Interview by Ethan Stone
What do you think of the trade show?
The trade show is always pretty crazy here. I think it's pretty good, a lot of new stuff out. 4FRNT is doing some new stuff too, so we're pretty excited about it.
Your switch to 4FRNT must have been a big change. You've been with Salomon from the start, right?
I've been with Salomon probably for eight years. You know, all the big companies, we don't have that much input into it, so they kind of push you back a bit instead of getting feedback from the riders and stuff. By switching to 4FRNT I have a big influence on the company, plus on my skis that I just designed, too. So, it's pretty cool to be able to work with athletes and friends and build something out of it.
What do you think about the vibe and community of a small company like 4FRNT?
The vibe is different. We do what we want to do, and it's good that there's companies like us coming out.
JF and JP left Salomon for Armada a few years back. Had you been thinking about jumping ship as well?
I've been thinking about it, but at the same time with Salomon, they didn't tell me what to do really. I was doing what I wanted, and I was getting paid pretty good, and I wanted to keep that as long as I could and make something out of it. Now with 4FRNT it's not about the money, but creating something, and getting some motivation out there, and being able to build a new product.
When you decided to come to 4FRNT, did you have a ski in mind?
Well basically, when I called Matt I was like, "Look, I need a ski." And pretty much this time I had some good timing for the first time, and he told me "Yeah." He was looking for a powder ski at the same time, so I got on the program pretty quick. It's been two or three months, so I've had those months to put my ski together. I didn't expect to do three graphics on them- there was a bunch of stuff I didn't expect. It's pretty tough to build a ski actually! So we finally put it together for Vegas, and after here I gotta go test it, feel the flex and work on the flex more. Pretty cool.
Have you been getting in a lot of skiing this year?
Yeah, I've been shooting a lot of rails in the East Coast, where I live in Montreal. I just came from Whistler for two weeks. It was pissing rain every day, so I was pretty much wasting my time there. It's part of the game. But at the same time, in Tahoe it was dumping 20 feet, so it was kind of a bummer for me. But it's still a young season, so I've got time to work on it.
One reason I wanted to do this interview is because you're one of the only original guys to still be throwing down with a sick segment every year.
Yeah, I mean, I'm trying to push it, you know. It's pretty tough out there, the sport has been growing so fast. It's nothing we ever expected. There are so many kids out there, so I've been pushing a bit, you know, to show that we're still there. We're working more with companies, too. I still want to ski for a long time, even if my motivation was down a bit like the last two or three years, you know. But by coming with 4FRNT, it's going to put me back on. I think it's pretty cool.
Do you have any goals for filming this year?
For sure, I want to focus as much as I can on the backcountry. I want to land switch as much as I can. It's tough to have a good section in the backcountry. Like I said, I just spent two weeks in Whistler wasting my time when other guys were getting some sick stuff in Tahoe. For sure I want to do some rails, and focus on the backcountry.
A lot of the other guys your age in the industry have picked up other interests like editing, design, etc. Do you have any other interests or involvement in skiing other than as an athlete?
Yeah, well with 4FRNT I had to come up with a cosmetic idea and a shape and everything- that's all us, that decide what we want. So that's a lot of work, and just, you know, getting my input in 4FRNT. It's pretty much a sideline job, you know. It's cool to still work for the ski industry in a certain way.
What do you do when you're not skiing?
Not doing much, actually. Trying to rest, play golf a lot in the summer, and that's it.
What are you looking at right now?
I'm looking at one of the magazines at the trade show: We Ski. Just saw it for the first time!
Isn't Julien involved in that?
Yeah, I think Julien and what's his name again? One of his good friends, they're starting a new magazine. I think it's going to give us a good image, because Julien knows what we're looking for, and plus with Freeze leaving the ski industry, I think it's going to hit us hard a bit this year. But for sure there are new magazines that are going to come out and motivate people.
What do you think about Freeze going down the tubes?
I was almost traumatized, you know, because pretty much I've been working with those guys since the start. It's not like it's an ad problem or a finance problem, it's just about a decision that a guy took which is pretty lame, I think. Who knows, maybe it can help us by having new magazines out there, but I think Freeze had a really good way to show what we were actually doing, compared to Powder or all those magazines that are trying to get involved.
When you're out skiing in the park or watching film you probably see a lot of stuff you never thought would be possible when you first got into this. Did you have any idea eight years ago of what skiing would become?
We didn't expect this at all, you know. All of us before all this had been doing some freestyle bumps, being on the national team. It's nothing we really expected. But yeah, it's crazy what twin-tips can do, now with the switch landings into powder and stuff like that.
You haven't competed in the past few years. What do you think of the competitions these days?
Well, I think it's almost useful, because they're all doing the same trick at the end and it all comes down to one guy. But for me, the competition side, I put the X on it like two years ago because I was over it, the pressure that companies put on you, you know, that's how they burn you fast, by putting so much pressure on the kids. I appreciate the guys who don't want to go pro and just want to ski for fun.
Are you still repping your French-Canadian pride?
I'm still based out of St. Sauveur in Quebec, and I always fly from there to go filming or something. When I come back I'm always riding at my home mountain, and having fun with my friends.
It's funny how Quebec has so many good skiers. I don't know why there's so many Quebecers out there throwing down. Maybe we have something in our blood, who knows?
Do you still find time to ski with the original members of the New Canadian Air Force?
Sometimes, but for sure it's more rough than it used to be. We used to be four or five at the start, and as soon as the newschool industry grew, we got split up a bit by our sponsors and all that. It's part of the game, but it's always fun when you come down to the- like, this year I've been sliding rails with JF, which was pretty epic (laughs). I don't know, I just think it's cool to get back together, it's almost like back in the day, having fun again.
What's in the future for you?
Well, trying to push 4FRNT as much as I can and trying to get some filming done. Filming as much as I can, for as long as I can- you never know what's going happen.
What's your favorite trick?
One of my favorite shots in X was your cab three off a little cliff. That was sick.
I think that small drops like that, when you find a roof to drop off, I love to do that kind of shit. I always do one every year, this year I got one too. You see something and say, "Hey, maybe I can do something on this." That's how I look at it, I think that's a cool part about it. I do a lot of random stuff, everywhere.