Sara Phillips & Emily Akerblom

Emily and Sara photo:

Our interviews with the world’s best pro riders have all been individual jobs to date – but given that these girls ride, travel, live and compete together we thought we’d get them to do some of the work and interview each other.


Britain’s Sara Phillips and Sweden’s Emily Akerblom have spent the 04/5 season riding and raising hell in Mammoth.

You can see them both in action in the forthcoming Misschief Productions all-girl snowboard film As If. Check out


First we got them to talk about each other…

Describe the other rider’s style:
Sara about Emily: Fluid, innovative, fun.
Emily about Sara: Just perfectly lazy to be so damn cool.

Describe the other person’s personality in five words:
Sara about Emily: Generous, loving, fun, determined, enthusiastic.
Emily about Sara: Irony, perspective, happy, strong, beautiful.

Why do you like riding together?

Emily photo by

Sara about Emily: It’s always fun, I laugh and feel totally relaxed around her. I’m happy every time we ride together, be it shooting something, building or just goofing off.

Emily about Sara: Yeah, me too, all that! She’s my accomplice.

What are your favourite things about her?
Sara about Emily: She is so determined in everything she does and always commits to stuff, She will go out of her way to help you, make you feel comfortable and will always listen. She makes me laugh all the time, I love traveling with her, we never have any stress its super mellow although incidents always seem to befall the pair of us when we roadtrip.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen her do on a snowboard?
Sara about Emily: Anytime we go ride she does something which I think is amazing, be it in the trick, the style or how she is always trying to learn something new. Everyday its something cool, but one of the standouts from this year was a poopy tower in Reno she bomb dropped, you can see the footage in Misschief, As If.

Sara photo by

Emily about Sara: The time she impressed me the most was when she did this rail jam in Big Bear. I had gotten there too late and couldn’t enter, so I just watching, I saw Sara ollie up and frontside 50/50 this double kinked street rail. I’ve never seen her do anything remotely as big before and there she was, as if she’s done it all year the most natural thing.

Nicest thing she’s ever done for you?
Sara about Emily: She is always doing amazing things for me, and it’s the little things that no one else would appreciate that are the best. She gave me a beanie for my birthday which I know she loves, its all tattered with holes but I loved it and she gave it to me. I love that she does stuff like that for me. She brings me back weird things she knows I like from Europe, but best of all she will always take the time to give me advice or just listen. She is constantly doing nice things for me.

Swedish people celebrate ‘Devils day’ or something similar and she told me how her mum would make cake and hot chocolate in the morning on this special day, she was all homesick and I went downstairs tried to make a cake and made some hot chocolate.

Emily about Sara: Yes, that was really sweet of you, I got so happy that morning! But I have to correct you, its not the devil we celebrate, it’s this St Lucia, (a very religious Italian girl who cut out her eyes because a guy told her how beautiful they were.) combined with the heden celebrations for the returning of daylight and all that mid winter party we had before anyone knew about some little Jewish baby being born in a stable and so on…

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever seen her do while drunk?
Sara about Emily: Its usually me making a fool of myself, she seems to avoid trouble, less people seem to suspect her. I seem to gravitate towards it or it finds me somehow and then I can’t run away quick enough. She is usually involved though.

Emily about Sara: Well, the night when she was putting drinks on an unknowing guy’s tap, getting caught, losing her wallet and ID, she was leaving for Arizona then next day, and trying to make me pay for it and then getting kicked out and permanently banned from the bar is definitely on my top five. I love partying with Sara, she knows how to be a rock star!

If you had to give her one piece of advice what would it be?

Emily photo by

Sara about Emily: Don’t let them get you down. I admire you so much.

Emily about Sara: Don’t worry so much. You’ll know what’s right if you just stop and listen to what your own mind tells you. Trust yourself.

Then Sara asked Emily a bunch of stuff…

Sara: How was studying and snowboarding this year? Does it feel amazing to be learning?
Emily: So good, I love learning stuff! When my body is broken and I have to retire, I won’t start from scratch, I will already be on my way. And it kind of make me feel legit, you know, even though I think of my studies like something I do on the side, people who don’t really get what this whole snowboarding thing I do is about can understand me when I say that I study, like everybody else my age do these days.

