Interview: Dominik Wagner

Dominik Wagner

Der Snowboarder aus Österieich

Age: 28

Location: Schladming, Austria

What’s going on in your life right now?
Right now I’m finishing packing, I’m going to Canada tomorrow. It’s going to be great, my friend told me yesterday that I was going so it was on pretty short notice! Otherwise I’m just snowboarding, and trying to get ready for the season. It snowed a bunch in Austria pretty early for the season, but now it’s pretty dry.   

You have been to Sweden a few times right? How was it?
Yes, I’ve been to the Frontline Railjam three times I think. And I’ve been to Stockholm six or seven times. The first time I ever travelled alone for snowboarding, was to Stockholm. My luggage got lost and then I was running around Stockholm by myself for five hours before I got a hold of my friend who saved me. But it was fun because I got to see a lot, and I just walked around and had some food. I know the city now and I really like it, everybody is really well-dressed and I just like the whole vibe. I like the water, the small islands and the architecture. There are many things that makes it special, parties and good food haha.   

What do you do when you’re not snowboarding?
I’m skateboarding a lot. I snowboard almost the whole year, there’s three months when I’m not snowboarding, when I try to spend time with my family and my girlfriend. We’re also building a skate park back home, with our own bowl. We’re called the Bowlriders Club, you should check it out! I like to go to the seaside, my girlfriend has a house on an island in Croatia. We go there a lot and fish and eat good food.   

When and how did you start snowboarding?
I started when I was 12 years old. My first day of snowboarding was on Christmas Eve and I had been excited for a month because I knew I was getting a snowboard for christmas. And then I tried it out and fell on my head so I got a concussion. I had to spend the night in hospital, not the best start but I kept on doing it and had fun, so the accident didn’t stop me!   

We’ve seen that you ride in all white clothing, why is that?
Honestly it’s really just, I don’t know, I just need to change things. I’ve been snowboarding for over ten years, if everything is always the same, it gets boring for me. I try to change small things in my setup, like my clothes. One day I was just wearing all white for fun just to keep it interesting. It’s pretty much what I do with everything, I like change.

What are your inspirations?
I like skateboarding a lot, I get a lot of ideas and motivations from that. Whenever I see something I like I get inspired, it doesn’t have to be skate or snowboarding, just when someone does anything cool, motivating or creative. Everything can inspire me really.

Inspired by life?
Haha yeah, that sounds a bit corny but I guess that’s pretty much what it is.

If you weren’t a professional snowboarder, what do you think you would have done?
That’s a tough question. I went to school and studied sports science for two years, but then I quit because of snowboarding. I don’t think that I would’ve wanted to do that anyways but I guess that I would have tried to find something else that gets me as stoked and happy as snowboarding. I’d probably study something interesting or maybe just work in a factory or something, I wouldn’t mind having a normal job and just skating in my free time.

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in a town called Neunkirchen, it’s in lower Austria, 40 minutes outside Vienna. It’s a nice little town outside the big city. I moved to Schladming last year with my girlfriend. It’s better for me and for snowboarding, since it’s in the mountains. The park that I ride for, Absolut Park, is just 25 minutes away. And the glacier where you can snowboard in the summer and in the pre-season is just a 15-minute ride away. I can snowboard almost all year-round without really travelling too much.  

What places would you recommend in your hometown?
I don’t know, I don’t do much here except for snowboarding, whenever I’m not travelling I’m just at home. But there’s a good Italian restaurant next to my house, that has the best pizza in town, haha. I usually spend time with my girlfriend or with my friends and skating. It’s good for hiking, climbing and cycling, it’s a good place to do outdoor stuff. I try to be outside as much as possible.

When is your favourite time of the day and why?
It’s kind of weird because I have the hardest time waking up in the morning. But I’m almost looking forward to going to bed so I can wake up and make coffee. I really enjoy that, drinking coffee in the mornings next to my fireplace, just enjoying the morning hours.

If you could re-live one moment in your life, which one would it be?
I look so much forward to everything that’s happening, that whatever I’ve done before, even if it was the best moment of my life, I still look forward to things that’s coming up. It’s more exciting for me to see change and what’s happening in the future than looking back on things I already did.     

What are your biggest fears?
I wouldn’t say that it’s a fear, but it would definitely suck to get hurt or sick or something, or if something happened to my family or friends. I’m not scared of stuff that could happen, you can’t really change things so I don’t like thinking about what could happen. Of course I’m aware that stuff could happen but I’m not sitting at home and worrying about it.  

How do you think people around you would describe you?
They probably all hate me and think I’m annoying, haha. No, but I’m my own biggest critic, I always try to reflect on what I’m doing and try to be a better person. I really have no idea how they would describe me, I hope they like me though!  

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you?
Some people don’t even know that I’m living here in Schladming now. It’s funny because I have friends that live here but they don’t know that I also live here now. I’ve been around for the past couple of years even when I wasn’t living here, and they still see me just hanging around so they probably just think that I’m visiting for the weekend or something.

We’ve seen that you always wear a Manchester United hat, is it because of Zlatan?
No, it’s pretty much just because I wanted to have a white hat, haha. And that was the only white hat New Era, the brand that I ride for, had. That’s pretty much what it is, I’m not a big soccer fan.   

What was it about Cheapo that made you want to be a part of the team?
It was because of Zebbe Landmark, we were filming for this L1 video, he came on the trip and had six or seven watches with him. I hadn’t been wearing a watch for fifteen years, but I asked him about the watches because I really liked them, and he told me about the brand. I asked Zebbe to sell me one, but instead he gave it to me and put me in contact with Cheapo. I just like the concept that they are not that expensive, but still good quality.  

What is your favourite piece from the Cheapo collection?
My favourite is the ‘Never too Late’ watch, but unfortunately I broke it when I was skating, that’s the one I got from Zebbe. I like the simple black and white style. And the Skateistan watch, I really like that one.   

Taking a strong social stance for equality and human rights are fundamental parts of Cheapo’s DNA. What social responsibility and/or charity is the most important to you?
I’m a fan of every charity that actually works with helping people, that is the most important thing that everybody should do, just watch out for each other. I like giving stuff to people or helping people out as much as I can. Especially in skating and snowboarding I feel like it’s important to help people that don’t have the opportunity or the money to do it, to help them out and try to make it happen. I really like the skateistan project, the concept of sharing something that you like to do with others. That’s also why we started to build our own skate park, to motivate and show other people why we like skating so much.    

What are your plans for the future?
I will just try to stay healthy and be happy with my life, that’s my biggest goal, just to do stuff I like. Try to snowboard as much as I can, and maybe try to think about some education for the future. Sometimes it freaks me out to think about what I’m gonna do! But I don’t want to stress too much about it, it’s gonna come to me at some point I hope.  

Last but not least, which animal would you be, and why?
I don’t know for what reason but my family gave me a nickname, small bear, I really don’t know why. But it makes sense to choose a bear since they used too call me that, and still do actually.  

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