Santtu Seppälä: The Life and Times of a Freeskiing Legend


You’ve probably heard of the legendary freeskiing pioneer Santtu Seppälä, but how much do you really know about him? Get ready as we dive into the life and times of this freeskiing icon. From his humble beginnings in the icy terrain of Finland to conquering the world’s most dangerous lines, Seppälä’s journey shows how passion and perseverance can take someone to the top.

With his flowing blond locks and effortless style, Seppälä brought a unique flair to the sport. Yet behind the glamor was an athlete driven by a simple love of skiing. Join us on this ride through the highs, lows and crazy adventures that defined an extraordinary career. It’s the chance to truly understand what made Santtu Seppälä a freeskiing great.

Who Is Santtu Seppälä? An Introduction to the Freeskiing Pioneer

Santtu Seppälä is considered a legend in the freeskiing world. Born in Finland, Seppälä honed his skills in the snowy forests of Lapland. By age 12, he was competing in slopestyle events around Europe. In his late teens, Seppälä moved to the U.S. to pursue freeskiing professionally.

Early Career

After dominating the European competition circuit, Seppälä quickly made a name for himself on the Freeride World Tour in the U.S. Known for his flawless style and ability to land tricks of massive difficulty, Seppälä racked up wins at events like the X Games, Dew Tour, and U.S. Open. His breakout performance came at the 2015 X Games in Aspen, where his switch triple cork 1440 earned him a gold medal and cemented his status as one of the sport’s elite.

Transition to Film

As Seppälä entered his prime, he began focusing more on film projects over competition. His film segments are highly anticipated each season, as he continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible on skis. His 2018 part in Matchstick Productions’ “Hoji” is considered an all-time classic, featuring first-ever tricks like a cab triple cork 1980 and switch triple cork 1620.

With his competition days largely behind him, Seppälä now spends most of his time filming, though he still makes occasional appearances at marquee events. His longevity and dedication to progression have established him as a pioneer in freeskiing. For over 20 years, Seppälä has inspired skiers around the globe with his natural talent, courageous stunts and timeless style.

Santtu’s Early Years and Rise to Fame in Freestyle Skiing

Santtu first strapped on skis at the age of 2, following in the footsteps of his professional skier parents. By age 12, he was already competing in mogul skiing events and quickly demonstrated a natural talent and passion for the sport.

A Teenage Prodigy

At just 15, Santtu won his first major victory at the Scandinavian Championships. This early success landed him a sponsorship with skiing giant Salomon, launching his professional career. Over the next few years, Santtu racked up wins at events across Europe, gaining international attention for his aggressive style and amplitude on the slopes.

Pushing the Limits of Freeskiing

In 2003, at the age of 17, Santtu introduced the skiing world to a new style of freeskiing that combined big air tricks with complex rail maneuvers. His creative run at the Jon Olsson Invitational stunned judges and spectators alike, proving that this teenage prodigy was set to revolutionize the sport.

X Games Glory and Beyond

Santtu’s breakout performance earned him an invite to the Winter X Games, where his jaw-dropping rail slide and massive double cork 900 landed him on the podium with a silver medal. This launched Santtu into freeskiing stardom and cemented his status as a pioneer of new school freeskiing. Over the next decade, Santtu continued to push the limits of freeskiing with his creative trick combinations and amplitude. His numerous X Games medals and film segments have inspired countless skiers and shaped the progression of freeskiing.

Though still only in his early 30s, Santtu Seppälä’s monumental impact on freeskiing has earned him legend status. His passion and dedication in those formative years set the stage for a career that would change the sport forever.

Santtu Seppälä’s Greatest Achievements and Competition Highlights

2008 Freeride World Tour Champion

In 2008, Seppälä became the first Finnish skier to win the Freeride World Tour overall title. He dominated the competition that season, earning two first-place finishes and four podiums in six events. His aggressive riding style and ability to find unique lines down the mountain set him apart. This victory cemented Seppälä as one of the top big mountain skiers in the world.

Two-Time Winner of the Nissan Freeride World Champions

Seppälä’s success on the Freeride World Tour earned him invitations to the Nissan Freeride World Champions competition, where the world’s best freeskiers are handpicked to compete. He won the event in both 2008 and 2011, showcasing his signature fast, fluid riding. His runs often featured huge airs, steep technical sections, and flawless landings.

