February 2017

    Alive Squad: Meet Philip Tavell

    Check out the recording from a Facebook live session with Philip Tavell together with Aurelien Ducroz , live from ISPO in Münich, where the two share a sneak peek into upcoming products and technologies.

    Philip Tavell oversees Helly Hansen’s global ski business and has worked for the brand since 2011. As a former professional cyclist and skier, Philip has competed at many World Championship events, before pursuing a career with Red Bull. Philip is passionate about working with great companies where he can excel, have fun and pursue his love of sport.

    More than 50% of the British public believe they aren’t living their lives to the full. Have you ever felt this way, and how did you change it?
    I think everyone will have experienced this feeling at some stage in life. The trick is being able to acknowledge the way you’re feeling and to understand why. For me, when things become too much about the day-to-day routine and not about developing or challenging myself, I know that something needs to change. In the past, this has led me to quit two jobs in pursuit of new challenges.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your dream?
    If you choose to take a path that isn’t considered the ‘norm’, it can be a pretty lonely place. People don’t always support or understand the choices you make in life, and sometimes that attitude can make you question your own decisions, and make you feel as if you don’t fit in.

    Who or what was your biggest inspiration and why?
    My brother has been a huge inspiration to me. He made a living as a professional football player, so it was natural for me to watch his success and to try my own luck in a different sport. My parents have also shaped my character. Their positive optimism in life has been infectious and has helped me to understand that I can achieve whatever I want.

    More than 75% of the British public often have days when they feel that all they do is eat, sleep and work. What are your top tips for anybody looking to get more enjoyment from their daily lives?
    It’s so important to prioritise your time, and to invest in your own health and well-being. Being fit and healthy will help you to feel motivated in all areas of your life, so take some time every day to focus on you! It doesn’t have to be a marathon or a full day of skiing. Small mid-week adventures, such as going for a brisk walk or meeting up with a good friend can be just as rewarding in the long run. If there’s a big goal I’m aiming for, I always try to get there by taking small, achievable steps. It keeps me focused and keeps the goal realistic.

    What is your biggest achievement to date and why?
    My biggest achievement is that I always go to bed happy and wake up happy. I am incredibly lucky that I get to do much of what I love, and that I get to do it with my family and friends. Happiness isn’t something to be taken for granted though. I know the things in life that make me happy, and I try to do something I love each day.

    Money is often seen as the biggest barrier when it comes to people doing things that bring them enjoyment. Holidays, nights out and ski trips all cost money. How can people overcome this and still find things to do that will make them feel alive?
    There’s no denying that lots of things in life are expensive, but money doesn’t need to be the key to our happiness. People need to stop worrying about what they haven’t got and stop comparing themselves to other people. For some, making a significant change like moving to a new location or switching jobs might be the answer, but for others it’s simply a case of making small changes to increase your happiness – meeting friends more regularly, getting outside in the fresh air and spending quality time with your family are all achievable goals that don’t cost anything. Listen to yourself, acknowledge both the big and little things in life that make you feel alive, and do more of them!

    Where do you take inspiration from when designing new kit? What support do you have/can you use?
    This process boils down to team work between our design/development department, our professionals and me. There are two key parts to the process – the first is fact based, led by ongoing interaction with our professionals to build professional grade gear. This is where we get a lot of great ideas for innovations and new key products features. The second is a mix of facts from our designers working with world class trend institutes and their personal creativity to make sure our products has the right blend of aspiration and actual user needs.

    What is the one thing that makes you feel the most alive?
    Skiing, skiing and more skiing! I love the adrenaline rush it gives me, and never tire of it. I also love anything that puts a smile on my face without me forcing it. It’s just such an amazing feeling when you realise you have a huge smile on your face, and it just comes naturally.

    What is your favorite piece of Helly Hansen kit and why?
    The Ridge Shell Jacket – it’s light but still protective and good looking.


    Philip Tavell and Aurelien Ducroz in ISPO, Munich