Roope Tonteri has invested almost all the earnings of his snowboarding career in the forests. He now owns 85 football fields in the forest. He is a forest entrepreneur who manages his own forests and makes, among other things, jack-candles for sale.
Clearing saw plays in the South Karelian forest in Luumäki. In the slick light of November, it is used by a man who is accustomed to wearing orange lumberjack protective gear.
From here, it is both physically and mentally a long way to Alaska and Lesotho in southern Africa. They are the most exotic places where Roope Tonteri has been dusting snow on a snowboard.
Tonteri, 28, one of Finland’s most successful snowboarders, announced in mid-October that he would end his international racing career, which will include three world championships.
Now Tonteri is introducing HS to the direction his life is literally going: right in the woods.
“It’s pretty good already if you can do the kind of work you don’t mind leaving in the morning.”
Although Tonteri is likely to still be seen on the snowboard doing tricks – at least in videos and maybe even in domestic races – he keeps it clear that in the longer term his future is in the woods.
Tonteri is already a forest owner and forest entrepreneur, and he is currently training as a lumberjack.
“To put it bluntly, I have never once gone to work. Yes, it’s pretty good if you can do a job that doesn’t bother you in the morning, ”Tonteri says with a small grin on his face.
During the corona period, Tonteri calculates that he worked as a forest entrepreneur almost full-time.
For a few years now, he has invested roughly all of his moving money in forest plots.
“These have been investments in the future. However, it is a fact that the snowboarding job will end at some point. Basically, everything is ready so I can jump full time here. ”
Tonterille there is no problem telling how much forest he owns. It has a total of 60 hectares, divided into seven different plots. All but one of them are located in South Karelia and Kymenlaakso, where Tonteri comes from the Kouvola region.
However, he has little vertical forest, and the plots are seedlings and young nursery forests. The most recent acquisition is a forest plot in Kuhmo.
“I liked the river going through it,” Tonteri explains his purchase decision.
While the area of one football field is about 0.7 hectares, the 60 hectares of forest owned by Tonter correspond to the area of 85 football fields.
There are about 600,000 people in Finland who own at least two hectares of forest land. Many of them have inherited at least part of the forest they own, but Tonteri is not one of them. He has bought all his forest orders.
“Then that thing got a little out of hand”
For years then Tonteri was happy to do forestry work on the summer cottage site. Somewhere on a snowboarding trip, he started bothering with the idea that it would be nice to own his own forest.
“At the cottage, they were my father’s forests, so doing forestry work there was kind of subject to a permit. It’s a different thing to be working in your own forest. The idea came from that if you bought a piece of forest. Then that thing got a little out of hand. ”
As a forest owner, Tonteri has taken the line that the more he does himself, the better the return on the forest, if he does not lower his hourly rate.
“I do everything myself until the first major thinning, ie seedling and young forest treatments, energy tree harvesting and first thinning.”
Tonteri will supply birch logs for sale in the name of Risu-Roope to K-Market Taaveti in Luumäkelä. Recently, he has also worked on 150 dude candles for sale.
“There’s no day to think about what to do. You just have to decide where to do it. I do some work for outsiders. I haven’t done any marketing yet. It seems that social media does the same enough. Through that, inquiries have come. ”
Gradually, Tonteri has also increased its fleet, which includes two tractors, a wood chipper, four chainsaws and a clearing saw.
“That panic attack was like a revival”
For along the way, Tonteri has heard a little wonder in his snowboarding circles about his forest chores, because the friends thought he could have lived comfortably with the money he earned on snowboarding.
“But what would I do if I didn’t work? I’ve received quite a bit of negative feedback about this forest piece of the action. More has become of such trickery. Negative feedback can be questioned by asking what you swept when you went to the bathroom in the morning. Wood is present in everyone’s life, but it is simply not understood. ”
Tonteri says he enjoys being in the forest because he can be at peace there. He has noticed that he is not harassed in the woods.
It has been different in snowboarding. Speaking of the end of his international racing career, Tonteri revealed that the decision began to mature as early as a year and a half ago when he got a panic attack in Switzerland in the middle of the race.
“At the time, I wasn’t thinking about stopping the race yet, but a little bit I was already starting to think that it makes no sense here. This becomes more bad and exciting than good, ”Tonteri said in October.
“I guess this is the thing about relaxing in the woods.”
Last during the season, Tonteri stayed out of the national team and planned to hold an intermediate year. During the spring, he woke up more and more about how hard life had been in recent years. His intention to quit was fueled by exhaustion, for which he sought professional help.
Tonter thought exhaustion was the result of a lot of traveling and his inability to stop to rest. More than 200 travel days a year left their mark.
“That panic attack was like a revival. That’s when I talked on the phone with one psychologist, but I still pulled to the end of the season. When Korona came, it was a bit forced to stop. When even the day haunted me, I thought I had to go talk to someone. We went through it for quite some time. When Meikäläinen has had iron hot, it has been forged quite a bit. ”
According to Tonter, he received calls from his support forces to rest more. But when there was enough demand and the sponsors wanted it, Tonter pressed to go.
“For example, I had once been in the Yankees for three weeks filming in the spring. When I got home, I thought I could sit back a little now. There was a message that in three days the filming would start in the Yankees again, so I went. ”
After attending psychotherapy last spring, Tonteri started to feel even better in the forest.
“I guess that’s the thing about relaxing in the woods. It’s nice to stroll there and see what the mood is there. After all, it’s pretty exciting there when you see fresh bear shit. So far, the bears have dodged. However, I have not yet started hugging the trees to be felled. ”
Tonteri felt like he was on the national team “black sheep”
Nearly in all sports, access to the national team and to represent the home country is a really important thing for an athlete.
Roope Tonteri says that he has been on different lines here, although he certainly understands the attitude of others.
“I’ve never sat terribly well in that national team mold. When I was young, sometimes told that I am a national team skier, so I never signed it properly. I really wasn’t part of the team but kind of a black sheep. I went where I wanted to and did what I wanted to do. Sure, it got a little expensive. It would have been worthwhile to go with the national team and buy the forest with the money saved. ”
In two Tonteri, who also competed in the Olympics, is now waiting for a continuation of at least part of his sponsorship agreements. With them, photography work would also be allowed. In addition, he reportedly has a few filming projects of his own.
Counting with videos produced or published by sponsors is an essential part of a professional snowboarder’s career.
“Snowboarders like to watch while others snowboard. The gang looks at them before they start counting and gets a counting feeling from them, ”Tonteri sums up the basic logic of the descriptions.
Competing Toner may still be seen in the home country.
“I guess it could happen championships, when I’m the reigning champion halfpipe. In Big Air and slopestyle I don’t have a men’s Finnish championship yet. They may still have to get them, but that younger generation of the national team is falling so hard. ”
■ 28 years old, born in March 1992.
■ Coming from Valkeala, I also spend a lot of time in a summer place in Luumäki.
■ Studying with an apprenticeship as a lumberjack, graduated as a tourism service provider, forest entrepreneur.
■ Achievements in snowboarding: three world championships and one World Championship silver (2013, 2015), won one competition at the World Cup and been second twice, won the TTR series competition in Switzerland in 2011, placed 11th in the Sochi Olympics (2014) slopestyle and 2018 in the Pyeongchang Olympics (2018) and in the Big Air 15th.