“Snowboarding has been my life so far. I wake up with snowboarding and go to bed with it, I breathe snowboarding. Snowboarding has done so many good things for me. I cannot even name them all.” -Bas Elhorst
Flow Snowboarding Global Ambassador Bas Elhorst has been riding the greater part of two decades now, with most of that time being winter resident of Arlberg, Austria in the Alps. Elhorst had an internship up in Alaska at H20 guides as a heli-operator and has completed his Austrian Snowboard guiding course Snowboard Führer. The knowledge that Elhorst acquired from Snowboard Führer allows him to guide other snowboarders into the backcountry of the Alps.
“I am not a conventional guide that shows the typical places where everybody can go down symmetrical in a row,” explained Elhorst on his website. “My style of guiding is about giving your own input and stimulating a learning process. It is about forecasting avalanches, awareness, fun and most of all safety.”
Elhorst started as an instructor, would shoot films and also entered in competitions. As Elhorst started to compete in more FIS boardercross and Freeridecross events, he began allocating more focus on competing. Upon being invited into the Freeride World Qualifying Series in Europe, he made competing in the Freeride World Series one of his goals.
“In order to reach the top of the Freeride World Tour I am doing a lot of fitness, surfing and cycling,” said Elhorst on his website.
Flow Snowboarding had a chance to shoot a few questions across the globe to Bas Elhorst; see how his summer is going, recap his winter, get an update on the rehab of his broken ankle, and what he’s looking forward to next season.
Where are you originally from? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in Amsterdam and moved to Austria when I was 18.
Where do you currently live?
I live half of the year in the Netherlands, on the border of Amsterdam, the other half of the year I live in Austria in the Arlberg area.
Where was your first trip to the mountains to go ski/snowboard? What Resort
That was in Gries, a tiny village in the Ötztal area.
Did you grow up skiing first or have you always been snowboarding?
I first grew up skiing in the holidays, my first snowboard experience was when I was 14 on an old B#rT#n 164 alpine board with a big “Legalize It” sticker.
What’s your current board, boots and bindings preference?
My favorite board is definitely the Maverick 164, which is a true high speed all mountain machine, but I started to appreciate the Darwin 157 more and more last winter, because it was so mellow on my ankle that I broke last winter. I also love to ride the Maverick 161 for riding kickers and playing in the powder.
The boots I have been riding are the Talon Focus, they give me a solid support that I need and they are just the perfect fit for my feet.
For the bindings I really do love NX2 GT with their new strap technology and they are not too stiff for my liking.
What would you consider your home mountain to be?
The Arlberg, Austria
Being in the Alps, do you normally take advantage of all the glacier summer snowboarding, or do you take a break in the off season?
No, I love the break in between.
You have been recovering from an injury last season, right? What happened?
I broke my right ankle on a run to Lech on one of the few powder days we had last season. I misjudged a spine that I wanted to jump, I jumped it too much straight instead to the left, and landed on a big rock at the end of a big rock field. It could have been much worse though.
How is the recovery going?
Really well, I can run, surf and mountain bike without any troubles. Only when skateboarding, I still have to be careful though.
Other than snowboarding, what other kind of sports or hobbies do you participate in?
My favorite other hobby is Surfing, but I got myself more into mountain biking last winter for the recovery of my ankle and I must say that it’s also a very addictive sport I like. I do like the adrenaline and adventures part of all these sports.
What was your favorite memory from last winter?
Riding with the Gnarlberg Steinbocks in Italy, we found a great resort that I would like to keep a secret. They have the best couloirs and bowls with lift access. It was a bit of a risky weekend, but so much fun.
Anywhere you are looking forward to riding next year?
I am looking forward to riding with friends on those crazy powder days, to explore new mountains and to guide my guests and show them the most wonderful runs they can imagine.
Where was the furthest you’ve ever traveled in order to snowboard?
I worked for a season at H2O guides in Alaska, Valdez.
Where was your favorite place to travel to not related to snowboarding?
I love Sumatra Indonesia, because it is still pure and they have so many good waves.
What kind of music do you prefer riding to?
No music. Love the sound of the popcorn and wind around my head.
Any advice you would like to give to all the aspiring younger snowboarders out there?
Do what you love, and don’t take it to serious, it’s just snowboarding.
Anything else you’d like to say to the Flow support or customers?
I am very grateful for the Flow support and the people that buy the Flow products, without them I would have been bankrupt with all the gear that I trash when I am out there riding. The products improved a lot over the years and Flow takes the riders feedback very serious. On a long-term base I would love to get even more involved with the product design and R&D.
BY FAIR MEANS – lost tales from gnarlberg (subtitles) from Elmar Strotmann on Vimeo.
Bas Elhorst emphasized the importance of backcountry and avalanche training and education prior to starting his venture as a snowboarding guide. Have any of you completed your appropriate backcountry education yet? Let us know where you studied avalanche and backcountry saftey. Connect with us at Flow Snowboarding via Social Media and hashtag #FlowSnowboarding.