Here at Arkade we feel it’s important to write, not only about snowboarding, but also the people who make the industry tick. So it’s no surprise that the “Characters” feature in the magazine is definitely one of our favorites. The “character” for the October issue was Knut Eliassen and it featured some AMAZING photography by Steven Stone. I was able to ask each of them a few questions about their day of guns, cash, mountains and double rainbows… enjoy.
Arkade - Alright Steven, what do you remember about the day itself; anything specific about the day stand out in your memory? Did you have to do a lot of traffic dodging to get the shots?
Steven - If I remember right, it was actually a fairly janky day. It'd been raining all morning, and I was a little worried about what the weather was gonna do. But Knut and I lucked out with a 2 hour clearing right when we'd planned to knock it out. During the last shot, it started to drizzle again, and the double rainbow popped up. So we quit messing with the shot we were on, got about 10 frames with the rainbow, and then the skies just opened up and absolutely dumped on us. But we knew we'd lucked out and had that one in the bag, so we were happy to call it a day and head home.
Arkade - Have you ever done a shoot like that? I mean, when you've got Steven Stone capturing you with cash, guns and canyon roads, that's gotta be a pretty unique experience. What stands out to you about that day?
Knut - I have never really done a photo shoot of myself with cash, guns and mountains. I mean the cash and guns part was kind of a joke, because I am really not that guy, but I always thought it was funny when people did that. The experience was really rad. The funny thing was that right after I threw up the cash, which was around $6000.00, the wind started to pick up and blew the cash all over the street. Obviously I started stressing to collect all the money before it blew away, typical act before thinking. Then as I was picking up the first couple bills it started to rain! So, not only was my money blowing away but it was getting all wet. Stuff like that always seems to happen to me - I feel like I am doing something funny and cool, but then everything goes wrong! Hahaha.
Arkade - whose idea was it to use the rifle and cash?
Steven - I don't know that there was ever an actual idea... we were really just playing it by ear. Knut happened to have a BB gun and a few other random things in his truck, so we ran with what we had available. The cash was some prize money from a contest in Germany that he'd just returned from. He literally threw thousands of dollars in the air because it seemed like a good idea at the time... the aftermath was both of us scrambling to chase hundreds as they were blowing down the mountain. I think we caught most of it...
Arkade - I haven't had the pleasure of hanging around Knut too much, but I've heard he's a hell of a guy and is hilarious to be around. What was shooting with him like?
Steven - I met Knut on an L1 shoot earlier this year and pretty much fell in love with him immediately. Total man-crush. He's funny as hell and pretty much smiling non-stop, even when shit isn't going our way. He's always the first to lend a hand, and I don't think I've ever heard him say a negative thing... for lack of a better word, he's just adorable. Adorable as fuck. Always smiling, always joking... just the best type of dude to be around, really.
Arkade - So you guys shot up at Guardsman's... why there? I mean, I love Guardsman's, but why did you guys choose to go there?
Knut - We went up Guardsman´s Pass up by Brighton resort because, I have always loved hiking around up there, snowboarding all winter there, and starting my season off there by going to the Bonezone or any other rail spot I can get invited to. I have had a lot of break through snowboarding days up there in Guardsman´s and at Brighton - so I thought it was kind of fitting to have the place that has helped me become a better snowboarder/person in the background. Tonino Copene brought me to Brighton for my first time like 10 years ago and it was one of the most eye opening days and experiences of my life - I think back on that day all the time and realize how lucky I am to have had him show me all the ins and outs of such a great place. He is still my favorite guy to ride with there - true boss!
Arkade - What was the most difficult part of the shoot?
Steven - Honestly? Nothing. I really wish every shoot could go as easy and relaxed as that one was. Knut is just a solid dude to be around... no drama, no stress. We get what we need, laugh a bit, and everybody's happy. Pretty much the ideal situation for getting some work done.
Arkade - Who was all there for the photo shoot? Just you and Steven, or did you guys have a crew up there?
Knut - It was just Steven and I up there, drinking some beers and enjoying the nature! Good times.