Pipe Dreams With Berenice Wicki

Since her checkout in Whiteout 49 three years ago, we’ve enjoyed watching Berenice Wicki evolve into a top competitor in the pipe. Her drive and consistency is paying off and opening doors, securing her a coveted invite to the X-Games this year. Jonas Gasser linked up with her at the Laax Open to shoot some photos and get to know her better. 

Hey Berenice, How do you feeling about your riding at the Laax Open this year?
I landed a run and didn’t get the score that I was hoping for, but it‘s part of the game. It‘s always easier if you land your first run, so you can either clean it up or step it up. Next time I’ll be back with bigger airs and longer grabs. I had an Alley-Oop planned, but it’s easy to say that now. You always could’ve done more in hindsight, haha.

It’s tough to decide between amplitude and technicality. What do you prefer and how does that align with what the judges want?
It’s always difficult to know exactly what the judges are looking for. Going big is key, but it can be a risk when you’re just focused on qualifying. Sometimes you have to play it a bit safe. It would have been cool if the first run had gone well, allowing me to send it in the second run. I would’ve dropped in from a few meters higher and tried to focus more on each grab.

Yeah, to be so close is a hard pill to swallow.
For me, Laax is the one that has always gotten away. I’ve made it into almost every final in the World Cup, but doing it here is still on my checklist. It’s the one that I want the most and the pipe is always so perfect. It’s just super fun to ride here and the level is so high!
But I’m convinced that it will finally come together next year. 

Sounds like a bit of a love/hate relationship. But now you’re gearing up for the most important contest in the states. What’s up with the X-Games?
I got the invitation the day before the qualis here. That’s a dream come true for me since I was there last year as a backup rider. So I’m pretty stoked. Also, I’m hyped about the format there without the qualification process. That way you can be loose and focus fully on your best run.

What do you expect from the X-Games, especially considering the significant exposure that you get at that event?
It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely a good opportunity for me. In the end, I also have the feeling that it’s similar to other contests. If I don’t make it into the top 3, it’s not such a big change for me.
I haven’t thought much about all the exposure at the X-Games. Of course it would be nice, but I don’t do contests trying to get more followers. I do it because I love snowboarding!

What do you think of social media’s place in snowboarding these days?
It’s hard to stand out, especially as a woman. We have to get really creative since viewers are already used to all of the high airs and technical tricks from the men. But it’s part of the game for sure, especially for the sponsors.

Speaking of sponsors, I guess you’re pretty set with Burton. How do you like it with the brand, and what opportunities do you have there?
I’m really happy with Burton! It was a fun experience to attend the Rider Summit in Innsbruck with the entire team. Getting to know everybody and having a closer look into the production process was great. They were very open to giving us insights into how the products are made. Having the opportunity to give our input and having them listen is so cool.
We also built our own board and created a dream board as a group. It was fun to be creative and see what’s possible when working with experts who know exactly how to build a good snowboard.

What’s the plan for the rest of your season?
Maybe there will be a team shoot soon, but nothing is fixed right now. But I would be stoked for that!
I also I really want to progress with some new tricks and get back on the airbag. I think that’s the missing puzzle piece for me.
I’m also very happy with our new coach and getting along with him really well!

I guess you’re already thinking about the Olympics?
Yes, it’s a big topic… I’m already looking forward to it. It’s a long time until then, but the goal is a medal. I always think it’s important to set high goals, haha.