Markus Fohr isn’t your average skier. Born in Boston but growing up his whole life in Finland, Markus started competing with the Finnish team from a young age. He took his airtime skills into the streets and floodlit parks of Finland, making a cult name for himself due to an explosive, extremely original style. Then he disappeared for a few years to national service.
Now Markus is back with a bang, living and skiing in Finland and most recently announcing himself through a standout cameo in The Faction Collective’s latest film THE COLLECTIVE. Having only skied a handful of weeks last season, Markus joined the trip, dropping jaws with some massive airs and leaving with the two ender shots of the film, donning the Root Anorak. But make no mistake, this isn’t a conclusion, it’s just the beginning of a new chapter for the Finnish maestro.
We caught up with Markus to find out more about his background, his outlook on skiing and what inspires him.
Name: Markus Fohr
Home Mountain: Talma, Finland
You’ve been on the freestyle skiing scene for some time, but you’ve had somewhat of a skiing hiatus until we caught you shredding La Clusaz with the team in THE COLLECTIVE – a Faction Skis team film that just dropped online – what have you been up to off snow?
So as you may know already I have been skiing for Faction 10 years. The story behind how I got started with Faction was that I won this wild card to a comp in California. The competition was the Salomon Jib Academy, I became super tight with one of the riders there who suggested to me that I should start riding for Faction.
During my ski hiatus, I’ve been living in the Czech Republic. It’s really interesting country. I went there because I wanted to gain experience in international work environment and I was lucky enough to land a job.
How was it to be reunited with old friends on snow in the La Clusaz segment of THE COLLECTIVE? Was this part of what inspired you to pack in your job and head back to Finland?
It’s hard to describe the feeling, but let’s pin point it to this: It was absolutely stunning to be there with the crew!
That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back to Finland, I felt after filming with the team, that I was not done with skiing. And the other reason was that I gained the experience I wanted there, so mission complete.
We are excited to be working with you–why did you decide to join our small Swiss brand? What was it that drew you to FW?
The brand itself is different than other brands. FW promotes wasting less with their repair program which is a good thing if you look where the world is going. But also, what got me hooked was the shapes, colours, a really precise, strong look and I absolutely love it.
In addition to sending some classic La Clusaz kickers & natural features, you’re also spotted dunking in cold water – was this a dare or is cold water immersion part of your mountain routine?
In the Collective movie you can spot me going in the cold water and the reason is that end of the day you need to do your best to look after your body so you can enjoy the next day even more. Recovery is the key!
How did you get into skiing in the first place?
When I was younger I was competing in aggressive online skating / roller blading. I won few big competitions including the Finnish championships in my age group at that time, so you may guess I started first with the really short skis, but ended up realizing that its hard to get the speed for the bigger jumps, so my mom got me twin-tips after a few months of skiing in the blades. Since then I have been trying to get more speed and more air on my jumps. Skiing style strong and fast.
Who do you look to in skiing for inspiration?
When I was growing up it was the Pro skiers of course, but I always got my drive from my peers inspiring me day to day. The group was always pushing forward with new tricks and advanced styles every day! At end of the day, the people who you’re skiing with are what makes it a super fun and special experience. My friends are my inspiration.
And how about outside of skiing?
For training, I get a lot of inspiration from calisthenics and it was going hand in hand with skiing training as well. Inspiration for life: David Goggins. No further words needed.
What keeps you coming back to skiing?
Skiing, as it is for many skiers, is my way of expressing myself. I would go as far to say that skiing one of my art platforms.
What was it like living and working in the Finnish army? Any great expeditions that you can tell us about?
The total experience of the Finnish defense forces was life changing for me. I didn’t know much about the Force’s and the traditions when I went there, but what kept me going was that I always put 101% on the table.
I was selected to do the 2nd lieutenant training as my inner drive and determination was spotted by the Leaders in my troop. One of the tests what I went through for this involved a lot of walking with no sleep. Over the last 40 km, I remember dragging my operated leg - it was brutal. I salute my brothers! Never give up. After my training was complete, I began working as a 2nd lieutenant. My responsibilities were sports training and consulting the younger generation in their daily tasks.
What is your home mountain in Finland?
The one and only place where it all started: Talma glacier!
What are your plans for this winter now that the snow has arrived and you’re no longer working?
My plans for this winter are to go ski the resort in Finland and film with my friends!