Rossignol Skis has just announced the addition of Candide Thovex to the Scratch Pro Team. Candide joins Henrik Windstedt, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Rory Bushfield, and Giggie Couttet on the team.

"Four years ago when Rossignol came with SCRATCH skis on the market, it was a real revolution: new structure, new construction, new cosmetics," said David Bouvier of Rossignol Freeski Marketing. "This ski was the first to be made by riders for riders: Tanner Hall, Evan Raps and Julien Regnier were part of the project."

"With Candide joining the team, it's a new momentum for the brand and the innovations we thought about are already in the tube!" he said. "Candide shares our values, our ski vision. It seems obvious that we'll build a new story together. On behalf of the Company, on behalf of the Team, welcome Candide!"

Dominic Daher met Candide last week to learn a bit more about his situation ...

Candide, you're leaving Salomon to join Rossignol, why this change?

When I signed on with Salomon, we had talked about a project to develop a complete line of skis, but the project didn't happen for various reasons. Even if everyone tried hard to make it work, it didn't end up the way we had planned it. I was disappointed. I don't want to do any finger pointing, but it's just the way things turned out. I spent some very good seasons with Salomon and I absolutely don't regret it. Lionel Favret (Salomon team manager) did some very good work and I would like to thank him and the people who work with him. They provided lots of support for my movies and my Invitational event. That was really cool and allowed me to improve a lot.

Today Rossignol is giving me the opportunity to represent and participate in the development of the Scratch line, for the Freestyle as well as the BackCountry models. That's exactly what I've wanted to do for a long time. We're preparing some nice little innovations that I can't talk about yet.

Besides, a sponsorship contract is not a marriage contract. It's a project that combines common interests between an athlete and a commercial brand and the project is decisive.

In fact, changing sponsors was the result of a long thought process. It's not an easy decision to make. But considering my plans for the future, I think I made the right decision.

First Dynastar, then Salomon and now Rossignol, don't you think that adds up?

It's true that this chain of events might seem a little chaotic...People have been pointing that out lately!! Really I'm not a mercenary who's always on the look out for new sponsors. For instance, I've been with Quicksilver since the beginning of my career and things have worked out really well. We totally trust each other. I even joined Quick eyewear and we developed a goggle pro-model that does really well. In fact, we're already preparing the new model. My goal above all is to enjoy myself on my skis, to ride as well as possible and to promote and develop the sport with my partners.

In each situation, I had some great experiences with good people and other not so good experiences, like in any situation. I always gave the best of myself and I don't feel like I owe anyone anything. I'm still grateful to those people who helped me and supported me throughout my career.

Does the money-factor come into play here?

Of course!!! Realistically, my career is short and I want to prepare my post-skiing career as best as I can.

That being said, the difference between the Salomon and Rossignol financial proposal was not that big. It's not like a soccer contract! In any case my decision was not only motivated by money but more by a concrete project and a will to work together.

In addition, when there's money involved in a sport, that means the sport is doing well. Today Rossignol is betting on freestyle and investing money in it, so I can't complain. I think this is a good sign for freestyle and for the ski industry in general.

It seems like you're following the motto "Get a pro-model, then move on"?

Like I said, the original plan to develop pro models didn't work out. Salomon still decided to put my ski on the market. That's great and I'm very proud of this ski that we worked hard on.

What are your plans now?

Helping to develop the entire Scratch line will be a lot of work already! But that's really what I wanted to do- my schedule will be packed. At the same time I'll be working on my movie and my event. All of these things put together take up a lot of time. We're already on the 4th movie and this will be the 3rd Invitational, which has been growing really fast. You just have to do better each year.

Then I have to ride all out so that I can always find new tricks and take part in international events...just to keep pushing the sport! It's true that we share a similar concept of freestyle with the Rossignol staff. This will show up in the skis of course and in the communication about the skis...and in everything that has to do with the Scratch line and freestyle by Rossignol.