Name: Alexa Hohenberg
Date and Place of Birth: I was born in London, I’m 32 years old!
Where is “home” for you? I make my base on Manly Beach Australia nowadays! I became an Australian citizen in 2016!
Professions: To pay the bills I work as a digital producer and strategist for many of the top ad agencies and production studios in Sydney. I couple this with my love of snowboarding, taking the winter’s off to work as a backcountry snowboard guide and photographer in Japan. I also run the women’s adventure sports website StillStoked.
Favorite Sports: Big mountain snowboarding is what I live for. I also absolutely love surfing, making a dawn surf my morning ritual when back in Sydney for work. Yoga is also something I do religiously. Without it, I’m certain I would be having more body issues. I’m very grateful to yoga for helping sustain my body and fitness.
Favorite place to go snowboarding: It would have to be Alaska. There is nothing more humbling then the giant planar faces of the Chugach mountains. I went to Argentina this year too and the Andes really blew me away. I’d love to explore more down there.
I made a movie about Alaska last winter, here it is:
When did you start surfing? I started about 7 years ago. With surfing though, you need to do it consistently. I would say I have been surfing consistently for 5 years.
Favorite place to go surfing: I went to El Salvador after my winter season in Alaska wrapped up. El Salvador is a mecca for consistent right-hand point breaks. It blew me away and really helped progress my surfing.
Favorite Dish: I love making protein balls. You can make these so easily with dates (nature’s candy) as the base.
- Soak a cup fill of dates in warm water for a few hours.
- Remove pitts and mush with a fork. This is your ‘date paste’.
- Next add crushed walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, protein powder (I like chocolate), raw cacoa, shredding coconut – any dry mixture of goodness you want. Mush it all together with the ‘date paste’.
- Next add a spoonful of coconut oil – your wet mixture.
- Roll them into balls and roll them over more shredding coconut.
- Place in the fridge and wait until they have hardened a bit to eat. Yummy goodness!
You grew up in England, right? How and where did you get in contact with snowboarding? Where did you go for practice? I fell in love with snowboarding when I was 11 on a school trip to France. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go back to France a fair bit in school holidays and on more school trips. We don’t have any resorts in the UK so I had to go to the alpes! But then someone showed me ‘dry-slope’ which is popular in the UK. It is pretty much skiing or snowboarding on a carpet. I started doing that and then going to the indoor snow slopes (basically just big giant fridges!). I guess that’s where I honed my freestyle skills. The big mountains came later when I moved to Canada aged 18.
When did you become a pro snowboarder? In which discipline?
I got my first sponsors snowboarding when I was in my second season in Whistler ages 20 or 21. I was a park rat back then, doing slopestyle contests and rail contests. I loved the rails, something that I got to practice a lot in the indoor snowdomes!
How come you quit being a pro? And what did you do instead? Knee injuries plagued me and then the biggest blow came with a shoulder reconstruction and a spine injury. I decided to go to University and get a degree. I ended up making one of the first all female snowboard movies, Snow Balls whilst at University and this opened so many doors for me when I finished uni. I entered the world of ad agencies and within 2 years was working on dream projects like the Freeride World Tour and GT Academy for PlayStation and Nissan.
Regarding your work, what is it you are most proud of? The work I’m most proud of is anything that inspired social change. I did some great work in Sydney for the government to shine a light on responsible drinking. We also made a music video to shine a light on the dangers of texting when driving.
Get your hand off it:
On your website it says you’ve have lived in 6 different countries? How come? Where? And for how long? Any favorite? I have been fortunate enough to live in France, NZ, Australia, Japan, Canada and the UK. All for snowboarding bar the UK and Australia. I love living in Australia, so I made that my base but I always wonder what-if about Canada. Canada is a truly incredible place.
When did you come up with the idea for stillstoked? I left my job in London in 2009 to start Still Stoked. I actually didn’t do anything about it until about 2013! I was having too much fun to write it all down.
Did you start working on the website business while being fully employed? When did you decide to actually quit your job and start all over again? To build a successful blog (and Still Stoked still has a long way to go), takes so much time and dedication. I started chipping away at it whilst still working in a full time production job. Things started to pick up and I wasn’t happy in my job so I decided to dedicate a year to traveling, working on my backcountry snowboard skills and guide qualifications and put all my energy into Still Stoked.
What did it feel like to leave everything you had behind and set out to travel the world? It is so exciting. I highly recommend it. I love change and keeping things fresh.
How many countries have you visited? What was your most remarkable experience? In the last year alone I have visited 13 countries. I started in Japan and now writing this, I’m finishing the 12 months back in Japan. I would have to say Alaska was my favourite. We had terrible weather but you always learn so much every time you go. Alaska is very humbling and people I get to ride with in the mountains and learn from, are some of the best in the world at what they do.
What are you doing right now?
I’m working as a backcountry guide for Niseko Photography and Guiding here on the north island of Japan. The season hasn’t fully kicked off yet but I’ve managed to steal a few nipple-deep powder days. I’m really excited to get stuck into my first season as a guide.
What are you up to next? I’m not sure where to next. I’m going to keep an eye on the snow situation and chose between Alaska and Europe. I haven’t been back to France in so many years so I’d like to visit my 2nd home. I own a little apartment in Les Deux Alpes!
You made it! You set out to live your dreams and make most out of every single day! How did you do it? Any advice for those, who would love to follow in your footsteps but don’t yet dare trying? I would just say that you will never know what you are capable of if you don’t try. The worst that can happen is that you will learn something from it and come back to where you left off. We are only here once and it is not a dress rehearsal. If there is something that you have always dreamed of doing, you should do it! But it is always good to have a fall-back plan. I got myself a degree and had about 8-10 years of ad-agency and production experience under my belt before I made my big leap. That experience is my safety net, allowing me to make decisions knowing that I’ll always have something to fall back on. But for now, absolutely no regrets. I’m having the time of my life and I learn something new everyday. Never stop learning.
Thanks for this Interview, Alexa!