I know. The Gentlemens club doors have been somewhat closed recently because of the ridiculous scheduling of the winter seasons events, so my time to get these done has been lacking. So for the next bloke, we chose another from the behind the scenes, who is making it happen for riders across the world, so they are able to ride the day after slamming. Thats right its Jan Schröder. He has probably treated you at some point, so pay some dues and read all about the german legend right here.
So Jan Schroder. We first met when you were called Big Bear and worked at Pleasuremag. What role did you do back in the days at the mag?
I was one of the editors at Pleasuremag, taking care off all the good sections: Postbox, Gossip, head interview, travel story, all kinds of that stuff. It was a good substitution for failing in becoming a pro and still being able to travel the globe.
So you left in 2007 or something, and headed for college right?
Yes, I had kind of a mind crisis. Me and my life was faced with the aftermath of serious illness. That made me think a lot about me, the life I was living and the things I wanted to achieve in my further life, so I registered at the physio college in Hamburg and moved back in my home town.
Why did you decide to get into Physiotherapy?
I wanted to become a physiotherapist straight after school, before snowboarding rushed in my life, making me move south towards the alps from Hamburg to Munich… totally neglecting the fact that I wasn’t and still not am a gifted rider… skills wise. I had a license as a snowboard teacher, so I thought being pro was only one step away… not. As I mentioned above being forced to deal with illness and not being able to help much at this point of time, made me think about the sustainability of my work and my general being back then. Physiotherapy appeared to me as something really interesting, helpful and charging. Something that will be still cool when I get 60 or older and I had a lot of ideas in my mind which I wanted to realise soon as I’d have passed my exams.
So did you miss your time out of the snowboard world? What did the real world teach you?
The real world teached me to downgrade a little bit, I needed to finance my life with a third of the money I made at Pleasuremag. You could say that I let my life run through a filter, and everything left was a good essence to open the next chapter in my life. Maybe this sounds a little bit too pathetic but it was kind of the process I went through. I can’t say I really missed something out of the snowboard world, ’cause at the point of time when I left I was really over it. But with every day more I relearned to appreciate what a good life I had at Pleasuremag and what a great gift it is to goof around with your friends. Let’s say moving to Hamburg tought me to be stoked on snowboarding again purely for the love of snowboarding.
So you have been travelling with us now for two years. Whats been the best time for you, like with treating an athlete?
I think the coolest thing was to get Spencer back in track during the world champs in Oslo just in time. We only had 18 hours to change a wreck of a body into a human being again who was able to compete, and this girl wins her heat like its nothing. After that we hoped that the day inbetween semis and final would be helpful to gain some feeling and confidence, but it turned out that Spencer felt even worse. So back to the table, treating body and soul with time ticking down. After the treatment in the hotel on the morning of the finals and some mobilisation at the venue we had her in a shape that she was able to compete. She was trembling during the comp, riding pure ice, crashed during practice and slammed on her first two runs but then 3rd and final run she stomped that frontside 7 and the crowd went nuts. I had goosebumps right there and this was just a great overwhelming feeling to see how this whole work turned into success! TCP has a world champ under its belt now – stoked for life, haha!
Its funny the event added Pipe and QP and changed its name to World Champs and this made a huge difference for the general public. I could notice from people who I’ve been telling I’d fly to the world champs. They had been three times more stoked than normally.
Physio, coach, hip hop expert, and breakfast chef.
Tell me about the indiba unit please? I have seen you using that all season long and I have heard various rumours about it, can you tell us something about it?
INDIBA activ is a hyperthermia electrotherapy unit. Those guys needed a medical consultant and asked me if I want to join. This unit is pretty rad, it shortens up periods of recovery by a third of the time, so it’s a big advantage to have this on the tour with us as the time windows till qualis or finals are always very limited. It’s pretty popular in the European football scene as Barcelona, Chelsea, Ajax and Real Madrid are using it. I’m stoked we have this with us as it was a big support during this season.
What do you think of the general level of care of snowboarders on the contest scene?
Well some good, and some bad… when you look at BEOs or A&S Innsbruck, those contest are role models for sure. Dr Buerki and Dr. Braun are top notch doctors and with Martin Mueller from Oberstdorf they got a really good physio therapist as well. So you can say, it’s doable to have good medical support on the whole TTR tour. But looking at China the whole situation is a mess, Kevin Backstrom can tell you for sure.
We had two good meetings with the TTR to improve the medical standards on the tour. I hope we will get this working as I would like to have a proper network in the nearby future riders could rely on in case of injury to make sure they are back stronger than ever.
You have worked on the surf tour aswell, how do us snowboarders compare physically?
Ohoh, they gonna hate me for this one, but the surf guys are a league on their own. Bottom line!
Do you think we can catch up to our surfer brothers in terms of nutrition, health and attitudes to well being?
I think it will still take time. Physiologically wise we have to work out to compensate the impacts a slopestyle and especially the slams nowadays. At the end of the day though, It’s your call, either to have five good years without training or 15 if you do. The older you get, the more willed you are to take care of your body I guess… and people should go more surfing anyway, it’s the best overall workout you can get!
So you been on the road in the last couple of years, you must have sneaked a few good runs in along the way or is it all work when your on the hill.
This year was epic, powder heaven in Davos – thanks to you and Beckna for getting me a new board just in time after some drunken mofo stole my five year old board – and the TM runs in Laax I could sneak in, those still put a smile in my face. It’s makes work pretty easy. And not to forget Silvretta still to come, I’d say those are my top 3 from this season.
Whos the toughest on the team?
I’ve had to admit the girls – Silje and Spencer in Oslo, that was tough!
What has changed mostly in the years you have been out of the game?
The level of riding, these kids do 10 and 12s like nothing and most of the time they look pretty sick, slopestyle wise. In the pipe all these chuckfests has lead to some serious snake flips as we call them in German, time to step up the style game!
Are you still on par with Biggie and Tupac as one of the legends of hip hop?
Bucktown for life! Though thanks to you and Stylewarz I learned to appreciate some D&B, but nothing can beat Evidence, Smif-N-Wessum or Sean Price on a long car drive!
Thank you, and here you can give props to your crew…
Thanks to you and Koen for getting me on board with the Nike crew and helping me to establish TCP, the team behind the team at Nike: Doom, Frode, Cyrill, Sam – you guys rule! And my wife for having my back and taking care of the kids while I’m on the road – Beste!