Henrik Windstedt isn’t a ski racer. Or a bump skier, powder shredder, pipe and park ripper, big-mountain freeskier supreme. The thing is he’s all of the that. The complete skier. The most complete—some say—in the world.
Born and raised in the ski resort of Åre, Sweden, Henrik was on skis at one and racing by the age of six. His father Peter, a high-level Swedish ski instructor, and mother, Lotta, manage a restaurant at the resort. Henrik has memories of his father skiing him from their house to daycare in a backpack. Although he raced alpine for 11 years, his future diversity was already rearing its head. By age 17, competition interests had evolved to include freestyle and freeskiing: he entered his first Big Air in 1998, made the National Mogul Team the next year, then won the King of the Hill in Riksgränsen, Sweden, at age 16. On the way to winning the Junior World Mogul Championships in 2002, his interests were swerving in the direction of the new halfpipe and slopestyle movements. Henrik won a Red Bull Big Air in Åre (2000), finished 5th in superpipe at Winter X-Games in 2003 (though his home hill had no pipe), and placed 2nd in slopestyle at the 2004 US Open in Vail, Colorado. But there’s more. On the big-mountain front, Henrik has won the prestigious Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships seven times and was crowned Freeride World Champion in 2008. Over the years he has posted segments in dozens of ski films with every major production company on the planet, won several awards for his performances, and was the sole subject of the Fred Arne Wergeland documentary Exploded View, released in 2009.
Having been a bona fide ski star most of his adult life, Henrik’s understated demeanor has demonstrated to both sponsors and fans that he believes that his is a position not to be abused or boasted about, but rather, a privilege to be valued and respected.
Henrik continues to travel and film (he loves counting new countries and ski areas to add to his growing list), stages summer camps for aspiring freeskiers, and, along with girlfriend Tove and son Loui, splits time between homes in Are and Monaco. In his spare time he surfs, mountain bikes and trying to play golf.
”text: Leslie Anthony, ski media oracle”