Håkonsen (also sometimes spelled "Haakonsen") dominated freestyle snowboarding in the 1990s winning the ISF World Championships in half-pipe three times in a row, in 1993, 1995 and 1997. He has also won 5 European championships in half-pipe (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997), the U.S. Open in half-pipe 3 times (1992, 1993, 1995), and the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom 7 times (1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2012). He also won the Innsbruck Air & Style Contest in 1995. Håkonsen set the world record for highest 'air' during the qualifying round of the Arctic Challenge in Oslo 2007 when he reached 9.8 meters out of the top of the quarterpipe with a backside 360.
He is the creator of an aerial snowboard maneuver named The Haakon Flip. Beyond specific tricks, Terje's fluid style, coupled with his ability to ride virtually any type of terrain are perhaps his biggest influences on the sport. While he laid down his foundation as a top rider in the halfpipe, Terje established his industry dominance in video parts showing his skill riding powder, big mountains and in "big air" contests - the first iteration of today's slopestyle competitions.
Håkonsen is also credited to have developed the T6, made out of a material named "Alumafly," an aluminium honeycomb construction and as a co-creator of the Burton Fish (a powder-specific board) and the Burton Malolo, a cross-breed between a freestyle and powder board.
He starred in the documentary First Descent, other films include The Haakonsen Factor and Subjekt Haakonsen by filmmaker Dave Seoane. In 2007 Håkonsen created a documentary series called Terjes Sesongkort (Terje's Season Pass) following him through a year of free riding, contests and his life as a professional snowboarder. The series featured other accomplished snowboarders such as Nicolas Müller, Shaun White, Mads Jonsson and Kevin Pearce. In 2005 Håkonsen was the first snowboarder to ride the 7601 (a mountain in Alaska).
Håkonsen has referred to the late snowboard legend Craig Kelly as his mentor.
Olympics Boycott and formation of Arctic Challenge
When the snowboard halfpipe was introduced as an Olympic event in the 1998 Winter Olympics, Håkonsen boycotted the qualification. Håkonsen, and many other snowboarders, were displeased with the IOC, and particularly the fact that the IOC selected the FIS to handle the qualification instead of the snowboarders' own federation, ISF.
Håkonsen, together with Daniel Franck, started The Arctic Challenge as a snowboard event where the riders would be in focus. The Arctic Challenge was first arranged in 2000 and has been arranged annually in different places in Norway since then. The Ticket to Ride (World Snowboard Tour) evolved out of the system that was used to qualify for The Arctic Challenge. The winners of prestigious international snowboard competitions earned themselves a ticket to ride (TTR) at The Arctic Challenge. The Ticket to Ride World Snowboard Tour developed the TTR World Ranking System list crowning the World Tour Champions. After The Arctic Challenge gained its 6Star TTR rating Håkonsen became the first professional rider to own an event with such a rating.
- Transworld Snowboarding lexicon of snowboarding terms
- Cinemaseoane Dave Seoane
- NRK - Programoversikt
- TTR World Snowboard Tour Website
- Article about Håkonsen's boycott of the Olympics in Time Magazine
- Official site of First Descent, includes trailers, interviews and downloads
- Terje Haakonsen interview in frequency Snowboard Journal
- Posts tagged 'Terje Haakonsen' on SuperStoker