Cees Wille was raised in "the fridges" of Holland. Photo by Jascha vd Wijden
Flow Snowboarding team athlete Cees Wille of Holland packed up all of his snowboarding gear and headed west… really far west. All the way out to California. Wille has been here in the states since December. He traveled down to San Diego and bought a used beater Chevy Blazer to get around and up the hill. After growing up riding in the indoor slopes, the real mountains have him jazzed. Wille is receiving a great lesson in American life and culture with his travels to Bear Mountain and navigating around the concrete jungles. Flow had a chance to sit down with Wille covering what brought him all the way to California.
How did you get into snowboarding living in the Netherlands?
I live right next to the coast of Holland in a small farmer town called Monster. When I was younger I had a balance problem so every week I had physio for that. Then my mom thought snowboarding would be a fun and good balance practice.
What is the “fridge scene” or indoor slopes like out in Europe?
There are not that many in Europe… but there are like 7 in Holland, some in Germany, UK, Belgium and couple in Scandinavia, one in Lithuania. But I think best would probably be Snowworld in Zoetermeer (Sweet Lake). I’m shaping the park there in the summer.
What triggered your visit to the US these past few months?
I visited the states in 2009 filming for Jimmy Films road tripping around California and I liked it so much. And now my school Johan Cruyff College in Amsterdam gave me the opportunity to go up here so I took this chance. I bought a season pass at Bear Mountain and I will see where I end up. Going with the Flow.
Where have you been riding so far, where else are you planning on riding while you are here?
I have been riding Bear Mountain and Snow Summit so far. But I have some European friends in Minnesota, so I’m thinking of going up there. Really want to get some street shots.
Flow Global Ambassador Bas Elhorst introduced you to the Flow team. Could you briefly go over your trip out to meet Bas Elhorst?
I was filming a street part for like 2 years for this Benelux movie production called Private-Intel. The owners Joeri vd Vliet and David Doom introduced me to the Alberg local Dutchie, Bas Elhorst. I went to Austria… but I didn’t bring a jacket with me, because I don’t like jackets. But that didn’t really work out. I was watching Bas doing his gnarly backcountry stuff during the day and at night we still charged out to do street riding.
What is your current setup?
My setup is a Flow Chill snowboard. It’s a pretty chill all-round board. Not to stiff and not to weak. The bindings are choice, I really like the NX2’s. They are pretty stiff but it gives you direct response. I ride the Chill so I can do everything with it. I also ride the Fuse-FB bindings indoors. But for street missions I prefer the NX2’s.
Do you listen to music when you ride? If so, what is typically on your playlist?
Most of the time I ride with music but nothing typical. I listen to every kind there is. From Celine Dion to Lady Hawke to A$AP to Gigi D’agostino… Hahaha.
What have been some of your favorite places to travel to for snowboarding?
Definitely Helsinki. I’ve been there a lot of times for hitting street rails. This one season we drove up like 3 times. It’s a 26 hour drive to get there. It’s super beautiful with old towns and stuff. It’s always a sure bet for snow.
What are some of your favorite places to travel to not related to snowboarding?
I actually spend all my money on snowboard trips.
What are some of your other passions and hobbies when you are not snowboarding?
I really like old cars! I used to have this 1971 Citroën 2cv. I named it “Lelijke Eend’ (Ugly Duck) but it was so sick to drive! I drove all the way down to Spain with it. Now I got this Chevy G20 I bought pretty cheap. I have been fixing stuff on it to go on urban rail trips with the Postland Theory homie’s to Italy, France, Swiss, Austria, Scandinavia etc. Whereever the snow is.
You were featured in the film Connect the Dots… could you talk a little about your experience filming for this movie?
Feels so good man! It started up as a Dutch movie a couple of years ago but now it get’s more and more international with really super sick riders! As other dutchies Kas, Bob, Jesse and Roel and German Davo S. and B. Urban, UK’s finest thrill Smith and Ollie D, Finish Toni Kerkela, Norwegian Young Neezy and the Real Lenn J, Swissy Jeron Lehner, Austrian Domdom. I really like this crew! Big up to Tim.
Do you have any events or film shoots coming up that we should be looking out for?
I want to fully focus on filming street from middle of February till the end of winter to get a decent part with the Postland Theory guys, so follow those guy’s and see what we are up to. Last season I got injured at the beginning of the season, so I couldn’t start riding until end of February.
Any advice to younger riders looking to get sponsored?
Not really… just go out there! Enjoy! Make friends. Appreciate the things you can do.
Anything else you would like to say to the Flow Snowboarding family?
Go with the Flow.
Come join us at Flow Snowboarding and Find Your Flow!