It takes a precise blend of talent and originality to stand out in snowboarding. Fridtjof Sæther Tischendorf, or “Fridge” as we have come to know him, has it. But success in snowboarding isn’t solely measured by one’s ability to stand out. It’s also reliant on a maintained compelling presence. Preserving the latter requires a delicate balance of personality, professionalism, and performance–something Fridge is committed to.

The Norwegian rider first caught our attention at Superpark in 2017. His high-velocity take on snowboarding was accentuated by his insouciant attitude and unorthodox style. He wears a loose backpack when he rides; a head-turning rarity that began as a joke amongst friends and a tribute to his avatar in Skate 2. He’s flamboyant and jovial, and these qualities radiate in his riding and bizarre trick innovation.

When combined, his many attributes create a personality in snowboarding that is unique to itself. So while Fridge’s snowboarding had cemented him on our radar, there was still much about the man with the backpack we didn’t know. I recently reached out to Fridge with the intent of peeling back a bit of that film. What I found was a refined personality that exists beyond his outlandishly wild antics, one that is appreciative of balance and longevity. This is the Fridge that we need to keep an eye on, for this is the one that is sticking around. — Owen Ringwall

All smiles, all the time. PHOTO: Tom Gan-or

Are you really from a place called Chicken Falls? Is that real?

That is real. If you translate 100% from Norwegian to English, it’s Chicken Falls. Have you ever watched the movie Surf’s Up? You know Chicken Joe? In the Norwegian language, he is from Chicken Falls too.

Right down the road from you, huh?

I wish!

I’ve heard you’re afraid of slipping in the shower.

I actually am, I almost slipped yesterday. It was like woah-that was way too close.

Do you have any other strange fears?

Everything else is pretty reasonable I think. Oh, actually I don’t like crabs either. Ever since I was a kid. I was afraid to stand in water because I thought a crab would jump up and bite me on a toe or something. Never touch your feet on squishy ground or anything like that, that is always really nasty and sketchy.

If this photo doesn’t speak for Fridge making a name for himself at Superpark, we aren’t sure which one will. PHOTO: Mark Clavin

That’s hilarious. So from your perspective, what have the last few years been like? Ever since Superpark two years ago, you’ve been making a name for yourself.

I guess it’s pretty much the same for me. I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I definitely felt a lot of love during Superpark. That was unreal to be invited and to go there with Halldór and all of those guys. I remember waking up after the party super hungover and seeing Johnny O’ Connor in the apartment cleaning hot sauce out of Halldór’s hair and feeling pretty star-struck at the moment because I had never met JOC. That sticks to my mind for sure.

Growing up, who have been some of your main sources of inspiration?

Mikkel Bang has been one of my biggest inspirations since I was young. I have always been one of the taller riders, so I really looked up to his style and his way of riding. I would watch his snowboard part every night before going to sleep–that was like my bedtime story. And then Alek Oestreng is such a sick rider, and I love to watch how he handles pretty much every type of terrain.

Do you know them personally?

I know Alek, but I haven’t really gotten to know Mikkel all that much. He was the generation before me, so I’ve only met him a couple of times. He dropped out of the national team when I started riding for the junior national team.

The national teams definitely steer riders in the direction of competitions, do you have plans to break into the filming side of things at all?

I am definitely trying. I got the chance to go film for a couple of weeks with Lobster this past season, and that was really fun–also difficult. I didn’t get all that many tricks, but at least I got a little feel for what backcountry riding is like. Hopefully, I get the chance to do more of that this season. I am probably going to try and film just a few small edits, do some fun park stuff, try to produce some more film footage for sure.

Based on this picture alone we can see a future for Fridge in the backcountry. PHOTO: Tom Gan-or

Tell me a bit about what it’s like living in Norway. What have you been up to this summer?

This summer has been pretty beautiful actually; we have had the best weather in Norway so far. I work out at the Olympic training center and try to stay in shape. I went to FONNA to snowboard, I went on this little trip to Copenhagen, did a tour on the subway and skated a bit, and I went to the Lobster office in Amsterdam and pretty much have just been cruising around having a great time.

Of course, there are always parties going on, but I have actually been mellowing things down with the partying this summer. When it comes to the winter I want to be in the best shape as I possibly can be.


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