Interview by Felix Rioux of D-Structure.
For a french version of this interview, visit http://www.d-structure.com
FR : Why the B in Iannick B?
IB: I started to use the B as my last name in competitions because English speaking people would butcher it really bad. It is a French last name and it is no easy to pronounce. Uncle-E was the one who kind of started the hype!
FR : Where do you currently live and what do you like most about your town?
IB:I still live in the middle of nowhere between Quebec City and Montreal. I?m still at my parent?s house and can?t get away from my mom?s food! Seriously, I haven?t moved out yet because I am still taking classes at the University here? trying to finish my Bachelor Degree in Computer Sciences.
FR : Are you anxious to move to Whistler?
IB:Hell yeah! I?m finally realizing one of my long-term dream by moving to Whistler. When I was a snowboarder, riding and moving to Whistler was always on my mind. I just got my sled last week and I am ready to rock out.. well, minus my apartment!
FR : Favorite food, beer, music, and why?
IB:Favorite food would be Asian food.. I guess I lived in China for a couple months and it got a hold of me! As for beer, I don?t drink that stuff.. Just kidding! I?m always up for a Guinness! I like any kind of music, but mostly hard rock. This is what keeps me pumped up when I ride; good old hard rock!
FR : I know you?ve snowboarded for something like 8 years, rollerbladed 6-7, skiboarded 1 1/2, you wakeboard, wake-skate and skateboard. First, how did you manage to get pretty skilled at all of these sports and what impact did they have on your skiing?
IB:That?s the beauty of life! I guess I just had a good sport basis and build up skills along the way. I think every sports has a positive impact on my skiing because everything has it?s own little thing that relates to skiing. As an example, balance from skateboarding, rails from inline skating, style from snowboarding?
FR : How long have you been skiing? And when did you really come back to skiing?
IB: I started skiing when I was 5 until I was around 15 when I switched to snowboarding. I got back on my skis 3-4 years ago while after I rode my one-year as a sponsored skiboarder! I guess skiboarding brought back memories of my early years and took me back to skiing.
FR : What goes through your mind when skiers give major props to skateboarding and snowboarding, while at the same time they disrespect and bring down rollerblading and skiboarding?
IB: I think lots of skiers are afraid of what?s happening. Many long time skiers saw new school as a new opportunity for them to take over their sport. But unfortunately for them and fortunately for the sport, the new school lifestyle brought new adepts and even old ones (like me!). Lots of those skiers also can?t accept the fact that someone who has been skiing for only a couple years take over their sport. The reason is that while they were still skiing in their one-piece suits, other people had their heads out of their ass and learned some skills from other sports. No? But for real, why are some people some competitive? Damn, IT?S ALL ABOUT FUN!
FR : Where do you think skiing is at right now and which direction do you think it should take?
IB: I think skiing is going toward the right direction. It has evolved really fast in the last couple years... But still not as fast as I?d like it too! I had the chance to witness part of the evolution of snowboarding and inline skating, so sometimes it makes it a little easier for me to predict what is ahead. These years to come are gonna be spent on rails, in the backcountry and perfecting style!
FR : You?re studying in computer science and ski professionally. How do you stay successful in two completely different worlds? What got you into computers and artificial intelligence?
IB: Why are you a nerd?.. is that your question? Haha! I always liked computers and always loved maths in school, so my degree in computer sciences would be the best of two worlds. As far as skiing and school goes, my university is not really into me skiing, so it has been pretty hard to finish my last classes! But someday, I?ll be working computers in the morning and skiing in the afternoons!
FR : I know you travel a lot and have a pretty hectic schedule. What would a year in the life of Iannick B looks like? Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring?
IB: It has been almost the same for the past 2-3 years. Everything starts with the winter! With the help of Salomon who has been there since the beginning and now Orage, I get to go to all the major comps and photo shoots. That usually goes from December to May. Then, since last year, I coach at SMS Camps on Blackcomb glacier until mid July. All of you guys should come and hang out with us in Whistler this summer! Next step is a skate camp in Wisconsin called Lake Owen where I basically train on ramps for the rest of the summer. Fall is the boring part where I usually take classes during that semester. And in between all that, I still have time to hang out with my family, my girlfriend and my friends!
FR : In The Playground and Stereotype we see you do a lot of rails. Some say you?re one of the best rail skier out there. What?s your point of view on that?
IB: Thanks to everybody for the props! The thing is rails have always been a fun part of skiing for me. I think if you have fun doing something, that?s when you get good at it! My inline skating background has a lot to do with my skills on rails... enough said! The lack of jumps in the movie is due to an injury last year.
FR : You had 2 serious injuries last season and still managed to pull off good footage. Do you wanna talk about it and how you recovered so quickly?
IB: Last year the season didn?t start so good! While we were in Mammoth at the beginning of the season, I dislocated my shoulder fooling around on a small jump. It was the first time and it kind of freaked me out. Thanks to Vinnie, Felix and my Salomon team manager for putting my arm back in place!!! After that, I exercised, did physio a lot and got better fast enough to make it to the X-Games where I got 6th in slopestyle. It is not top 3 but I was still really stoked for my first year (This year will be better!). A week after, in the finals at the US Open in Colorado, I over-rotated an underflip and broke both wrists and one arm! I had surgery and got out for 5 weeks! The doctor said it should?ve been 3 months, but I drank lots of milk so maybe that has something to do with it?!
FR : What tricks/style are you gonna work on this season? Why those ones?
IB: I?m gonna definitely keep working on rails and get new tricks dialed. I also want to take everything I know to the urban rails. I practiced lots of jumps this summer and I want to get different grabs and style in them. There is also gonna be lots of backcountry kickers!
FR : What are your goals for this ski season? The year after? Actually how long do you plan to be a Pro skier?
IB: This season, I?d really like to do well in the major comps. Get a couple top 3?s to show consistency. Then it?ll be a backcountry year with lots of filming and photo shoots. I?d like to show the world that I am an overall skier because right now people only think I am a jibber.
I?ll be a pro skier as long as I can and also as long as I think I can still represent well. I really don?t want to hold on to a spot that belongs to a better kid! Warn me when I start sucking!
FR : Who inspires Iannick B and keeps him motivated?
IB: I?d say there are a lot of guys I like to watch skiing? but the most important thing to me is to hang out with my friends and have fun. I like to go ski with them and have constructive days when we push and encourage each other. That?s when I learn my tricks.
FR : Tell me about your sponsors and why you represent them?
IB: Everything started with Salomon? they have been best sponsor since the beginning and I hope I?ll get to work with them for the years to come. They?re the reason I get to travel and live from skiing. Then comes the new one? Orage! They?re an awesome clothing company focused on the riders. There is Siver Cartel who has also helped me for the last couple years, owned by one of my best riding mates, Mike Nick. D-Structure who has been behind me for all those years? you guys kick ass! Other companies like Arnette, Scott USA, Sequence has also been hooking me up with dope gear? thanks to all!
FR : Last words and thank you?s?
IB: First, I?d like to thank my family for being there when I need them; My girlfriend Jessica who is the most understanding girl!; My best friends Phil and Tom; Everybody who has helped me to get where I am.. and I can?t name them cause there is way too many, but you guys know who you are!
Thanks also to all my sponsors who gives me the chance to live it: Salomon, Orage, Siver Cartel, Arnette, D-Structure