ALINE BOCK – WELCOME INTERVIEW Aline Bock's introduction to the world of snowboarding began, like most, in the pipe and park before switching focus to more natural terrain and spending three years sending lines on some of the worlds gnarliest peaks on the Freeride World Tour circuit. But these days, the 34-year-old German is much more likely to be spotted in some far-slung destination bagging peaks and powder in front of a camera. Naturally, it was on an isolated beach on Ireland's rugged coastline that we found Aline and pinned her down to discuss her latest adventures and welcome her as the newest member of the Le Bent family.
LB: ALINE, THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH US. WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOU RIGHT NOW? HAVE YOU MANAGED TO SCORE SOME EARLY SEASON TURNS?
I am currently in Ireland, shooting bike and surf for an outerwear brand, a bike company and also for Ireland tourism. This place is so beautiful and magical with stunning views. There is so much to see at the coastline and the waves are actually amazing over here. No crowds! The water is quite freezing, but if you wear a decent wetsuit, it's actually fine.
I love being involved in media opportunities where several sports are combined. It´s a bit of a challenge and long days and with more options, you always have choices to make, but it's totally worth it and the fact that you can chose between more than one sport is just great. If there is no surf, you can always bike somewhere.
I haven't had the chance to get some turns in yet, but I have heard that it already snowed quite a bit back home. So hopefully in the next few weeks, I might put a snowboard under my feet to get my legs strong.
WILL YOU BASE YOURSELF IN INNSBRUCK AGAIN THIS SEASON?
Yeah, Innsbruck has been my base for over 14 years now. I have studied there and I don't think I could find a nicer place to live. I would like to live near the beach one day, but until then, I actually love Innsbruck and its surroundings.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS? WILL YOUR FOCUS BE MORE TOWARD FILM PROJECTS, OR COMPETING THIS YEAR?
I will definitely be focussing on another film project. After Way North and Way East, we are already thinking of where to go next. Nothing is planed yet, but we did some brainstorming already. Also I will still run my split boarding camps in the alps as well as a new project called SAFE ON SNOW www.safeonsnow.org - it's a female-specific avalanche clinic that offers a supportive, fun and educational day in the mountains. At SAFE ON SNOW we create a comfortable environment for women to refresh or start their path to becoming educated in how to travel in avalanche terrain.
YOU’VE RECEIVED A LOT OF PRAISE FROM BOTH AUDIENCES AND INDUSTRY FOR THE WAY NORTH PROJECT IN NORWAY LAST YEAR. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO TRAVEL SO FAR TO CHASE BOTH WAVES AND SNOW?
Yeah, the project was shot very far north in the arctic circle at the Lofoten Islands, in Norway. There are a lot of fjords and really steep alpine terrain falls directly into the ocean. The weather changes super fast and this is also what's so special about that place. We took all our equipment in our Sunlight camper van with us, so we knew we had the option to either go surfing or to hike up some mountains. We only had 11 days up in the Lofoten islands to shoot, so it was hard to plan with changing weather, snow and surf conditions. To make the best out of every day was a challenge, but I think we were pretty lucky with the conditions we had to deal with. The other challenge was living in a camper van for two weeks with five people. But it worked out pretty well and I think everybody had a great time.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE MORE MOTIVATED TO PUSH YOUR OWN LIMITS BY BEING INVOLVED IN PROJECTS LIKE THIS? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM YOUR YEARS ON THE FREERIDE WORLD TOUR?
Competing at the Freeride World Tour was great and I had a lot of fun those years. I also learned a lot and I definitely don't want to miss that time. I sometimes watch the live broadcast and when I see all my friends and the whole FWT family, I really wish I could be there with them at the time. But after three years and one major injury I really wanted to do something else and be able to travel to different places. When I had the chance to go to Alaska to film some big mountain riding, I did not hesitate to skip the last events. When you compete, you definitely push yourself more and you might risk a bit more, but producing and organising my own projects is what I always really wanted to do and dreamed of.
CAN YOU DRAW PARALLELS BETWEEN THE PRESSURES TO ENTERTAIN YOUR AUDIENCE AND THE SAME PRESSURE OF COMPETITION?
I think it is a different feeling, but there is still pressure on your back when you show your film to the people at home. It´s exciting and you cannot wait for the feedback, but it is not the same feeling when I stand on the start gate.
I GUESS WITH A NEW FOCUS ON ADVENTURE AND DISCOVERY A BRAND LIKE LE BENT IS THE PERFECT FIT FOR YOU. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAME TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE BRAND?
I got in touch with Le Bent the first time when we were planning our new project, Way East in Japan last year. Aaron Jamieson who was helping us a lot with the project proposed to organise some nice thermal layers that would keep us warm and comfortable during our snow camping mission or along the whole trip. I was really happy with the material and liked the products a lot.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT LE BENT YOU FIND MOST APPEALING?
I love that Le Bent is not using any toxic material but rather working with fabrics like Merino & Bamboo.They use their knowledge along with renewable, natural and sustainable materials in all their products to provide our feet and body with good comfort.
YOU SPENT SOME TIME IN JAPAN THIS PAST WINTER FILMING FOR YOUR LATEST PROJECT WAY EAST. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THAT CONTINUATION OF THE WAY NORTH CONCEPT?
After our exciting trip to Norway last winter, this winter’s adventure meant turning WAY NORTH into WAY EAST and looking to more distant horizons for another exciting project. Fully equipped with skis and boards for all kind of waves and snow, we set off in search of the famous Japanese powder snow and perfect waves, but also to discover the reality of a post-Fukushima life in Japan. Our adventure took us several thousand kilometres around Hokkaido on a surf, snow, and camping adventure through the mountains to the ocean and covering some of the least-visited and undiscovered corners of the island.
With tents and camping equipment on our backs, we hit the trail on our skis and split boards to reach the Sea of Japan. Wind, 20kg+ of gear, fog, and freezing nights in the snow pushed us to our limits.
With our journey through a remote wilderness of untouched landscapes, riding perfect lines and surfing unnamed waves, we carved our own path.
Vimeo Link Trailer: https://vimeo.com/173923430
WE HAVE TO MENTION IT, WAY SOUTH? AUSTRALIA? SEEMS LIKE A PERFECT FIT?
That would be awesome. I would love to… maybe we could plan something together then.
ABOUT ALINE BOCK
Home Resort: Arlberg / Nordkette
Sponsors: THULE, Ortovox, ABS, Deeluxe, Sunlight, HAD, Le Bent, Moken Vision, Bleed Clothing
Favourite Le Bent gear: Women's Le Base 200 Lightweight Baselayer