Sara: What do you want from life?
Emily: Happiness and achievement

Sara: Are you ever going to work as a digger again and what did those experiences teach you bar strengthening your liver and outrunning the fuzz?
Emily: Never, nonka. Njet. I appreciate all it has taught me, but it’s buried in the past now (note the word joke).

Sara photo by

Sara: Will you ever lend me you car again?
Emily: Before this weekend I would have said no, but then I got to borrow my friend Lina’s car to go to my mom’s house and I thought that was so kind of her and that reopened my analysis about my car a little bit, so we’ll see Saz, maybe maybe…

Sara: What are the chances of you hooking up before me?
Emily: Pretty slim, I think I’ve lost my mojo so 1-0 to you on this one.

Sara: How stoked are you when you see your friends getting somewhere?
Emily: A lot!

Sara: What are your goals for the future?
Emily: Live happily with money enough to enjoy life.

Sara: When are we going to dress up as pirates and get wasted again?
Emily: How about Halloween?

Sara: Can you give me back the tail tap trick you stole please?
Emily: Haha! Nah, you have to work a little bit harder for that!

Sara: What’s another trick you’d like to steal?
Emily: Um…

Sara: Did you ever imagine that you would lead the life you now do?
Emily: Yes and no, I mean, since I was 15 I have known that snowboarding was what I wanted to do, but I never really pictured the future, I think I was always too wrapped up in whatever I was doing at the moment, enjoying the present, instead of thinking about if the way I was on was the right one.

Sara: Would you rather eat one poop of your own shit or a pint of my pee?

Emily photo by

Emily: Definitely my own poop!

Sara: Who would win in a fight?
Emily: If it was for fun, probably you, but if I was really mad I think I’ll beat your ass!

Sara: Is our airport express ever going to work for me?
Emily: I think it’s the curse.

Sara: Can you make me a burrito please?
Emily: Of course! Or how about going to Moca Salsa?

Sara: Moca Salsa is the best Mexican place in the world in SLC, a friend introduced me to that place and I’ve been craving ever since. I wish I could travel round the world and just dine and experience local cuisine, that would be a trip.

Sara: Are my car troubles ever going to end? And am I ever going to have enough money to buy a truck that won’t break?
Emily: Well, you should probably look into what the surrounding prospects could do for you, i.e. American guys with big trucks, dogs.

Sara: Yeah I would definitely be happy with a truck and a dog. I helped run a Husky dog sled team in Norway last summer and got so stoked on sledding with the dogs and looking after 20 of them. I want to invest in a decent truck that I know runs good and preferably a diesel one that could be converted to run on vege fuel.

Sara: How do you feel being a European in the States?
Emily: Ahead.

Sara: Me too, I feel like we have different perspectives but can still fit in and live here. I love what both cultures offer.

Sara: Metal or jungle rock?
Emily: Heavy Metal, Baby! What the hell is jungle rock anyway?

Sara: What do you hold important to you?
Emily: My friends.

Sara: What do you regret?
Emily: Not learning how to skate.

Sara photo by Nat Zurek

Then Emily got to quiz Sara…

Emily: What do you have the most admiration for?
Sara: Everyone that has a love for what they are doing. My friends, the people who inspire me constantly and people that have found happiness doing their own thing. Individuality.

Emily: Is hip hop ever going to get a play in your truck?
Sara: Hell no, heavy fucking metal please.

Emily: Do you consider yourself a cradle robber?
Sara: Only once.

Emily: Favourite movie?
Sara: Right now Gummo, Palookaville, Battle Royale and Life Aquatic. And as for TV shows a Canadian soap called Trailer Park Boys. But TV sucks.

Emily: What’s on your iPod right now, and what’s the best playlist?
Sara: Best playlist is entitled Fuck Yeah and I listen to it everyday digging combined with some Norwegian stuff, a definite mix of tastes. I really like the black metal stuff with the classical orchestral overtures, the music feels like it is natural and rolling and falling, so fucking good.

Emily: How do you survive without Tivo?
Sara: It’s definitely tough, but I am looking forward to the redecorated house with the plasma screen. Mammoth won’t be so hard to call home after that.

Emily: How many pounds of English tea are you going to bring to the States next season?
Sara: I am not sure my Dad had to send me teabags on three separate occasions so I guess I need to pack more for next year, I was thinking about bringing a can of mushy peas and possibly some real strong cheddar too, I miss all that good stuff, and fish and chips, every time I come home, before I even go to my house I go get fish and chips. But for tea I’m going to aim for 2000 bags.

