Incline Village - Nevada - USA
Sand Master Park
Donjoy Knee Bracing
Erik Axl Johnson is a stand out boarder. It's hard to miss the 6'5" figure racing down the face of a dune at highway speeds. Erik looks fast just standing still and he is, in fact one of the fasted men, (if not THE fastest man) on sand. Plagued by knee injuries Erik has at times been slowed down a bit but not stopped. He is still the man to beat when it comes to maximum speed. Better run fast gentlemen, Erik's not waiting for ya!
Phantom Interviewer: So how's it going? Did you have a productive summer?
Erik Johnson: (laughs) Yeah, I guess you could say that. I had a knee re-construction in the middle of May, so I have spent most of the time since then getting my body back into shape. It's amazing how long it takes to get it all back, when you think about how quickly you can lose it!
PI: Ouch! What all did you have done?
EJ: The main thing was a patella tendon graft ACL re-construction. The cartilage and meniscus were both pretty torn up as well, so the surgeon had to clean some of that up too.
PI: So what's the status report? Are you back on a board yet?
EJ: Everything went very well; the surgery itself went without a hitch, and I've been pretty persistent and aggressive with my rehab. I just got back on the snow last week, partly thanks to Donjoy Knee Bracing, so officially I'm back. I just need to take it fairly conservatively for a little while, until it all starts to come together again.
PI: So it's back to the riding/working out/riding/stretching /riding schedule again for you, eh?
EJ: Pretty much, interspersed with spending some time working along side my girlfriend and rider/artist Pete Pilcic designing my new MTL Pro Model snowboard, which I should hopefully have a prototype of later this season and be on the market for 06/07. That and ripping around Tahoe in my recently purchased twin-turbo Audi A6Q (laughs) so much fun.
PI: It sounds like your snowboarding season's shaping up well. What's on tap for you in the near future?
EJ: Trying to attain the perfect balance of progression and patience, to get myself back to where I need to be with my riding.
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DRI CHAMP 2003
I am so eager to get back on the sand, but I need to come back full-force, and the only way to do that properly is to make sure I don't overdo anything too soon. I'm just going to stay training steadily on the snow, and try to feel it out wisely; so far so good. Other than that, I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friends and team mates at the SIA show in Vegas again this January, and possibly to go to Dubai in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) for the annual Hugo International Sandboarding Championships. If the conditions are conducive in Dubai, I plan on trying to push the speed record back a bit as well; if they're not, then that will have to wait. Either way, I feel that we haven't even begun to touch the speed potential yet, and I plan on not just breaking but SHATTERING my world record in 2007, where ever in the world that needs to be. There are some pretty fast hyenas around the planet nipping at my heels though, so I'm going to have to definitely bring my "A" game.
PI: Sounds exciting; any companies been stoking you out along the way?
EJ: I couldn't do any of this without the support of Venomous Sandboards, MTL Snowboards, Mendo Mate, X-West, Mad Bomber, Sand Master Park, Crash Pads, Bugz Goggles, and my newest sponsor, Donjoy Knee Bracing, who is literally helping me get back on my board again.
Cutting through the sponsors and taking a closer look at Erik's history you'll find riding fast is not all that Erik is, however. Oh no... Freestyle, rails and spending huge amounts of time in the air are also traits associated with this man. He's got all the tools to take another world title and set a new world speed record. Erik's got his momentum and most of all he has the desire. Now his eye is set on a goal and everything is within reach in 2007.
Let's keep watching to see what he does next!
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