere and stay in Poland?

Steffen: Yes, but I must say I was kind of scared before going there. Not many speak English, and I had no idea of how to get there. But I liked the party and almost Christmas - atmosphere in the village.

Woodsy: I did really enjoy my time in Poland, for me it was very different to anything that I'd experienced before and it is always cool to explore new things! The people, the organisers and other riders were so nice the whole time, through the contest to the after party there was an amazing vibe where everyone was having a great time. When this is the case, it's so hard not to enjoy yourself!

 Szczepan: I think PFO is probably the best contest in Poland so far. Doesn't matter if it's freeski, snb, skateboard or etc. In my eyes it looks like a super fun contest and I always appreciate it after all.


What's more important: podium or video edits?

Steffen: Video-parts. Podiums are hard to remember for other people after some time. Video-parts can be online and seen for ages!

Woodsy: I think that both are amazing! But really it's hard to say because they are both different aspects of our sport. I would say though that both would be perfect!

Szczepan: Video part for me for sure, but it's always nice to stand on the podium especially next to your homies.


Do you plan to take part in the upcoming edition of PFO?

Steffen: I would loved to, but I will be in the US for competitions and shred. 

 Woodsy: Unfortunately I cannot make it back to this season's contest because of overlapping commitments in the US. But I would for sure like to come back at some point when I have the time.

Szczepan: Yes, that's my plan and I hope I could save my tittle for the official 3rd time. Would be nice! I like!


What are your plans for the season?

Steffen: Ski as much as possible, have fun and make some videos. I will be doing the Aspen Open, and I will be in Colorado for a month.

Woodsy: I am competing in the Dew Tour and World Champs across America so that is taking up most of my time in December, January & February. After that I am coming back to Europe in time for the Austrian & European Opens plus a bunch more contests that I'll be able to do in the rest of the winter. My main plan for the winter though - have fun riding! :D

Szczepan: Filming and travelling basically. I would like to go to the US again somewhere in February. That's it that's all!


We hope you will have really great season and keep our finger crossed for your starts! Thanks for talk!