Terje Haakonsen

Terje Håkonsen (born in Vinje, Norway) is a Norwegian professional snowboarder. He is considered one of the most influential snowboarders in the history of the sport. In the book The way of the snowboarder, Rob Reed wrote that "Haakonsen took the young sport of snowboarding and revolutionized nearly every aspect of it". Håkonsen dominated freestyle competitions during the 1990s. He won the International Snowboarding Federation (ISF) World Championship in halfpipe three times: 1993, 1995 and 1997. He won the European Championship in halfpipe each and every time he participated (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997). Håkonsen won the US Open Halfpipe Finals three times (1992, 1993 and 1995), and the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom seven times (1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2012). He also took victory in the influential Innsbruck Air & Style competition in 1995. In 2007, Håkonsen set the world record for the highest air when he achieved a height of 9.8 metres above the top of the quarterpipe during a qualification round at The Arctic Challenge in Midtstuen, Oslo, with a backside 360. Håkonsen's flowing style and his proficiency on all types of terrain are what have characterised his snowboarding and have had the greatest impact on the sport. While the foundations of his career were laid in halfpipe competitions, he also established himself as a dominant athlete through films and international snowboard productions. Here he would show his skills freeriding in powder, big mountains and in "big air" competitions — the forerunners to today's slopestyle competitions.