\ Team 22's Jani Johansen Jani has years of tele under his belt and a world of experience. From Finland's National Telemark Team to Norway's Lyngen countryside, Jani is teaching the youth and still ripping tele-turns.

Jani Johansén

Jani has years of tele under his belt and a world of experience; from Finland's National Telemark Team to Norway's Lyngen countryside, Jani is teaching the youth and still ripping tele turns. 
I'm originally from Levi, Finland, situated 150km north of the Arctic Circle. These days, I've made my way southward and settled in Rovaniemi, which happens to be right on the Arctic Circle – home to none other than Santa Claus himself.

Where are you from, when did you begin skiing and telemarking, where do you ski most now?

I kicked off my skiing adventures back in 1981 at the age of five. By the early 90s, I was on the hunt for something fresh in the skiing world. Competitive racing wasn't my thing – it felt too serious. Back then, the ski resort had ruined the jumps, and venturing into the backcountry was seen as risky and forbidden. It didn’t stop us though. Carving skis and twin tips hadn't even come into play yet. I experimented with monoskiing and snowboarding, but they didn't quite hit the mark. My buddies started to telemark around 1990 and it felt like worth trying. For two weeks I ate snow like never before. But little by little I started to get the idea.

During the next five years I progressed enough to join the Finnish National Telemark Team, which led me to a three-year stint on the World Cup circuit. While some athletes aimed for podium finishes, my focus was more about exploring the world and skiing as much as I could. Along the way, I made great memories with like minded skiers like Adam Ü. 

In 2001, I moved away from competitive racing and started spending winters in the Alps, particularly in La Grave and Chamonix, France. During spring, I returned to Finnish Lapland and Lyngen, Norway.

After ticking off bucket-list destinations like Japan and New Zealand, I realized that the Lyngen area had everything I needed. Plus, it was just a short drive away. On weekdays, I enjoy skiing at the Ounasvaara town resort (with its massive 450 feet height). For weekends and camps, I head to our cabin at the Pyhä Ski Resort – a spot that offers something for the whole family.

What do you love about telemarking?

The feeling of surfing and the aesthetics. It also keeps me fit ;) I often make it a point to mention during my telemark camps that freeheelers have got some seriously great bums.

What do you like about our bindings?

I use the Outlaw X and the Lynx. Lynx being my mountain and backcountry choice and Outlaw X is my piste and sidecountry charger. Outlaw X is sturdy and reliable on whatever I decide to do. In Lynx I like how it skis. I also don’t mind that it’s a bit lighter.

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not skiing?

When I'm not skiing, I love to stay active and have fun. I enjoy fatbiking, ice swimming, orienteering, playing soccer, practicing yoga, doing crossfit, and bouldering. 

List your accomplishments, competition results, awards, other sponsors, etc.

  • My greatest accomplishment is raising three kids and introducing them to skiing and snowboarding. Hopefully, my kids will keep outdoor sports as a lifetime deal.
  • Back in the day, I did competitive riding between gates and freeriding. On the World Cup Tele Tour, I was a top ten finisher at my best. In freeriding, I won one International comp at Les Arcs, France but mostly, I took jumps that were too big and crashed. 
  • But my focus shifted to teaching on camps and product R&D. I'm also proud to be an ambassador for Protect Our Winters Finland and partnered with Pusu Skis, POC Helmets and Goggles, Pyhä Ski Resort, Start Ski Wax, and High 5 Sports Nutrition.