X Games gold medal winner Tiril Christiansen traded in skis with a surfboard in Portugal

The two times X Games winner (slopestyle and Big Air in 2013 and 2016) can usually be found skiing in more frozen elements, but Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen quickly discovered both technique and style when she visited the surf camp in Portugal and got back on the surfboard.

Hi, Tiril! Nice to see you again after your surf trip to Portugal! You were unlucky and had to sit out on the whole season because of a knee injury. How is that going?
– I’m getting there. Right now I’m down on a vacation in Fuerteventura together with my dad. I’m spending so many ours at the gym and I’m really enjoying the time off once in a while. It’s easier to recover when I’m fully committed and ready to get back into the gym.

Photo: Vegard Breie
You were in Ericeira, Portugal last summer together with parts of the Norwegian Red Bull team. How was that surf trip?
– It was amazing! I’ve surfed once before and really wanted to do it again. I wish we had more time down there, but I learnt a lot thanks to the great, great coach (João Durão).

So how was the surfing itself? – was it easier or harder than you thought?
– It was a lot easier now than the first time. That time we thought it was just a piece of cake and rented the shortest boards we could find, which we quickly regretted. I encourage everyone that wants to learn to surf on a big big board the first times, and to tag along with someone that know hows to surf. I’ll try to squeeze in a surf trip this summer if the knee’s better!

You didn’t get hassled by the other skiers because you traded in your skis for a board?
– No, luckily not 🙂 I actually used to ride a snowboard before starting with twin tip and I also skated some when I was younger.

How does 2017 look? Are you able to compete in the fall and target the Olympics in 2018?
– That’s the plan. The Olympics is my biggest goal at the moment and there’s a lot of training that needs to be done in order to get back to my good ol’ level of skiing. But I’ll do my best and hope for a medal in Japan.

Photo: Andreas Løve Storm Fausko