For the title, we will spark memories from Enid Blyton’s childrens book ‘Hanni und Nanni’. However, K2 has not stepped up to write another chapter with Hanne Eilertsen and Loranne Smans. On the contrary, the snowboarding of these young women is very grown up and there is still so much potential for them.
Interview: Hanne Eilertsen and Loranne Smans (english)
Whilst Hanne learned to shred on the same hill as the RK1 Boys, Loranne only stepped on a board for the first time in one of Belgium’s freezers. Snowboarding under the same conditions 365 days a year pays off; and so the 23-year-old Belgian is now the Top-Seed on team Benelux. Even if Eilerston still needs to grow into the shoes of her origins, the RK1 family (Stale Sandbech, Len Jorgensen and Alek Oestreng) should be very proud that from this little hill in Norway another world-class snowboarder has been born. We met Hanne and Loranne at the LAAX opening, did a few runs with them and then over did it with the questions.
You two have just joined us at the LAAX opening. Is it your first time here?
Loranne: Actually, I have been here before, two years ago, but I injured myself during training so it is my first time.
Hanne: First Timer!
How did it go?
Hanne: I could not land my second run so I came ninth. I missed out on a spot to the finals with less than a points difference. I did get annoyed, but in total I am really pleased.
Loranne: The course was insanely creative and was lots of fun to ride. Sadly I injured myself in training, and in the contest I crashed. So it go that well.
Where did you learn snowboarding?
Loranne: I learned to snowboard indoors in Belgium and during holidays in Belgium. I was roughly 8 years old then.
Hanne: I started to learn on the famous RK1 Boys hill, in Rykkinn, a small area near Oslo. The hill was tiny, but the scene there was fantastic. I live 5 minutes from Stale and Alek.
Women’s snowboarding is through the roof at the moment. Do you have a favourite?
Loranne: Jamie Anderson. After so many years, snowboarding at such a high level is just superhuman. But Zoi Zoynott is also extremely impressive. What impresses me a lot are the female Japanese snowboarders, every year a fresh face stands out and snowboards in such a fantastic way.
Hanne: I can only agree to that but I need add Anna Gasser. She has done so many new tricks. Impressive!
Both of you travel a lot together. How and where did you meet?
Hanne: We got to know each other 2011 (Hanne 11, Loranne 13) on a Roxy camp in Saas-Fee. That was such a cool camp, I got to know so amazing girls that shred, especially Loranne.
Loranne: We also kept seeing each other on the World Rookie Tour. For me the magic moment where it clicked between us was our trip together to Saas-Fee. I was with my parents in Norway, met Hanne there and planned that trip.
Hanne: Yeah, it just work really well and since then we have been on countless trips together.
What problems do women have in the snowboard world?
Loranne: I still believe that women are not taken seriously enough. But that is partly our fault, we often sell ourselves too short because we think we aren’t on the same level our male counterparts. We get influenced by the impressive tricks they do.
Hanne: I agree to that but I also think that lately its improving massively.
You have by now snowboarded in so many different places around the world. Do you have a favourite?
Loranne: Yeah, Breckenridge feels like my second home. I love this area, also new Zealand makes me feel at home.
Hanne: I have fallen in love with LAAX this year. It did not really get to me that in Europe there are so many amazingly good funparks. I’m going to fly less and less into the states now.
At the moment the 1440 from Anna Gasser is the hardest trick in womens snowboarding. Whats your hardest trick?
Hanne: I can do the BS 9 pretty safely. That’s my hardest trick at the moment.
Loranne: I have done a few 9s already, I only have a 7 on lock though.
Bag jumps have increased the trick development rapidly. Have you tried Bag jumps before?
Hanne: I tried one for the first time last year.
Loranne: It’s really funny, every rider does it but no one admits it, which at the end of the day really stupid is. Of course, every pro trains now a days on bag jumps, without bag jumps it’s really hard to get yourself to do it. I was last year a couple of days at Banger Park and did the massive jump. It’s just a lot of fun.
You two have just switched to K2 snowboards. How did that happen?
Hanne: I was pretty long with Roxy, then the team in Norway split up, I moved to nitro after that. Their boards were really good, but sadly they didn’t give me the perspective I wanted. Then came the offer from K2, the boards are world class, the team manager is amazing and I feel really well supported.
Loranne: I was with Hanne at Roxy. I was then given an offer from Burton where they promised many things which is why I switched. But sadly that was a one-way street. Hanne told me lots of K2 so I asked whether she can introduce me so we can work together again. Luckily, they said yes, I am really happy with the material and the whole team. And of course to ride with Hanne again.
When you are filming a snowboard movie, with who would you love to work with (director and Rider)?
Loranne: I really want to work with Willem Jones. He is also a Belgian and I am fascinated by his work. Otherwise I want to work with Hanne obviously.
Hanne: I don’t know any directors. Would I want to film with Loranne? Yes of course!
What’s the plan for the rest of the covid season?
Loranne: I love to have plans but I don’t have one, its just impossible at the moment. So im just going to wait for everything to be thrown at me before doing anything.
Hanne: I will probably spend the whole season in Europe, travelling is just not the best idea, especially travelling far. Here there are lots of mountains and parks.