Hailing from the coastal fjords of East Vancouver, snowboarder Steffen Masaites grew-up in the shadow of Canada's Pacific Coast mountains before leaving home after high school and exploring the world outside BC.
Having spent a year surfing in Australia, and a summer travelling through the Alps and Northern Europe, german-speaking Steffen swapped the city of Vancouver for the forests of Kamloops in 2019 and has been exploring the local terrain ever since.
We caught-up with him recently to see how his season had gone, his thoughts on the Canadian ski culture, and his interpretation of exactly what it means to 'yard sale'.
East Vancouver from the top of Dog Mountain
Steff let's start from the beginning... how old were you when you first went snowboarding and what can you remember about that first time?
"I think I was 11 or 12 at the time. I was in Grade 4 and it was through school-sponsored ski and snowboard lessons.
I remember being in the beginner group and then after two runs being added to the intermediate group because I got the hang of it so fast."
Last year you made the move north to Kamloops. How has this past season been for you personally? We’ve heard you’ve been going off-piste quite a bit this year, how has this been?
"Last season was awesome. It was my first at Sun Peaks and my friend Kolton [Storzuk] and I really got to explore all of the mountain's little secrets."
Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada.
For people who don’t know you, you’re a pretty relaxed guy. Do you think this carries over into your style of snowboarding?
"To an extent, yes. I like to be a flowy rider but I definitely charge (be intense) a lot more while snowboarding."
Many of our European readers won’t have been skiing in North America. What can you tell us about the Canadian ski culture?
"It’s a very laid back culture where you can easily make friends on the hill. People love apres or even a midday lunch while skiing. If you need a ride up the hill don’t hesitate to stand on the side of the road and stick a thumb out!"
A native of British Columbia, you see quite a lot of snow. From your experience, where’s the best place to find fresh ‘pow’?
"I haven’t been able to fully explore the whole of BC however Revelstoke is amazing and so to is Mt Baker in Washington state [south of the border]."
Growing-up in Vancouver, what do you remember about the 2010 Winter Olympics?
"I remember a lot of stuff watching on TV. The events were too expensive for us so a lot of it was spent on the couch. I also remember it being funny because there was so little snow that year that the organizers had to ship snow from the BC interior in order for the events to run."
Whistler, host village of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Some quick-answer questions for you Steff...
European Alps or Canadian Rockies?
Favourite music to listen to when snowboarding?
"Anything upbeat to pump me up."
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the Canadian apres-ski?
"7 out of 10."
And lastly Steff, a lot of our readers will be unfamiliar with some of the lingo used by North American riders. Can you translate these three phrases for us?
1. 'Gnarly' = "When something is crazy."
2. ‘Send it’ = "To go big!"
3. ‘Yard Sale’ = "A crash where all the equipment gets scattered."
We'd like to thank Steff for taking the time to talk with us and would like to wish him well for the upcoming season. To keep up with Steff's adventures, make sure to follow him on instagram.