words: Knut Eliassen
photos: Vernon Deck
Snowboarding has and will always be a very personal thing to everyone who does it. We all have our different opinions and we will express them and fight for them. In the end, we all appreciate every aspect of snowboarding because we love everything about snowboarding. Last season, Markus Keller set out to ride every type of terrain you can snowboard on, with friends he had made throughout his career. I was able to sit down with Markus and pick his brain on his new movie, CHAMäLEON.
Where are you at right now?
In the train to the Vans Warped Tour in Bern, Switzerland!
Have you been snowboarding yet this season?
I have had a day and a half cruising at my home resort, Davos, during their opening weekend a week ago. That has been it so far, because I have been busy with Chamäleon over the last couple months.
Last season you made a movie called CHAMäLEON, how did that all come about? Why did you want to do it?
Volcom approached me with the idea of a video and then I contacted my other sponsors to help out. I feel honored how they instantly liked the idea and supported it! I did not have to think twice when I got that opportunity. It was a dream chance, and a challenge you do not get everyday.
One of the perks of filming for a big video is traveling and snowboarding in amazing locations, what was your favorite trip last season?
I was stoked to get back to Japan again, because it's always worth a trip there regardless of the conditions – it’s Japan! Another one was to Pemberton, BC. Even though we got unlucky with snow, it was impressive to see the potential when I was out there. It was also my first time on a sled in BC’s backcountry.
Why do you think CHAMäLEON is different from all the other snowboard movies released last season?
There are fewer and fewer snowboard movies that feature all the different aspects of snowboarding. The different kind of cameras and styles mixed together is hard to find elsewhere, and last but not least the unique style of Pirmin Juffinger editing. I’m a big fan.
Did everything go as planned?
Unfortunately, not quiet. We had multiple trips that didn't really work out and it was sometimes tough with bad conditions and getting the riders together. Nevertheless, we always stuck together to our plan and made the best out of it. And I’m proud of how that turned out!
What is your favorite trick in Chamaleon?
Bjorn’s frontside 360 tap is one of my favorite shots. Torgeir’s cab 1080 nose is sick too!
Was there any stand out moments that really made an impression on you?
Every day being out with Bjorn was impressive. The way he’s still charging, his passion and motivation! He’s a true legend, sick all-round rider and nice guy. I was really stoked to have him in the crew and I am looking forward to shred together again!
What was the biggest challenge in making CHAMäLEON?
A big challenge in general was the short period of time for all the missions. Most of the other projects focus on one rider and are spread over two seasons. We only had one winter and wanted to show all the different terrain and locations of snowboarding.
What is the deal with the two Japanese guys looking at the camera in the movie?
You have to ask Pirmin (filmer), but that's one good example of how he likes to put all sorts of shots into a colorful mix to keep it interesting and entertaining!
You have been a pro snowboarder for a long time now, why have you not really done a video like this before?
One thing is sure that you need the right moment, support and crew for it. That opportunity didn’t appear until last year. Plus it's only been a few years since I stopped focusing on contests. You have to fully commit to one thing if you want to do something like this.
You tried out for the Olympics a few times, why are you not making a run for Sochi?
It’s been a couple years now, and I lost interest contests and wasn’t having as much fun doing them. I don’t agree about different parts of the evolution of contest riding and don’t want to support it anymore!