Emily: What could ever make you stop biting your nails?

Emily photo by

Sara: Time will tell. Whenever I’ve broken my teeth I stopped till they got fixed, but less out of choice.

Emily: How many stripy shirts do you own?
Sara: Too many, damn those thrift stores.

Emily: And hats?
Sara: Yep too many again. I seem to have a penchant for hats, t-shirts and sneakers, and tight jeans.

Emily: Do you get cold riding in jeans?
Sara: No and it’s a more of a spring summer thing anyway, you feel so unrestricted and more like dorking off skating.

Emily: Best trip?
Sara: Probably the Transworld style one most recently, we did a roadtrip from LA to Mammoth and they had a huge RV and Nick (Hamilton – TWS photo editor) wanted me to bring this beat up 1979 Ford Econoline my friend had given me, this thing is dirt brown falling apart and with shag carpets throughout the whole interior.

So it was me, Casillo and Dirk in our van and we were lucky just to get to LA, every time we stopped something new would fall off and by the end the majority was held together by duct tape. We stopped off at a couple of places to shoot portraits and at one stop the old guy who I guess owned the disused gas station threatened to come out with an iron bar and beat us all up, took a swing at Nick’s camera bag and stormed off.

Ten minutes later we stop on the side of the road waiting for Nick to check some stuff out, everyone is chilling inside the RV as its almost 100 out and I’m outside, I look out the corner of my eye and a guy is walking towards us with a shot gun, I had to run back to my van which then didn’t start till third try and all the while this guy getting closer and closer. I never though non snowboarding could be so dangerous, Transworld rolling the dice.

Emily: Best experience this year?
Sara: The places I have been and the friends I have met, I never thought this would happen to me. Being able to help Nitro with some graphics stuff and see ideas and designs come to fruition. So many things have happened that I am so grateful for I really feel like the happiest kid in the world. I never expected to be riding alongside people I have admired for years, I sometimes feel intimidated but so happy on what I’ve achieved.

Sara photo byChristy Chaloux

Emily: How was filming for Misschief this year?
Sara: I think we both found it really hard, it takes so much work to get good shots, but it has been amazingly rewarding, and I have learnt so much from the experience both the good times and our mistakes, and I look forward so much to next year when we can use all our knowledge and everything from this year. More than anything I am very proud to have been a part of it and everyone that took part killed it. Check out AS IF.

And I got to do some stuff for my friend’s movie Arrex – Wake Up Lucid too. I am stoked to be a part of that.

Emily: How’s working as a digger?
Sara: Being able to build what you ride, and doing it your own way is amazing. To be creative in building just opens your eyes for riding different features, I wouldn’t want to do anything else at summer camp. This summer at High Cascade at Hood was definitely lacking in snow, but the diggers collectively tanned, dug rails onto rocks, ate ice-cream, skated and got boozy at the lake. It was great times. I met some of the most unique people who collectively really loved snowboarding.

Emily: Plans for next year?
Sara: Be in Mammoth early season, then hopefully head to Europe to Mayrhofen and hopefully the SG trip proposal with me, you and Kevin comes off. Travel a bunch with Kevin and shoot photos and just build and ride some innovative stuff. See what else happens, filming with Misschief and just enjoy going riding.

Emily: What are you doing for the autumn?
Sara: Going to move to Portland in a week after ASR, living in Corey Smith’s basement and just be a vagabond in the city. I love that place – you can walk around for days and just see something everyday that will inspire you or make you question something, and snowboarding is just a small bit of living there. There is so much more to life and to be learnt. I want to roll around and take photos in the city, go to this amazing book store Powells, hang out and just have time to reflect and enjoy something new.

Emily: Sponsors?
Sara: Nitro, Holden, Anon, Grenade and Volcom

Emily: Thanks?
Sara: Marc for a roof over my head, Tonino for giving me a chance and Mikey – thanks for being stoked on me for me. Grenade thanks for the good times, and Simon. Emily always. Thank you.

Sara: Sponsors?
Emily: Flow, Ripcurl, Electric, Frontline, Vestal

Sara: Thanks?
Emily: Right now Marc McKee, Lauri, Mathieu, Lina, Misschief and Sara.

Thanks to Kevin Westenbarger for the photos in this interview – check out his site at

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