This week we grilled Tyrolean live wire Julia Baumgartner on her shooting qualities, her parts in Lipstick and MOG Productions and the importance of enjoying life!
Interview by Sam Haddad, action photography by Carlos Blanchard, lifestyle photography Nikita
Hey Julia, how are you?
Superfine, thanks! Hopefully you are too!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Prutz, at the start of the Kaunertal valley in Tyrol, with two sisters and my parents and that was great! I am glad I grew up in a small village, where everybody knows everyone and greets each other on the streets… Now I live in a very nice 46 squaremetre flat with balcony AND bath in Innsbruck with my boyfriend Florian, which is perfect for university, my jobs and riding almost all at the same time!
Do you remember your first time on a snowboard and how that felt?
For sure it was with my sister Tanja on a SantaCruz Board, and a binding with only one strap, wearing ski boots and the homemade outerwear from my Mum! I also remember, that it took me a long time to learn how to turn (almost 2 seasons!) – maybe it was because of the equipment 😉
I won’t ever forget my first powder day, which my sister Tanja gave to me on my birthday! I did so many “powder rolls”, but whenever I could breathe, I was always screaming about how great it was.
You seem to get a lot of cool shots taken (we have a couple of bangers by Carlos Blanchard in the current issue)! Do you find it easy to work with photographers?
Thanks! I really appreciate that I get to ride with good photographers sometimes! I love going out somewhere with a little crew a – searching for some spots, building it, hitting it and shooting it. With the photographers I’ve ridden with until now it was always super-easy! I never had any bad experiences with a photographer I have to say!
Carlos is always helping where ever he can, he has a really good eye for good spots, helps building, tells you which trick would look good, gives moral support and pushes a lot (in a good way of course!)
Also with my boyfriend Florian Trattner it is always great, even though he is my boyfriend and expects sometimes more than I would expect of myself. Once we did a “Lipsticktrip” session, where it wouldn’t have been possible to shape the kicker without him, because it was pure ice and we definitly needed him there as a strong man! 😉
I even got the chance to go shooting with Daniel Blom and Pasi Salminen, which was great too and a big pleasure for me!
And what’s the hardest thing about getting shots done?
It depends on the spot, if you have a good spot and you feel good, there shouldn’t be any problem getting good shots. Problems might happen, if the photographer and the rider don’t talk with each other… Asshots can be the result…
It’s easier than ever to film clips on the mountain. Do you think that is changing women’s snowboarding at all and if so how?
It’s great! Everbody gets the chance to film and edit some stuff together… Maybe it changes something in the way that everybody can show their skills.With those mountain clips you can show your skills to almost everybody…or at least the ones who are interested. And through putting these “home/mountainmadeclips” on the internet you can talk to more people and show more people about this great sport, the culture, the nature you’re living in…
You seem to put a lot of edits together yourself, do you enjoy that side of the things?
I really love it! It’s kind of like a diary for me… I have a video about almost every trip I’ve been on for the last 3 years. I love filming and editing and trying to put some messages into a little movie. I also really like it when I can check how many people already watched my movie – I’m so happy when I get more and more hits… [Watch Julia’s behind the scenes clip of the Nikita Fall/Winter 11/12 collection shoot in Miami click here]
Describe your dream day on the mountain? Who would you be riding with and where?
I am really happy to say that I live those dream days already on many days!!! Of course the absolute dream days are powder days with friends – of course these are the best days! But I have to say, that it is still always a dream day just being on the mountain, riding and playing in the snow with my board, with my boyfriend, friends and without any pain.
You had a contest win at the Kaunertal Opening recently, tell us about that?
That was great! I was there with my nephew Clee and Florian Trattner. It was straight after I’d been to Iceland for the Nikita Outerwear shoot and straight after I worked in my youth center (as I do every Friday night). As my first and only time riding this season so far was that one day at the Kaunertal Opening, I didn’t expect anything at the competition. I only wanted to ride and have fun. Which happened and then I even won the competition in my hometown! I was really stoked about that. Although I was not too stoked about the prize – there was a HUGE gap between what the first guy got, and what I got (he got 1,250 euros and I got 250 euros). Of course I thought – “whatever” – and of course I know that there were only 4 girls competing compared to 20 guys and it was not a TTR or other bigger comp, and I also know that we haven’t done the same tricks as the guys. But we actually had the same way to go on the glacier and we did hit the same obstacles. I really hope that this contest will be an exception to the rule!
Are generally into doing more comps in the future or are you more about the powder deep down?
I would love to ride deep powder more in the future!!! I would love to do more trips, where we get more powder. Or the best would be, if the snow hits the Alps more often again!! I guess my knees would enjoy that a lot more as well, after 5 operations…
How was being part of Lipstick and what was special to you about that movie?
It was so great! It was the first year, so of course there were many special things. All the trips were exclusively with especially nice people and they were more or less spontaneous but turned out good every time! The most special trip for me was going to HELSINKI! It was my first time in Finland and it was totally not what I expected! The Turkey trip was just amazing too – my first time riding in Turkey, in an all inclusive hotel with only nice people!!! I didn’t have the chance to go to a premiere so I haven’t seen anything of the movie yet! I was ready for the one in Innsbruck, but then I crashed really hard riding Stubai during the day, so I couldn’t even make it into the taxi! [Watch the trailer here]
What other movie projects are you involved with right now?
I’ve been filming with MOG Production for 3 years, a project by Tyrolean local MOG (Martin Venier’s nickname) [Watch her FULL PART here!]. I was also happy about getting the chance to film with the 32 Team in Mount Hood this year. Mark Pirc from Setup Production was the filmer and editor.
Do you have any issues in snowboarding you’d like to raise right now?
I could write a big essay right now, because there is a lot of stuff going on right now – or still, I must say. The only thing I really want to say is that everybody who rides should know and have in mind, WHAT he is allowed and ABLE to do, when he/she is doing that and should enjoy that as much as possible! Enjoy that you are healthy, got something to drink, eat, and that you can enjoy being “downtow” and “upstairs” on the mountain!
RESPECT AND PROTECT THE PEOPLE AND THE WORLD AROUND YOU – THAT’S HOW YOU PROTECT YOURSELF…
Can I also do a thank you to Flori, my family, all my friends, MOG Productions, Lipstick Productions and my sponsors?
Sure thing, thanks Julia!
Julia rides for Nikita K2 Electric, Etnies, Grounded, Nixon, Pull-In, Pow Gloves, Thirty Two, Sweet Dream, Lesettes, My Mawaii Suncare, Cappuccino Club