“Jussi is a pure freestyler, a fantastic jumper, and a really good and stylish jibber,” says photographer Jeff Curtes of shooting with Burton rider Jussi Oksanen at Ice Station Zebra glacier in Methven, New Zealand. A low-precipitation snow season created stunning glacial terrain in Methven. “The snow bridges were minimal, so we moved confidently with our guides through the otherwise sketchy terrain,” says Curtes. “When [Oksanen] saw the ice, his eyes lit up with possibilities,” recalls Curtes, who shot this image with no additional lighting. “There were plenty of natural reflections, so it was the easy choice,” says Curtes. Below, read an interview with Oksansen.
See more images like this in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery.
Adventure: What were you thinking at this moment?
Jussi Oksanen: This feature was really narrow. There were big holes everywhere and a huge drop behind me, so I was just thinking of staying on the safe side of the ice.
A: That ice looks crazy—what kind of formation is it?
J.O.: It was just glacier ice that had formed like this. You can’t really tell from this photo but there is about a 40-foot-high drop right behind it. So from the side, this just looked like a huge half-melted icy pool!
A: Where are you, exactly, and why is it a good place to ride?
J.O.: We were heli-skiing in Methven, on the South Island of New Zealand. We have been going there for many years now. It’s one of the better places to go shoot in the Southern Hemisphere. This year there wasn’t much snow, so we were looking for different, creative things to ride and shoot—that’s how we ended up with some unique shots like this.
A: What were you doing on this trip?
J.O.: I stayed there for ten days, and we were there to shoot next year’s Burton catalog. Our main focus was to get some great action photos.
A: What’s the big thing in snowboarding right now?
J.O.: I think backcountry riding is making a comeback in the mainstream. The Real Snow Backcountry contest aspect of the X Games—it just premiered at the Euro X Games in Tignes, France—was really popular and Travis Rice’s Supernatural contest at Baldface in Nelson, British Columbia, which was all backcountry riding, was pretty amazing, too.
A: What’s your next big trip?
J.O.: I have been spending most of my winter in Whistler and sledding around that area. I’m heading back there at the end of the week. It’s been an incredible year for snow, now we just need to hope for more sunny days so that we can get in there and film!
A: Where’s your favorite place to ride?
J.O.: Honestly, wherever the snow is good! But i like spending time in British Columbia, Canada. It seems to be one of the most consistent places for snow.