Podium Finishes at the Red Bull Cold Rush

Seppälä’s competition highlights also include multiple podium finishes at the prestigious Red Bull Cold Rush event held in British Columbia, Canada. He earned 2nd place in 2008 and 3rd place in both 2010 and 2012. The event features a lineup of the top freeskiers dropping into an exposed, high-alpine venue with massive cliffs, chutes, and spines. Seppälä’s performances at Cold Rush firmly established him as one of the best freeskiers in the world in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Seppälä’s competition success and distinctive style made him an icon in the freeskiing world. His daring runs pushed the boundaries of what was possible in freeride skiing and inspired countless skiers to get into the sport. Although his competitive career was cut short by injury, his legacy lives on through his historic achievements and the progression he brought to freeskiing.

Santtu’s Impact on Freeskiing: Innovation and Inspiration

Santtu Seppälä is known for pushing the boundaries of freeskiing and bringing artistry to the sport.###Pioneering New Techniques

Early in his career, Santtu pioneered new freeskiing techniques like the “cork” spin and the “double cork”. These aerial maneuvers opened up new possibilities in slopestyle and halfpipe competitions. His creativity and ability to link multiple spins in a fluid motion inspired other skiers to innovate.

Bringing Artistry to Freeskiing

Santtu is also known for bringing an artistic sensibility to freeskiing. He sees each run as an opportunity for creative expression. His intricate rail tricks and massive airs often incorporate dance-inspired moves that demonstrate a sense of flow and musicality. Judges frequently award him high marks for style and execution. His artistic approach has raised the bar for freeskiing and inspired others to bring more creativity and personal style to their runs.

Using His Platform for Good

Beyond competition, Santtu aims to spread positivity through freeskiing. He works with charities that use action sports to empower youth and promote environmental conservation. Santtu also mentors up-and-coming skiers, sharing his knowledge and encouraging them to ski with purpose and passion. Through these efforts, he inspires future generations of skiers to pursue their dreams and use their skills to spread good in the world.

Santtu Seppälä’s pioneering techniques, artistry, and positive message have cemented his status as an icon in freeskiing. His innovative approach and dedication to inspiring change have shaped the sport in a profound and lasting way. Freeskiing would not be what it is today without the talent, creativity, and vision of skiers like Santtu leading the way. He has demonstrated what is possible when skills are combined with creativity and a desire to spread good in the world.

What’s Next for Santtu? The Future of This Freeskiing Legend

Keeping Busy With Kittos Capital

As CIO of Kittos Capital Management, Seppälä stays busy researching stocks and managing investment portfolios for clients. Given his success and ambition, it’s likely he’ll remain in this role for years to come, continuing to grow the firm’s assets and expand into new markets. With his competitive nature, the challenges of Wall Street seem well-suited to keep Seppälä engaged and striving to improve.

More Film Projects?

Seppälä’s stunning freeskiing footage has translated well to film, as seen in projects like The Dream Factory. His cinematic style of skiing is visually compelling, and with his star power, ski films featuring Seppälä are essentially guaranteed to attract major sponsors and distribution deals. If the timing is right, it’s possible Seppälä will work on additional film projects to showcase his skiing, bring new audiences to the sport, and further cement his status as an icon.

Focus on Family

Outside of work and skiing, Seppälä values time with friends and family. His Instagram feed is filled with photos of scenic outdoor adventures, delicious home-cooked meals, and quality time with loved ones. As Seppälä gets older, it’s likely he will increasingly prioritize balancing his busy career with opportunities to strengthen personal relationships and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. For someone who has spent decades pushing the limits of skiing, a slower pace and more normal existence may prove appealing.

Giving Back to the Sport

With his widespread fame and success in freeskiing, Seppälä is in a unique position to help grow the sport through mentoring up-and-coming athletes, promoting ski safety, and raising funds for organizations that make skiing accessible to all. His legacy in the sport could extend beyond his own accomplishments to helping shape the future of freeskiing and opening doors for new generations of skiers. For a legend like Seppälä, giving back to the community that has given him so much may be the most rewarding work yet to come.


So there you have it folks – the life and times of legendary freeskiing pioneer Santtu Seppälä. From his humble beginnings skiing the slopes of Finland to conquering the world’s biggest mountains, Santtu’s passion for adventure has pushed the sport to new heights. His daring exploits continue to inspire new generations of skiers to challenge themselves on the slopes and in the backcountry.

Though his list of accomplishments is beyond impressive, Santtu remains humble and eager to explore. As he says, the mountains are calling, and he can’t wait to answer. Santtu’s story reminds us that with enough dedication and courage, we can turn our wildest dreams into reality. Now it’s your turn – get out there, push your limits, and write your own epic tale. The mountains are waiting.

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