Real Talk: Dom Harington

Dom out training in laax for Sochi with his powerful outfit. Photo: Animal/Robin Kitchin.

Dom out training in laax for Sochi with his powerful outfit.
Photo: Animal/

Dom Harington has been on the Uk radar for well over a decade now. Dom was on a mission to make the last couple of Olympics but unfortunatly missed a spot on last hurdle. This year though, Dom succesfully earnt his place in Sochi after a gruelling qualification process. Although unlucky in his runs, Dom remains upbeat, here we get his thoughts.

You’ve been doing seasons for around 12 years now, what was the best season you ever had?
I feel like I’ve just finished the best season I’ve ever had. Going to the Olympics was a dream come true and once that was over I felt like I could relax and enjoy all the other kinds of snowboarding that I have been missing out on. I’ve been on quite a few trips since the Olympics and they have been so much fun, plus I have been really lucky with the snow and got to ride loads of powder!

Do you ever consider quitting riding professionally and just going back to the times where you would work a shitty job and ride everyday for fun?
I have been lucky that I was sponsored from a young age so although I would work in the summers I would always have enough money to be able to just ride all through the winters. But no I wouldn’t change that. I like having a goal to work towards, whether it is trying to learn a competition run or trying to get a photo for a sponsor, I find having some kind of goal can be rewarding.

The halfpipe was regarded as many to be not up to scratch, Danny Davis went as far as to call it garbage. What was your take on it?
It is true that the Olympic pipe wasn’t great and for such an event it would have been better to have a perfect pipe so we could all have put on a better show. But on the other hand it wasn’t that bad! I think it was worse for the Americans because they are so used to riding perfect pipes all the time, where as in Europe we are more used to riding sketchy pipes! I still enjoyed riding it just because of the atmosphere and the fact that we were at the Olympics.

Swapping transition for pow. Photo: Animal

Swapping transition for pow.
Photo: Animal

Do you think that pipe helped some riders out? Or was everyone hating it?
There were a lot of bumps in the pipe so that made the contest a bit of a lottery! I think Ryo Aono came last whereas in that field you would have expected him to easily make the final. I remember landing a 1080 and getting ready for my next hit but then as I was looking across to the next wall I was suddenly flung on to my back, it was quite sketchy! Maybe in a perfect pipe Shaun White would have been able to get all his tricks and would have won but I suppose you never really know what would have happened, a lot of people fall in snowboard contests so you can never really say.

After such a long time trying to reach the games you achieved it, does competing feel like a closed chapter now or do you have plans to compete more?
It feels like a burden off my chest and I feel like I can snowboard with no stress now, for the last few weeks I have been loving snowboarding more than ever so maybe that is because the Olympics is over or maybe it is just because my body is feeling good at the moment. I’m sure I will still compete because I enjoy it, but it is not so much of a priority anymore.

You were a bit unlucky in your runs at the games, what was going through your mind immediately afterwards and what are your thoughts about it now?
Well I did get pretty nervous! There were so many people that got in touch with me to wish me luck that it was quite overwhelming! There were friends I hadn’t seen for years, all my relatives and even people I had never met who would get in touch to wish me luck! So when I ended up falling on my runs I felt bad because I didn’t want to let anyone down! But then after the event everyone still seemed really stoked that I was even in it so it didn’t seem to matter all that much.

What result were you hoping to get at the games?
I never really thought about what place I would come as my aim was just to qualify for Sochi. One of the best nights out was after the last qualifying event in Canada when Me, Jamie, Ben and Aimee all knew we had enough points to qualify so we had a night out with Hamish and we were all so stoked just to be going! At the games I knew I wasn’t really a medal contender but I would have liked to have made it through to the finals. I think if I would have landed my last 1080 I would have at least made the semis but as soon as you fall then it’s game over.

Dom bringing in the Spring in style at Snowbombing. Photo: Snowbombing

Dom bringing in the Spring in style at Snowbombing.
Photo: Snowbombing

In hindsight was all the time and effort you put going to the games worthwhile or do you kind of wish you pursued a different path with your riding career.
I am definitely stoked I decided to go for the Olympics. I have done so much cool stuff along the way and although it took a long time to get there I think it was worth it. There is a great set up in the UK called TASS and it encourages people who are into sport to study at the same time. So for the last 6 years of competing I have been slowly working towards a maths degree so I’m stoked I’ve been doing that at the same time.

A few years back it was always you, Ben Kilner and Dan Wakeham competing against each other at the Brits, which was at the time a pinnacle event. Now it seems that no one really shows up. What do you think this is and what changed?
Yeah I used to love the Brits but haven’t been for a few years. Not because I have been boycotting it but because either I’ve been injured or other stuff has come up. This year it clashed with a trip to Norway with Jeep and because I had never been to Norway I thought I should do that. I will hopefully go to the Brits next year because I do love it.

Enni Rukajarvi told us that in Finland all the best riders like herself, Peetu and Roope etc still show up to their national games. Why do you think it’s different there and would you like to see the Brits done differently?
Hmmm not sure what they could do differently, maybe I need to rally up the troops and make sure everyone goes next year so we can have a proper battle ha ha. But they do need to run the pipe finals in the morning, I remember the last time I went the pipe was at about 3.30 pm and in April when the snow gets slushy there is no point riding the pipe that late as it needs to be icy to hold shape.

Let's hope to see more powder footage from Dom in the near future. Photo: Animal

Let’s hope to see more powder footage from Dom in the near future.
Photo: Animal

What are your plans for the future now? Are you going to become a backcountry rider? What about a video part?
I am actually going to University in Switzerland but one of the main reason for that is so that I can live in the mountains. Until now I have been living in the UK and then travelling but this makes so much more sense. I plan to be riding a lot of Port Du Soleil and Chamonix, so yes lots of powder, building jumps, plus driving around to some events. I definitely want to do some filming but no real plans as yet, I am basically up for a lot of snowboarding whatever it is.

If you could change one thing about your riding career what would it be?
I missed out on the 2010 Olympics so it would have been nice to go there but apart from that I have had a pretty good run so can’t complain!

Head to Dom’s website to fine out more.

Thanks to Animal for the shots.