Roope Tonteri is well known in Finland as three-time snowboarding world champion, having won gold in both slopestyle and big air in 2013 and gold again in big air in 2015. What even Finns might not know about him is that he is studying forest management and dreams of a career in tractor contracting.
“I can’t think of anyone else in skateboarding or snowboarding who does forestry work and owns a tractor. I guess most of the guys prefer surfing in California over working with tractors,” Roope laughs, standing up to his knees in snow and holding a chainsaw in his hand as he answers his phone.
Roope grew up in the Finnish countryside, although not on an actual farm. Nevertheless, he has done forestry work since he was a lad and helped his relatives with the farming. Just recently he purchased 20 hectares of forest, which will keep him busy for a while.
“Snowboarding is still my main job and will be for at least the next three years, until the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. Once that is done, I’ll have to see if I continue my career as a snowboarder or become a full-time forester instead,” Roope explains.
Roope purchased a Valtra A94 tractor last year. Equipped with a front loader, he has used his new tractor for snowploughing and forestry tasks – as well as for building snowboarding jumps on his own slope.
“I have a Kesla forest trailer on my wish list, and then in three years’ time I will have to think whether to have one tractor just for transporting logs and another for thinning tasks. I could then use both tractors also for farming tasks, transportation and snow loughing,” Roope adds.