Interview - Henrik Windstedt
– Henke Windstedt on being his own film producer
Henrik Windstedt is one of the world’s most established freestyle skiers; many would say he personifies the sport. He won the Freeride World Tour in 2008, and before that competed in both moguls and slopestyle. For the past ten years, he has focused mostly on films and travel, but now he is back in Åre where it all began, building a house and a small ski resort around the corner.
“I'm very lucky to have been around when the sport became big 20 years ago. There are so many talented people now, so it's harder to break through. It’s becoming more important to be relevant with new material all the time - to fill the channels - especially for young skiers. It's not enough to be good at skiing, you have to be your own production company, and preferably have a personality that translates well into videos. For me it's always a trade-off, I often wonder, “Is that thing really worth its own post?” You want something to be at a certain quality level if people are going to watch it,” says Henke.
In recent years, Henke has increasingly devoted himself to summit tours. This has a lot to do with the rapid development of the equipment. Touring boots are suitable for all kinds of skiing, bindings have become stronger, and skis have become lighter.
“Sure - it's great to tour, but I go uphill primarily to get in some good skiing, so it's crucial that the stuff is rideable and that you can rely on it. Ski gloves don't develop as quickly, so a pair of gloves a few years old will often work well as long as they are not damaged. Hestra has incredible quality, and I have many old gloves that I like to wear when skiing. All I need to do is to change the lining from time to time.”
When Henke goes uphill, he usually uses Ergo grip Race Cut, which is designed for cross-country skiing and provides a good grip around the pole. He then uses more robust gloves for the descent.
“Lately I've been skiing a lot in the Vertical Cut CZone and especially in the Omni 5-finger. Hestra makes warmer models, but my hands are quite warm, so for me the most important thing is to get the right feel. I’ve also used Army Leather Tundra, which are great for getting to and from the slopes or digging in the snow. But when I am skiing, I prefer short cuffs that taper so there's not too much overlap. You have base layers, mid-layers and a ski jacket, so it's important that it doesn't get bulky where they all meet. It is better to let your jacket go over your gloves than vice versa. And if you get cold, there are thin liners that you can wear underneath, and on very cold days I wear the Omni Mitt.”
The house construction in Åre is now approaching its completion. On the estate, Henke has built a snow park with its own lift and even snow cannons. During the construction he has also used a lot of work gloves from Hestra.
“Work gloves wear out faster than ski gloves; that’s just the way it is; they take a lot of beating. Then I have those fancy Peccary leather gloves too that you wear when you want to be stylish. But in the last year I have hardly worn normal clothes, it has been either work clothes or ski clothes every day. It’s a darn huge job to build a house, but it will be nice!”