Both Kalle Rovanperä and Eero Ettala are no strangers to travelling fast on snow and ice. But in an added twist, snowboarder Ettala raised the speed stakes by travelling while hanging onto the rally car of WRC driver Rovanperä in Kuusamo, Finnish Lapland.
After their adventure, the pair talked about the challengings of such an undertaking.
You’ve both been involved in all sorts of projects in the past, have you ever experienced anything similar to this?
Rovanperä: “Yes, I have been part of many different types of project but nothing like this before.”
Ettala: “I do remember when I was younger that sometimes we got some speed for rails and hand rails by hanging onto a car when filming in the streets. But obviously hanging onto a rally car on an ice track is a whole different ball game.”
When the speed of the car goes up to 80kmh, is it challenging to control the board but also the driver needs to be alert of quite a few things?
Rovanperä: “The movements needed to be quite soft and controlled. I had to focus on avoiding any sudden or extra moves. Also, timing had its own challenges.
Ettala: “The first challenge was the flat surroundings. I’m more used to driving on hilly tracks. Despite the flatness, we managed to accomplish some really cool stuff, like the rainbow rail. It was of course scary at first to be hanging onto a rally car. I was afraid that Kalle would speed up to 200km/h and I’d lose my arm. In the end, it was more scary to be hanging from the window, being constantly aware that I need to keep my board’s nose far enough from the tyre.”
There’s also one scene where you’re placed on the roof of the car. How did it feel filming that and how was the board fixed onto the rooftop?
Ettala: “It was actually one of the most pulse-racing scenes. I think that if I had been there on skis, the balance would have felt more secure – snowboard boots do give in quite a bit, after all. The board was bolted onto the roof and then we began slowly testing the set up on different speeds. Once the confidence grew, the speed got faster.”