Armin Mathis and Timo Strolz just dropped their second side country edit. Check it out and scroll on to learn all about Hausi Airlines.
Hey Armin, can you introduce yourself for anyone who doesn’t know you?
I grew up in the eastern part of Switzerland, close to a small ski resort called Wildhaus, where I learned to snowboard and fell in love with it. Currently I live in Rapperswil. In my early 20s I traveled around on the globe. I was interested in different cultures and far away places. I also gathered some skills to earn money while trying to figure out what type of work makes me happy. I did an apprenticeship as a roofer, and later another one as a leather craftsmen.
Now I’m 28 years old and I still love snowboarding. Two years ago I realized that this lifestyle fulfills me in ways that other’s can’t. Since then, I do it more often, think about it more often, and started Hausi Airlines with Timo so that we have a project to show our vision.
Other than Timo, who else is in the crew?
We are the core of it. In the first season filming, we also brought Münti (Alexander Müntener) with us, and he shot all the wide lens angles. This season was different. Every session we had new people with us. But I should say that every session we had so far was improvised. You can probably tell by the shots, haha. We still don’t have a clue what we’re doing out there. But we grow more skills, through experience.
By the way, that’s why we call ourselves Hausi Airlines. Hausi is a local word from the area where I grew up. It describes a guy who is kinda dumb, but not an asshole or ignorant. He tries to do good, but the results are not great. You can’t really be stoked about what a Hausi does or how he does it, but you can’t judge him for trying either.
Great word! Think I’m gonna start using it… haha.
So how was last season for you guys?
Well, the season was ruff. We barely had any snow, which made it so hard to get clips. Timo and I were trying to get shots out of every 20 cm of fresh. And then on the 28 of March there was this bluebird day with quite a lot of fresh snow in Laax. Manuel, a friend of ours who is a skilled photographer was down to come shoot with Timo and I, so we were both hyped. At some point, I wanted to send a fs 360 out of a little lip. I didn’t prepare the in-run and thought I could hit it with a natural takeoff. So I didn’t see the sharks which were covered by a thin layer of snow. So I got hung up on the takeoff, did kind of a sick front flip, and landed on another stone.
Long story short, a chopper had to pick me up in the backcountry and brought me to the hospital in Chur. I broke bones in my back and my hip. But luckily I didn’t need surgery because all of the bones stayed in place. The bones grew together fast and I had a perfect rehab. The shots we got that day ended up being very cool and I’m still stoked that we were out there.
Damn… that’s rough! But sounds like it could’ve been worse. Glad you’re ok now!
Any funny stories to tell from last season?
Every day with the Hausi’s is so loose. But I’d like to jump back to last season, where we started filming Hausi Airlines volume one. As I mentioned, Münti was the guy for our wide angle shots. He is not into filming at all and it was actually only his second season of snowboarding. He was my flatmate and when I asked him if he wanted to help us film a snowboard movie, he agreed because he thought that we knew what we were doing. So, we just brought him to every spot in the Backcountry. But we usually didn’t warn him that he would have to jump a cliff or ride through some steep faces to get there. We didn’t want to scare him off. Timo and I acted very casual about it, as it would be the most normal thing to be doing when you first start snowboarding. Such assholes when I think about it now… haha!
But because miracles happen, he progressed so fast during that season and became so fearless that he even started to hit the jumps we build. And at some point, he started to try to backflip every cheese wedge we made. We collected the shots of him doing crazy stuff, and in the end he had a part in the movie. Do you know anybody else who filmed a video part in his second year of snowboarding?
Trial by fire! Love it…
So what’s up with Hausi Airlines these days?
It’s not sure yet how we’ll keep going. Timo just started his bachelor degree and will have less time to film this season. I appreciate working with him and he should actually be as much a part of this interview as I am. So actually, the future of Hausi Airlines is not guaranteed.
But other people are getting more interested in our project too, so maybe we can create a bigger crew of people who are down to jump, chuck, shoot, design and just create cool stuff in general. Let’s see what the future brings, we are very open.
Well, I guess it only gets easier if we have more snow this season.
Do you already have some plans?
I want to progress my riding and get more skills and comfort on my board. I would also love to film more stuff for Hausi Airlines, or just in general do more shooting in the Backcountry with motivated people.
Sounds like a good plan!
Anything else you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
Yes, shoutout to Timo! It’s fun to work with you. And thanks to Münti for being so solid. Thanks to Yilin Huang who also helped a lot. Thanks to Donat, Claudio, Dodo, and all of the other people who shoveled, filmed and laughed with us.
Thanks for the interview Armin! And thanks to Manuel for the photos.