Jack Fraser

January 18 2023


Frederik Kalbermatten holding snowboard by a window

We are excited to welcome the legendary Swiss rider Frederik Kalbermatten to the FW team. With a diverse career spanning everything from competing to filming video parts and getting behind the lens himself, Fredi has built his life around snowboarding. We caught up with Fredi to learn more about his unique perspective on snowboarding and where he gets his inspiration on the mountain.

Fredi, welcome to the FW team! Where is home for you?

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

What does snowboarding mean to you?

The feeling of freedom – pure stoke.

Snowboarder slashing a snow cloud

How did you get started out in snowboarding and how has your riding evolved over time?

Snowboarding came to Europe around 1992. Before then it didn't really exist and I was skiing, but even with the skis as a kid I was already jumping off everything. And then when I tried snowboarding at 14, I was instantly hooked. I was jumping off this and jumping off that and as I progressed I just wanted to learn every trick that existed and I became completely addicted to snowboarding.

I signed with Burton at 18 and then started filming with Standard Films shortly after. Getting paid to snowboard gave me permission to really focus on it and progress (even though I still had to study for my business degree).

Where is your favorite place to ride?

At home in Saas-Fee.

snowboarder carving down a ski piste

What does your dream day on the mountain look like?

Perfect snow conditions, cold temperatures, no wind, stable avalanche conditions, fresh powder, and a good crew ready to send it at all my favorite spots.

Who has inspired and influenced your riding the most over the years?

When I was growing up I was inspired by Terje and Johan Olofsson because of the way they used the mountain. Just watching them ride you could see how strong they were. But I honestly think my father influenced me a lot. He was a skier, but some people said he was the best skier Saas-Fee ever had. He was an alpine ski jumper, you know with the really long skis flying through the air. He was also a mountain guide, as was his father before him, and I think they passed that love of the mountains and adventure onto me. I am hoping to pass it onto my kids.

Are there any principles or mantras that serve as guideposts for you day-to-day?

I am always trying to do my best at everything, but I think that's more my character than a principal. I am a perfectionist, which is not always a blessing, because things are never perfect. But I think maybe one of my principles is to try to live a good example quietly rather than to judge and point the finger at others.

snowboarder doing a nose butter trick

Where would you like to see the future of snowboarding headed?

Well, speaking of judgment, I would like to see snowboarding head away from knee grabs and spinning to win.

Last but not least, what’s your go-to mountain snack?

A local sausage made with beets called Saaserwurst. People joke here that back in the day Saas Valley locals were so cheap that they added beats to the meat to make it go further. But it's actually really tasty and healthier.

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