Tell us a bit about where you are from.
I am 24 and I’m from Les Deux Alps, which is quite a big resort in France. Growing up there it was very easy for me to start snowboarding. I started snowboarding when I was five and while I was in school I was riding a lot. So it was for sure always part of my life. I live there now and though I’m traveling a lot I try to go back there and have a few sessions a year.
When did you start snowboarding professionally?
I guess when I graduated high school, I was 18 and I didn’t have to go to school anymore. That’s when Volcom signed me and basically when everything started. I won a few contests and made a little living out of it, and was able to travel most of the year.
So you got started doing a lot of contests?
Yeah I guess every kid kind of has to prove it through contests, it’s easy because you can just register and go; you have your spot. But it’s pretty hard to get with a cool filming crew, so for sure you need to get a little name first and that goes through contests. So winning a few contests when I was 18 and then I started to film more when I was about 19. I was always doing both, you know, always doing a little bit of this and that.
And that continued into pretty much this season…
Yeah that’s what I’ve been doing pretty much. You know sometimes focusing a little on contests, but not really properly training. And then filming a part at the same time which after a few years it is so complicated. I ended up doing not so good at both, and I just realized I had to make a choice. Since the Olympics are coming I am excited this year to focus on halfpipe, which is something I love. It’s a really cool challenge and I feel really good that I made that decision. It doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to film in a few years, after the Olympics I am probably going to go back to filming, so that’s the path I chose for now.
There aren’t a lot of other French halfpipe riders are there?
No, there was Mathieu Crepel, but he deiced not to go this time. So there are two kids trying to go with me as well, but I’m pretty much the first one on the list.
So you’ve been competing as much as possible this season?
Yeah pretty much, we were in Olso last week for Arctic Challenge and I think that was my sixth contest of the year. So it’s a lot, but it takes what it takes. To qualify for the Olympics, and as well compete at TTR (World Snowboard Tour) and also the X Games. It’s for sure a lot of contests, but as I’m doing only that… I used to go filming in between contests and that was hectic! Now I have time to ride and time to train, and it makes it so much easier. I didn’t do that good yet, but it’s getting there. I’m feeling really good in the pipe; I’m stoked on my riding. I didn’t really put it down yet, but I know it’s coming.
How is riding at an event like the Arctic Challenge compared to the US Open or XGames?
It’s a bit more mellow, and since it’s Terje’s event they really want the riders to be involved and to give feedback to make it the best it can be.
And it’s an event that you’ve been to before and actually won when it was a quarter pipe event?
Yeah that’s maybe why I won when I was I younger… You know, a quarterpipe we were only riding when there was the contest. I didn’t have any advantage over anyone else, it was just show up and ride the quarter. No one was like training on the side. So I was really young and it was the first time Terje invited me to Arctic Challenge and as a kid, it meant a lot. Basically that’s when it all really started for me. So since then I keep going back there and even if I don’t win or whatever, it’s always a bit fitting to be there.