It’s been a while since we did a Riders feature here, but we’re ready to get back into it. This time, we caught up with Swedish young gun Emil Johansson who, at just 17 years old, put down a sick run at Crankworx that landed him in 4th place. 2016 was big for him and 2017 is about to be even bigger. Could Sweden be the new Canada for slopestyle talent? With riders like Soderstrom, Fredriksson and now Johansson, it’s hard to deny that there’s isn’t something special about the Scandinavian nation.
In short, Emil is stoked for the next season: “My confidence and motivation couldn’t be any higher moving into a winter season full of training. I cannot wait for 2017 contest season start.”
First of all, for those who may not know you, describe yourself in 6 words.
Ambitious, curious, motivated and addicted to biking.
What was 2016 like for you? What were some of the highs? What about the lows?
My highlight of 2016 was qualifying for Red Bull Joyride and staying in Canada for 4 weeks after that. In addition, going from pre-qualifying to qualifying rounds at 26 Trix, huge step for me by that time – that was my goal and I achieved it!
I don´t really have a low for 2016. I had a good year, I’m really thankful for all I have.
Talk us through your current gear setup (bike + other gear)
Specialized P3, Rock Shox pike fork, Industri Nine wheels and Chromag components.
How did you get started in slopestyle/freeride?
I’ve always been riding bikes – growing up, I built jumps from some old wood with my friends, we were just riding and it evolved from there. Then my dad found a place where I could practice 1h away from our home, and I started going there by bus when I was 11 yrs old. By the time I was 13, I quit my other hobbies, playing handball and ice-hockey, because I got into biking so much. It was much more fun and became my main sport.
How do you view the current bike scene? Both in Sweden and other places.
It´s growing in Sweden and the bike school I go to helps the sport a lot, just because you always have someone to ride with.
What’s on your dream list when it comes to biking?
I just want to keep riding and see where it takes me. I would like to go to California to ride Woodward and ride spots I grew up looking at from videos.
Do you have a pre-contest playlist you listen to?
Just the music I have in my everyday riding playlist. Mainly rock music.
What’s your best achievement till now?
4th at Crankworx.
Who’s your bike buddy?
The friends at school who I ride with every day.
What’s in store for 2017? What can we expect from you?
I will keep on training hard and giving my best.
We can also add the following, showcasing just how promising Emil is when it comes to his development.
Tarek Rasouli, owner and founder of rasoulution, about the partnership with Emil: “I have had an eye on Emil for at least 3-4 years, but actually never met him until this year’s 26TRIX. It was great seeing him ride live and watching his outstanding talent. rasoulution’s goal is to support rising athletes as well as world-class riders in their career in order for them to use their time efficiently and to progress successfully in their sport. I believe Emil has a bright future ahead of him and so does everyone who will work with the young Swede!”
There you have it folks, Emil Johansson is gearing up for the new year and we’ll be keeping a close eye on him.